by Gray Graham
Have we become too tolerant of intolerance? Recently I was involved in a discussion about race issues in this country. At one point someone began to give opinions and points that most would call pure hate speech. They were the sort of things you hear from those that appear to hate everything that is different than what they believe.
It made me think about someone that told me that I tolerated too much foolish from others. I have always been a person that wanted to hear what someone has to say. No matter how much I might dislike your opinion I still want you to express it. While many appreciate that about me, it drives others completely crazy. I frequently get messages and emails from people that always question why I allow “that” person to share their ideas on Grandposts or one of my social media discussions.
We as a country pride ourselves on free speech, it was the first right that the people demanded that we have. It gives us the power to always question our government as well as express our views and ideas to others without fear.
This sounds great in principle but recent events have shown that this freedom has been and will continue to be abused. In the fight to have equality for all we have allowed all ideas to have the same weight. In the United States just about all manner of speech is tolerated including hate speech.
Maybe there was a time when this was only done by a few, but today it seems to be done by all. We allow people that have committed heinous crimes to drag their victims through the mud in verbal assaults often causing them additional harm sometimes worse than the actual crime. This tactic is used especially well against women in sexual assault cases.
In the last few years we have allowed many to express themselves in thinly veiled racist and bigoted attacks as they try to intimidate others in scenes that are clearly a flashback to counter protests to the Civil Rights movement. We continue to hear shouts of “I want my country back” which begs the question back from whom?
Maybe it is time for us to stop tolerating intolerance. We need to stand up and say no it is not ok for you to spew hate at people that are different from you. It is not ok for you to belittle women as mere sex objects. It is not ok for you to scream for the downfall of society so that you do not have to follow any rules. It is not ok for you to spend millions of dollars in order to force your agenda.
At some point we as a society are going to have to decide what it is that we want to be. Do we want to stand for the greater good of humanity or do we want to stand for the right to be as evil and destroy the world? Tolerance needs to have a limit and it is our responsibility to find out what that limit is.