Yesterday, I wrote about a hate-group putting up vile posters on our campus.
Other people on campus also wrote about this, several of them on their FB pages. On several of these pages, people got comments about how “we” should just ignore these posters. Some said we should ignore them because we had better things to do; others claimed it was their free speech right to put up the posters.
One person, though, defended those who put up these posters.
He said that we needed to understand that "most" people who felt this way (the way those who posted these racist posters did) were "every-day, hard-working" people who were just frustrated with the way things have been going in America -- the disrespect shown toward the military and the police, and toward "our" religious institutions.
Frankly, this attitude strikes me as worse than open racism. Note what this person is saying. First, he implies that anyone who condemns racism and hate is not hardworking -- perhaps it's only the elite, or those on welfare who would think racism is wrong?
Second, he claims that racism and bigotry are a proper response to police protests. He ignores any possibility that those protesting against the police might have just cause.
Finally, the point about disrespect toward "our" religious institutions, given that one of the posters is an attack on Islam, is especially vile.
These posters are openly racist, they are openly bigoted, they are a clear evil that we can understand and condemn.
This comment -- and his other comments, which were equally troubling -- are more dangerous. They are like the Southern moderates of the 1950s, who didn't put on the Klan costumes, who didn't beat up black men and women and children in the streets, or lynch them, but who very civilly argued against passing laws, or making changes, or doing anything at all to stop those who did, because after all those people in the white hoods, they had their point of view too, didn't they.
Open racism and open bigotry will not be the problem over the next four years. Moderates and appeasement politics, those who just want to be devil’s advocates, those will be our downfall.