Monday, September 10, 2012

Freedom of Speech

Sometimes the First Amendment allows unfortunate and unwanted speech: 

Supremacist groups to meet in East Tennessee (, 9/8/12)  

But when you think of the alternative, you sometimes just have to grit your teeth and bear it.  I still find it amazing this kind of thing exists in the 21st century, and it's even more disheartening to read this:
“Tennessee is one of the states that has a strong presence of all of the major white supremacist groups active right now,” [Anti-Defamation League director of investigative research Mark] Pitcavage said....
Tennessee, where the KKK was formed in 1865, continues to play a key role in re-energizing the white supremacist movement. Pitcavage said a confluence of two factors — the election of Barack Obama and the economy — is driving the white supremacist resurgence, connected to a spike in violent incidents including a shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin that left six dead, including the shooter, Wade Page, a self-identified neo-Nazi.
But a foiled terrorist plot in Tennessee may have lit the first spark, he said.
In 2008, during Obama’s first presidential campaign, Bells, Tenn., resident Daniel Cowart, 20, and his friend Paul Schlesselman, 18, from Arkansas — both self-described white power skinheads — were caught before they could carry out an assassination attempt against Obama and 88 African-Americans at a school in West Tennessee.
I wonder sometimes what kind of sea change could possibly be hoped for, in that those citizens who actively promote white supremacy, or racial hatred of any kind can find an reason to see beyond color.  What has to happen to change these peoples' hearts and minds?

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