The Solution for Hatred Is Not More Hatred

One phenomena I’ve been thinking and writing about consistently over the last year or so is our society’s increasing acceptance of ill treatment for those we disagree with.

Left wing activists thought it was ok to break windows because Donald Trump got elected. Environmental activists thought it was ok to set construction equipment on fire because they don’t like the Dakota Access Pipeline. This jerk thought it was ok to harrass a pregnant mother, in front of her child, because he doesn’t like Muslims or hijabs or something.

Yesterday news broke that a church building in Nome, North Dakota, owned by notorious, repugnant white supremacist Craig Cobb caught fire. Cobb says it was arson, noting that there was no electricity hooked up to the home, and while that’s possible it’s not a certainty.

We should let the investigation play out before jumping to conclusions.

While we wait, can we at least agree that it’s a little disgusting to be celebrating the fire? Because that’s exactly what’s happening. All over Facebook and Twitter and other places too.

Like this headline from The Root, a blog in the left wing Gawker Media family:

Or this editorial cartoon from the Fargo Forum’s Troy Becker:

At the very least this is an unfortunate situation for Cobb and the community in Nome (I guess the building was something of a landmark). At worst, it was a crime.

Can we maybe not delight in it just because the man whose name is on the title for the property holds some truly obnoxious views about race and society?

The test of a society’s commitment to freedom, be it of speech or conscience of what have you, is how that society treats those with unpopular points of view. We do not have protections like the 1st amendment to make it easy to talk about the weather or sports. We have it to ensure that those who say things which make most of us angry, those who believe things which offend us, are free to do so.

Granted, nobody seems to be calling for Cobb to be arrested because he’s a white supremacist. But it should worry us that so many are cavalier about the very real possibility that a serious crime was committed against him.

That’s frightening.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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