Editor: A pluralistic society such as our own should not be required to tolerate intolerance if it wants to continue to function as such. There should be no obligation to give a platform to viewpoints that seek to promote one race, religion, or sexual orientation over another.
Hate groups only exist because they promote the condemnation of everyone who isn’t white, Christian, or heterosexual to second-class citizenship and worse. Extremist ideologies such as those espoused by the KKK and Neo-Nazis put people in the hospital and the cemetery. If we continue to pretend that these ideologies are morally equivalent to the one enshrined in the Declaration of Independence that claims all men are created equal, then we have sealed our own doom. We may as well be Germany in the 1930s. Belonging to a hate group ought to be a criminal offense in this country, which is precisely what Germany has done by banning the Nazi party. They are no less of a liberal democracy for it. They have no desire to relive the horror of the 30’s and 40’s. Neither should we.
I have enough life experience to know that not every area in life is clear-cut, black and white. There is lots of room for nuance, uncertainty, and subjectivity, but never when it comes to hate. White supremacy is evil, plain and simple, and its monstrous children are violence and murder. Even if not a single violent event were to occur at any KKK or Neo-Nazi rally, their mission is the opposite of peaceful. These are domestic terrorists who claim a “purified” vision of America that never existed in the first place and will never exist.
Their presence in the public sphere, including their pamphlets that recently littered lawns and doorsteps in Leesburg, is calculated to induce fear and intimidation. No one in this country in 2018, especially in diverse, multicultural Northern Virginia, should be afraid to go about their daily lives because of the color of their skin, or where they were born, or because they are wearing a yarmulke or a head scarf. White supremacist hate groups want these Americans, adults and children, to fear for their safety and their very lives. It’s despicable and cowardly, and I don’t understand how it can be protected by the First Amendment. Praise for the holocaust and wishing millions more dead isn’t just some harmless opinion. I Whether one person is being threatened or millions, a death threat is a death threat.
I commend the Leesburg police for removing this garbage from people’s property. I sincerely hope law enforcement will continue to take this menace seriously, do everything they can to track down the perpetrator(s), and slap the toughest charges they can on them, but unfortunately, the laws aren’t tough enough.
Hopefully it won’t be too late when we as a society finally decide to stop protecting those who want to wipe out large swaths of the country under the guise of freedom of speech.
Kate Maxwell, Ashburn