Monday, March 3

Hateful Haters and the People Who Dislike Them

"I was just in disbelief when I saw it," Justin Talley said. "Basically, I was like, 'What year is this?' In 2008 - I can't believe this is happening."

Reading in today's Daily Iowan that two black students, Justin Talley and Ryan Thomas, from the University of Iowa had their off-campus apartment door vandalized with extremely hateful epithets reminds me that we have traveled far and, for some, gotten nowhere.

Before I go too far down stream, I do believe the climate of the country genuinely has improved, but I also believe that bigotry and hateful acts have just gone more underground. Certainly intolerant ideas are propagated daily on the web in blogs, and comments to online news sources. The anonymous nature of such pronouncements allow people to say what they really think without the slapdown that usually comes with hate speech.

Nonetheless, for those of us who do not believe that bigotry is acceptable, events, like the one perpetrated on these young men, are frustrating. Maybe it is because no one can intellectually explain the process that leads a person or persons to hate others that it is so reprehensible.

Chances are that someone will confess that they were responsible for this cowardly act and that it was a "joke"--that they really aren't that "way"--that these young men are somehow to blame for the act that was visited upon them.

Do the world a favor when that happens. Forgive them. But don't let them forget.

For the young men who experienced this cowardly act, there are a lot of people in this community who are angry for you and ashamed for our community.

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