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Sorry Kids, But Apparently Daddy Is A Racist

August 15, 2017

I avoid politics in this space. Y’all know that. I figure there are plenty of places on the internet you can engage in political discussions. I’m surprised you follow my ramblings about camping and business, I can’t imagine anyone is interested in my opinions on politics.

So, this isn’t a political post. But, by the end of it, some people will think it is. By the end there may be people who are convinced that I’m not a very nice person.

If you have access to a news source, you’ve seen the horrific events that have transpired over the past week. Especially, the death of a young woman in Charlottesville for standing up to Nazis. I’m going to start by saying something that we can all agree on.

Nazism and it’s evil twin racism, are despicable belief systems. They have no place in our modern society. Those who would knowingly embrace either of these twin evils are worthy of our contempt. It’s horrible. And there is zero excuse for it.

BTW, if you do not agree with the above statement, please stop following my blog. Okay, are we clear? Nazis are bad. Racism is bad.

I have a question for you: do you believe me when I type the above statement?

Oh sure, you do right now, but by the end of this post, some of you will not. Some of you will be convinced I’m either lying or in denial, or just plain confused. Here’s why: I support the right of the Nazis to hold their march. I support their right to assemble. And I support their right to spew their hateful rhetoric to anyone who will listen.

But, Rodney, how can you support Nazis?

I don’t.

But, you just said you support their right to march and assemble and speak.

Of course I do.

There is a difference between supporting someone’s rights and supporting that person and their beliefs. We just had an election here in Utah. Three men were running to represent the Republicans in the race for the U.S. Congress. I supported the right of all three to run. I only supported one of the candidates. In the fall, the winner from last night, John Curtis will run against a Democrat in the general election. I fully support that Democrat’s right to run for office. In fact, if someone were to suggest that we not allow the Democrat candidate to run, I would protest vehemently.

So, you support the Democrat?

Not at all. I’m a conservative and I like the Republican who will run, and I’ll be supporting him.

There is a difference between supporting someone’s rights and supporting that person and their beliefs. So, let’s get back to the Nazis and the KKK.

I had a discussion with a group of friends online who were convinced that Nazis didn’t deserve to live. They honestly suggested that Nazis be killed because the Nazis wanted to kill jews, gays, and others. The people I was talking to happened to be gay and transgender. They would absolutely be on the “don’t deserve to live” list for any Nazi party.

So, let me get this straight, we want to kill Nazis because it’s okay to kill someone if you disagree strongly enough with their beliefs?

My friends failed to see the irony of suggesting the use of the exact same tactic they were protesting. The Nazis and the KKK deserve each other. And when they get together in big groups, it’s that much easier to keep track of them. But, I explained to my friends that killing people because of their beliefs is exactly what fascists do.

So, we should just sit by and let them kill people, like Heather Heyer? Or assault people like Deandre Harris?

Not at all. When people use violence or the threat of violence to attempt to impose their beliefs on others, they are committing crimes and they forfeit the right to protest. Heather’s murderer and Deandre’s attackers deserved to go to jail. But, that doesn’t mean that the Nazis and the KKK should be silenced.

It actually pains me to type this, but we should do nothing to prevent them from marching assembling and speaking. Not a thing. In fact, let the world see what idiots they truly are. Name and shame them on social media and let their employers fire them. But, don’t stop them from speaking. Not in America.

If freedom of speech doesn’t exist for all of us, it doesn’t exist for any of us.

This is the point at which some of my readers will start to doubt my unequivocal condemnation of racism and bigotry. Those are statements that will get you labeled an appeaser, or worse an actual racist yourself. Many people will simply assume that if you are defending the free speech rights of racists and fascists, it’s because, you know. . .you’re probably one too.

It’s hard to defend against a charge of racism. “I’m not racist,” I could say. And that’s exactly what a lot of racists feel. I could tell you that my best friend is black (which he is) and that I’m friends with the founder of the nationwide black advocacy group, United Front, and they don’t think I’m a racist. But, then, lots of people will say, “Some of my best friends are black.”

But, you know who else doesn’t think I’m a racist? The seven of my thirteen children who are black. My three Asian kids don’t think I’m racist either. And the three white kids don’t think I’m a racist.

So, as we continue to have the dialogue over race, and free speech, and hate speech and Nazis, Let’s not become so anxious to destroy those with whom we disagree that we commit the same sins that we reject in them. Our country is strong enough to endure those groups with anti-social, or even hateful views.

I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death, you’re right to say it.

This should be our mantra.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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  1. Patricia Nelson permalink

    Thank you for your thoughtful article. For me also, these are some of the principles that make America the precious land of the free.

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