Being an American is very difficult. We enjoy life under the Bill of Rights, so we are protected from harassment. The difficulty is that we must also respect the rights of others. Some people may have vile, hateful beliefs. They may spout racist, bigotry and hateful rhetoric. Common sense and Christian beliefs scream out that these people are wrong, they should not be allowed to spread their words of hate, and they should be silenced. But our Constitution gives everyone the right to speak.
As Americans we must allow them to speak. We do not have to like what they say. We also have the right to think that they are ignorant hateful losers. We can voice our opinion, but we do not have the right to stop them speaking. If we shout them down, or attack them, we violate their Rights. But worse, we validate the idea that they will succeed in convincing others that their message is real. The worse thing that can happen to spreaders of hate and bigotry is to be ignored. When the people respond to hateful rantings with silence and pity, then the message dies.
The recent demonstrations are examples of Americans exercising their Right of Free Speech. The only criminal act is the violence that erupted. The sad point is that many organizations assigned blame for the violence without identifying who the perpetrators actually were. We need to stop giving hate groups the validation they crave.
Robert Eyerman, Bellefonte