Hate speech turns into hateful actions

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

Some Americans seem to enjoy the freedom to use hate speech and not suffer any consequences for their behavior. Some consider that to be one of the great things about life in America. And often they can depend on someone else to act on their hateful speech and harm another individual. The murder of Dr. George Tiller is a case in point.

While many people are opposed to abortion rights, I would hope that only a few of them believe that taking the life of a doctor who performs abortions is the solution to the situation. I doubt that anyone would disagree with abstinence being the only answer to unwanted pregnancies, but in a society obsessed with sex, that has little — if any — chance of gaining a foothold. And, after all, women were having abortions when abortions were illegal, and there were no abortion doctors. And I would bet that if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade today, some women would continue to have abortions.

There are, of course, those who are outspoken in their defense of accused murderer Scott Roeder, and consider acts of violence to be justifiable in the fight to stop abortions. The FBI is conducting an investigation into the matter in an attempt to determine whether or not a conspiracy exists that may have led Roeder to kill.

Actually, one positive thing pro-life advocates could do is launch major programs to make the lives of babies better. Children who have to depend on an overburdened foster care system need all the help they can get to survive. According to the Missouri Department of Social Services, at the beginning of the year, there were more than 9,000 children in the foster care system.

And the pro-life extremists are not alone. There are those who use hate speech on the air to spread their toxic messages far and wide. If anyone acting on their speech commits an act of violence, they will simply deny that they had anything to do with it. They are aware that hate mongering has led to murder and political assassinations, but they keep it up hoping that someone will act on their message. Because we have a biracial president, much of the hate speech is racist in nature, and these individuals seem to delight in believing that they are antagonizing black Americans. They are making many angry, but most of us have been around long enough to know that racist hate speech is as American as apple pie, and we’ve heard it all of our lives.

Fortunately, we have reached a point where people of all races recognize these attempts to stir up racial animosity and resent them. Many of us believe that in two more generations, the racial makeup of individuals will have changed to the point that racism will virtually disappear, but not without a fight.

Most Americans are sick of the violence in this country. And those who have lost relatives and friends because of it don’t appreciate the spate of hate speech and consider those who use it enemies of peace.

A lot of people are having a hard time in this country. Those facing unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy I’m sure have enough to feel bad about, so the last thing they need is a bunch of well-paid political activists trying to scare people with their made-up version of health care reform.

Firing up the lunatic fringe is a dangerous business primarily because evil doesn’t always stay where you put it. What one sows in his neighbor’s backyard frequently winds up in his own.

While we all have the right to our opinions, this yelling, shouting and screaming isn’t really impressing anyone because most people, if they choose, are able to do that.

Thankfully, the majority has the kind of personal dignity that disallows them to make a fool of themselves in public. This rude, irresponsible behavior is accomplishing nothing.

If you have health care, fine; if you don’t have it and don’t want it, that’s fine too. Making insurance and pharmaceutical companies richer while people get sicker is just something many of us do not want to do.

In the end, we will all have to live with the outcome, and the people who ultimately make the decision all have great health insurance benefits. So, if health care reform fails, who do you think the real losers will be? Them or us? Figure it out.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at

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tina fey August 19, 2009 | 7:36 a.m.

Ms. Nolen could cite several more examples of hate speech: 1. Jeneane Garofalo "teabaggers are racist rednecks"; 2. Nancy Pelosi "town-hall protestors are un-American"; 3. Henry Louis Gates "this is how a black man is treated in America"; 4. Claire McCaskill "they (business executives) are idiots"; Barack Obama "they (health insurance companies" are the problem"; 5. Barney Frank "talking to you (town-hall participant" is like talking to the dining room table"; David Letterman "during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez." Ms. Nolen perpetuates the manifestation of hate speech by selectively listing only snippets that fit her political agenda. If we are to move forward in the country and rid ourselves of hate speech, we must first rid ourselves of media operatives such as Rose Nolen who only present a political bias and are void of truth in their siren.

(Report Comment)
joe withheld August 19, 2009 | 7:54 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Frank Smith August 19, 2009 | 10:25 a.m.

Ms. Nolen is quite correct. It was "pro-life" hate speech that was responsible for the women's clinic murders of Dr. George Tiller, Dr. Bernard Slepian, Dr. David Gunn, Dr. John Britten, policeman Robert Sanderson, receptionists Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols and blinded nurse Emily Lyons and wounded many others.

The "pro lifers" (and I assume, "Tina Fey") at Operation Rescue wholeheartedly supported the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, where a bombing claimed the lives of 86 more victims just yesterday. Since Bush's invasion, based on lies and hate speech, over a million Iraqis have died early deaths, four million have become refugees. Almost 4,400 young American men and women have been killed, with 30,000 more wounded. The cost of the war will exceed three trillion dollars even if it is ended in the near future.

"Tina Fey's" comparison of that slaughter to Nancy Pelosi's well-founded opinion that those groups and individuals seeking to intimidate and terrorize at town halls is ludicrous. No self-respecting dimwit would find "moral equivalency" there.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro August 19, 2009 | 1:34 p.m.

("Because we have a biracial president, much of the hate speech is racist in nature, and these individuals seem to delight in believing that they are antagonizing black Americans.")
Do you really equate America electing a biracial lawyer into the White House as the reason for all this purported racist hate speech you seem to be hearing?
In my family, we made fun of everyone, including ourselves. It was our way of showing we cared.
Thanks for cluing me in on the reason why I've been hearing so many mulatto jokes lately...

(Report Comment)
joe withheld August 19, 2009 | 2:09 p.m.

"nancy pelosi's well-founded opinion..."

granting this assertion any credibility would require its listener to completely forget the nearly two months she recently spent trying to explain whether or not she was present during any CIA Torture briefings.

pelosi is a nut, and for feebly trying to grant her credibility, frank smith is one too.

btw, I will note Bush isn't president anymore. These are Obama's wars now. But feel free to act like they aren't.

(Report Comment)
Fire Fox August 21, 2009 | 1:19 p.m.

Ms. Nolen,

"A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.", "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.", "We are born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.", and just for you "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” - Ben Franklin.

You I feel are a learned blockhead. Never try to change the Constitution especially the 1st or 2nd amendments!


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Eugene O'Neill September 18, 2009 | 1:52 p.m.

As a blogger-and a conservative blogger at that-it is concerning to me when the speaker of the house speaks about political speech in such a manner that one gets the impression of a thinly veiled desire to regulate political speech. As for "Hatespeech". Who decides what constitutes hate speech?
Hate speech-so to speak-is in the ears and eyes of the beholder.
I am also reminded of what I considered hatefilled vitriol that the left hurled at George Bush for eight years. Where was liberal concern about hate speech when the fringe-and not so fringe-elements on the liberal side were calling Bush a killer and wished for his death?
I see a big load of hypocrisy here

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