Opinion: Denouncing Hate Speech Is Not "Intolerant"

Walter Rhein

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The problem with American Conservatives is that they stomp all over everyone’s rights. The most recent example is the restriction on potentially life-saving reproductive health care.

In a historic and far-reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade on Friday, declaring that the constitutional right to abortion, upheld for nearly a half century, no longer exists—Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending right to abortion upheld for decades

Already this is causing problems and trauma for countless Americans.

Surgical procedures and medication for miscarriages are identical to those for abortion, and some patients report delayed or denied miscarriage care because doctors and pharmacists fear running afoul of abortion bans—They Had Miscarriages, and New Abortion Laws Obstructed Treatment

This isn’t an example of an ideological disagreement. The health of our wives and daughters is being put at risk. Anyone who has any respect for human decency has to oppose fundamental conservative beliefs.

I receive a lot of death threats from conservatives because of my writing. My family is an immigrant family, and my wife and children have often been harassed by conservatives out in public.

I do not have any tolerance for that kind of behavior.

The fact of the matter is that modern conservatives are blatantly anti-immigrant—Let’s be honest, today’s conservatives are blatantly anti-immigrant

It doesn’t matter that my wife came here legally or that my children were born here. On multiple occasions, they have been harassed by conservatives. To me, that shows that conservatives do not care about the law.

As a progressive, there are many laws that I do not agree with. However, I live in accordance with these laws. In my experience, that is not the case with conservatives.

One example of conservatives breaking the law can be seen in the January 6th insurrection.

For those who have already chosen to forget, the January 6, 2021, insurrection was the worst domestic attack on the U.S. government since the Civil War, involving a mob of thousands who were hellbent on stopping the congressional certification of the election of Joe Biden as president in order to keep Donald Trump in power. Incited to march on the U.S. Capitol by Trump, the mob overwhelmed the police guarding the Capitol and succeeded in delaying the certification and nearly stopping it. In the process, the mob threatened the lives of members of Congress, who were forced to flee the House and Senate chambers—Jan. 6 Hearings Seek to Remind a Forgetful Nation About the Day Donald Trump Almost Engineered a Coup

The January 6th insurrection was a blatant example of conservative lawlessness. To this day, many conservatives defend the actions of that day.

Many conservatives try to claim that the left is “intolerant,” but they don’t have any evidence to support that belief. A tolerant person has no obligation to show tolerance to a philosophy of lawlessness or bigotry.

In my experience, conservatives often try to deflect from their own behavior by blaming things on others. That is not necessary. All Americans should be able to agree that it’s inappropriate for anyone to send death threats or indulge in the destruction of property.

It’s not an example of “intolerance” to denounce that behavior, it’s an appeal to lawfulness and common sense.

Progressives want to work for a society that’s free from government control. We believe that we should respect the results of an election. We believe that people should be allowed to marry whomever they choose without government interference.

Conservatives have many intolerant beliefs.

Texas Republicans recently inserted homophobic and transphobic language into the state party's platform. This happened at their annual convention last week in the middle of Pride Month. Party leaders also excluded members of the nation's oldest conservative LGBTQ group from parts of the convention. NPR's Ashley Lopez was there and joins us now. Good morning, Ashley—Texas GOP platform embraces far-right and anti-gay rhetoric

There can be no place in a decent, law-abiding society for this kind of hateful rhetoric. It can be argued that hate rhetoric incites people to violence. That’s why we can’t tolerate that kind of speech. Conservatives have a terrible track record in resorting to acts of violence.

Last year, 39 of the 50 killings committed by political extremists, according to the Anti-Defamation League, were carried out by white supremacists. Another eight were committed by killers with anti-government views. Over the past 10 years, right-wing extremists were responsible for more than 70 percent of extremist-related killings. “Right-wing extremist violence is our biggest threat,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the A.D.L., has written. “The numbers don’t lie.”—Conservatism Has a Violence Problem

There can be no tolerance for a philosophy that represents a threat to the well-being of your children.

It’s time for American conservatives to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Political violence has no place in the United States of America. Conservatives need to abandon their radical beliefs and show more tolerance for others.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI
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