Uncivil discourse


By SHERMAN FREDERICK

Stephens Media

It’s OK to hate hate speech, isn’t it? I think so.

If there’s one thing upon which we all ought to agree, it is hate speech is bad. Left, right, black, white, foreign, domestic, Christian, Islam, gay, straight, dogs or cats. It’s all unbecoming, perhaps dangerous and genuinely worthy of condemnation.

There’s no better recent example of this uncivil discourse than last week, when former President George W. Bush underwent heart surgery to place a stent in a blocked artery.

Some Americans don’t like President Bush. They hated his policies and objected to much of his presidency.

I don’t agree with that. I think history will remember George W. Bush as a good president. But I get the fact that others disagree.

What I don’t get is utterances such as these. This is a small sampling of the hate floating around the Internet. It was compiled courtesy of conservative watchdog Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy.com:

— “God damn it! What surgeon placed the stent on G.W. Bush? Can’t he just die already?!”

— “A world would be a better place if he die.”

— “George W. Bush recovering from heart surgery … Why good ppl die so early and bad ones get good medical care?”

— “LOL it’s too bad Bush didn’t have any complications with his blocked artery. (He) should die. Must be all that great Texas food!”

— “George W. Bush undergoes surgery for blocked artery. He will die because of prays (sic) of Iraqi people.”

That’s not to say that conservatives don’t also have a share of the hate speech market in America. They do. All should be shushed, shamed or shunned.

Wanted dead or alive

While attending an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game in Phoenix this summer, I was dismayed to see a black child wearing a T-shirt that had George Zimmerman’s face on it with these words: “Wanted Dead Or Alive For Murder.”

Obviously, the story line of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case touched a raw nerve within the black community. And I do not belittle the idea that in this country, black youth don’t always get the benefit of the doubt they deserve as they move through general society. Let us pray for change.

It is my hope that some clear-thinking adult in the black community pulls that kid aside and gives him the “what for” for wearing a shirt with a message like that. Not good.

The glass house rule

Scott Hounsell, the ex-director of the GOP in Los Angeles County, is feeling the hard edge of karma.

Scotty-boy ridiculed through social media Democrats Anthony Weiner and Bob Filner for their sexual habits.

Hounsell tweeted: “Is it just me, or does every #Weiner headline for the NY Mayors race seem like an intentional dirty pun?” And on Filner, he responded to a fellow tweeter who asked if Filner had a fragrance, what would it be called?

Hounsell tweeted: “How about ‘Eau No Means No’?”

He might have gotten away with what some would see as a fairly funny retort, if not for one little, tiny thing.

While he was making fun of political opponents, he was allegedly doing some of the same disgusting stuff.

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit arrested Hounsell on a misdemeanor charge of sending sexually explicit material to a 16-year-old.

Ouch, baby.

Sherman Frederick is former editor of the Tribune-Herald and former publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

 

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