Celebrity Bigots

Why Hate is Hot

But there's a better way. You can stand up and say: Hate speech isn't hip; it's wrong. And you can fight its spread, not by demanding that the government ban bigotry but by picketing those who profit from it, flooding their companies with complaints, holding teach-ins on the culture of contempt. In the current climate, such protest is piecemeal and rarely involves a coalition like the one that built the civil rights movement. Prominent black journalists have refused to appear on Imus, but their white counterparts go on chatting with the I-Man. Self-interest has replaced the old ideal of common cause. Even worse, libertarians are chastising those who care enough to protest.

The First Amendment does not require silence in the face of outrage. On the contrary, freedom demands a constant assertion of values. We've seen what the absence of righteous anger can produce. Sixty years ago, a cadre of fascist thugs nearly destroyed our civilization. They would never have gotten so far if more people had taken their hate speech seriously from the start. Let's not make that mistake in the name of entertainment. Stop the celebrity bigots before it happens again.

Research: Julia Gayduk

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