By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
Three incidents and counting.
If yesterday's Holocaust Museum slaying of security guard and national hero Stephen Tyrone Johns is not a clarion call for banning hate speech, I don't know what is. Playwright Janet Langhart Cohen appeared on CNN yesterday right after the shooting, as she wrote a play that was supposed to have been debuted at the Holocaust Museum last night. Her play is about Emmett Till, whose lynching helped launch the Civil Rights Movement, and Ann Frank, whose diary told the story of Holocaust victims in hiding in the Netherlands during World War II.
She said something must be done about ridding the Internet and the public dialogue of hate speech. I agree. Not only have we had three hate crime murders within the last two weeks (Mr. Johns, as noted above, Dr. George Tiller a week ago last Sunday, and Pvt. William Andrew Long by an American-born Muslim convert outside a recruiting station just before that.)
Now we have this quote from the so-called Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who used to be President Obama's pastor. Hate comes from among all peoples and all religions. He said this about his lack of communication with Barack Obama since he's been elected president, according to the AP:
"Them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office," Wright told the Daily Press of Newport News following a Tuesday night sermon at the 95th annual Hampton University Ministers' Conference.
It's not enough to prosecute these murders as murders. They are hate-motivated crimes and each of these men had been under some sort of police surveillance prior to their actions. Isn't it time we started rounding up promoters of hate before they kill?
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By Bonnie Erbe