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November 25, 2008

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The Statesman position is based upon the unfounded premise that racism and bigotry is a fringe position in the state. You can't poll for red neckishness. Its not something that people will honestly represent. That's all the more reason it much be highlighted when encountered.

An interesting mix of comments. I noticed quite a bit of hatred and misinformation about members of the LDS Church in that comment thread. Any chance that this type of hatred will be denounced?

Ya got mentioned in the Statesman sister. Click my name.

Have at it Bubbles. I have difficulty motivating myself to assert the civil liberties of an entity that would wrongfully deny it to others. Not to be pejorative but its kinda like working up sympathy for the freedom of speech of the Aryan Nations.

One need only to watch the news for a few moments to realize that we are far from cornering the market on hate.

Evil exists in this world, and hate is one of the more visible ways it manifests itself.

I remember a Statesman interview a couple / few years back with a refugee from the former Yugoslavia, and her comments on how Sarajevo was once more inclusive and peaceful than Boise.

"Hate" - however - is also somewhat lopsided in America.

As a middle-aged white male, if I were to find myself in Harlem (or some neighborhoods in Caldwell) and were to be accosted, the first question out of most people would be something akin to: "Well... What the hell were you doing there in the first place?!"

This story about 2nd and 3rd graders chanting "Assinate Obama" on a school bus and not receiving a serious rebuke from teachers and other adults in charge is so shocking and so sad as a commentary on our state. I can't help but wonder if this isn't in the realm of a potential Federal crime -- do we have a terrorist cell developing here in Idaho?

The only appropriate reaction from school officials is to host a public forum, gathering parents together to emphasize the seriousness of the situation, as well as sending letters and planning a human rights assembly for students throughout the District.

Rexburg owes us an update on their progress to correct this sick and terrible story.

Sisyphus, care to reconsider your remark about the free speech rights of mormons? Some saying about unpopular speech being the stuff that matters most if we're serious about free speech.

Then again, the LDS church isn't a citizen. I put this 'the LDS church reaping the whirlwind' episode into a category I call 'we need to disabuse churches and corporations of the notion that they're anything more than pseudo-people (is the term 'legal fiction' correct?)'. And that their voice or role in government should be... um.... ZERO.

Bubbles, any oppressive power really shouldn't whine when the peasants learn new skills with threshers, staffs, pitchforks and torches. The LDS church and members spent 25 million bucks (and countless donated effort) demonizing California gays with some pretty smear-infested campaigning, then acts shocked because the backlash focused on them? The only good I see coming out of Prop 8's passage are backlashes: This may remind the LDS church a lesson seemingly forgotten since Benson's John Birch Society days. It may also rekindle the 'my politics vs. my church' issue for Romney if he runs again in 2012.

Marcia: freakin' brilliant. I so completely agree. Dramatic counter-gestures are needed, and a degree of persistence and effort that seems equal to undoing the ingrained wrongheadedness of a community that'd create the busload of kids calling for such an act. BTW, naivete of kids doesn't magically absolve the community, especially their parents. I won't hold my breath waiting for this effort, though.

And Picayune, please don't argue that a hate crime is at all commensurate with being caught in a bad neighborhood. In the former, the bad neighborhood is everywhere. As a local Idahoan (Boise Blue) so aptly put on DailyKos a few weeks ago, a hate-crime strikes fear into an entire class of people: that could be me. It isn't just an attack on an individual; for the victim class, a hate crime *is* terrorism.

Meanwhile, the Statesman seems mute on their being called out on their lame editorial stance. Reprinting quotes from here and 43sb hardly constitutes a discussion or appropriate response to racism in Idaho, Statesman.

"Not to be pejorative but its kinda like working up sympathy for the freedom of speech of the Aryan Nations."

Actually, the ACLU did exactly that a few years back.

What disturbs me in these conversations is that we can't fight bigotry with bigotry. We are not convincing if, while we denounce bigotry, we are also attacking LDS, either directly or through code ("southeast Idaho").

OK I've reconsidered. I'm still unmotivated to champion the cause. The quandry is an equivocation. But neither will I get in the way. You and Bubbles can if you're so inclined.

The ACLU examples was why I brought this up in the first place. The ACLU was widely derided for the choice which they defended for the reasons advanced by d2. I merely pointed out the irony of defending the civil liberties of a group that would happily destroy similar liberties to others if they ever acheived the power they seek through said advocacy.

"What disturbs me in these conversations is that we can't fight bigotry with bigotry."--just to be clear, I wasn't advancing any bigotry towards Mormons. I just wasn't motivated to jump down the throats of others who arguably may have at the HBO blog. The LDS demonstrated a potent capability to utilize government to deprive equal protection of the law to gay people. I see no reason to aid them in such an abhorrent cause.

I'll admit I was surprised by the first reactions to my comment; I figured I'd get something like "we don't need to lie -- we have the truth on our side!". I'm impressed by d2's apparent willingness to admit that I shouldn't be surprised that progressives would adopt the methods of their opponents. Still, I'm inclined to believe that Sharon might be making a more valid point. It all depends on what your goal is, I suppose. If you want to try to convince people that they should support your point of view, it would seem to me that one would want to focus more on facts. If, on the other hand, you just want to make yourself feel better without actually changing anything, I'd say that d2's advice is pretty good.

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