Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Mon, Jan. 27

Letter: Tolerance


Is it true tolerance is a virtue? Well, tolerance requires differing viewpoints. We can’t be “tolerant” of ideas we like or if only one view is allowed.

When we prohibit other beliefs, the result is intolerance, even fascism. Antifa and similar groups attempt to squelch all views but theirs. That’s the opposite of anti-fascism.

The Rev. Martin Luther King and Simone de Beauvoir crusaded for views contrary to American standards of the time. While there was violence, the true transformation came from discussion, analysis and acceptance of those ideas. America’s mind was changed. Nice example to follow, don’t you think?

But, America’s marketplace of ideas is becoming less tolerant — less willing to discuss beliefs. I’m sure you’ve heard “old white men are ruining America” in political speeches and commentaries. I have. That statement is racist, ageist, sexist and intolerant. But, no one seems to hear. Imagine if a politician or talking head were to say the equally intolerant, “young black women are ruining America.” Intolerance has become acceptable, and few are noticing.

When speakers like Ben Shapiro visit university campuses, students “valiantly arise to prevent intolerant views from being expressed.” They’re intolerant of intolerance? Funny, huh?

So, how do you and I react to someone who disagrees with us? Are we tolerant of what they have to say? Or, are we generating a lot of heat with very little light? Let’s look closer to home. The problem may be us.

Mike Bellsmith


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