Safe Spaces Episode 23 starts, proceeds, and concludes on a low-note as the sad events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia soured the national mood and spirit of the nation. Our hosts have done their best on this very podcast to add some levity and thoughtful dialogue to a public discussion badly in need of both, and will do their best this time around as well. Too bad there’s so little to work with this week.
And what a week it was; violent riots in Virginia over the controversial removal (and destruction) of remaining Confederacy statues brought the worst of humanity to the surface: white supremacists, KKK, scary Nazis (are there any other kind?), and – yes – violent opposition in the form of uncontrolled Antifa protestors looking to stop the spread of hatred “by any means necessary.” It was a dangerous and often frightening combination of passions gone wild, leaving one protestor dead before it was over.
The media’s hyperbolic messaging didn’t help, either, as nearly every broadcast, news outlet, website, social media, and politician within reach of an audience looked for someone – anyone – to blame. With an inconsistent message of unity, President Trump’s multi-attempt at tempering passions would have the opposite effect, while our gracious masters of Silicon Valley engaged in the worst mass-censorship and blatant overreach since the days of WW1. Statues were destroyed, websites removed, music muted, and people were publicly shamed – man of them completely innocent.
With luck, we’ll all survive the incoming storm, but that won’t happen without honest, objective honesty and mutual respect. Nobody is asking to support and promote hateful ideologies, especially those with a long history of bigotry and suppression. But angry, dangerous mobs and violent acts of retaliation aren’t the solution, either.
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