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The Journal Gazette

Friday, September 08, 2017 1:00 am


Tolerance must not extend to those who are intolerant

I see no righteousness in Charlottesville.

The First Amendment gives everyone the right to speak their mind. It does not give the right to start a riot. It does not give the right to cause property damage with your demonstration. It does not give the right to cause bodily injury, let alone kill people. It only gives the right to speak. We do not live in a totalitarian state where we are restricted to politically correct drivel. The same laws that give some the right to speak inconvenient truth give others the right to speak disgusting lies. And if we do not like what was said, then those same laws give us the right to make reasoned argument in opposition.

We claim to be a country of tolerance and respect for those we disagree with. We speak of inclusiveness and even of love. Just words! I see none of that in Charlottesville.

I see some groups, said to be ultra-right but actually no more connected to so-called right-wing or conservative politics than they are to anything else in America, who speak and violently protest against non-white races and foreign-born people. I see other groups, those who call themselves anti-fascists or “antifa” and likewise are not connected to anything else in America, who speak and violently protest whatever they find offensive. How is either side different from those called terrorists who speak and protest violently for religious reasons? They are all cut from the same cloth of hate. They are all against something and not for anything. Just listen to them (if you can stomach it). All they want is to hurt others.

Nobody in Charlottesville can claim their actions were justified. Should we lock up the neo-Nazis and KKK and such? Absolutely! Should we lock up the antifa and such? Absolutely! Should we lock up terrorists? Maybe! After all, most of them are still in foreign lands and we must respect their sovereignty. But if they come to America ...

We are a tolerant people. But tolerance like free speech has its limits. Any group that seeks to tear down others has no place in American civil policy.

Steven Burd Gardner

New Haven

PETA is far off point

PETA is calling out churches for selling lobsters. If you read Genesis 9: 1-4, it's pretty straightforward that God gave us these creatures to eat. Now, if you choose not to, that is your choice, but it is others' right to choose also. I guess with the circuses gone, they need something to fill their time?

Jane Newman

Fort Wayne

Mollberg's influence will continue to be felt

We go back, Erik Mollberg and I, way back.

Our first connection was during his student days at Western Michigan University. Even then he stood out from the crowd of students I taught. His social awareness earned him respect but not always comfort on the part of those of us who were ostensibly there to mold and shape eager young minds. Erik was eager enough, but in the shaping category, well, let's just say, not so much. But he knew his way around a television camera and studio and he became a valuable member of the paid student TV crew without whom much of our work of creating instructional resources simply couldn't happen.

I have been rightfully proud of who Erik became, both as a genuine friend and as a leader in the public media field. We have served together in regional and national leadership roles with the Alliance for Community Media. Erik made a difference wherever he served. His commitment to empowering those who otherwise would have no platform – simply no voice – in the wilderness of today's electronic media has never faltered. Erik, we should all be reminded, never let the people of Indiana down. He was the go-to guy when things at the state capital turned against the best interests of free speech and the people's right of access to the powers of television and radio. The access movement will not soon forget lessons learned about how to live our commitments.

Erik has always walked the walk and Fort Wayne, the state of Indiana, our nation and the broader world owe Erik a debt of gratitude that will likely be understood in the months and years ahead when we will be reminded by his absence of what he has meant to us all.

Frank R. Jamison

Professor Emeritus of Instructional Media

Western Michigan University