Monday, September 5, 2016

Hate Is Hate Is Hate... We Can Do Better Than That

Our lives are so filled with hate speech that tonight Comedy Central will offer up 90 minutes of entertainment based on a woman being called a c*** 19 times, a racist c*** just for added impact, and then being told that she really ought to just kill herself.

Lin-Manuel Miranda (LA Times photo)
The woman is Ann Coulter, and while I disagree with her politics, I find it amazing that people are shocked… SHOCKED… at the possibility that Donald Trump might actually be elected President in November.

Don’t Trump opponents realize that name-calling and bullying aren’t attractive alternatives to name-calling and bullying?

I can imagine the argument: “Relax, it’s a roast, anything goes; we’re all professionals here.” And I’m sure that the entertainers and comedians who participated in Comedy Central’s roast all understand this. But do the majority of voters?

Image result for i'm a liberal but for the left
Screen cap from "Annie Hall"
Saying the worst things possible about someone and then backing off because you’re “only joking” is schoolyard bullying of the worst kind. I do think that the majority of voters understand that.

What’s the end game here anyway?

Perhaps – just perhaps – Coulter is smart enough to make herself enough of a martyr to actually swing sympathy in her direction. And maybe – just maybe -- all the snickering professionals on stage are all too clever by half, doing more harm than good for their own righteous cause.

EW magazine ad
I’m in no position to judge. Besides, as St. Teresa of Calcutta once taught us: If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

In June, Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda recited a poem on stage while accepting a Tony Award in the wake of the Orlando shootings.

“We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger,” he said, then evocatively concluded that “love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love” and “cannot be killed or swept aside.”

Tonight, Comedy Central will only remind Americans that hate and fear do seem stronger, and that “hate is hate is hate is hate is hate is hate is hate is hate.”

I think we can do better than that. Do yourself a favor: don’t watch the program. Spend that time with your family instead. In doing so, you’ll be making the statement that hate speech masquerading as entertainment should indeed by swept aside.

My social-media friend Michael Kasdan reposted this on the Goodmen Project site, where he is an editor. It elicited a mix of supportive comments, along with a fair number of hate-filled comments and personal attacks.

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