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September 6, 2002

Intolerance In Any Form Is Shameful - And Wrong

David 'Kip' Koontz

Poor State Senator Alex Mooney and Delegate Sue Hecht.

You have to pity them for having to agree on something.

That is, of course, their extreme dislike, if not outright hatred, of the now defunct Defeat Mooney Committee.

Ms. Hecht accepted SS Mooney's twisting of the truth and in turn believed that since SS Mooney was making accusations about the Defeat Mooney Committee and Ms. Hecht in the same breath that she must blame the Defeat Mooney Committee for SS Mooney's actions.

As a result, Ms. Hecht deemed the Defeat Mooney Committee bad and criticized it at every given opportunity.

While the committee had nothing to do with her at all - its intent was only to Defeat SS Mooney, Ms. Hecht mistakenly accepted the misrepresentation that the committee was for her, or about her, and demanded it go away.

The committee vexed SS Mooney because it pointed out those things he did not want pointed out.

Things like how his behavior did indeed mirror many of the behaviors of fascist and other dictators and ideological extremists throughout history.

Of course, everyone got up in arms and pooh-poohed the Committee's doing so, but how hypocritical can people be?

Very, very, very, very, very.

The same people who pooh-poohed the Committee's doing so in 2002, Delegate Hecht included, are not remembered as pooh-poohing the Frederick News-Post for drawing similar analogies several years ago.

That's right.

In response to SS Mooney's 1999 fundraising letter where he railed against "left-wing, militant homosexuals" the News-Post wrote the following in an editorial dated August 16, 1999:

"State Senator Alex Mooney's fund-raising letter, blasting 'left-wing, militant homosexuals,' comes at a time when the country is plagued with a rash of hate-related crimes. His ill-advised letter only provides more ammunition to those twisted people who don't seem to need much excuse to target minorities or those who don't match their Nazi-like ideal of a master race that excludes everyone but whites and Christians."

The editorial continued, "The other issue is the climate of hate that only encourages murderous acts by those on edge in the first place. This also includes gay bashing or simple intolerance that makes someone's life miserable. Or the namecalling."

What has happened since 1999 that has made that type of politics - SS's brand of politics - acceptable?

Why is it now acceptable to make another person's life miserable?

Political expediency perhaps?

Why does Ms. Hecht believe that an independent organization, of which two of the officers were the direct subject of Mr. Mooney's hate speech, has no right to point out his behavior just as the News-Post did?

After all, as one of the Defeat Mooney Committee's harshest critics, she failed to see, as the News-Post did, any connection between Alex Mooney's behavior and that of ".those twisted people who don't seem to need much excuse to target those who don't match their Nazi-like ideal."

Why didn't the Democratic Party leadership, if not publicly support expressing the truth, at least not demand or strongly encourage those expressing it to quit exercising their freedom of speech?

Is it now okay to quietly tolerate the "climate of hate that only encourages murderous acts.?"

Why don't those Republicans who know in their heart of hearts that what SS Mooney represents is truly wrong and know that his speech and actions may lead to "providing ammunition to those twisted people who don't need much excuse to target minorities who don't match their Nazi-like ideal of a master race that excludes everyone but white and Christians," as the News-Post pointed out, do anything to stop him?

Is it now okay to tolerate "outrageously hateful language aimed at demonizing a group." as the News-Post editorial stated?

Where was the gay and lesbian community of Frederick?

Afraid of seeing the precedent set that tolerance of intolerance has become the norm, or quietly sitting back letting others take the heat for them while they silently support their quiet heroine lesbian candidate, regardless of the potential consequences, to their happy little existences?

Clearly, SS Mooney would want those who express his worst characteristics publicly to go away.

But where is everyone else?

There have been times throughout history when "the opposition" simply disappeared.

Thankfully it hasn't gone that far, yet people do get killed simply because of their race, sexual orientation, and so on.

As the News-Post's editorial stated, "The fundraising letter's outrageously hateful language is aimed at demonizing a group."

At a time when political dissension and free speech is still not tolerated in many parts of the world one has to question why the Defeat Mooney Committee can point out that SS's speech may help fan the fire of intolerance and hate that lead to deaths by demonizing one group, yet the News-Post did not get blasted when it wrote it in 1999?

Maybe it is simply easier to attack individuals instead of an entrenched company.

Maybe political correctness has gone so far that we are supposed to tolerate hateful speech and actions against others.

Maybe our leaders are saying it is okay to bash gays in Frederick.

Either way, tolerance of this behavior simply to win an election or simply because it is uncomfortable to face is shameful.

Having a candidate "demonize a group" and promote a "climate of hate" should not be tolerated.

Having a candidate demand that free speech be squelched simply because it makes them uncomfortable should also not be tolerated.

What has become of us?

If anyone is familiar with the musical "Cabaret" there is a song titled "Tomorrow Belongs To Me."

It is sung by a bunch of Nazi youth on the parameter of an outdoor café.

At first the patrons are uncomfortable with the song, the meaning of which is that the Nazi's would someday take over.

One of the major characters tells another something like, "oh, ignore them, we can handle them."

Yet, as the troop of singers continued, more and more of the patrons joined in until a fevered pitch was reached, and all but the two aforementioned characters were happily, ebulliently joining in.

As the two left the café the one looked at the other and responded, "You think you can handle them now?"

Frederick's collective ignoring of Alex Mooney's reality is along the lines of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand hoping against hope that if we ignore it, it just can't be true.

"Tomorrow" is here and Frederick needs to be ashamed of itself for ignoring the true potential of that which is SS Mooney.

Maybe you all will just be down at the café listening to the singing.

You may be uncomfortable at first.

Maybe you'll decide to join in.

Maybe you will simply walk away and ignore it and hope against hope it will just go away.

As you do, and the singing reaches a fevered pitch, remember that "tomorrow," did indeed, for awhile, belong to them.

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