We should be tolerant of beliefs, not of racism

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “The best way to beat racism is to be tolerant of it”
Apr. 8, 2008

To the editor:
There’s an inherent flaw in yesterday’s letter to the editor about the graffiti found in the D.B. Weldon Library. The two writers suggested we should be tolerant of others’ expressions, even the racist ones, because that is simply their perspective.

As well, this piece suggested The Gazette made an ‘enemy’ out of the vandal by publishing the article. It almost insinuates that it’s acceptable for someone to draw a swastika because that is an expression of one’s beliefs.

The flaw is tolerance is about respecting people’s beliefs, not their hatred. Racism is not something to be tolerated.

You can tolerate someone when they make an offensive mistake because they don’t understand your religion, or when they are being too loud in the library as you study.

But you cannot tolerate someone cowardly spreading hateful slander about another race when it’s on public property, designated for learning.

We need to be tolerant, I agree. But we should be tolerant of other people’s beliefs and faiths, not hate. We need to be tolerant of the differences of gender, sexual orientation, religion and ethnicity. We shouldn’t be tolerant of an expression of unconditional hate for another ethnicity.

At this point, you tarnish the very use of the word ‘tolerance’ because you try to fuse tolerance of differences with tolerance of hate.

It is the The Gazette’s duty to inform students of campus affairs. I have no idea how you came to the conclusion the writer was spreading hate by classifying the graffiti artist as an enemy.

In actual fact, that is what you have done.

We need to understand the difference between free speech and hate speech. The former is a right we are privy to as Canadian citizens, while the latter is a crime and has no place on this campus.
"Kyle Brykman
Ivey III

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