No Place For Tolerance

Jim Hoft, the infamous Gateway Pundit, has picked up something from First Lady Michelle Obama on the White House blog that really commands attention. The First Lady has a message for children in regards to the Tucson shooting: it’s a teachable moment, and the lesson to be learned is that we need to be more tolerant.

Since we’re talking kids here, I’ll use an acronym to express my reaction: WTF?

We can teach them the value of tolerance – the practice of assuming the best, rather than the worst, about those around us. We can teach them to give others the benefit of the doubt, particularly those with whom they disagree.

Perhaps it has escaped the notice of this extremely intelligent and extremely well-educated woman, but that is precisely the attitude that enabled the shooter in the first place. People thought he was dangerously crazy, but they assumed (or, at least, hoped for) the best, rather than the worst about him. They gave him the benefit of the doubt, even though they disagreed with him, and didn’t do anything to intervene.

And six people died.

There’s tolerance, and then there’s turning a blind eye to evil. There’s allowing people to be themselves, and then there’s ignoring major warning signs.

When you find yourself thinking “if I hear that someone’s gone on a psycho killing spree, it’ll be that guy,” and then start thinking how you’ll get away should you be there when he snaps, and you notice others are acting the same way, then you need to stop being “tolerant” and let some officials know. As in, “if you see something, say something.”

What we need is courage — the courage to speak up, to get involved, to watch out for each other. What we do NOT need is more excuses to be cowards.

The Arizona shooter was not a victim of intolerance. If anything, he was a victim of tolerance. People saw how he was different and unique and special, and let him embrace that specialness right into madness and depravity and mayhem and murder.

The only reason to use the Tucson shooting as a lesson in ‘tolerance” is if you WANT to raise a generation of children inculcated to be dependent on others, to be a generation of ready-made victims who never grow up and learn to stand on their own. And that is a form of evil that dwarfs the shootings in Arizona.

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