Jimmy Kimmel recently spoke out against white supremacy during a late night monologue and upset a lot of people. Our publishing of said monologue created the same effect. Instead of going at his detractors with bared teeth, Kimmel simply read their thoughts out loud on air while blurring out their names, noting where they were right, and where they erred. If there’s one thing that can begin to heal our differences it’s a rational, calm, conversation.
Kimmel thanked people for their input and never called anyone names. All he did was give people a broader audience than they typically have on social media.
Now, we aren’t going to post the comments like this we recieved on our site. They were often much angrier and more mean spirited than those on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” I will say, however, that if it bothers you that Jimmy put unprotected, publicly available comments on air (while protecting the identity of the commenter), maybe your beef is not with Kimmel but with what people choose to say on the internet.
We teach our children that name calling and fighting is never the answer, that they aren’t allowed to say “yeah, but” to us, and that we should always treat others the way we want to be treated. And yet, when we get online, where there are no repercussions for our actions, we behave exactly the opposite of what we preach. We name call people we disagree with, tell them they should just shut up, and wield opinions like cudgels.
Instead of firing off on Facebook, we should learn from elected officials like Republican Senators Scott and Lankford to reach out to people to have real conversations, to try and understand someone else’s position, and learn that there is more that unites us as Americans than divides us.
If you are a Republican, like me, you are not required to accept everything your elected officials do. As an American, respectful dissension is a right and value. We know that all men are created equal and that no man is above making mistakes. Maybe, just maybe, we should get over people condemning Nazis. We did fight a war against them; the whole world was there. Until recently, there seemed to be nothing more patriotic than defying Nazism.
So in conclusion, out of respect for the hundreds of thousands of American fathers, brothers, grandfathers, and sons who lost their lives protecting the world against the scourge of Nazism, I offer this: