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Chapter 8

Should racists be tolerated?

1.     If you visit the tolerance museum in Torrance California the message goes something like this:  Hitler was able to come to power because people did not speak up while they still had a chance.  The lesson being that when you encounter racism, or presumably other forms of pure evil, it must be smashed immediately.  Otherwise it will progress and another Hitler will take over

2.     This concept is widely held in our society and it is likely the greatest contributor to the divisions we have and is one of the least proven contentions

o   Hitler was able to gain power because the property owners in Germany distrusted the communists and suspected that they intended to overthrow the system and install something like the Soviet Union.  They understood that a dictatorship would be less vulnerable. This example of democracy failing fits our model well

3.     But the ‘smash evil where ever it appears ‘is very seductive.

o   It makes each individual important.

4.     It also serves to divide deeply.  Being told that you are evil (or stupid) hurts the most.

5.     Most importantly it denies the assumption of qualification

6.     All we can do is react to action, where the reaction should be proportional to the original action.

o   Proportionality is a basic public policy concept where it discourages the robber not to kill his/her victim

7.     Using a racial epithet with the intent to anger someone is one of the worst acts because it divides

o   It strikes at the weakest point, who we are

8.     Calling someone a racist probably doesn’t hurt as much but it probably divides more and should be almost never done