Friday, April 13, 2007

Harvey Fierstein on Don Imus

Actor Harvey Fierstein wrote a really great piece on the whole Don Imus thing in the New York Times today. He notes that intolerant language has so coarsened American discourse that he's surprised anyone noticed Imus' comments (and those of other hate-spewing celebrities of late) at all. He takes people to task not for asking for Imus to be punished, but for doing so while harboring intolerant thoughts and using intolerant language in their (our) own lives. Hurtful language and actions are hurtful language and actions, no matter the target, and we have to be more vigilant and responsive when we hear it and see it. Our outrage at intolerance oughtn't stop at our own doorstep.

"The real point is that you cannot harbor malice toward others and then cry foul when someone displays intolerance against you. Prejudice tolerated is intolerance encouraged. Rise up in righteousness when you witness the words and deeds of hate, but only if you are willing to rise up against them all, including your own. Otherwise suffer the slings and arrows of disrespect silently."

Thank you, Mr. Fierstein.

No comments: