LTTE: Tolerance in America

Apr 282008

What’s the connection between the 2008 Olympics, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community “Day of Silence” and the Collegian?

On Monday, the Collegian ran an editorial supporting the GLBT protest, and asked for increased tolerance. The Chinese Students and Scholar’s Association also ran an editorial, calling for tolerance of their country’s right to hold the 2008 Olympic games.

Whether it’s sexuality or government brutality, the 21st century view of “tolerance” is not a viable goal for society.

As I understand it, “tolerance” actually means the right of people to hold opinions without being despised for them. If I meet someone who believes in the healing power of crystals, I will strongly disagree with them, but there’s no reason we can’t be friends. I tolerate them.

Today, however, “tolerance” means acceptance of every opinion (except intolerant ones). If I meet someone who enjoys listening to James Blunt, I have to accept that all music is equally good, if I’m going to be “tolerant” in the new sense.

Where will this get us? Governments that oppress people will have to be just as respected as all other governments, to be truly tolerant.

In light of the Collegian’s stance on issues so far, the CSSA’s request isn’t unreasonable, but maybe there’s a better way.

I think the Chinese government has done some terrible things, I think crystals are about as useful as James Blunt, who makes boring sappy music, and I think GLBT students aren’t “oppressed.”

If you disagree with me? I still love you.

Let’s have dinner, trade information and try to come closer to discovering what’s right. Let’s have a better goal for the 21st century than tolerance. How about truth?

Thomas Bullock


political science

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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