Hating on hate
The Westboro Baptist Church’s April 22 visit to Boulder raised some tricky questions about how to deal with hate-mongers.
The Kansas-based group, wellknown for its protests against homosexuals, Jews and others — even at funerals — reared its ugly head at Boulder High School, 10 days after a racially charged threat was found in a bathroom at the school.
The threat stated, “The KKK is back and on Friday, April 16, all black students will be killed.”
At an April 14 meeting held for parents, students, educators and experts to process and plan, the threat seemed to take a back seat to the pending visit by Westboro.
Those familiar with the group’s tactics told the small crowd that the last thing Boulder community members should do is to mount a massive counterprotest, because that’s what Westboro feeds on, and it might make them want to return to our fair city. If they are met with silence, indifference and no publicity, they tend to move on. They come back to places that engage them.
Westboro is also armed with lawyers and is very litigious, not hesitating to sue when they perceive that any of their rights to protest are infringed upon in the slightest way.
Real charmers, eh? Some audience members seemed frustrated at the idea of doing nothing. They wanted to fight back or respond somehow, asking, “Then what should we do?” Kudos to the Boulder High students who organized a Unity Week and assembled behind the school, far away from the Westboro filth. There was also a counterprotest, which was certainly justified. We just hope it didn’t provoke them.
It raises a dilemma for us in the media: Do we shine a bright light on these pathetic souls with their “God Hates Fags” signs, giving them the attention they want? Certainly their presence in town is newsworthy, and shining a light on things, especially those that are controversial, has historically been our role.
Or do we ignore them, in the name of taking the high road, working toward a loftier goal of a better society, refusing to contribute to the publicity they crave?
Maybe, as with many things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle, in acknowledging their presence but not sensationalizing it.
That’s not the baton
Did you hear about the reigning Olympic and world track champion who will be suspended from competition because he used the male enhancement product known as Extenze?
No, it wasn’t because it would make him stiff competition, it was because the over-the-counter product contains the banned substance DHEA, a steroid.
LaShawn Merritt, who runs the 400 meters, give or take an inch, apologized for using the product.
Then, in a prepared statement, he says, “To know I have tested positive as a result of a product I used for personal reasons is extremely difficult to wrap my hands around.”
Ouch. Poor choice of words. Doesn’t he know that any added weight is going to slow him down?
He’s being too cocky. Is he trying to win by a nose? Let’s hope he sticks it out.
What does Michael Johnson think? There are growing staff concerns, and they’re beginning to mount.
OK, we’ll stop now.
And then there was “Boob-quake.” This was that report out of Tehran about the Iranian cleric who basically said women who don’t veil themselves and who dress provocatively were the cause behind recent deadly earthquakes.
“Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media.
If that were true, Hollywood would be at the bottom of the ocean.
Blogger Jennifer McCreight decided to answer this Islamo-idiot’s stupidity by testing it against reality. She encouraged women to show as much cleavage as possible this past Monday, April 26. And guess what? A lot of hetero guys had a good day, but there were no deadly earthquakes.
Sorry, Sedighi. Your pathetic attempt to blame a natural catastrophe on women’s sexuality only proves what a sexually repressed loser you are.