This week, Milo Yiannopoulos, well known figure from the alt right has come to Australia Spreading a message of hate and division, Mr. Yiannopoulos has had a very controversial stay here in Australia. Riots broke out before his appearance in Melbourne. The location of his Sydney speech was not given out until just before his speech so as to prevent something similar here. Mr. Yiannopoulos preaches a message that is anti feminist, anti immigrant, racist, and that is intolerant.
Some people feel that the best way to deal with Mr. Yiannopoulos is to stand up strongly against him. Groups that promote diversity and multiculturalism are strongly opposed to much of what Milo says. Unfortunately a few of these people who are in the anti-Milo camp show their resistance to him via violence. This unfortunately diminishes their message of love and acceptance. It is hard to be taken seriously as an advocate for love and acceptance, when you are bearing your fists.
Some feel that Milo is just demonstrating that people should have the right to free speech. But don't all freedoms have some limits. For instance, I know that I might be able to express displeasure with someone publicly if they upset me but if in expressing my displeasure I tell untruths, I over exaggerate how I feel I have been wronged, or I totally misrepresent the other person to make my case, then I am subject to being accused of libel and might face prosecution. The right of free speech allows me to express my displeasure only. It does not allow me to assassinate another person's character or business. Milo by saying that women are this, muslims are this, immigrants are this is not using free speech but is using broad stroke statements to spread hate- a dangerous line that he and others cross.
Some people feel that we should just ignore Milo. He is after attention. He seeks the limelight. And maybe if we pay him no notice he might go away. If we don't advertise his hateful beliefs then maybe others won't be so attracted to him. I think this is a possible way to go. Yes he is seeking headlines and if we don't pay any import to his words, his power does increase. But isn't that the way people felt about President Trump before he was elected. When he first started talking about building a wall in the summer of 2015, people laughed at his ideas for being so ridiculous. Now two years later, the walls of division are literally being built in Texas and California separating the US from Mexico.
People like Milo have existed throughout the ages. Think Hitler. Think apartheid in South Africa. Think Mussolini. Think of Marie Le Pen. Think of the promoters of the Jim Crow laws in the US. Think of anti first nations policies in Australia and Canada. Hate and its promoters have existed throughout the centuries. We can't ignore these voices hoping that they will go away. We can't engage in warfare against them, because that just promotes their cause even further. But we can do one thing to overcome their messages of division. We can love. Christ calls on us to love one another. We need to show that our country, our world accepts people from all walks of life, from all societies, from all creeds, speaking different languages, being from different genders. We need to demonstrate that everyone is accepted no matter who they are. Love conquers hate not by the sword, but by caring, supporting, encouraging, raising up, and inspiring everyone. Blessings.
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