Tolerance

By James Neal – Enterprising Editor – jneal@unca.edu

Dear Fellow Sinner Human,

Our “tolerance” has made us as intolerant as those whom we presume to judge.

Worse, our refusal—not inability—to listen to the defense of those we condemn under the assumption that our own truth is the one truth, makes us the monsters.

I, too, am guilty of the sin of narrow-mindedness, and attempts at self-justification (it should be self-condemnation) are insufficient excuses for considering myself better than those who violate my morality.

The protests at Waking Life, the shaming of the owners over their actions and the resulting ruin of their business (the loss of which will affect innocents) is a fresh example of intolerance in the name of tolerance and progress. The owners’ actions and the reasons behind them are inexcusable, but part of another problem that will remain unresolved so long as we hyper-focus a blind crusade to oust and demonize.

In the blind march to progress, we leave behind the very sections of society we claim to stand for. Partial victories ease the guilt of the crimes of previous centuries while providing enough feel-good in the present to allow us to ignore a lack of real accomplishment.

The vaunted fourth estate, once a rallying ground for progress, has betrayed its purpose and become the most-active peddler of divisive distractions. That leaves only you to seek answers, then question them.

There remain a dedicated few who struggle against the economic and social hurdles of trying to deliver truth to a population drunk on sensationalism, but often the only people who listen are the few already awakened to the reality of a system of subtle abuses that maintains itself by contenting the majority.

These awakened are often those who progress left behind, not-yet-dead but nonetheless abandoned as catch-22 carrion to feed post-Progressive society. Refusing to suffer alienation in passive silence is labeled as angry and unrealistic, accused of imagining systems based on cronyism and familiarism, when the reality of those systems can only be seen from the victim’s perspective.

Victims come both from traditional minority groups and from the lost wolves who were formerly oppressors, abandoned by their pack because they have become marked as intolerant. Prejudice, even as self-defense, is a reactionary response.

Instead, listen to and be willing to forgive those who victimized you, lest you victimize yourself. Parity can only come when one person is willing to attempt to understand the other, to correct the weaknesses and reinforce the strengths, of every side.

I might be wrong. This is as much an act of ego as it is a confession, a plea and self-reminder that the answer lies somewhere in the gray fog between our war camp and and the camp of our would-be enemy.

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