Ah, the consequences of hate speech. It is not a coincidence that four days after The Signal published Diane Zimmerman’s vicious screed against the LGBTQ community (letters to the editor, June 9), what should have been a perfunctory proclamation for Pride Month by the City Council instead turned into a packed, standing-room-only shouting match inside City Hall. Even if Ms. Zimmerman would never countenance violence in support of her noxious views, this kind of extreme rhetoric can and does incite the more feeble-minded readers to actually commit said violence. I pray that no one gets hurt, or worse, from Ms. Zimmerman’s reckless rhetoric.
Ms. Zimmerman is entitled to her beliefs, and she is entitled to write to the newspaper and express her views. After all there is no law against bigotry. However, one has to ask why The Signal, having received such a letter, would publish it. Had Ms. Zimmerman written a hateful commentary on Jews, or African Americans, or Catholics, would they have seen fit to include it in the letters to the editor? I can’t help but feel that in this particular instance the publisher of this newspaper was not disturbed by the message conveyed by Ms. Zimmerman and saw no need to exclude it.
And that is scary, when the grown-ups in the room don’t intercede to monitor the hate.