Every couple of years, Bozeman residents awaken to find anti-Semitic flyers on their property. It’s probably been going on since the days of the Civil War.

One faction of society doesn’t like another faction of society and decide that faction needs to be eliminated.

So much for the Rodney King quote, “Can’t we all just get along?” In a free society, no, we can’t.

Even Diversity Has Its Limits

I believe there are some people who have a problem telling the difference between diversity and tolerance.

Here are both definitions:

Diversity: noun- the state of being diverse; variety.

Tolerance: the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

Both espouse difference, variety, — yet they are polar opposites when taken literally.

I want variety, yet there is a variety that I refuse to tolerate.

I’m not going to tolerate anti-Semitic literature littering my lawn even if it falls under the protection of freedom of speech.

I want diversity of opinions on my college campus, but I’m intolerant enough to set the university on fire if it allows opinions with which I disagree.

Some Final Thoughts

Where does this leave us? We can’t just let everyone do whatever they want. To say anything they like? How awful would that be? People speaking their minds — the horror — it can’t be allowed.

There has to be limits to our tolerance and definition of the diversity that we’re willing to accept.

What if your speech hurts my feelings?

In defining ourselves, we restrict the open exchange of ideas. Heaven forbid someone might think we’re intolerant of others, that we refuse to embrace diversity even if it’s diversity we disagree with.

Where’s the free thinking in that? Shouldn’t I be free to hear all speech rather than have it selected for me? Only then can I truly be diverse and tolerant of all views. But only if I agree with those views of course.

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