Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones
Good point. I should have said "like the Klan was in its heyday." As I said before, when the group is like the Westboroites, unpopular and extreme, I think they have a small beneficial effect on society by turning the "silent majority" against such bigotry and hate.
I shouldn't have said "incredibly" beneficial, I don't want to overstate their more positive, though not intentionally so by them, impact upon society as a whole. But while the 'silent majority' has, I think, proven in the past to consistently take the higher road when they are forced to by having the issues brought so front and centre, their (or I should say 'our' since I consider myself as a non-extremist to be in that group) Achilles Heel has to be complacency.
Still, it's a precarious thing. The Klan may be a joke now, and the conduct of many Southerners in the 50s and 60s may have accelerated civil rights by shocking the consciences of the "silent majority," but the Klan murdered a lot of people in its time. And the "silent majority" let them get away with it in most cases.
They are something of a joke now but they might not always be. That requires diligence on our part to see that they don't return to their 'glory days' of power and influence. And I think that's served best by not forcibly shutting them down but allowing them, and others like them, to die out on their own naturally, if that ever happens completely. We can't force people into acceptance, if some idiot (my term) wants to think the colour of someone's skin makes a measurable difference, they are going to think it. Where we, as the majority, need to step up legally is in preventing such groups from enforcing their worldview on the rest of us, think job or housing denial on the basis of race, etc. Where we need to step up socially as a group is in counter protest, such as the OP highlights.
Where I feel a measure hope for humanity is that when we do step up to counter protest. we're doing so in a more positive way. In other words, we aren't sinking to their level. Now, world over we have a hell of a long way to go but it's the little glimmers of hope that can help to drive us, and inspire us, forward.