We Must Not Normalize Hate

We Must Not Normalize Hate

I believe we can no longer tolerate the cracks in political discourse that are rapidly becoming canyons forced open by those, who in previous years, would be considered on the fringe of acceptability. 

Racists, misogynists and nationalist candidates should not be tolerated anywhere—especially in the Inland Empire. 

When news broke last week regarding a volume of despicable comments and online rantings of Riverside City Council candidate John Dave Denilofs, it demanded that others speak out against his candidacy and work overtime to defeat him at the polls. We can disagree politically but there are limits to what should be acceptable political discourse in a civilized society. 

The list of outrageous comments and postings by Denilofs makes the current president look moderate and reserved by comparison though Denilofs has not been shy regarding his support of the commander in chief. 

Denilofs has tried, but there is no couching his overheated embrace of xenophobic and racist ideology—his record speaks for itself. Hate speech is hate speech—period. Denilofs has called for the execution of Muslims, people who wave Mexican flags in America, and even the people who made laws making it safe for Muslims to live here. He has referred to Black people as the N-word, used the basest and most misogynistic adjectives to describe women, and even suggested the president should consider declaring martial law and kill “six” million people. 

Denilofs is not entitled to a pass on any of this even though he now claims he made the statements in the heated lead up to the 2016 election. He has offered an ever-changing narrative regarding why. He’s claimed he never really meant any of it; he’s declared he was just trying to drive traffic to his Facebook/YouTube sites; or his least plausible excuse—he was just putting on a show to trick racists to his Facebook/Youtube postings so he could root them out and block them—What? Really? 

Voters in the City of Riverside’s 7th Ward should reject Denilofs’s bid to represent them and in the process, send a strong message to others in the inland region who feel bold enough to pull off their racist masks in the age of Trump and reveal who they really are, let them know—“you do not and will not represent this community.

In today’s contentious political arena silence is not an option. We must speak out. We must push back. We must resist this mindset of White Supremacy no matter who seeks to perpetuate it. We must not normalize hate.

Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.

S.E. Williams

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