I was pretty disappointed in the Mountain Xpress’ defense of printing the hateful letter of Mr. [Alan] Ditmore hoping that Mecca would be bombed. You respond saying that Mr. Ditmore did not express hate toward a particular group of people. I find that defense extremely disingenuous.
It is common knowledge that Mecca is the holy place for Muslim people. Since I know you have a copy of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, go ahead and look up Mecca, “a city in Saudi Arabia that was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city of Islam.” To feign ignorance on this point discredits your organization and shows that y’all might be afraid to buck the Trump pro-bullying, pro-violence, pro-xenophobic trend.
Also, on the point of shouting fire in a crowded theater, I wonder if you would have printed Mr. Ditmore’s letter if a word or two were substituted, as in, “I also hope someone will bomb the Mountain Xpress offices” — no hatred is expressed toward a group of people there, either.
I hope it is obvious that giving this type of venom is directly advocating violence toward a group of people and that you will never be a part of disseminating that venom again.
— Amy Meier
Editor’s response: It did not escape our attention that Mecca is a holy city for Muslims. The question is whether we, as a newspaper, should restrict publication of opinions about possible actions that our elected leaders have the power to take. On the second point, the parallel would appear to fall flat, since the original point of discussion was not about “someone” — but someone who is now the head of our government. It would seem unlikely that the president would order a strike on Mountain Xpress, though that could conceivably be a matter for debate.