Letter writer: Don’t print hate speech

Write to Mountain Xpress
Graphic by Lori Deaton

I have spoken to someone at the Mountain Xpress office and also wanted to speak to [the Opinion editor] as a concerned and caring community member.

I am an avid reader of the Xpress, and I am deeply saddened, appalled and outraged that you would print a [letter to the editor] that advocates terrorism and hate. I truly believe it warrants an apology and regret that you printed the [letter to the editor], “A Reason to Hope With Trump” [Dec. 28, Xpress].

By printing this, you are normalizing and saying it is OK to bomb people.

Are you just going to continue to print hateful speech? This man wants to destroy the most holy land of an entire religion. It is not OK for you to print this hate speech.

I know I am not alone in my thoughts. As a very spiritual person who wants to hope in the future of my country, please do something.

Don’t print hate speech!

I have advertised my business in the Xpress but if I continue to see hate speech, I will take my business elsewhere.

Sincerely, in peace and love for all people,

— Jenna Jaspreet Melissas
Asheville

Editor’s response: The assertion that “hate speech” is contained in Alan Ditmore’s Dec. 28 letter to the editor would appear to be up for debate. (The line reference is: “I also hope [Trump] will bomb Mecca, but that hope is looking more dreamy as his nonloyalist cabinet picks are looking more likely to target Tehran or pro-choice Pyongyang.”) Merriam-Webster defines hate speech as “speech expressing hatred of a particular group of people.” Ditmore doesn’t really explain why he hopes President-elect Trump will pursue that military action, but Ditmore also isn’t saying anything hateful or derogatory about any particular group of people. Also, to limit discussion in the Opinion section about what our political leaders should or should not do is at odds with Xpress’ mission to strengthen democracy by promoting thoughtful dialogue.

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The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

18 thoughts on “Letter writer: Don’t print hate speech

  1. Phil Williams

    I disagree – “hateful speech” is not necessarily “hate speech” – and in any case it should absolutely be allowed. Printing does not “normalize” or legitimize it, however, suppressing it can validate a writer’s claim to “victim” status – and, to some minds, suppression can add a certain mystique.

    One of the great benefits of free speech is that it allows some folks to voluntarily show themselves for exactly what they are. Most times, it is beneficial to know where you stand with people – and most times, allowing extremists to air their views and show their fannies acts as a vaccine for the rest of society. as most of them can truly be described as a “weakened virus”.

  2. Deplorable Infidel

    Ditmore is harmless but is thought provoking…but looks like we have an offended snowflake…which type is she?

      • Phil Williams

        And according to her FB page, she is from Californy – I don’t like to make generalizations, however, some folks do their utmost to validate and confirm other folks’ prejudices about them.

  3. Deplorable Infidel

    Oh…she’s a CITY screwl TEACHER ??? Maybe SHE knows ONE valid reason for operating TWO separate school systems which screams ANTI Diversity … Does she know the answer that no one wants to answer ?

  4. Don

    say it isn’t true…. the Mtn Xpress has a hateful troll problem??? Well, maybe hateful is a bit too much… how about a problem that allows the same handful of often bitter (obviously way past their prime ;) male trolls to monopolize the letters to the editor. Then again, maybe the editor/publisher should be held to task as well? Anyhoo, really, all of it… and I mean all of it… lame and then some. LOL

      • Tracy Rose

        Thank you for pointing out that this thread has veered off-topic as well. Please keep to the subject of the original letter. Thanks.

    • Phil Williams

      Not sure what you are addressing here Mr. Don. So far as I can tell, the Admins/Moderators here seem to allow all comers unless their remarks are way out of line, and they seem conscientious about keeping conversations civil and on topic, as evidenced by Tracy Rose’s comments above. The problem – and the sad state of affairs – is not so much the “bitter (obviously way past their prime) male trolls” making comments, but that said trolls are apparently the only folks who care enough about the issues to contribute to the conversations.

  5. The Real World

    “bitter (obviously way past their prime) male trolls” — Hey, not all of us fit that description. Methinks there’s a little more diversity on this website than some might imagine.

    • Tracy Rose

      Xpress certainly wants to encourage a diversity of thoughtful opinions. But back to the subject of the original letter…

  6. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    OK back to the topic of the LTE. The author has expressed offense at the mere suggestion that the president should bomb Saudi Arabia and labeled such an expression “hate speech”. I wonder if she is equally offended with the actual bombing of other countries by our former president. He btw is the first president to have warred against other countries every day of his 8-year time in office. And the Nobel prize org hasn’t revoked his peace prize. What a pathetic joke.

  7. Ornery

    Xpress, with all due respect, it appears that you have failed in your mission to promote thoughtful dialogue.

    • The Real World

      Weeeelll, it’s a sort of AVL/MtnX-type of thoughtful dialogue. Perhaps not the kind you want (me either) but there are alot of very entrenched, narrow, mentally stultified types here so I’m not sure you can expect much else. However, pls report back if you find it in this ‘ville.

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