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Letters for Monday, January 6, 2020

Intent, not racism

Racism isn’t the problem! Every human is racist to the extent of our ignorance of another; language, ethnicity, culture, religion, diet, geography, climate, gender and other differentiation. Differences. We’re human and have them.

The problem in intent! Individual intent to gain advantage or hurt is manipulative. Intent to help or encourage is influencing with moral integrity. Every transaction is to gain or give. It’s the intent that should be scrutinized.

Racial discussions have become accusatory and divisive. That needn’t be so. Accepting our own limitations, and those of others, is a step in reducing those limitations and understanding. That acceptance and understanding can lead us all toward peace.

The opposite of differentiation is integration. Shouldn’t this be our intent? We too often let our media dictate the direction of our awareness. Remember to look around you at real people. We’re a lot nicer when you get to know us.

Mike Curtis, Koloa

Nothing but the truth

It’s finally time for radio talk hosts, “news” programs, authors, websites and politicians pushing conspiracy theories to be faced with accountability for the people they harm with their unsubstantiated reports of “secret plots” and slander.

Alex Jones of website “InfoWars,” after pushing the idea that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax orchestrated by the government using “crisis actors,” finally admitted under oath in a Texas court this month that it was a real event. Since 2012, families of the 20 children and six adults killed have endured death threats because of his and others’ false claims (as if these families weren’t in enough distress already). James Fetzer of podcast “The Real Deal,” who wrote a book claiming the Sandy Hook massacre never actually happened, has been ordered by the courts to pay $450,000.

Alex Jones said in court that it was a “form of psychosis” that made him question if the mass shooting was real. That means he is admitting that an idea in his mind didn’t have to match concrete evidence. Conspiracy theorists know they can play on people’s imaginations to create suspicion and intrigue in such a way as to make their audience question the truth of facts right in front of them.

I believe our president is perfectly aware that the over 24 disproved conspiracy theories he has tweeted about and continues to discuss in interviews have no basis in fact. That doesn’t make him “smart,” as some will claim; just dishonest, in my mind. He and the media sources who perpetuate these “stories” are delighted with how it raises anger, indignation and their ratings.

Fake accusations create confusion, distrust and hatred toward immigrants, political opponents, government employees and Democrats. Our president takes no responsibility for any negative effect this has on others. Or perhaps, like Alex Jones, he’ll claim it’s just a “form of psychosis.” I hope the time of accountability for purposely hurting others is arriving.

Martha Hodges, Kona
Source: The Garden Island

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