To the Editor:
It is tempting to view the signs which are appearing around us stating that “hatred does not live here” as a comforting reminder that most of us do not hate each other. However, there are other easily overlooked aspects to the signs that are troubling, particularly the fact that the sentiment is expressed not only in English, but also in Arabic and Spanish. This is a fairly clear indication that the signs are not simply a peaceable statement of fact, but are intended as a rebuke to those who are believed to “hate” Muslims and Hispanics.
And who are supposed to “hate” these two groups? According to the vast majority of the media, and a large proportion of liberal political opinion, this “hatred” comes from conservatives. As a conservative myself, I am both insulted and angered to be so characterized. While there are certainly bigots among conservatives (just as there are bigots among liberals), most of us are not.
While conservatives don’t “hate” Muslims, we are not terribly fond of people who want to kill us; unfortunately a certain branch of Islam preaches this desire. Immigration restrictions that have been issued (and upheld by the Supreme Court) are not against Muslims per se, but against persons from a limited number of countries where this particular strain of Islam is prevalent.
Conservatives don’t “hate” Hispanics. However, we believe that persons who come to this country should do so through legal channels. We simply believe that those who have not done so should not be welcomed with open arms.
The people who are installing these signs may be doing so with a sincere and innocent belief that there is too much “hatred” around them. They are, however, naively failing to understand the subtle, almost subliminal, political message of the signs — they are, wittingly or unwittingly, accepting a political point of view that, although it is widely promulgated by a very biased public media, is simply not true, and the posting of the signs is simply a naïve support for a false conception.
I guess I’d like to put up my own sign stating my own lack of hatred. Except I don’t know what language to write it in.