When Will Enough, Be Enough?

Yesterday Tuesday, I happened upon a story at Feministing in which a lively discussion ensued continuing late into the night.  What started out as a local thing was soon dragged out into the MSM.

According to the LeHigh Valley Express-Times, a married couple was seeking to have a grocery, ShopRite, make a birthday cake with their child’s name inscribed on top.  The child’s name: Adolf Hitler Campbell.  His two younger siblings have similar Nazified names. Their father is a Holocaust denier and identifies as a white supremacist or more accurately it seems, a white separatist.

Karen Meleta, a ShopRite spokeswoman, said the grocer tries to meet customer requests but rejects those deemed inappropriate. “We believe the request to inscribe a birthday wish to Adolf Hitler is inappropriate,” she said.

The grocer offered to make a cake with enough room for the Campbells to write their own inscription. But the Campbells refused, saying they would have a cake made at the Wal-Mart in Lower Nazareth Township. The Campbells say Wal-Mart made cakes for Adolf’s first two birthdays.

Somehow the story is that ShopRite refused to make the cake or sell it.  They did not.  They offered to make the cake without the inscription which the Campbells could then place on the cake themselves.  The Lehigh Valley Live/Express-Times has a follow up story regarding the escalation of rhetoric from the parents being all over the MSM to wanting to sue ShopRite (a private enterprise/business) for violating their right to free speech.

That’s right – this of course has become about the First Amendment – ya know, freedom of speech.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

So this stupid story has dribbled out into the MSM, the AP, MSNBC, Yahoo, USA Today, etc., not to mention the major lefty blogs: Americablog, Crooks & Liars (authored by Dave Neiwert, Orcinus – who tracks hate groups in the Northwest)  and a mixed bag of blogs, and Jonathan Turley’s take (a constitutional lawyer).

What bothered me the most was the defense some people/commenters offered regarding the belief system of the parents – or at the very least, the father. They either chose to ignore or were totally ignorant of what those beliefs encompass demanding the need to be ‘tolerant’ and more accepting of the parent’s beliefs while overlooking the obvious hate underlying those beliefs.

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For months on end, Tara at The Political Game – along with intermittent, and now more regular posts, from The Mountain Goat Report –  has been has been documenting the rantings of Zeb Bell, who apparently fancies himself quite the ‘pundit’.  He broadcasts a self-entitled radio show from his home in Murtaugh, Idaho and apparently has been since 2000.  Mountain Goat has recordings of some of Bell’s show.  Suck it up and just listen to him and his ‘callers.’

In June of this year in Tara wrote about Zeb Bell and a caller to his program in which

Bell reportedly referred to the Democratic presidential nominee as “black Negroid Barack Hussein Obama” and his guest, one Frosty Wooldridge, referred to Senator Obama’s mother as “trailer trash” drawn to African-American men.

From Bell’s ranting and racist slurring in southern Idaho over the radio waves, facing his accusers (who call him a racist, a pig) and, as usual – the obligatory defense of Free Speech?

Below are posts by Tara chronicling the hatred spewed out by Zeb Bell and even those who write to the local newspapers, etc., to acknowledge their support of Zeb’s idiocy.

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Coverage of same-sex marriage and those who are gay…

Mountain Goat wrote of Bell’s ‘call to arms‘ for he and other ‘like Christians’ to “go on the offense.”

In nearly five months of listening to Zeb Bell’s “Zeb at the Ranch” talk radio show broadcast on KBAR from Rupert, Idaho, among remarks that range from insensitive to offensive to downright racist, I’ve never heard more egregious and dangerously provoking and inciting remarks than I’ve heard this week from Zeb targeting gay people and their supporters and advocates.  On Monday Zeb announced that he was no longer going to “turn the other cheek;” that it was time for him and other Christians to “go on the offense” against any who advocate recognition of marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples and he’s demanding that his listeners do the same.

Both Tara and Mountain Goat wrote on the building up of the brigade of “Bell’s Bigots.”  First Tara:

Bell, who in less than six months has railed against Proposition 8, gays, liberals, Hispanics, Nebraska’s safe haven laws, Japanese-Americans, Barack Obama, Jews and others who do not celebrate Christmas, Muslims, African-Americans, and a number of other minorities, used to say he does not take the charge of bigotry and racism lightly. However, Bell seems to be wearing the label of ‘bigot’ as a badge of honor lately and his listeners apparently take no offense in being volunteered for his little club.

From Mountain Goat:  In this same post, MG lists out quite a number of statements uttered by Bell just over the course of the last five months.

As if the things Bell and his listeners say aren’t offensive enough, they are now saying them proudly and daring others to challenge them.  Every member of society suffers when bigoted comments and intolerance become, not only common, but mainstream and with the intimidation and suppression of human decency and tolerance.  Idahoans can’t afford to let “Bell’s Bigots” go unchallenged.

I think that’s what he’s counting on.  He’s counting on no one challenging him or those who call in to his radio show.

simple-barThis afternoon I learned the two Idaho’s bloggers referenced above have joined in an effort, as explained by Mountain Goat, to

“continue monitoring and exposing the inflammatory speech coming out of the Magic Valley on KBAR radio and the mouth of shock jock Zeb Bell of Murtaugh, today the editors of The MountainGoat Report and The Political Game are launching a Zeb Bell page. “

Whether it’s those who still remain in northern Idaho from the Aryan Nation fall-out, Mr. Bell and his Bigot Brigade in the Magic Valley, a white separatist in Pennsylvania who bestows Nazified names on his children and claims “they’re just names” then garners support by using his toddler’s birthday as a publicity prop to display his home peppered with Nazi literature, posters, and other memorabilia, not to mention the swastika painted on the side of ‘the family car’ the family drives around their community.

The thread is the  same.  It’s hate – regardless of the target.  I don’t see the need to tolerate hate or those who spew it out of their mouths.  Their hate has had and will continue to have terrible and sometimes deadly consequences. There’s just no reason to tolerate that.

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