Freedom of speech can be a double-edged sword ... For better or worse, sometimes we have to listen to fellow Americans preach seriously twisted, even hateful ideas and values, and we have to respect that they have the right to do that. But we also have the right to respond to hate speech ... and even attempt to drown it out. That's exactly what a group of New Yorkers managed to do just before the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Anti-Islam, Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones was there, spewing hateful words about Muslims, while wearing a T-shirt that read, "Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Islam I Learned On 9/11." Somehow, a group of onlookers managed to quash his toxic spewing ... in the most wonderful, peaceful way. The New York Times posted a video of that truly inspiring, touching moment, in which love clearly trumped hate. Check it out ...
So awesome. I gotta say I'm completely impressed that this was the response in NYC of all places. Sure, people here are notorious for being loud, ballsy, unafraid to speak their minds. But more often than not, you hear people being outspoken in a brash way to express their irritation with something. And ooooh yeah, these folks could have definitely gone that route in their response to Terry Jones. It could have gotten really nasty, really fast.
But instead, they rose above fighting fire with fire and used something totally unexpected and beautiful as their weapon: Love! And song! And smiles! How 'bout we settle all of our differences this way going forward?! Wow!
Would you have joined in with the singers?
Image via TheNewYorkTimes/YouTube