By: Robin A. Holstein, Mountaineer News Contributor
Posted: May 03, 2020 | 09:18AM EST
Hinterlands of Eastern Kanawha County:
Honestly people, the hatred must end. We have become so intolerant of differing opinions it is dangerous.
I would like to think it is because of this extended period of isolation that people’s tempers are short. Our routines have been shattered, our finances stretched, and the underlying fear of illness is affecting everyone. The truth is this has been building for decades.
Many parents will recognize this statement, “I don’t care who started it, I am ending it!” Oh! How I wish I could stand in front of the citizenry and enforce that today. Because I am not interested in who started it, I think it is time for it to stop.
It has become almost impossible to have a civil conversation about differing opinions. Think back, prior to January 2020 when was the last time you sat across a table and discussed political or religious differences with someone and didn’t get your blood pressure up?
“Well Robin, that is why we are told not to discuss religion or politics,” you may think.
Apparently COVID-19 is the third leg of that stool.
I recently attended a rally at the State Capitol to push for the “reopening” of businesses across West Virginia. It is no secret that I am a Christian, center-right conservative woman. While I understood and agreed with several of the speakers, I will admit, there were a few in the crowd very close to falling off the edge of the map.
I saw a local businessman I know. He is well known in the area for his photography and artistic work. He arrived a little after things started, sans mask, taking photos with his phone. He posted his photos to social media without initial comment but to say what the rally was about. He later noted the rally was full of “prolife, progun, and preachers.”
I noted to the gentleman that I’d seen him there, and that there are more people in the local grocery, and drug store than at the rally. I added that most of those there were small business owners trying to save their employees, and keep their businesses from going bankrupt. What followed was really unfortunate. There was no attempt to discuss, no consideration for the opposing point of view.
“Drug Emporium and Kroger happens to be essential business. Not Church Groups or Gun Shops, etc. Have a nice day.”
“They have a legal right. They are also domestic terrorists.”
And this odd logic, “It’s a choice to walk into that crowded Kroger or Walmart,” like somehow they would be forced to walk into any of the attendees’ businesses. At last check there were 92 comments posted. Not one involved discussion, just anger, hate, and accusation.
Now this isn’t just on “the left.” This is just the most recent example of intolerance. I see it on “the right” as well. It doesn’t matter anymore who started it. We all have to stop it.
Robin is the owner of Holstein House and Robin’s Desktop.