Let’s stand united, strong against acts of violence | Sen. Fain

  • Monday, August 21, 2017 11:08am
  • Opinion

Our freedom to speak and exchange ideas, especially unpopular ideas, is the most important right we hold as Americans. It is the first right because our founders knew that without it no other rights were possible.

Too many forces at work in our country believe limiting this right will make us safer. It will not.

However, no one has a right to incite violence, to threaten, assault or to promote wicked acts while cloaking themselves in the protection of our Constitution.

I visited two places this past week that cannot escape my thoughts.

In the heart of Berlin – only a short walk from the Reich Chancellery where Adolf Hitler masterminded the atrocities of World War II – stand the 2,711 concrete blocks that comprise The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

In Amsterdam, adjacent to the Prinsengracht canal and the Renaissance-era Westerkerk church, is the building that houses the secret rooms where Ann Frank hid from the Nazis for two years before she was discovered and sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to die.

These powerful spaces hold many lessons from a dark time in our history.

One seemingly obvious but nonetheless profound lesson that crystalized for me through these visits was the fact that few if any of the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust did so by Adolf Hitler’s own hand.

We rightfully demonize the man for his insidious acts, but none of his evil could have done anyone any harm without fertile ground to grow.

Acts of White supremacy by the KKK or by some domestic incarnation of Nazism are not quirky brands of minority beliefs that need protection. They are acts of violence that demand our unified condemnation.

We must deny these broken ideologies the foothold they need to spread. The consequences of failing in this task are not unknown or hard to visualize. There are memorials scattered across nearly every continent that tell the bloody story of humanity’s delay in taking action against them.

Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, represents the 47th Legislative District. Reach him at 888-786-0598 (toll free) or Joe.Fain@leg.wa.gov.

More in Opinion

Cities balancing budgets with fees | Brunell

State considering additional taxes

Message from new KCLS director

As the new director of the King County Library System, I am… Continue reading

Five reasons to love your recycling driver | WM

How sweet it is! February is the month for love, for reminding… Continue reading

Hirst ‘fix’ is the wrong move | Being Frank

In a hasty move to “fix” the Hirst ruling, the state Legislature… Continue reading

Washington’s carbon tax differs from B.C. | Brunell

In Olympia, Gov. Jay Inslee is pushing lawmakers to enact a new… Continue reading

The 3 personas of President Trump | Elfers

“And will the real Donald Trump please stand up?” These famous words… Continue reading

Eyman vows to rebound from setbacks | The Petri Dish

2017 was a stinky year for Tim Eyman. It ended with a… Continue reading

Recycling resolutions for a greener 2018 | Metzler

It’s the most optimistic time of the year. The gyms are packed,… Continue reading

Reflecting on the old and ringing in the New Year | KCLS

What a busy and eventful year this has been. As I write… Continue reading

Time for railroads to implement positive track | Brunell

While the investigation continues into the deadly Amtrak derailment near DuPont, the… Continue reading

Let’s have a serious discussion about safety | Sen. Fortunato

The presiding officer in the state Senate, Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, recently… Continue reading

Hawks ask for help | Shiers

The injury-depleted Seahawks are in desperate help to make the NFC playoffs.… Continue reading