If the Shoe Fits | Sojourners

If the Shoe Fits

I FOUND YOUR article on "Virtual Hate" (by Stacia Brown, September-October 2000). Would you care to comment on how my Web site came to be listed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as an "Anti-Government Hate Site," along with Women Against Gun Control and a bunch of other RKBA ["Right to Keep and Bear Arms"]-oriented Web sites, including a link to the NRA Museum?

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has withdrawn the Web page under pressure, but you can find some history and a copy of the SWC page at my Web site, "Geoff's Firearms and Freedoms Page." You'll be hard pressed, I'm sure, to understand how some of those sites came to earn the Wiesenthal swastika-of-shame.

Geoff Coelho
New City, New York

Stacia Brown replies:
Coelho's Web site isn't one that I had researched, but my brief foray into it tells me that it's quite deserving of its place on the Wiesenthal Center's list. The heading under the Web site name is: "POKING AN ITCHY TRIGGER FINGER INTO THE EYES OF EFFETE LIBERAL SNOBS SINCE APRIL, 1997 And the Home of Freedom on Film, the Internet's Premier Amature [sic] Picture Post for Gun Owners." There is certainly room on the Internet for gun owner advocates, for conservatives, for people who don't like Hillary Clinton, etc. But where I start to get nervous is when we bring the gun rhetoric and the hate rhetoric together. The title itself indicates a violent stance-even if meant in partial jest. You don't have to put a swastika on your Web site to qualify as a site that promotes a violently intolerant stance.

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 2001
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