David Cole writes:
This double standard goes beyond the schoolyard. In 2004, I was working on a documentary film about Mel Gibson’s father, Hutton. When The Passion of the Christ opened, various advocates for “tolerance” called on Mel to repudiate and renounce his dad, a traditionalist Catholic with admittedly unfriendly views toward Muslims and Jews (and, for that matter, mainstream Catholics).
Around the same time, in Lodi, Calif., a Muslim named Hamid Hayat was arrested for being part of a terrorist sleeper cell. What none of Hayat’s defenders—the press, Lodi city officials, local imams—denied was that Hayat hated Jews and collected “jihadist” literature. The argument of those who defended Hayat boiled down entirely to “he’s full of hate, but he didn’t kill anyone. It’s just words.”
I was struck by the difference in the way Hayat and the Gibsons were treated. In the case of the elder Gibson, the outrage was purely over his words, and his own son was expected to denounce him. In Hayat’s case, “it’s just words” was his defense. Nobody in the Lodi Muslim community was pressured to denounce him for his words. As long as he didn’t actually kill anyone, he’s an okay Joe.
Read the whole thing for other toe-curling examples.