Publisher’s Positions

By Steve Hunley

Hypocrisy on Hate?

As the prosecution for violent crimes lessened and the sentences of those who committed them became less, a drive to classify “hate crimes” and increase the penalties became popular. The very definition of hate crimes is those that were motivated by race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Even more important than the sentencing of one convicted of a hate crime was the demand that the guilty party be universally condemned. Now things have changed as the Democrats have a very serious antisemitism problem within their party.

The far Left of the Democratic Party’s support for Hamas and approval of the October 7 slaughter of innocent civilians, as well as their support for destroying Israel, has caused some problems with the very notion of hate crimes. The Left has long employed professional organizers and agitators who have helped to mobilize all too often empty-headed students and mobs who have openly and actively harassed and impeded the free movement of Jewish students on campuses and elsewhere. Jewish students have been attacked by these same mobs. Yep, those are crimes and one student leader who insisted “Zionists don’t deserve to live” on a streaming video” was free from any form of punishment or disciplinary action until university officials could simply ignore it no longer.

There were 8,873 incidents in 2023 of antisemitic assaults an increase of 140% over the previous year. Two of Knoxville’s City Council members identify with the Democratic Socialists of America who, along with some chapters of Black Lives Matter, hailed the Hamas massacre of Israelis as nothing less than an act of liberation. Let’s not forget the Columbia professor who professed that the October 7 attack was “awesome.” Another professor at Cornell said he was “exhilarated” by the massacre. Suddenly Democrats have seen no evil and heard no evil. There have been 1500 incidents of antisemitism reported on college campuses since the October 7 attack and hate crimes are specifically identified through intimidation, harassment, and violence, which includes restricting or impeding free movement. Clearly, Jewish people need not expect the same kind of response as other minority groups when they have been targeted. Much the same happened with the targeting of Asian people because the attackers were Black and that did not fit the narrative being promoted by the mainstream media. That same media nods approvingly as the pro-Hamas antisemites talk about their right to free speech. How does any of that not fall under what they used to call “hate speech?” Because hate speech means – at least to the Left – any speech they don’t like. Killing Jews is evidently not hate speech in their book.

Yet the national mainstream media, like the News-Sentinel locally, focuses on other things, like protesters here complaining about hurt hands or not being seen as people. Wow.


More Leftist Hypocrisy

Speaking of free speech, it apparently doesn’t extend to Harrison Butker. Butker is a 28-year-old kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, married and the father of two small children. Recently, Butker made a commencement speech at Benedictine College, a Catholic institution of higher learning. Butker is a Catholic Christian and spoke up for his ideals, which caused a firestorm. People were petitioning for Butker to be fired from the Chiefs, while some squalled his beliefs “endangered” trans people, and it spiraled hysterically from there. No free speech for Harrison Butker! Nope, not at all. The people who are condemning him, by and large, have nothing bad to say about men who go out and impregnate as many women as will have them, seemingly never complain about deadbeat dads or men who leave single women to raise their kids. Butker clearly adores his wife and children and shame on him. The very same people who don’t like his being a Christian are many of the same people trying to wrap the pro-Hamas extremists and antisemites into a blanket of free speech for the kind of speech that hasn’t been heard openly since the days of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. Other sports figures have actually done some pretty awful things and the people who are critical of Harrison Butker certainly didn’t spend the time condemning a football player for beating the life out of his girlfriend. But then again, neither did they condemn the Hamas terrorists raping little girls and women.

The self-proclaimed folks who say they lead with kindness have no use for someone who extols the virtues of a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. That role is every bit, if not more, important than running a Fortune 500 company. Harrison Butker has as much right to be pro-life as others have to be pro-choice and he has the right to state it. As a devout Catholic, why would that surprise anybody? It shouldn’t, but the real problem is he opened his mouth and infuriated some extremists by defying the holy of holies of the Left.

Some have even referred to Butker’s remarks as hateful, none of whom seem to have condemned the comments of those who want to exterminate an entire race of people from the face of the earth. Just as the Nazis did. You’d think they’d recognize hate speech when they heard it, especially as they spew more of it than anybody else.


Congratulations, Annie and David

Knoxville and Knox County are awfully lucky to have two young people who have a golden touch with their business projects and are equally generous in giving back to the community.

Annie Haslam Colquitt is the granddaughter of Knoxville’s most successful and recognizable businessman, Jim Haslam, who, with wife Natalie, began a tradition of family giving to our community. Annie is also the daughter of former Governor and First Lady Bill and Chrissy Haslam. Annie’s husband David is one of the best and brightest young businessmen anywhere with a great personality and an impressive sense of good business. Annie and David Colquitt have bought the RT Lodge in Maryville, a wonderful historic site and are keen to preserve its legacy. The RT Lodge is an East Tennessee gem, and nobody is better able to polish that gem into a glittering, glorious diamond than Annie and David Colquitt. Our entire community owes a debt of gratitude to these two young businesspeople who represent the best of leadership for the future.