Jewish synagogue bombed. Islamic mosque set afire. Sikh temple assaulted. Americans seem to be getting immune to the serious nature of such headlines, probably because we see them so often. Moreover, I’m not sure that most Americans connect the occurrences in their minds. Most of us likely see them as isolated events committed by some person or group.
Our nation, as a whole, has certain values and ideals in common. For example, the last roll of “Forever” postage stamps that I purchased contains 25 sets of four designs: Equality, Freedom, Justice, and Liberty. But, within our culture of tolerance, there exists a subculture of hate.
When average Americans want to listen to music, for example, they probably select a favorite CD or turn on a radio station that plays “mainline” music. They’ve probably never heard of Tightrope Records, an Arkansas-based website and store that sells Hitler balloons, white-power music, and grossly racist materials.
Byron Calvert, the owner of Tightrope Records, told the Washington Post, “The cartoon caricature of a white power music fan is someone who is tattooed and has a felony record.” He explains, “Our customers, you couldn’t pick them out of a crowd. They are the captain of the football team, the cheerleaders, just regular suburban kids.” ...