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Bin Laden’s Death Is No Excuse for Hate Speech

Osama bin Laden was one of history’s most infamous voices of hate and terror. Because the U.S. stood firm in opposition to terrorism, he is silenced and can no longer promote his violent agenda. For that, Tanenbaum is thankful.

Across the country, the media has portrayed scenes of national jubilation. However, there is another, dangerous voice that is simultaneously emerging: the voice of hatred.
On Twitter today, we see racial epithets used to describe bin Laden. We see stereotyping of all people who follow Islam. The venom expressed is not different in kind from the hatred that Osama bin Laden spewed.
The question for those who tweet, write blogs, participate on Facebook and join in the media debate is: “Why so you think your blind hatred, unjust stereotypes of Muslims and promotion of violence is so different from bin Laden’s hate?” And the answer, of course, is that it isn’t.
Failing to recognize our common humanity is the first step in dehumanizing others, and a dangerous progression toward creating a country based on hate rather than respect, justice and inclusion.
Today should be a marker for the Unites States. Osama bin Laden will no longer be a cause of injury, death, pain. What today must not be is a marker where people in our nation target fellow Americans – whether they are Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Jew, Christian or Atheist.
Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO, Tanenbaum