With each passing day, I am just dying to write about the fires north, northwest, and west of us, the hurricanes, the climate change deniers that still exist regardless of evidential proof (scientists are now going so far as to simulate climate change as an experiment to prove to the willfully ignorant of the severity of climate change). I’m dying to write about a lot of things going on, especially the injustices to my fellow countrymen and countrywomen.

Instead, I’m going to write about our District 43 State Senator Tom Brewer. I’ll be keeping this column balanced, because my goal isn’t to attack nor defend him directly. Let me explain and you’ll see where I’m going with this.

He writes columns and submits them to the Times-Herald, found in the commentary section of the newspaper. I’ve written a few articles during the 2016 election and after, on both him and former senator Al Davis. While I obviously had to make a vote for one or the other, both Davis and Brewer have complimented me on my work as being fair. I’ve also spoken with both of them plenty of times, as a reporter in some cases and as a concerned citizen in other cases.

I strive for my articles to be unbiased, to tell the truth about what’s really going on. One face-to-face conversation with me will show you that I will respectfully argue my points regardless of if I agree or disagree. I’m as prone to anger and frustration as anybody else, but when it comes to serious debates, I am always willing to listen. I listen to understand, not to respond. The response comes after I’ve understood what it is you are conveying.

This week, Brewer wrote about a few topics. His standing headline is “District 43 News…” yet there wasn’t any news on District 43. Either the title doesn’t fit the column, or the column doesn’t fit the title. At any rate, it’s an easy mistake to make and I’m not one to judge someone for something so minor, especially considering that his profession isn’t as a writer.

The main focus I want talk about isn’t his title, however, it’s his column. There is at least one point I would like to argue against. It’s not that I dislike him. I actually think he’s done a pretty good job as our senator (I see how hard he is fighting for us). That doesn’t mean I agree with everything he’s done and with every belief he has and that he has my undying loyalty as my representative (that’s not the point of being our representative anyways).

One example is his support for shutting down White Clay’s liquor stores. In interviews and conversations I’ve had with him, I truly believe he understands Native Americans and their struggles (especially when you consider the fact that he grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation as an Ogallala Sioux). Again, I don’t dislike our senator. I don’t like how he ran his campaign and I disagree with some of his beliefs, but that’s not enough for me to “hate” on him — being critical of him does not mean that I dislike him, either.

So since that ridiculous assumption is out, here’s what I’m critical about. He wrote, “Does the City Council realize there is NO SUCH THING as ‘hate speech’ in America …”

This is where I respectfully argue that he’s wrong. There is such a thing as hate speech. Considering where he grew up, how he grew up, and who he is, I wouldn’t think he’d state that hate speech doesn’t exist. Maybe it’s something he doesn’t fully understand. I honestly don’t know, but hate speech definitely exists. It’s here in Nebraska just as well as the rest of the nation.

I was born in Scottsbluff, then raised in Colorado until I turned 14. I had a best friend when I was six. His name was Johnny and he was black, not that our skin color mattered to us. I don’t quite remember what city it was, but I remember we both lived on Irving Street in poverty.

We later moved after a lot of bad experiences and I grew to have another best friend named Maliek in Lakewood, Colo., for a few years before moving to Nebraska. He was also black — again, not that it mattered to us at all.

It was the same thing, some white guy with problems at home looking to take it out on the world because he can’t cope with his own emotions. Not his fault, being a kid. I was a white guy with problems at home, too; you didn’t see me going around bullying people because they didn’t share my white skin, though. Yet, it still happened. Some white kid thinking he was better than my friends because he was white? Whether he meant it or not, it was said. That could be construed as harassment, even interpreted as provocation. I don’t remember Johnny’s reaction, but I remember Maliek’s.

He ignored them. Not every time (there’s only so much patience with anybody, after all), but much more often than not he ignored them. There was a time I tried defending him, but he pulled me back and told me what his dad taught him. That sometimes doing nothing is the right answer.

The KKK isn’t a bunch of friendly white-folk (unless it’s to other white-folk who haven’t been “tainted”). The New Black Panther Party (not to be confused with the Black Panther Party that completely disassociates with the NBPP and condemns them for their extreme anti-white beliefs) isn’t a bunch of friendly black-folk, either (unless it’s to other black-folk who haven’t been “tainted”). I certainly hope you read the sarcasm when I write this.

The KKK and the NBPP are primary examples of hate groups. One wants to kill, maim, and murder black people while the other wants to kill, maim, and murder white people. They want to destroy children that don’t share their “purity” or philosophy of “purity.” Here are two prime examples on opposite ends sharing the same hate-based philosophy.

I don’t know if any of you realized this or not, but I married into a Mexican family. I didn’t consider Jazmin to be Mexican, to be “brown-skinned” (her skin is at least as white as mine anyways), or inferior. Though there was quite a culture shock for both of us and our families, it was never because of our skin color. I am white, but I have as big of a target painted on my back for marrying “outside of my race” as much as Jazmin has simply for being born in a different culture.

While I agree with Senator Brewer when he says, “Don’t try and silence the bigots, let them speak. Let their bogus ideas be laid bare for all to see,” the only thing I disagree with is his belief that hate speech doesn’t exist.

Hate speech promotes violence. If I’m not allowed to walk into a theater and yell “fire” when there isn’t a fire, you aren’t allowed to incite violence in others either by saying “I’m going to kill you.” You can say, “I want to kill you,” but even that can get you in hot water. I don’t know if you know this or not, but your words CAN and WILL be used against you in the court of law. That’s why Miranda Rights are read to you any time you’re arrested. That’s why lawyers tell you to keep your mouth shut unless you’re up there testifying. That first amendment won’t save you from harassing and terrorizing others because there are definitions on what “free speech” is.

The first amendment doesn’t contain just “freedom of speech,” it also contains “freedom of the press.” That doesn’t mean I can write what I want when I want or take photos where I want. There are definitions and interpretations by people smarter than you or I whose profession is to enforce and uphold the law. That’s why I can’t just walk into anyone’s home and take a photo even though “freedom of the press.”

These constitutional amendments weren’t created to allow you to be a jerk, they were created to hold your government accountable should it become corrupt. Our state flag even has “Equality before the law” written in its blue and yellow glory. If you’re a REAL Nebraskan, you’ll fight to uphold equality as much as you claim to fight for upholding the law. You’ll fly the Nebraska flag and the United States flag instead of Nazi flags.

So while I disagree with Senator Brewer on whether hate speech exists, I agree with him in this — let these racist bullies say what they want to say. Maybe then we can start filling our overcrowded prisons with these violent heretics and anti-Americans instead non-violent offenders, provided you have the spine to follow through with holding these people accountable for their words and actions like the rest of us.

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