Should we press mute on hateful speech or do we need to listen up?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, the suspect in the shooting at the Jewish Community Center, has been described as a “raging anti-Semite” with a long history of racist views. His views are similar to many hate groups that have gotten national media attention.

"A lot of people argue that the media should never cover those kind of groups because it just gives them the attention that they want. But on the other hand, if you don't pay attention to it how do people know about it or criticize it," Allen Rostron said, a law professor at the University of Missouri- Kansas City.

There are reports that Miller has posted extensively in online forums pushing his hateful messages. Rostron said there are limits to free speech but the internet makes it easier for hateful language to slip through the legal cracks.

"When somebody is at his home thousands of miles from people who are viewing messages, it’s hard to say that it’s inciting imminent actions and now it’s hard to adjust these legal concepts to new forms of communication," Rostron said.

At least one local leader, Rabbi Jeffrey Shron of Overland park said the discussion about anti-Semitism and hate needs extend beyond the Jewish community.

"We all need to look for signs of hatred and persecution and prejudice throughout the world. If left unchecked, if we don't hear what people are saying, bad things can happen to a lot of people,” he said. “If we just hide our heads in the sand and say it won't happen or it doesn’t exist, we're just fooling ourselves.” 

Print this article Back to Top