Tolerance in America

News this week of a local water company’s decision to stop service to a longtime customer because of alleged flag desecration (see story) is a chilling reminder of the times in which we live.

A few weeks ago, Southwest Airlines escorted a woman off a flight at the Reno Airport because she was wearing an anti-Bush administration T-shirt that some others on the flight found offensive.

A few months back at the grand opening of a military recruitment office at the North Valley Plaza mall in north Chico, recruitment officers noted that protesters attending the affair had the right to protest in large part because of the efforts of the military. But soon after that patriotic (and tolerant) statement was issued, the North Valley Plaza’s private security service was brought in to flush the protestors away from the recruitment center.

There is an ever-shrinking level of tolerance for differing opinions and thoughts working its way through this country. And there is little room for criticism of our leaders. The attitude was launched four years ago when Bush announced we were either with him or against him and his crusade into Iraq.

Now we are turning on each other; it is more than red state vs. blue state. Now it is neighbor against neighbor. When a company refuses to do business with a longtime customer because she chooses to fly another nation’s flags in support of the people who live there, we’ve reached a serious low point.