This Newspaper's Response To Threats After Endorsing Hillary Clinton Is So Inspiring
After endorsing a Democratic president candidate for the first time in its entire 125-year history, The Arizona Republic was inundated with terrifying threats of violence. According to the anonymous threateners who bombarded the paper's staff, the editorial staff's decision to back Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump qualified them for death by firing squad and arson. Mi-Ai Parrish, the president of the Republic, fought back with the one thing she could: her words. In a powerful response to those who threatened The Arizona Republic and its staff, Parrish upheld the First Amendment and refused to back down from the editorial board's endorsement.
"YOU'RE DEAD. WATCH YOUR BACK." "WE WILL BURN YOU DOWN." "YOU SHOULD BE PUT IN FRONT OF A FIRING SQUAD AS A TRAITOR." These are just the threats included in Parrish's article, and there were many more like them too. "We chose patriotism over party. We endorsed the Democrat," writes Parrish. "And then the reaction started pouring in. Threats against our business. Threats against our people."
As Parrish wrote in her response, The Republic experienced a tragedy in 1976 when one of its own reporters, Don Bolles, was killed by a car bomb. At an institution that has previously suffered from violence and discrimination, these threats are a very, very low blow. Yet when others went low, Parrish and her team went high and published a beautifully and compassionately written response to the threats that reminded the world that by its very nature, free speech cannot be suppressed. The Republic stands for what it stands for, and the intimidation of the small minded won't change that.
The Republic is a model for other conservatives, because ultimately, Trump doesn't represent anything except prejudice and hate. Those are not American values, and anyone choosing to follow the direction of the party rather than trying to lead it in a better one doesn't stand by much principle at all. Not only did Parrish and The Republic's editorial board stand up for what's right and what they believe in at the same time, they did so eloquently and persuasively, in an ardent attempt to combat the vile rhetoric that Trump has spread throughout his campaign.
This situation, as frightening and sad for The Republic as it is, revealed the true nature of both the staff and of the Trump supporters who threatened them. Those who would threaten violence and death rather than peacefully respect a divergent political position are clearly not the people we should be listening to.
At a time when political divisiveness seems to be tearing the country apart, Parrish's article is a reminder that everyone can stand up for what's right, no matter their ideology. The right to the freedom of speech is one of the greatest things about America, and while Trump has tried to attack that right over and over again throughout this campaign, Parrish is letting everyone know that she is still very much planning to exercise hers.