While I find Richard Spencer’s personal political views repugnant, I am flabbergasted at the spineless response by Old Town Sport & Health to revoke his membership [“Gym ends membership of alt-right’s Spencer,” Metro, May 22]. What law or rule did Mr. Spencer break to deserve having his membership revoked? This self-righteous attitude by people (on the left and right) because they are personally offended by another person’s views (no matter how odious) has reached ridiculous proportions. These people don’t seem to understand that freedom means having the freedom to have bad taste, bad judgment and out-of-the-mainstream opinions.
I’ve never forgotten a lesson from my 11th-grade American-history teacher at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington. He taught us, to paraphrase “The Friends of Voltaire,” “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.” This is not an easy concept to wrap your head around. It leads to situations, such as this, in which I can’t believe I find myself defending a person with whom I utterly disagree. But until Mr. Spencer breaks the law, he has the right to exist, opine and use a neighborhood gym.
Rafael F. Aguilera, Alexandria