Various Hollywood celebrities (e.g. Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, and the like) have made pilgrimages to Cuba over the years, often paying gushing tribute to Fidel Castro while there and upon their return.
Castro’s Cuba is, and has long been, an oppressive police state. Indeed, the Castro brothers and the mysteriously-still-glamorous murderer Che Guevara were busy killing people even before they came to power in 1959. The total death toll under Castro’s rule probably exceeds 100,000 — which would be the equivalent, given the relative population sizes of Cuba and of the United States, of killing nearly three million Americans. And yet, Castro’s Cuba has, by the standards of the past century’s totalitarian dictatorships, been relatively gentle; economic backwardness and a widespread deprivation of basic human rights also need to be factored into the cost paid by Cubans for the privilege of being ruled by El Líder Máximo and his henchmen. There are, at the present time, something on the order of 65,000 political prisoners in Cuba, kept under generally terrible conditions — the equivalent of nearly two million people in the United States. (See here for an account.) Miami wouldn’t be the essentially Cuban city it is today — and I would not have the adorable daughter-in-law that I have — had it not been for the Castro regime.
Curiously, though, nobody, or virtually nobody, has been calling for Penn, Nicholson, Glover, Spielberg, and others of their fellow travelers to be banished from Hollywood, deprived of their livelihoods, or excluded from the society of decent human beings.
But are there limits to tolerance in the entertainment industry? Absolutely yes, and, in the case of the horrible Orson Scott Card, we’re getting a much clearer idea of where they’re located. Tolerance is all well and good, of course. Indeed, it’s the supreme virtue. But some things, and some people, are just plain beyond the pale. Tolerance doesn’t apply to them. They don’t deserve it.
Orson Scott Card’s views are, of course, thoroughly unfashionable in influential, elite circles. Which is precisely the time when notions like tolerance and respect for different opinions need to go out the window, since they’re intended to protect popular opinions and/or the viewpoints of powerful segments of society, not absurd, marginal, and contemptible minorities.