We have had no issues of intolerance or any abusive behavior in our community at Plague League. I want to start by saying that. This is not a response to anything that has happened in any of our events, on our Discord server, or on this website.
But, 2020 being what it is, I feel like it is needed and warranted to make a statement on what is and is not acceptable and what will not be tolerated in the Plague League community.
As the United States seems to relitigate a half dozen matters; from the shape of the planet to equal rights, to should national socialists have a voice in our politics, these statements must be made by every platform that services any community.
To start, Plague League was founded by me, Paul Miles. I have for decades been a political, economic and social progressive that comes from a family of progressives.
My mother is a proud progressive and one of the hold outs of the 60’s hippie generation that didn’t sell out and suit up, she did peacefully protest the Vietnam War and recently threatened to come out of retirement to peacefully protest for the Black Lives Matter movement. My maternal grandfather was drafted into the Navy before he graduated high school and served in Hawaii and Jacksonville, Florida where he supported the war against National Socialsm. Often using his weekend leaves to drive from Jacksonville to our home in Philadelphia to spend a few hours with his wife before driving back to base.
My paternal grandmother was an Irish-born actress, who debuted the role of Molser in the stage production “The Plough and Stars”, which was so controversial for it’s portrayal of the Easter Uprising that it sparked riots in Dublin and had to finish it’s initial run under protection of the guardai. In the mid 20’s she toured the United States as a cultural ambassador for the new Irish Free State, sharing native Irish culture with Americans. Her last surviving child, my great aunt was an educator who ran a Denver homeless shelter in her retirement.
I say this to show that I come by my politics honestly. I believe deeply in equal rights. I believe deeply in Democracy, and I believe deeply in the rights of the individual.
It shouldn’t have to be said, but black and trans lives matter. Police brutality is rampant and it disproportionately targets the black community. Racism is pervasive in the emergency service community. I know this because I can read the statistics. I also know this because I am a former first responder and saw it first hand. I believe that our police departments are overfunded and that they have access to gear that is not necessary in the execution of their primary mission, which is to serve their community. I believe that schools and educators are underfunded. I know that for every dollar spent on early childhood education, it returns $7 to our economy. I believe that trickle down economics is a failed theory and that the engine of our economy is the working class, and investment in the working class is the only way to see real economic recovery and growth. I believe in universal healthcare because the United States is the only industrialized nation without it. I believe in equal rights for the LGBTQIA+ community. I also believe that hate speech is not protected speech. I believe in the paradox that intolerance of intolerance is not intolerance.
These ideas are dyed in the fabric of Plague League. If you disagree with those ideas, that’s fine. But if you cannot accept those ideas without voicing your dissent, that is not. I will not accept those who have intolerant belief systems in this community. Because Plague League, like the United States of America, a country I was born and raised in, and have proudly served and risked my life for as a fire fighter, there is no place for hate or intolerance.