FORGET EMPTY GESTURES ON HATE
DEFEND THE 1ST AMENDMENT
I hate hate. I mean I really hate hate.
And I hate the haters who hate. I hate them because they’re so…well…so hateful. And I just hate that.
It’s a good thing Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats pushed for that anti-hate resolution.
And that’s good.
Because we don’t want any haters around here.
People could get the idea that we tolerate hate. And I’d hate for them to think that.
Hate is intolerance. And tolerating that kind of intolerance is…intolerable.
– – –
Okay. So now I’m on record as being against hate. Just like Congress, with its resolution prompted by the anti-Israel / anti-Semitic remarks of newly elected Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.).
There was no mention of Omar in that resolution, of course. Did you expect one?
No great emphasis on Israel or Jews either.
Just a generalized, all-inclusive denunciation of hate.
Now I must explain that anti-Semitism is a subject about which I am particularly sensitive, even though I’m not Jewish.
I grew up in the suburban Philadelphia area, immersed in a milieu heavily influenced by Reform and Conservative Jews. I had numerous close Jewish friends; I spent time in their homes.
Back in the day, I played Og the Leprechaun in a production of “Finian’s Rainbow” staged by the Players of Temple Shalom. (How’s that for a cross-cultural experience?)
When I married, my best man was a Jew.
I regard the separation of Christianity and Judaism as a great tragedy of human history and a deep spiritual wound, since Jesus was, himself, a Jew.
And one of the specific intentions of my novel, MY BROTHER’S KEEPER, is to make a case that the Jews, as a people, were not responsible for Christ’s death — an old canard that’s been a recurring anti-Semitic theme throughout the centuries, and persists today. (Read the book to see how I make my case. Hey, I can’t give everything away.)
Having declared my Judeophilia (or philo-Semitism or whatever you wish to call my affinity for Jews and Jewishness), I nonetheless must express my reservations about efforts at punishing the anti-Semitic ravings of someone like Ilhan Omar.
Actually, I think Omar may have done us a favor with her intemperate words. They revealed her authentic attitudes — her lifelong perspective, based on the unyielding hatred of Jews that is characteristic of the Islamist Socialism present in her homeland of Somalia, and in which her family was steeped.
Congress did us a favor too. Their mealy-mouthed resolution underscores the pointlessness of such high-minded declarations. And more importantly, it demonstrates that no one on the Left ever pays a price for offensive language or behavior.
Not Omar. Not the governor of Virginia, who cavorted in blackface while he was in law school. Not Bill Clinton.
Only Republicans get called to account. Even when they haven’t done anything wrong — like the Covington kids.
It’s good for us to be reminded that the hate game is played in a single way: with Democrats stacking the deck.
New York Representative Lee Zeldin, one of nearly two dozen Republicans who voted against the anti-hate resolution, summed up the hypocrisy of that measure. As reported by The Hill, Zeldin, who is Jewish, observed…
“Instead of a resolution naming names and being singularly, emphatically, unequivocally condemning of anti-Semitism … you had a resolution that kept getting diluted and watered down, filled with moral equivalency ….
“If [Omar] was a Republican, this resolution would’ve been naming names, she’d be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and we would be talking about anti-Semitism solely, singularly and forcefully.”
Whenever such bigotry of Leftists is displayed, Conservatives point out the irony that those are the very people who insist on clamping speech restrictions on the rest of us. Invariably, a cry is heard for enforcing Political Correctness on them.
It’s an understandable reaction. But it plays right into the Leftist game. Because it lends legitimacy to the idea that certain kinds of speech deserve to be restricted, even outlawed — which is to say that it’s appropriate to criminalize certain opinions.
This is a highly risky proposition, but it has a lot of appeal. Especially so when we’re dealing with opinions that are obviously hateful.
“To make a certain type of opinion criminal, in and of itself, detached from any particular act, is to ascribe to government the power to dictate the thoughts of its people. That is an idea in total opposition to America, as the nation we assume it to be, and to the Constitution (specifically the First Amendment) as the definitive statement of its foundational principles.
“It is, in fact, the very definition of tyranny.”
Our system of law contains an established principle to protect against letting speech become inflammatory. The concept is called fighting words. Words likely to move people to violent acts can be legitimately restricted. If they are uttered and spark violence, they can be punished.
Beyond that, freedom of speech has always been considered fundamental to the American way of life — that is until the advent of Political Correctness, which insists that some speech is inherently racist or sexist or reinforces whatever brand of supremacy you’re against.
This warped way of thinking dominates college and university campuses today. It’s made deep inroads into media and popular culture.
We’ve even adopted certain aspects of it in ordinary day-to-day conversation. We tend to guard our speech, not out of respect for simple politeness or humane consideration or Christian charity, but in fear of uttering words or giving voice to ideas that have been declared toxic by our dominant cultural poobahs.
This is dangerous. It poses a serious threat to freedom.
And by the way, it’s rapidly becoming a key tenet of the Democratic Party.
It must be purged from our society.
And yes, I see the irony inherent in that statement.
But we don’t purge it by adopting some Conservative version of Political Correctness. We purge it by invoking — by elevating, by cherishing, by defending — the First Amendment.
I acknowledge that anti-Semitism is on the upswing, and I understand why Jews might be uncomfortable with letting Ilhan Omar spout her vile Islamist-Socialist ravings. She and other radical Leftists are attempting to exploit First-Amendment freedom to promote ideas that are inimical to American liberty. Ideas such as Socialism and Islamic Sharia Law.
They are, in essence, weaponizing freedom. And there may come a time — God help us! — when direct action against this tactic is necessary.
For now, though, I say let Ilhan Omar display her subversive intentions, and let her party leaders display their mendacious complicity.
In the meantime, there’s a movement among Jews to cut their traditional ties with the Democratic Party. It’s called “Jexodus.” And it’s growing.
I’ll bet the Democrats really hate that.
To Rep. Ilhan Omar herself, the main point of the anti-hate resolution was its stand against criticism of Islam…
…which demonstrates that the resolution contained something for everybody.
Meanwhile, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway fixed on the contrast in how people are treated by virtue of their political leanings…
…and some Facebook denizen with a strong sense of irony made this wry comment on politicians in general…
Interviewed on “Meet the Press,” Wyoming Senator Liz Cheney, one of the Republicans voting against the resolution, gave NBC host Chuck Todd what-for about Democrat perfidy…
“This isn’t just being silent, they are protecting her by failing to put a resolution on the floor that names her and that strips her of her committee assignments.”
Writing in National Review, Jonathan S. Tobin, editor in chief of Jewish News Service, points out that among certain Democrats, Ilhan Omar is seen as a victim of the resolution effort — to the detriment of Jews…
“Omar has emerged from this incident not only unscathed but also confident that many in the House, and several Democratic presidential candidates, consider her the aggrieved party in the discussion. With so many Democrats agreeing that Omar had been unfairly singled out because of her race and religion, that leaves Jews, one of the most loyal constituencies of the Democratic party, pondering the speed with which they had been discarded.”
Check out his thoughts at…
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch runs down the Qur’anic verses that vilify Judaism, providing the religious basis for Omar’s attitude toward Jews. He postulates that after the resolution…
“The chances that Ilhan Omar will continue to make antisemitic statements are 100%.”…
Writing at the online journal, American Greatness, historian Victor Davis Hanson sees the whole leftward lurch taken by the Democrats (of which Omar’s anti-Semitism is just a symptom) as reenacting 1972, when the party, led by George McGovern, went down in blazing defeat to Richard Nixon. For Hanson it’s déjà vu all over again…
“The recent failure to condemn explicit anti-Semitism, as voiced by some new anti-Semitic, anti-Israel left-wing congresswomen, reveals that the Democratic Party is captive to an entirely new manifestation of a tired, old ideology.”
This holds a special irony…
“Moreover, anti-Semitism will only increase among those on the Left, because it practitioners are mostly ignorant of its terrible history, and instead assume that as ‘people of color’ and ‘marginalized peoples’ they should be exempt from criticism — as we saw when Omar redoubled her rhetoric and thereby earned the approval of David Duke.”
May Hanson’s political prognostication be correct — 2020 is coming…