The ADL and “hate” in Massachusetts

American public life today: a Massachusetts town declines to sign on to an ADL re-education campaign so there’s a national outcry capped by the appearance of 8th grader on the Today show. A Bid to Legislate Love Splits a New England Town includes an account of someone who thought he had been a victim of an anti-semitic remark several years before, and there’s an extract from the ADL pledge at the end.

6 thoughts on “The ADL and “hate” in Massachusetts”

  1. The linked article must be
    The linked article must be read to be believed. Totalitarian ways of thinking have become the norm in America, and anyone who doesn’t instantly sign on is suspect. The “hate” that has been found in the town consists in the fact that the town authorities declined to commit the town to a “No Place To Hate” campaign organized by the ADL. Notice the paragraph that suggests that the source of the “hate” is the fact that most people in the town are Republicans.

  2. This “No Place to Hate”
    This “No Place to Hate” campaign is a classic example of what has been said about the inherent polemical advantages of liberalism vis a vis traditional or customary ways of being. The ADL crusaders have a self-evidently “good” cause; hate is bad, everyone should oppose it. Meanwhile, the locals who don’t want to sign on to this campaign—what can they say against it? They would need an entire articulated explanation for something that the average person has not thought about and is not prepared to defend. They would have to say things like this:

    “The hatred is really coming from this campaign. We were simply living here in our town, minding our own business, and then this ‘anti-hate’ campaign comes along which says that our community is filled with this evil thing called hatred, which insists that everyone in the town join an organized communal operation to root out this evil thing, and which call us haters if we don’t want to join! And we, who were just minding our own business, are put on the spot and forced to defend ourselves like Jews in the Spanish Inquisition. This is totalitarianism, the total organization of society to realize some utopian scheme (in this case, a state in which there is no “hate” or “intolerance”), which is done by demonizing and destroying any perceived nonconforming elements in the society that seem to stand in the way of that utopia. Bolshevism did this to property owners and Christians. Nazism did this to Jews. But liberalism is going even further. It’s not any particular class of people that liberalism demonizes, it’s anyone who doesn’t hop on the “anti-hate” bandwagon.”

    Ideas like this would be too complicated and not to the taste of most Americans, so instead they talk about “political correctness.” That’s not a bad response, but it’s inadequate, since the phrase as commonly used, though it refers to an important truth, doesn’t always have much substantive content and tends to turn into a slogan rather than a persuasive argument. And that’s what is needed in a case like this, where the other side does have persuasive arguments that must be answered.

    In any case, this “No Place To Hate” drive is truly frightening. It shows the essential outlines of liberalism becoming a totalitarian force.

  3. Yes, it’s obvious thought
    Yes, it’s obvious thought control – “no place” for thinking what the ADL thinks are bad thoughts.

    The town was supposed to pledge to “do their best to interrupt prejudice” and “undertake a serious year-round program to mobilize key leadership segments in our community to creatively address any issue that will help promote a recognition and encouragement of diversity.”

    What could that include? Why not take the same line on disloyalty or class envy or loose living or atheism or any other issue someone thinks causes problems?

  4. It’s not just that certain
    It’s not just that certain thoughts (such as thoughts of hating people) are crimes, it’s that thought itself is a crime if it leads to negative conclusions regarding the anti-hate campaign. The selectmen and others in Hamilton, Mass. did have some thoughtful articulate responses to the ADL. They saw that this thing was too broad, was nosing into private areas, and was looking for problems where none existed. They also noticed that the goals they were committing themselves to under the proclamation were undefined. But that careful approach, which one would expect from any legislator, is the very thing that they’re now being criticized for. Read this passage, where the reporter portrays as suspect the fact that the selectmen read the proclamation and thought about what its provisions might actually mean:

    When the town’s Health Advisory Council, working with Hannah, brought the proclamation to the selectmen, they were expecting a pro forma signature.

    Instead, the selectmen took the one-page pledge and deconstructed it like zealous undergraduates majoring in philosophy.

    How do town officials, they wondered, “interrupt prejudice” that may go on behind closed doors, inside classrooms? They were bothered by how to define other phrases like “subtle acts of racism.”

    By their own admission, the Hamilton selectmen read the proclamation very literally. Shopper, for one, thinks the town overanalyzed a well-meaning document.

  5. I can’t refrain from one
    I can’t refrain from one more comment on an amazing sentence from the Monitor story that I quoted earlier:

    “Instead, the selectmen took the one-page pledge and deconstructed it like zealous undergraduates majoring in philosophy.”

    This introduces an interesting twist into the liberal manipulation of discourse. As we all know, when normal people make some factual or moral assertion that makes liberals uncomfortable, the liberals deconstruct it, saying, “There is no truth, it’s all a matter of perspective and desire and self-interest.” But when normal people—in this case local public officials—responsibly discuss the meaning of a text before signing it into law, a liberal reporter accuses them of engaging in deconstruction!

    In other words, when the liberals DON’T like a statement that’s being asserted, they deconstruct it, denying the very possibility of truth by saying that all truth is based on power. But when they DO like a statement that’s being asserted, because it advances the power of liberalism, they accuse anyone who seeks a rational understanding of that statement of “deconstructing” it, and thus of denying the possibility of truth. Non-liberal statements of truth are dismissed as “based on power and hate,” while responsible, non-liberal analysis of liberal laws is dismissed as “deconstruction.”

    In brief, no non-liberal use of our rational faculty is to be allowed. Only liberals are permitted to engage in public discourse.

  6. Its often been said that the
    Its often been said that the statement “there is no truth” is a contradiction, because it denies the possibility of making any true statement, including the statement that there is no truth. This refutation has never seemed to bother liberals and deconstructionists, however. And the reason is, they feel that they themselves are identical to the truth. They deny objective truth outside themselves, but assert the absolute truth of their own desires and beliefs. The proof of this is in the item I just discussed, with the reporter’s implication that for anyone to question some pious liberal sentiment is to engage in deconstruction—to deny truth itself.

    Since liberalism is identical to the truth, everything outside liberalism is not just a disagreement with liberalism, but a denial of the very possibility of truth.


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