Hate in the USA

Hate: Who decides?

Some interesting articles ...
The Great Hate Debate by Michael A. Hoffman II
The Great Hate Debate by Donna Ladd, Village Voice, October 13 - 19, 1999

Is the New York-based Jewish Defense Organization a "hate group"? (www.jdo.org) Is one an anti-semite to link to article in The Jerusalem Post about director, Mordechai Levy guilty plea to charges that he assaulted a 12 year-old boy?

The Southern Poverty Law Center would like you to believe its list of 12,000 groups is the definitive list. But who says that they are the experts? If someone criticizes them or is critical of the government over Waco and Ruby Ridge - do they get added to their list? Who is on their list - they do not say. Supporters of the SPLC say that "The Southern Poverty Law Center should be applauded by the law enforcement community for their tracking of hate groups in America. Not since the FBI's controversial COINTELPRO counter intelligence program of the 1960's has their been such a complete and rich file of intelligence on dangerous groups within this country." [source] But do we want to go back to the world of COINTELPRO where the FBI was successfully able to induce African Americans to kill each other? See: How COINTELPRO Helped Destroy the Movements of the 1960s Even the FBI statement "We live in a free and open society" is being criticized by Abraham H. Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League in a August 20, 1998 New York Times editorial calling for the government to act before crimes are committed.

There is always the problem - Who watches the watchers?

Hate has a long history.

Anti-Japanese magazine covers, posters & films in WW II
During the Second World War the US government got into the act with anti Japanese posters and media.

Was Roosevelt's decision to put Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II fostered by the Political Correctness of Japanese hate at the time? (Even J Edgar Hoover descented) How much of the pressure Roosevelt got from members of his own Democratic party was precipitated by those who saw financial gain in getting property owned by Japanese Americans at fire sale prices? See: Japanese Americans Internment in Concentration Camps - 1905 campaign by the San Francisco Chronicle: "Japanese a Menace to American Women" ... During World War II, the Supreme Court decided the historic case of Korematsu v. United States. There, the Court approved the internment of Japanese Americans as a racial group without individual determinations of political loyalty. Here the government would be guilty under it's own definition of hate crime

Then there were the laws in California restricting the right to own land and vote by Chinese Americans.

Politically Correct Hate

It is now politically correct to hate cigarette companies. It is fashionable to heap scorn on them for not telling us that cigarettes were really bad for us. How could we have known if we were not told? People seem to forget that the government used to provide free cigarettes to GI's and up till recently helped US cigarette companies peddle their products overseas.

So called "Christian Identity" groups are the new popular target. Perhaps it could have been anticipated that there would be a backlash as a result of the dismantling of much of the legal discrimination in the United States. Poor whites used to be able to feel that at least they weren't Black - now they don't even have that.

Alcohol has a history of being demonized. Drugs are now a favorite target (only the "illegal" kind).

We continue to be asked to hate some foreign leader who just yesterday was supposed to be our fiend.

Hate for Arabs seems to be something the media feels comfortable with. "Arab terrorism" is a favorite media phrase and one that is quickly invoked when a bombing occurs. It is interesting to note that "Jewish terrorist" and "Catholic terrorist" are not part of the current media lexicography.

Some Israelis even think that it "should be a crime to preach hatred against another country or its people" - Too bad for Bill Clinton and George Bush - or should there an exception for state sponsored Hate?

It is interesting to note the extent to which anarchists and anarchy are associated with violence. No one complains when anarchists are demonized.


Hala Maksoud, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has written to the president of NBC expressing "profound shock and dismay at the first two episodes of your new series 'The West Wing.' Among the story lines in these two episodes was that the Republic of Syria had, for no apparent reason, shot down an unarmed American airforce jet killing over 50 Americans. The United States government responds by attacking four 'military targets' in Syria, in the words of one of the characters, 'crippling Syria's intelligence and surface-to-air capabilities.'"

Continues Maksoud: "This story line constitutes a slander and calumny against the Syrian nation and the Syrian people, who have never been involved in any way in such an incident. In fact, there have been three instances of unarmed planes being downed by surface-to-air missiles, none involving Syria. These include Israel's downing of a Libyan airliner, the Soviet Union's downing of a Korean airliner and the United States' downing of an Iranian airliner. There has been no instance of any such action by Syria."
October 11, 1999
INDEX: http://prorev.com

Hate for Gays

It is part of popular Christian theology that gays are to be condemned. Support for this comes from the Bible passages, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" (Leviticus 18:22). "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus 20:13). What is left out is that both Leviticus quotations are from the Holiness Code which lists 614 ethical and ritual laws to be followed by the ancient Israelites including: Eating raw meat and oysters, wearing garments of blended fibers, planting two different kinds of seed in the same field, Tattoos, adultery, and sexual intercourse during a women's menstrual period are similarly outlawed by this Holiness Code. Religiously motivated Internet hatred against Gays and Lesbians

Should the Bible be outlawed as a hate document? It certainly has been used as a justification for people killing each other for centuries.

Hate for Communists

Communists are ok to Hate. After all, don't they advocate overthrow of the government by force? But isn't that what George Washington and Thomas Jefferson did in advocating the overthrow of British rule of the colonies?

Then there are the people who hate broccoli, infomercials and fat women. Women who hate men. People who hate lawyers. Democrats hate Republicans. Republicans hate Democrats. The list goes on ...

The problem is Who's hate is ok? - and what hate do we need the government to defend us against? Democracy is not pretty. There are serious problems when one group coops the monopoly power of the government over force to further their aims. Yesterday it was the Chinese, Blacks, Communists and Japs who got on the wrong side of the government. My view is that we really need to be careful giving the government power to decide what is acceptable for people to think and not to think. Even a majority vote about who it is ok for the government to punish has been used many times to persecute unpopular minorities. Are we willing to give the government the power to put people in jail for what they think? Or the websites they create? Do we trust people in government to make these decisions for us?

My preference is for everyone learning to get along. But things are not so simple in a society where there are wide divisions of wealth, power and privilege. Who get what? Who pays and who benefits? Who works and who lives in leisure? There are bound to be conflicts when one group seems to have all the power while others have little to lose in a society. As people become divided by differences in identity, it is easy for one group to blame another for the ills of the world. As we observe in democratic countries, there are plenty of politicians ready to jump into the void by playing one group off against another. There are many groups who wish to see laws passed supporting their views of who needs to be punished . Until enough of us base our identity on a pluralistic and tolerant vision, we will continue to see hatreds multiply and the government asked to take sides.

Add your comments here!