Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Fighting hate is a losing battle

An excellent article below by an apparently Leftist but clear-thinking professor of philosophy.  Judging by the courses he teaches he is in the mainstream of Western analytical philosophy. He rightly shows that you cannot fight hate.  You have to fight the ideas you hate.  That's a dismal message for Leftists, though.  Contesting ideas is not their forte.  Mostly all they can do is abuse people they disagree with. Most libertarian arguments would flummox them.  Just ask them where they get the right to tell other people what to do and they will mostly be struck dumb

By David Livingstone Smith 

Hate has been in the news a lot lately. TV news shows can’t get enough of it. Social media feeds seethe with articles about hate groups and hate speech. There are marches against hate, walks against hate, vigils against hate, and rallies against hate. The website of Southern Poverty Law Center tells us that “hate in America has become commonplace” and asks, rhetorically, “What can we do to stop the hate?”

The framing of the question suggests that it’s self-evident that the way to stop hate is by fighting it — to declare war on it.

True to the tough-guy self-image deep in the American psyche, many seem to believe that the best way to deal with anything that you don’t like is to beat the stuffing out of it. So, if you don’t like “hate,” then you should “fight” it.

This approach gets things dangerously wrong. Here’s why.

First, you can’t really fight hate any more that you can really fight cancer or wage a war on drugs. To think otherwise is slip into what philosophers call a “category mistake” — the error of treating one kind of thing as though it’s quite a different kind of thing. Suppose that I said to you that one of my students gave me a cold, and then you responded — in all seriousness — by asking me whether the cold was gift-wrapped and came with a card. If you asked me this you’d be committing a category mistake centered on the use of the verb “gave.” This is the same sort of screw-up that people commit when they talk about fighting hate. Just as a cold isn’t the sort of thing that can be gift-wrapped, hate isn’t the sort of thing that can be fought.

The idea that all decent Americans are (or should be) embroiled in a war against hate is oddly reminiscent of the Bush administration’s war on terror. As Zbigniew Brzezinski pointed out in a 2007 article in the Washington Post, “The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare — political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants.” If “the war on terror” is a meaningless phrase, “the war against hate” is every bit as meaningless.

But aren’t the wars against terror, hate, or cancer just metaphors? Fair enough. But that’s not the end of the story. Biologist Richard Lewontin once remarked, riffing on a comment by Winston Churchill, that “The price of metaphor is eternal vigilance.” Metaphors are appropriate, as long as you remember what they’re metaphors for. And even when you’re clear about what they’re for, they have a tendency to run away with you — to structure your thinking and actions in misleading, disadvantageous, or even disastrous ways (recall the “war on terror”). I’m not so sure that everyone who pictures themselves as fighters against hate can keep their eyes on this elusive ball, and remain steady in their awareness that “fighting hate” isn’t fighting hate. Antifa — that is, the loose movement of self-styled anti-fascists who’ve been blamed for outbursts violence at protests — is a good example of a metaphor gone bad.

The idea that we’re involved in a fight (whether an actual or a metaphorical one) isn’t really the most pressing concern. More worrying is the notion that hate is the thing that we need to oppose. This line of thought projects a distorted image of what we’re up against, and may hinder effective political action.

It’s tempting to think of hate as something that’s bad to the bone. Only bad people are pro-hate, right? Well, I’m a Jew who hates Nazis. Does this make me a bad person? Does it place me on the same side of the moral divide as a Nazi who hates Jews because we are both “haters”? Should foot soldiers in the war against hate also battle against my hatred of Nazism, or is my hatred of Nazism a good, acceptable, or even morally obligatory kind of hate?

Think it through. If our hates all have the same moral valence, then you’re bound to accept our president’s assertion that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville protests. But if you can resist the temptation to gerrymander the boundaries of hate so that it includes only those people who stand for things that you disapprove of, the answers to the rhetorical questions in the previous paragraph are pretty clear. There’s good hate and there’s bad hate. Hate is morally neutral when it’s considered all on its own; what makes it good or bad depends on what it is that’s being hated.

The same principle applies to love. The white supremacists that tromped through Charlottesville brandishing swastika flags, KKK insignia, and assault rifles while chanting, “Jews will not replace us!” were people who loved their “whiteness,” feared its replacement, and had a protective attitude towards what they took to be their “heritage.” If you spend some time listening, as I do, to podcasts produced by members of the so-called alt-right, you’ll soon discover that hate plays a relatively small role in what most of them have to say. There’s a whole lot about fear (of being outnumbered by people of color), loyalty (to the white race), nostalgia (for a white supremacist past), pride (in their ethnic identity), and outrage (at “cultural Marxism”). There’s also love (of their race). And there’s also plenty of moral righteousness and contempt for those whites who don’t buy into their ethno-nationalist ideology. Of course, hate is present too — often blatantly so — but it’s not the main focus.

The same was true in the past. The statue of Robert E. Lee that galvanized the far-right groups that gathered in Charlottesville was set up to glorify the “lost cause” of the slaveholding Confederacy. The men whom these detestable monuments lionize didn’t hate their slaves any more than they hated their livestock or farm equipment. For the most part, they considered black people as so unworthy of respect that they didn’t even merit being hated.

Consider Nazi propaganda — the kind that was produced by real Third Reich Nazis, not tiki torch Nazis — and you’ll discover the same pattern. These women and men were in love with race, führer, and fatherland, and made a big deal of their attachment to blood and soil, their horror, fear, and disgust of Jews, and what they took to be the sublime moral uplift of the National Socialist cause.

As much as we’d like to think otherwise, Auschwitz wasn’t built out of hate. The historian  Claudia Koonz reminds us in the opening pages of “The Nazi Conscience” that Nazism is unintelligible if conceived as a pure culture of hate. Nazi ideology “supplied answers to life’s imponderables, provided meaning in the face of contingency, and explained the way the world works. It also defined good and evil, condemning self-interest as immoral and enshrining altruism as virtuous. Binding ethnic comrades. . . to their ancestors and descendants, Nazism embedded the individual within the collective well-being of the nation.”

These distinctions matter. The uncomfortable truth is that sentiments like love, honor, terror, and moral righteousness have immensely greater power to move human beings to commit appalling acts of violence than hate does. The language of the “fight against hate” is a blunt instrument. It impoverishes our moral vocabulary and restricts our capacity to truly understand what we are up against at the present historical moment. Trying to dismantle white supremacism by fighting against hate is as foolhardy trying to dismantle an IED with your eyes closed. It’s likely to blow up in your face.


The Zebra killings:  Blacks systematically killing whites swept under the rug

Ron Unz

When I first encountered mention of the “Zebra killings” some years ago, the term was completely unfamiliar to me, and due to the similarities in name and location, I initially wondered whether it might be an alternate designation for the Zodiac attacks. But despite the chronological and geographical overlap, the Zebra case was actually quite different, and given its explosive details the almost total absence of any subsequent media attention is really quite curious.

Indeed, one advantage of exploring the Zebra killings is there exists only one detailed, somewhat contemporaneous account, and a couple of years ago with my curiosity getting the better of me, I finally ordered the book from Amazon. Zebra was published in 1979 by Clark Howard, an award-winning crime writer, who drew extensively on newspaper archives, court testimony, and personal interviews, with his text running over 400 pages.

 The story of the Zebra killers almost sounds like something out of a movie, although no movie was ever made. For decades, the Nation of Islam—the so-called “Black Muslims”—had been preaching that whites were “devils,” the product of a mad scientist’s controlled-breeding experiment, and that killing such “devils” was a virtuous religious act. Then, some time in 1972, certain elements of the sect decided to transform religious dogma into actual practice, and began an organized campaign to randomly kill as many white men, women, and children as they could, with the attacks occurring throughout California but especially centered in the Bay Area and the city of San Francisco. One of the alleged motives was to terrorize the local whites into eventually fleeing that city, thereby allowing the establishment of a black-dominated metropolis.

The black attackers typically went out alone or in pairs to commit the killings, usually selecting any seemingly vulnerable victims on the streets at dusk or in the dark, with their weapons of choice being guns, hatchets, or machetes. Sometimes, victims were kidnapped and brought back to safe-houses to be tortured and killed by the entire group, with their bodies afterward dismembered and discarded.

According to the later court testimony, black participants each needed to kill a total of nine white men to be awarded the coveted title of “Death Angel,” earning them the right to have their photos displayed in the Black Muslim meeting halls, while roughly double points were awarded for slaughtering white women or children, on the grounds that such killings were more psychologically difficult. Based on the number of such distinctive homicides—well-dressed black men randomly attacking whites on the street—police officials estimated that there were over 70 such killings throughout California, though based on his extensive research Howard himself believed that the true statewide total may have been close to 270 dead victims.

The period of the killings lasted for almost half a year, and once the newspapers and public grew aware of the situation, the city of San Francisco became gripped by a sense of terror, with public officials desperate to crack the case. Sometimes even politically-connected individuals fell victim, with future mayor Art Agnos barely surviving a random gunshot attack. In desperation, Mayor Joseph Alioto, a staunch liberal, initiated stop-and-search patrols that targeted a majority of the local population of adult black males as possible killers. Eventually, eight of the suspects were arrested with the aid of an informant, with four of these being convicted and sentenced to life, at which point the attacks ceased. But it appears that the majority of the participants were never caught, let alone punished.

Zebra may be purchased for as little as $4 on Amazon, shipping included, and also found online both as a PDF and in various other formats at Archive.org. But for those too busy to read it, a much shorter summary of the story may be found in an article entitled “Remembering the Zebra Killing” published in 2001 by conservative writer James Lubinskas, with his presentation closely matching the book’s facts, while the San Francisco Chronicle also ran a short retrospective around the time of the 2002 DC Sniper Attacks. There are also a handful of other small websites here and there, discussing the case and republishing some newspaper articles, including coverage of the Zebra killings in other cities.

Meanwhile, the events themselves have almost totally disappeared from public memory. When noted author David Talbot published his widely-praised 2012 book Season of the Witch covering that general era of San Francisco history, he included a discussion of the Zebra killings, and some knowledgeable San Francisco natives mentioned that it was the first time they had ever heard of the story. Indeed, the complete absence of any subsequent media coverage or investigation forced Talbot, a mainstream liberal, to cite an obscure white racialist blogsite devoted to the Zebra case as one of his only sources of documentary information on the wave of murders.

Not only did the Zebra killings represent the greatest instance of racially-motivated killings in modern American history, but the number of victims was quite possibly greater than the combined total for all other such examples over nearly the last 100 years of our history. Based on that reality, the near-absolute media blackout has been quite remarkably Orwellian and deeply disturbing. Prior to the development of the Internet, neither I nor almost anyone else would have ever encountered this important history, and I suspect that if anyone had presented us with the true facts back then, his claims might easily have been dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic.


No, Charlie Hebdo, “Nazis” Didn’t Drown in Houston

I think there's a case for defamation here

Shortly after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published this cover:

The caption reads, “God exists! He drowned all the neo-nazis of Texas!”

We should all know about Charlie Hebdo. The newspaper has a long history of attacking anyone they deem worthy, usually with crude and offensive cartoons. That wasn’t much of a problem until they published cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed. Those cartoons led to a brutal jihadist attack on their office that left twelve dead in 2015.

To be clear, I supported Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish offensive cartoons in 2015, and I support it now. CH didn’t deserve to be physically attacked for their opinions about Islam and don’t deserve to be physically attacked for their opinions about Texas. However, they do deserve mockery, scorn and derision, for numerous reasons.

First, Hurricane Harvey primarily impacted Houston, which is in no way a nazi city. Houston is actually the the most diverse city in America, “where 51 percent of all those under the age of 20 are Latinos and 19 percent are African American.” A third of city residents over age five speak a language other than English at home, and according to census reports 145 languages are spoken in Houston. Over 15,000 Houstonians speak French. The city leans liberal and recently elected a black democratic mayor who replaced a lesbian democratic mayor, who replaced a white democratic mayor, who replaced a black democratic mayor, who replaced a white democratic mayor, who replaced a female democratic mayor (Houston has had democrat mayors since 1982). And while Texas voted republican in the 2016 presidential election, Houston itself went almost completely democrat (even if you ascribe to the incredibly shallow and unbelievably stupid belief that “republican equals nazi,” you can’t pin any nazi republicanism on Houston).

And if being democrat isn’t enough, Houston also has a thriving gay community with the most gay-friendly employers in Texas, and hosts one of the oldest and largest gay pride parades in the American Southwest. Houston ain’t exactly the Third Reich.

Second, the drowning victims weren’t nazis. Six of the victims were from a single Hispanic family and included an elderly couple and four children. Another was a 60-year old Hispanic Houston police officer. Another was a nurse whose three-year old daughter was found clinging to her body. Another was an elderly woman drowned in her home, another was crushed by a tree that fell on her house, others included a clockmaker trying his save merchandise and a young man who foolishly drove around a barricade marking high water. There is no indication whatsoever any of the victims were “nazis,” and no reason to believe Hurricane Harvey just happened to strike an unknown nazi gathering. The storm killed dozens of innocent people, not dozens of nazis or any nazis at all.

Third, over 22,000 Texans died fighting nazis or their allies during World War II. Approximately 750,000 Texans served in total, making up 7% of the entire American fighting force. Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Dwight Eisenhower was a Texan, as was our most-decorated nazi killer Audie Murphy. The Texas 36th Infantry Division – MY division, by the way – participated in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, and was even at one point attached to the French First Army. Charlie Hebdo and many others are seeing nazis under their beds and finding them under every rock lately, but when real nazis really invaded France and really needed to be defeated, Texans showed up to do it.

And fourth, French and Texan soldiers have gone into combat together during the ongoing War On Terror, so even if Charlie Hebdo is stupid enough to think Texans are all nazis, other French people know better. One would think at a serious newspaper like Charlie Hebdo (/sarc), journalists would do some in-depth investigative work like, oh, asking a French person who’s been to Houston if it’s full of nazis. CH apparently never bothered with such minor details.

Here in Texas we don’t even know how many we’ve lost. Victims probably haven’t even finished dying yet. Bodies will be recovered from flooded homes and overturned cars for many days to come. Families desperately searching for missing loved ones are dreading the tragic news they know is coming. One family is mourning the almost indescribable loss of beloved grandparents and four cherished children. Police officers all over the state are wearing badges covered with black bands to honor our lost sergeant. Texans and other Americans of many races, religions and political ideologies have spent the last week disregarding petty differences and coming together to help each other survive and recover. And for some unknown reason that’s sure to be incredibly moronic, Charlie Hebdo chose to slander the storm’s innocent victims as “nazis.”

When Charlie Hebdo was brutally attacked in 2015, millions of Americans, including me and many other Texans, stood against the jihadist attackers and for CH’s right to free speech. Whatever I thought of Charlie Hebdo’s politics or “art,” I argued that nobody deserves to be murdered for offending someone. I still believe that. Neither I nor other Texans will shoot up the Charlie Hebdo office, or demand their right to free speech be restricted.

I’ll simply point out that the surviving Charlie Hebdo staff presumably doesn’t believe their cartoonists deserved to be murdered for their opinions; one might think Charlie Hebdo would know better than to falsely accuse innocent people of being nazis, then suggest they deserved to die for it.


Australia: Homosexual thuggery again

How's that for equal rights? Woman doctor who appeared in 'no' ad for gay marriage vote subjected to a campaign to have her STRIPPED of her medical licence

Gay marriage supporters want a doctor who appeared in an ad for the no campaign stripped of her medical licence.

A petition calling on the Australian Medical Association to 'review the registration' of Pansy Lai gathered more than 6,000 signatures in just two days.

The Chinese-born paediatrician was one of three mothers who spoke against legalising same-sex marriage in the upcoming postal vote.

The Sydney doctor claimed in the Coalition for Marriage ad that classes about gay relationships were compulsory in countries where same-sex marriage was legal.

She was speaking of the controversial Safe Schools program, of which she is a vocal opponent since speaking out last year.

The petition, on a site run by left-wing activist group GetUp!, claimed Dr Lai 'willfully spread misinformation and non-scientific evidence in order to promote the discrimination of LGBTIQ people in Australia'.

The outright attack on Dr Lai's livelihood raised concerns among other no vote supporters that other doctors could be targeted if they voiced their beliefs.

The petition alleged she broke her Hippocratic Oath and Declaration of Geneva by speaking out against gay marriage and campaigning for the no vote.

It accused her of violating a clause vowing to not allow a patient's sexual orientation, among other attributes, to affect her medical duty.

'It is clear that Dr Pansy Lai has misused her privileged position as a medical practitioner in the harmful and hateful 'no' campaign,' it said.

She 'directly caused harm' to the LGBTIQ community by appearing in the ad, the petition claimed, and accused her of not supporting her young patients.

Dr Lai did not identify herself as a doctor in the Coalition for Marriage ad, or give her name, and was only identified by the media after the video aired.

The petition said young people who identify as LGBTIQ were 10 times more likely to die by suicide, and had an 80 per cent chance of being bullied at school.

It said Dr Lai, as a paediatrician, had professional obligation to support young people who identify as LGBTIQ and appearing in the ad ran counter to this.

The petition on the GetUp!-hosted site CommunityRun was started by Melbourne IT professional and self-identified 'anarcho-socialist' Lev Lafayette.

The 49-year-old on Sunday shared a photo of himself on Facebook with Parliament House in the background.

The caption read: 'Don't tell anyone but there's an anarchist in the Federal parliament house!'

Many comments left by those who signed the petition slammed Dr Lai, who is not an AMA member, for appearing in the ad and agreed she should be deregistered.

'Homophobia and bigotry have no place in our society, and especially not with a medical professional who is working with vulnerable young people,' one wrote.

'It is overly obvious that this DOCTOR is Biased against LGBT persons In her Bias .. She clearly would be discriminant towards any patients who identify as LGBT or are having difficulty with their sexual orientation apart from Heterosexual,' another wrote.

'Her participation in this campaign is a betrayal of her oath & the young people she is supposed to help,' a third insisted.

Other signatories slammed her alleged support for gay conversion therapies, claims Dr Lai denied last week.

Monica Doumit, spokeswoman for Coalition for Marriage, said: 'In seeking to ruin the career of a doctor who dares disagree with its agenda, the same-sex marriage lobby has shown, yet again, that it has no interest in freedom of speech.  '

'The petition against Dr Lai is a threat not only to her, but to any others who might try to voice their opinion. The message is loud and clear: agree on same-sex marriage or else.

'We know that if the law on marriage changes, these activists will feel more empowered to target those who dare disagree.

'We've already seen Canadian lawyers denied professional registration because of their views on marriage, and a UK student kicked out of university because his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman was deemed incompatible with undertaking a social work degree.

'The only way to protect freedom of speech is to vote "no".'



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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