Friday, January 29, 2016

Who Decides What Constitutes Hate?

I had NPR on the radio the other morning and they had yet another story about the occupation of the wildlife refuge in Oregon. That whole thing is silly and makes an easy source of mockery for the left that diminishes the real issues about an out of control government but that isn't my concern. The piece featured a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center as the SPLC has identified the occupiers as an extremist hate group. The SPLC is considered to be a legitimate resource and authority on "hate groups" and "extremists" without much in the way of critical examination. The media by and large considers the SPLC to be a legitimate source of information and provides them a platform to push their definition of hate, presumably with the aura of independence and fact based neutrality. The reality is quite different. I long suspected the SPLC was not what it is presented as so I took a little time to examine their webpage and in an awful lot of cases it turns out that my beliefs on any number of issues expose me to be a "hate group" unto myself.

What is an extremist? What is a hate group? Who decides? On the Extremist Files section of their webpage we see this description:
Extremists in the U.S. come in many different forms – white nationalists, anti-gay zealots, black separatists, racist skinheads, neo-Confederates and more.
In reality though you don't see much about "black separatists". Instead most of their ire is directed at conservative Christians or "radical right-wing Christian fundamentalists" or some combination of terms. A brief perusal of their webpage today finds that their "Featured Hate Group" for today is Liberty Counsel. What "hate" has Liberty Counsel engaged in? Burning crosses? Lynching? Well not really. Liberty Counsel is a hate group because they are conservative Christians that provide free legal representation to other conservative Christians:
The Liberty Counsel was founded by conservative activists Mathew (“Mat”) Staver – an attorney and former dean at Liberty University School of Law – and his wife Anita. The Counsel bills itself as a non-profit litigation, education and policy organization that provides legal counsel and pro bono assistance in cases dealing with religious liberty, “the sanctity of human life" and the family.
So defending the rights of Christians and others who hold to the traditional, historical and Biblical understanding of human sexuality that has been without serious challenge for all of Western history warrants a label of "hate group" from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Certainly there are actual hate groups listed on the SPLC webpage but there is little to distinguish violent groups from people who hold to conservative Christians views on human sexuality. Thinking that homosexuality is by and large not healthy for individuals and for our broader society as a whole. a position I would generally agree with, is all the reason you need to be lumped in with the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation. What Liberty Counsel does is essentially no different from any number of leftist legal groups that represent people who can't afford decent legal representation. It is hardly different other than their constituent base from the ACLU, another poster child for the "tolerant" left in America.You wouldn't know that from reading the SPLC webpage

In fact for most evangelical Christians Liberty Counsel is a wonderful organization that stands up for the rights of Christians in America, a group worthy of financial and prayer support. I might quibble with quite a few of Liberty Counsel's positions but I also think that people who believe in Jesus Christ and don't parrot the politically correct line about homosexuality are citizens who deserve decent legal representation. I believe that they are as deserving of the right to free expression and legal protection of that Constitutionally guaranteed right as any of the people or organizations represented by the ACLU.

So really all you need to be a "hate group" is a stated position that homosexuality is wrong and unhealthy. Oh yeah and it helps if you are white. I suspect that even more mainstream Christian groups would get the "hate group" label from the SPLC if they thought they could get away with it and I expect that more and more of the church will fall into the "hate group" category sooner rather than later. What I find deeply ironic is the frothing at the mouth, hyperbolic vitriolic language employed by the SPLC which is the sort of over-the-top rhetoric that bars any rational discussion of an issue, something I am sure is intentional. I wouldn't much care what the SPLC churned out except for the fact that a) they are given automatic credence and respectability by the media, a media that has many of the same ideological underpinnings as the SPLC and b) they specifically target school children to provide indoctrination materials under the risible guise of "teaching tolerance". The public school system has long been less about education than it is about shaping the worldviews of children apart from and often in opposition to what is believed by the parents of these kids.

Again, there are actual hate groups on their webpage but when you can't or won't distinguish between Stormfront and WorldNetDaily it shows that your mission goes far deeper than exposing dangerous extremist groups. The SPLC is not an unbiased resource by any definition of the terms but is instead a leftist think tank that tries to disguise itself as an impartial source of knowledge while striving to silence certain groups and people while infiltrating the school system by claiming to be interested in "tolerance".

You know, if I didn't know better I might think that the Southern Poverty Law Center was itself a hate group but unlike the SPLC I understand the difference between a far left political organization like them and the Shining Path leftist terrorists.

1 comment:

dle said...

What I find curious is that "historically black churches" are more anti-homosexuality than churches that are not labeled as such. In fact, one of the major talking points has been the strong opposition by historically black churches to conflating race and homosexuality when it comes to equality conversations. Such churches have accused pro-homosexuality groups of hijacking the dialog.

Fact is, we will all be hoisted by the "hate speech" petard some day. No one is immune except the loudest, most strident over-users of the term. As much as any of us should loathe hate speech, separating it from the 1st Amendment created a monster, which eventually transmogrified into hate groups, into which any group can be lumped. Again, the most strident voices can demand it.

That a college journalism professor demanded a journalist be removed from recording a legitimate news event shows that even resorting to figurative cannibalism is not outside the realm of the possible. If groups consume their own, who then can be exempt?

America, RIP.