The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

What Counts as ‘Hate’?

Posted on | June 8, 2023 | Comments Off on What Counts as ‘Hate’?

Being identified as a figure of “hate” by the Southern Poverty Law Center has long been part of my personal legend. Those of you old enough to remember when Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs was a popular conservative blogger — really, I’m not making this up — will also remember how, in September 2009, CJ pounced on me as an alleged “white supremacist,” relying on material from the SPLC.

To briefly summarize that conflict: I won, and CJ lost his mind.

Being the target of such an attempted character assassination is not an experience I’d recommend to anyone, but if you survive such an attempt, you become a hero to those who are sick and tired of the encroaching Thought Police regime that the SPLC represents. And nowadays, more and more people are becoming sick and tired:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that frequently lists mainstream conservatives alongside hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, has placed Moms for Liberty and other parental rights group on its “hate map” for being “antigovernment extremist groups.”
Florida-based Moms for Liberty was added to SPLC’s hate map along with 11 other parental rights groups, including several Virginia-based groups, according to the organization’s annual 2022 Year in Hate and Extremism report.
The inclusion of these 12 parental rights groups brings the SPLC’s total number of hate and antigovernment extremist groups to 1,225 organizations. Of those, 523 were “hate groups,” and 702 were deemed “antigovernment extremist groups,” which the parental rights groups fell under.
“Schools, especially, have been on the receiving end of ramped-up and coordinated hard-right attacks, frequently through the guise of ‘parents’ rights’ groups,” the SPLC’s report claims.
“These groups were, in part, spurred by the right-wing backlash to COVID-19 public safety measures in schools,” the report continued. “But they have grown into an anti-student inclusion movement that targets any inclusive curriculum that contains discussions of race, discrimination and LGBTQ identities.”
The SPLC claimed Moms for Liberty is at the “forefront of this mobilization,” and noted, “They can be spotted at school board meetings across the country wearing shirts and carrying signs that declare, ‘We do NOT CO-PARENT with the GOVERNMENT.’”

It’s possible — indeed, it seems likely — that the SPLC staff are too stupid to see that they are causing the “extremism” they profess to oppose. That is to say, by continually expanding the definition of “hate” and “extremism,” and by encouraging censorship and suppression of anyone who dissents from their liberal agenda, the SPLC compels people with more or less mainstream beliefs to engage in the kind of activism practiced by Moms for Liberty. Furthermore (and, again, I think SPLC staff are too stupid to grasp this), by denoting mainstream groups as proponents of “hate,” the SPLC undermines its own credibility and causes people who are not remotely “extremist” to question the whole rationale of this type of “hate”-hunting enterprise. Like, why should we even care if someone is prejudiced against gay people or black people or Jews or whatever? So long as they are not engaged in any actual criminal behavior, or advocating violence against others, people are free to form their own opinions. This whole business of “exposing” people as holding allegedly dangerous beliefs — which is to say, acting as Thought Police — is antithetical to liberty. And I think more Americans are beginning to reject the type of Thought Police agenda that SPLC pursues.

As for the alleged “anti-government extremist” group Moms for Liberty, they seem grateful to the SPLC for the free publicity.




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