Special Report: The Tyrants of Tolerance
Vol: 98 Issue: 18 Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The Southern Poverty Law Center is the self-appointed champion of civil rights and self proclaimed leader in advancing tolerance in America. There is an entire section on the website devoted to the subject of ‘teaching tolerance’.
I watched Bill O’Reilly interview the director of the SPLC on his program last night — it was utterly chilling. He had J. Richard Cohen on the program as a followup to a segment earlier this year in which Cohen vowed to pressure CNN until it fired anchor Lou Dobbs.
O’Reilly bet Cohen it would never happen and later invited Cohen back after Dobbs stepped down to acknowledge Cohen won the bet and to ask him how he did it.
Cohen then explained the tactics he used to have Lou Dobbs silenced. Far from learning about tolerance, what came to mind was the famous quote by 19th century German poet Heinrich Heine: “Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.”
Sixty years after his death, Heine’s books were among those piled up by the Nazi brownshirts as Jewish “hate literature” and burned in giant public bonfires. It was the Nazi way of silencing their critics. In the 21st century, the practice of silencing one’s critics has been transformed into a shining example of progressive tolerance.
The ‘right’ kind of tolerance, that is. The SPLC-approved version. The SPLC website is festooned with signs about “Standing Strong Against Hate” and even included a handy “Hate Group Map”.
Listed among the SPLC’s designated hate groups in the New York Region are The Catholic Families News, The Council of Conservative Citizens, the Jewish Defense League, and Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.
I just picked New York at random — the SPLC has hate groups in every state.
The Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t have a definition of hate but if you click on the link for ‘general hate’ it takes you to a page listing entitled “Active US Hate Groups in 2008”.
There one finds listed such hateful groups as Chick Publications — the publishing group that produces those little evangelistic comic book tracts people usually leave in bus stations and public restrooms.
I’ve seen some of them. They are truly hateful — they say that if you don’t get saved through trusting Jesus Christ then you’ll go to hell — which it says is just what you richly deserve. That sounds pretty hateful, even if they do explain how you can go to heaven instead.
Especially to atheists. They get real mad at the idea of being tossed into a hell they don’t believe exists just because they reject the offer of a mythical heaven and a God-given Savior.
They think it’s hateful and intolerant to exclude them. And just as hateful and intolerant to offer them the chance to trust Jesus. Like they need forgiveness! The nerve of those hateful people!
I have to admit that I don’t know much about Tony Alamo or Catholic Families or the Council of Conservative Citizens. Maybe they are hate-mongers with innocent sounding names.
But if one looks around, it doesn’t take long before one runs across more well-known purveyors of hate and sedition.
The SPLC’s “Intelligence Report” alerts the public to such anti-government subversives as Sean Hannity, Chuck Norris, US Rep Michelle Bachman [R-Mn] Texas Governor Rick Perry and Fox Business reporter Cody Willard.
In an editorial warning of” The Return of the Militias‘ editor Mark Potok first explains how the evil militias first raised their shaved heads,
“Sparked by a combination of anger at the federal government and the deaths of political dissenters at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas.”
Randy Weaver was a hater. So who cares if his wife and son were murdered by FBI snipers? David Koresh was a hater. So who cares if the FBI shot up a building full of women and kids and then beseiged the place until all 81 of them died in a fire?
The SPLC exists to guard against intolerance and injustice. Not to whine about a few deaths at the hands of the Clinton administration. If it were the Bush administration, well, Potok can’t say, because:
“by early this century, the Patriots had largely faded, weakened by systematic prosecutions, aversion to growing violence, and a new, highly conservative president. . .
“A key difference this time is that the federal government — the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man.”
You see, the folks at the SPLC aren’t racists. But they can’t imagine the possibility even exists that everybody else isn’t. So if you don’t trust the government, it isn’t because the government has proved itself untrustworthy under the control of the Marxists and socialists and communists and anarchists and pedophiles that make up Obama’s legions of commissars.
It’s because Obama is black and you are a racist. The implication is, if Obama wasn’t black, you’d probably be ok with the rest of it.
I’m not defending hate groups. I don’t know anything about any of the groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and I am sure some of the groups on the list that I would agree belonged there, I suppose. But I’d include one name the SPLC left off.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s. Probably an oversight.
As I listened to SPLC director J. Richard Cohen rail against Lou Dobbs as a vile, hatemongering liar who dared to question Barack Obama’s birth circumstances and spread vicious lies against “the undocumented” I felt a cold chill of fear run up my spine and tighten the hairs at the back of my neck.
The guy sat there and bragged about how his organization, dedicated as it is to tolerance and justice, was able to pressure CNN to fire Lou Dobbs because the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t agree with his point of view.
Because Lou Dobbs was intolerant of dissenting viewpoints. Dobbs kept insulting undocumented immigrants by calling them ‘illegal aliens.’ And worse, publicly demanding that existing US immigration law be enforced!
It was like listening to a guy explain how burning books is wrong, but sometimes necessary, in order to keep book authors from spreading hate, which would create a generation of haters who might one day burn books.
You can’t teach tolerance while tolerating intolerance. It’s er, untolerable.
The hypocrisy was stunning, but no less stunning than watching Barack Obama lecturing China about the importance of tolerating opposing points of view — while simultaneously boycotting Fox News because of its opposing point of view.
So let’s get back to Lou Dobbs. Up until now, I didn’t give much thought to CNN firing him. Truth to tell, I am surprised it took CNN that long. CNN had long since abandoned any pretense regarding its bias.
They had long since fired or forced out the rest of the conservatives on the network, like Bob Novak and Tucker Carlson, and pretty much anybody else that doesn’t share CNN’s unblinking embrace of man-made global warming, immigration reform, Marxist class warfare, socialism and the Democrat party.
It was only after the Cohen interview with Bill O’Reilly that it really hit me. The Lou Dobbs firing was a 21st century book burning. Once the fire gets started, it will need a lot of fuel.
Cohen brought the matches and there will always be plenty of other champions of tolerance with him, willing and able to help find more fuel to keep the fire hot.
But the historical lesson being ignored here is a profound one. Once started, these kinds of fires always burn out of control.
Call it the Heinrich Heine Principle of Tolerant Tyranny.