A cretin named Stuart Seldowitz – who used to work for a cretin named Barack Obama – has been arrested on “hate crimes” charges. The “crime” being “hateful” (in this case, “Islamophobic”) language directed at a food cart vendor in New York City.
Seldowitz and the food cart vendor apparently got into a verbal argument over what’s going on in the Middle East. Insults were exchanged but neither threw a punch or even threatened to.
Such is now criminal in some parts of what used to be America. The latter was – once – a country in which people were free to say what they thought, even if it annoyed or hurt the feelings of others – so long as the utterer did not take it farther. Because it was once understood that while loudmouths and insults aren’t pleasant to hear, it is far worse to criminalize what people are allowed to say.
Because it amounts to criminalizing what people are allowed to think.
What, after all, is the point of thinking something you’re not allowed to say – that you know you’ll be punished for saying, if you do?
Keeping in mind that anything you might think could be styled “hateful” – by those with the power to punish you for saying it. Unfortunately, many people do not see it. Their natural and laudable instincts are used against them. Good people don’t like hearing other people insulted – just as good people don’t approve of people who drive drunk.
And that’s the hook.
Use people’s natural and laudable instinct to oppose something bad in order to get them to accept something worse. Tell them something must be done to prevent people from driving drunk – by treating every driver as a presumptive drunk – and that to oppose this cart-before-the-horse (or sentence first, verdict afterward) approach to things is to support drunk driving.
Tell them it is “hateful” to refuse to think – heaven forbid, to say – that a biological male who dresses and acts like a woman isn’t actually a woman – and you are telling them to think objective reality is “hateful.” If that is successful, then objective reality becomes anything they say it is – and isn’t.
In which case there no longer is such a thing as objective reality. You learn to think it is whatever they say. And whatever they say it isn’t is . . . hateful.
Especially if you think otherwise.
Orwell explained this hateful nonsense thoroughly in his novel, 1984. Apparently, it’s not read much anymore. (Anecdotal aside: When this writer was in high school, back in the ’80s, the film version of 1984 starring John Hurt as Winston Smith was showed to us kids; today, it is probably considered “hateful” to show the movie to kids. Or to have them read the book, which – cue the irony! – has become like “the book” Orwell wrote about in his book. The reference here is to the underground manifesto of the supposed opposition to the Party, putatively led by a heretic named Goldstein.)
But people – all too many, at any rate – are easily played by manipulative, malicious people who use the good-naturedness and sound instincts of the former against them by getting them to support measures that are only superficially about the things they are told they are about.
It is not about “drunk” driving.
It is about using the pretext of the threat of it to assert control over people (and soon their vehicles).
It is not about “terrorism.” It is about getting the average person used to being terrorized in the name of preventing it.
It is not about encouraging civility in discourse. It is about controlling what you and I are allowed to think by letting us know we might be arrested for giving utterance to anything they think we ought not to be allowed to think.
If you think it will only be “hateful” things, such as ethnic slurs for instance, you have another think coming (as the saying used to go).
Seldowtiz is a cretin. But he isn’t a criminal – for saying what he thought.
In a country called America – some will remember it – the vendor would have told Seldowitz what he thought of him. And that would have been the end of it.
Now it is just the beginning.
. . .
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