Friday, November 2, 2018

The Ubiquity of Hate in America

Of course, we all want to hear what psychiatrists think of hate speech. OK, maybe it's just a lot of us. And we are drawn to read what Dr. Richard Friedman, a senior New York psychiatrist has to say about the subject.

And yet, before reading a word of his New York Times column we already suspect the worst. Friedman is not really going to address hate speech in America. He is going to compromise his professional integrity by limiting the scope of his analysis to the words of one single individual: President Donald Trump. Naturally, he does not quote a line of Trumpian hate speech... because his readers take it as dogma that Trump is the source of all American hate.

Instead of examining hate speech like a professional, Friedman preaches to the choir. He is addressing himself to leftist New Yorkers-- is there any other kind?-- who want to blame everything that is going wrong on Trump.

If a fanatic who hates Trump because Trump is too close to Israel opens fire in a synagogue, the fault lies with Trump. If the only foreign or domestic government official who attended the meeting between Trump and the Pittsburgh rabbi whose congregation was subjected to the violence was the Israeli Ambassador to America, that can only mean that Trump is fomenting hatred toward Jews.

Friedman's purpose, if you wish to call it this, is to allow New York Jews to feel that, in hating Trump, they are fighting anti-Semitism. He is selling an illusion, a bromide to help people to forget the fact that they happily supported the notable anti-Semite Jeremiah Wright’s protege in the White House. And he is helping them to understand that when Barack Obama chose to fund Iranian terrorism against Jews, it was because he was fighting anti-Semitism. And he is helping them to soothe their consciences about the fact that the Obama administration, as a parting gesture, betrayed Israel at the United Nations.

As for the Trump administration record on Israel… Friedman knows nothing about it and has nothing to say.

Friedman says nothing about leftist Americans who have been fomenting anti-Semitic hatred. He does not mention Rev. Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Al Sharpton or Rev. Jeremiah Wright. As for the anti-Semitism that infests the British Labour Party or the anti-Semitism that is routinely promoted by Muslims, in Europe and even in America, Friedman has nothing to say. Blinded by reality, we should say. Trafficking in illusions, we would also say.

As for the hate that is all around us, the American media has been running stories about how best to murder President Trump. A comedienne was photographed holding the severed head of Trump. Is that not hate? What about a media that has skewed its news reporting to make Trump look bad… nearly all the time. Today’s American media does not even pretend to be objective when reporting on Trump.

It was not too long ago, and it was certainly recent enough for Friedman to remember, but what does he think about the vitriol launched by leftist groups against now Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The will to destroy Kavanaugh and his family was so over-the-top that even mild-mannered Congresspeople had to stand up and denounce it. Keep in mind, United States senators were leading the charge. Democratic senators like Harris, Whitehouse, Feinstein, Blumenthal and Booker were completely out of control. They had no arguments. They practiced no decorum. They were on a mission to destroy Brett Kavanaugh. Dare we call it hate?

What effect did that have on the national psyche? Friedman has nothing to say. He has nothing to say about Hillary Clinton’s call for incivility, about Eric Holder’s call to kick his opponents, about the mobs of Antifa radicals who have been destroying public property.

If you are going to talk about hate speech, the few remarks of Donald Trump recede in importance when placed against the climate of non-stop vitriol against Trump. From the halls of Congress to the media, Trump has received far more hate than he has handed out.

One understands that Trump has belittled and demeaned and demonized his opponents, but, what sentient individual living in America today does not know that the Democratic Party and its satraps in the media have done nothing but demonize Trump. How many times has he been called a fascist, a Nazi, Hitler, the Antichrist, worse than Hitler? How many times has he been called a bigot or worse? And, if we would like some perspective, the Democratic hate machine said all of the same things about mild-mannered George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. It's demonization central.

Do you really think that this does not contribute to a climate of hate in today’s America. If you don’t, take off your blinders.

So, when you talk about the dangers of hate, you need, if you wish to maintain any integrity at all, to offer something resembling balance. On that score Friedman fails.

On another point, he is correct:

We know that repeated exposure to hate speech can increase prejudice, as a series of Polish studies confirmed last year. It can also desensitize individuals to verbal aggression, in part because it normalizes what is usually socially condemned behavior.

But, what about the hate that is routinely directed toward those who are considered to be bigots. What about the outrage and the hate directed by feminists like Rebecca Traister against males of the species? Does that count?

Of course, Friedman and his experts believe that disenfranchised white people are the source of all violence in America. And that Trump’s bigotry is setting them on the path to commit acts of violence. And yet, has he or any of his experts ever asked who is committing acts of criminal violence in America. How they ever looked at statistics to see who is more or less likely to commit crime in America?

Obviously, they have not. That would require them to examine facts and statistics. And such an effort is obviously a threat to their bias and their ideology. Let's not call it science.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What kind of 'leftist' or 'rightist' could even live with her or himself after hating Trump? especially after watching a re-run of Celebrity apprentice? This show was fine tuned for even the most extreme 'lefist' and 'rightist' Stoopid degenerates - socially challenged. It should feel like hugbox full of catnip to have Trump as President.

Old Canuck said...

It seems every sixth word uttered by the radical left is "hate", hate this, hate that, anti-hate this, anti-hate that. Their obsession is somewhat telling to me. I know its a very weak rhetorical approach but I am still reduced to saying that it really feels to me like projection on their part.
Now of course the Left, the radical left in particular has never really been known for projecting their own behavior onto those they disagree with so I suppose I should be very careful with my supposition.
These days I mostly feel sorry for them, the radical left, it must be a very hollow and dark existence to be so totally obsessed with that crap all day long everyday.
It makes Trump's latest strategy of having big huge popular rally's where everyone is being collegial and having fun, it makes that approach look so great by comparison.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sam L. said...

"Friedman says nothing about leftist Americans who have been fomenting anti-Semitic hatred." Good (no, LOYAL) Democrats hate Israelis, and, I suspect, many, if not most, Jews.

"Today’s American media does not even pretend to be objective when reporting on Trump."
This is why we call them "the enemedia". And do not believe a word they say or print.

Dr. Irredeemable Dreg said...

Is a member of the Enemedia an Enema?

Just askin'.

David Foster said...

Whenever a society is filled with widespread bitterness and resentments, anti-Semitism seems to arise and to strengthen.

What really brought home to me just how much anger and bitterness now suffuses this society was a long stream of comments about...the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. You remember that the FAA briefly grounded this airliner (in 2013) until the problems with the lithium-ion batteries could be identified and entirely rational thing to do, and teething problems with new aircraft are a common phenomenon. The Yahoo comment threat on this matter was filled with blaming: of Boeing, of the FAA, of union labor, of the reminded me of certain tribal societies which are said to believe that nothing bad ever just happens, it is always the fault of someone employing witchcraft.

See my post The Dream(Liner) and the Nightmare (of Social Toxicity)

And if you *really* want to give yourself a good post-Halloween scare, go read the comments section at Zero Hedge.

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ares Olympus said...

IAC says the Pittsburgh shooter should be hanged, and he clearly deserves it with his acts, and his words "kill all the Jews".Its almost like he's standing up as a martyr saying "Kill me" and IAC is happy to oblige.

But where radicalized beliefs come from? Is there any credible evidence hanging a mass murderer will reduce future radicalization? Remember his other words 'Screw the optics, I'm going in', meaning there are many others who have the same political goals, and just prefer to try to win hearts and minds through fear rather than violence.

And all of this is related to the predicament of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, and other social media hosts when they try to silence radical voices. Where do you draw the line in free speech, knowing that a small fraction that speech may inspire a small of listeners to act violently in their own vigilante justice as their narratives demand?