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Hatespeech, Resentment & the Holocaust Museum

June 11, 2009

E.J. Manning

A tragedy recently evolved from an incident at the Holocaust Museum in Washington as an elderly white supremacist attacked what he hated in his distorted mind. Some perceive that the deluded von Brunn was attempting another mass-murder of Jews. Who can know fully the sickness that pervaded von Brunn’s mind beyond what he publicly espoused? What he spewed is so distasteful, I wouldn’t lower myself to read his racial pornography online as the media gleefully did. Gratefully, a security guard prevented further carnage from what could have been much worse. Even better was the idea that von Brunn acted alone in a last desperate act like the dead man that he was.  This scene simply  illustrates the tension of the nation in post-911 America as more and more medicated psychopaths and eccentrics have taken their own brand of justice into their own hands that they seek to imprint upon the nation with their own terrorism.

It is easy to proclaim dissenting opinion as hatespeech. This is expedient and often quiets all but the most heartfelt and hard core proponents of any viewpoint, no matter how noble or how rotten. As a result of this ordeal in Washington, prickles of resentment are festering into confrontational attacks against dissenting viewpoints. Republicans, no saints by any measure, are now being painted as racist hatemongers for possessing a divergent viewpoint that the attacker desires to distort into hatespeech. The attacks on diverse opinions have began to rise to the level of the very hatespeech that hatespeech seeks to defame. Hatespeech, however powerful and arresting, transcends the hackles of ordinary resentment. Like resentment, hatespeech always seeks to blame whether that blame is realistic or not. Enough resentment and hatred always results in murder or destruction of one kind or the other.

The fact remains that dissent and resentment is nothing new, perhaps as old as mankind itself. Both dissent and resentment have reared up  time and time again in this nation and often for very good reasons. One aspect of dissenting views has existed for hundreds of years in slavery and the struggle for equality in America, an ideal that we have never fully achieved. Many outspoken men and women have stood out to express their views, hateful or otherwise in the course of this nation’s development. Yet, this nation prides itself on the ideals of democracy and divergent ideas. Divergent ideas, no matter how extreme, have not been branded as hatespeech until the uprising of a new breed of political thought that seeks to purify our national mind through legalistic control. Social disapproval is no longer enough. We must brand any dissent or disagreement with what is politically popular as hatespeech if possible to quiet the waters of humanity. Yet, for better or worse, dissenting opinion sometimes contains the seeds from which great and sweeping positive changes often originate.

Where does the problem lie beyond sick, twisted and slanderous words and thought? Hatespeech seeks to label in order to promote what is politically expedient and recommended at any given time. Hatespeech seeks to label without condition. Yet, most often, labeling ordinary conversation as hatespeech is simply more labeling and often accusatory slander.

There is no Environmental Protection Agency to measure hate pollution in national dialogue. Suddenly, not having a regulator of national dialogue is a bad thing.  Award-winning journalist Michael Rowe penned an article today in which he hopes to cast the shadow of hatespeech and racism on the divergent opinions of Republican miscreants like Coulter, Limbaugh, McCain, Palin and now von Brunn as one and the same. Anyone that thinks independently has to find this a hard sell, even if you hate what Republicans stand for.

Didn’t the nation vote for Barack Obama in confidence, hoping for a better and stronger nation in opposition to what Bush and the Congress had brought upon the nation? Meanwhile, the nation is still being run by the same Congress. Still, Republicans lost the Presidential election. So why are Democrat sycophants and revisionists trying to continue to beat the war drums as if all is lost if the nation doesn’t walk in lockstep to the political flavor of the season? They have the strength of the nation behind their leader. How is the inflammatory hatespeech that procedes from the mouths of divergent politicos any different from the thinking of James von Brunn? The difference is that von Brunn presumably didn’t care if you agreed with him or not. Hatespeech proponents are after your heart and mind and seek to manipulate you with fear and loathing instead of righteous reason. This is the call of abusive politics devoid of all morality.

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