Hey, stop me if you’ve heard this one:
In 1989, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of skinheads, saying, “Not since the height of Klan activity during the civil rights era has there been a white supremacist group so obsessed with violence. …”
In 1992, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of other white supremacist groups, which it claimed had grown by 27 percent from the year before.
In 1995, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of right-wing militias.
In 1998, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of Internet-based hate groups, which according to one press account had “created the biggest surge in hate in America in years.”
In 1999, the SPLC warned that the growing threat of Web-based hate groups was growing even more, with a 60 percent increase from the year before.
In 2002, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of post-Sept. 11 hate groups, which it said had grown 12 percent between 2000 and 2001.
In 2004, the SPLC warned (again) of the growing threat of skinhead groups, whose numbers it said had doubled in the previous year.
In 2008, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of hate groups overall, whose number it said increased 48 percent since 2000.
And in 2010, just a few weeks ago, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of “patriot” groups, which it said increased by 244 percent in 2009.
Alain Finkielkraut has observed that “the lofty idea of “the war on racism” is gradually turning into a hideously false ideology. And this anti-racism will be for the 21st century what communism was for the 20th century. A source of violence.”
He’s also noted that, “When an Arab torches a school, it’s rebellion. When a white guy does it, it’s fascism.”
My only argument there is that: I can’t quite think of the last time a “white guy” “torched a school.”
On the other hand…
Did you know that the big (if you’ll excuse the expression) thing in anti-racism circles these days are”microinequities”? It’s true: racism has been so thoroughly eradicated from the public sphere that you now need a magnifying glass to see it — and THAT’S the problem!
Well, apparently there’s the big stuff–systemic and societal prejudice/bigotry/discrimination–the kind of stuff that our “human rights” system tackles. And then there’s the small stuff–the really small stuff: gestures, facial expressions, even the tiniest gasp when, say, a person of colour enters an elevator.
(Yes, the elevator example was really the one that was given; all I can say is that, wow, people seem to by hyper-aware of even the slightest, barely discernable display of “bigotry” such that it has become all consuming.)
If we’re now we’re reduced to the level of nitpicking facial expressions and other physical gestures for the merest trace of “racism,” we have created for ourselves an eggshell-land in which everyone will feel so inhibited, so afraid of making a move lest it be interpreted as a sign of “micro” racism, that it will be an impossible place in which to live–a Hell on Earth, in fact.
But then, hasn’t history shown that that’s exactly where the drive to Utopia lands you?
OK, everybody, raise your hand if you read that and immediately thought of this urban legend, which to this day my aunt insists really, actually happened (to the cousin of a woman at work).
So now “scientists” are “proving” stuff based on made up stories about Eddie Murphy and his dobermans in the elevator.
Wow: you really CAN make this stuff up after all.
UPDATE — wait, it gets EVEN better.
You know that event at the Center for American Progress last Friday, where Clinton (again) strongly suggested that Rush Limbaugh was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, etc?
“Also noteworthy about last Friday’s forum is panelist Michael Waldman’s comment (transcript) that Republican officials should distance themselves from the extreme fringes of the right “just as Democrats drew lines against the Weathermen in their party” —
“and, of course, all the while sitting to Waldman’s direct left is Potok whose employer posts a glowing interview with Bill Ayers on the Teaching Tolerance website, a sister site of the [Southern Poverty Law Center].: