Children Don’t Have To Learn How To Hate
Children Don’t Have To Learn How To Hate
The American hate industry is having a tough time with the tragic events in Littleton, Colorado. This terrible incident would seem to fit its classic “hate” paradigm, but somehow the circle won’t quite square. Worse, the harder the industry works to make the incident make sense, the more clearly it reveals the obsolescence, if not the fraudulence, of the paradigm itself.
A word of clarification: By “hate industry” I refer not to those misguided souls who do the heavy lifting, the actual hating, but rather the various human rights activists, diversity gurus, pundits, preachers and politicos who make their living off the presumed hatred of others. Here in Kansas City, Star columnist Lewis Diuguid would have to rank as something of an industry leader. Scarcely a day goes by that Mr. Diuguid does not pin the scarlet H on some poor sap or another.
In the classic paradigm, the hater is an angry, white, straight male. He targets his hatred at blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, and other “marginalized” people who threaten his livelihood, his manhood or both. His bias never has a rational cause. He prejudges. Nor is his bias inherent. “Children,” the industry tells us repeatedly, “must learn how to hate.” The hater thus must pull his message from outside of himself: his family perhaps, talk radio, the Republican congress, Dead, White European Male culture in general. Alas, there is inevitably an “epidemic” of hate at loose in the land--rendered lethal by the “easy availablity” of guns--and the hater never lacks for either means or inspiration.
The Matthew Shephard killing fit the paradigm, if not perfectly, at leats well enough. Two angry, white, Wyoming roughnecks brutally kill a small, gay man. A good platform for exploitation, but not sufficient. The industry needed to establish an outside cause and who better to pin it on than the Christian right, particularly those groups who had gone public with the message that one could be saved from homosexuality. Never mind that the two killers were souless, parentless, rap-happy drug addicts who couldn’t tell Jerry Falwell from Jerry Lewis. It was the “environment of hate” created by the right that made the killings possible.
Having identified the problem, the industry also needed a solution. Since Shepherd wasn’t shot, expanded hate crime legislation had to do. That the ensuing media frenzy erupted just a month before the ‘98 congressional races was, one hopes, just a coincidence.
Like others in the industry, Lewis Diuguid makes a doggedly procrustean effort to fit the Litteton tragedy into his hate box. He talks about an “eerily prescient” conversation he had had on an FM community radio (not to be confused with an AM ‘hate radio”) station just hours before the killing. He referred specifically to a formula he had heard for “raising racist, sexist, homophobic, violent and elitist children.” All that the formula called for really was to abandon the rug rats “in front of TVs.” The “sweet, vile lessons” oozing from the sets would presumably transform some percentage of them into aspiring fascists like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who, Diuguid tells us, “rooted their plan in the Nazi’s brand of hate.”
The Nazi connection is vital to the industry which has done an excellent job of linking “hate” and “right wing” in the public’s mind. To make this connection work, though, it is critical that the public think of Nazis as right wingers. On the surface it might seem difficult to link godless pagan statists with God-fearing Jewish and Christian anti-statists. But given the left’s control of the media, they can and do make the “right-wing” tent as big or small as they choose.
This odd coupling has historical roots. In 1939 the Soviet socialists and their National Socialist friends in Germany agreed to divide Poland between them. During the next two years, on orders from Moscow, American communists did all within their power to keep America out of the war. Their inadvertent allies in this cause were the traditional, anti-statist American right who, like George Washington before them, had long held a principled objection to “entangling alliances.”
When Hitler turned on the Soviets in 1941, Stalin now ordered American communists to do whatever they could to get the U.S. into the war. To discredit resistance to American involvement, American communists and their friends in the media branded right-wingers as allies of the Third Reich, thus “fascists.” This highly successful ploy is sometimes called “the brown smear.” Interestingly, it was Stalin who had chosen to label Germans with the Italian designation “fascists” lest the world understand that both he and Hitler were socialists, one nationalist, the other internationalist, who each traced his inspiration back to Marx.
The hate industry has little use for such inconvenient history. Its undeniable but unspoken goal is to discredit the American right. But nazis or no nazis, Littleton just won’t quite work.
Most troubling, at least on the surface, is the “jock” thing. Above all others, the killers targeted athletes. Those who would offer expanded hate crime legislation would be properly embarrassed to shoehorn “athletic status” in between “sexual orientation” and “disability” on any bill that any legislator would ever sign. True, the killers did target one black athlete, his racial status a further aggravation to them. True, too, the hate industry has tried to seize upon this one sad death and generalize writ large. But the jock thing continues to get in the way, continues to diminish the accepted pathology of hate. And besides, what convenient scapegoat on the right would have prodded anyone to kill a jock. Certainly not the Nazis. They loved jocks. Jock-killing would not seem to be their particular “brand of hate.”
A second obstacle to the easy assignmenmt of racist guilt is the role of “orientation” in Littleton. Indeed, many of the jocks fully believed the Trench Coat Mafia members to be bi or gay. The TCM certainly seem to have taunted their jock harassers with that possibility. If then, a gay man kills a black athlete who presumably had taunted him, is that then a hate crime? How about if he kills a white athlete? And yes, it is altogther possible to be both homosexual and a fan of Hitler. Hitler’s own SA was rife with homosexuality. Closer to home, the back pages of certain gay publications advertise all variety of storm trooper accessories for the rougher trade among their readers.
There are other complications. Little discussed is the satanic, pointedly ant-Christian theme running through many of these killings, most notably the shooting of a prayer group in Paducah, Kentucky and the murder of the young martyr in Littleton who refused to renounce her belief in God. In the hate paradigm, Christians are supposed to be the bad guys.
Nor does the ACLU smell too sweet here. Over the years, this liberal advocacy group has led the campaign to drive prayer out of school. Alas, the void would seem to have been filled in some unpleasant ways. The fact that today satanism can be flaunted in schools where Christianity is suppressed does not reflect well on the radical separation of church and state movement.
In retrospect, too, The ACLU’s insistence that schools and libraries have no right to filter the Internet use of young people looks a bit foolish. Actually, the idea seemed foolish even before the disaster. The fact that Al Gore campaigned to wire all schools to the Internet, a medium he also claims to have invented, makes this point of blame harder and harder to pin on the right.
"America needs that anti-Christ figure, that anti-hero to save these kids from the oppression of right-wing morality." Marilyn Manson
Surely, too, the right bears little responsibility for the “vile, sweet lessons” oozing from Hollywood, a land where the right has almost no influence. The left has a good deal and successfuuly used that influence to silence Tipper Gore in her campaign to label rock music. Some time later, Al and Tipper made a pilgrimage to the money mavens of the left coast and actually apologized for Tipper’s early waywardness. This was not Al Gore’s finest hour.
Troubling as all these dissonant notes must be for the hate industry, there is one profound lesson from Littleton that none among them dare draw, and it is this: children don’t have to be taught how to hate. They have to be taught not to. This truth, if absorbed, fully undermines the liberal view of the world. All those traditions that have evolved over the centuries--the ten commandments, the rule of law, marriage, the family, dress codes, school discipline, etiquette, modesty, virtue, patriarchy--are not obstacles to a young person’s freedom, but necessary preconditions. Rousseau got it all wrong. The state of nature, in fact, looks scarily like Columbine High. “Kill the pig. Spill his blood.” Indeed
Edmund Burke, the father of conservatism, got it right. Don’t tear down fences, he argued, until you understand what it is they are protecting.
When they're plum out of ammunition, the left can only go after our guns.
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