Hate is hate.
In a country where so many scream for equality, there is a movement afoot to treat hate differently. Members of the radical left have set forth various arguments in the media and online that there is no moral equivalence between forms of racial hatred. Those who try to weigh which form of hate is more dangerous on the back of a civil society need a new scale. We should and the law does judge particular acts of hate by their damage. Hate itself, however, should earn both our equal and unqualified rejection. The moral equivalence of hate is hate, in any form.
We need comprehensive hate reform.
Your hate isn’t better than my hate. During the election cycle, people asked me all the time, “who are you going to choose.” I said both candidates were unfit. Still, people would press me, which is “more unfit.” Unfit is unfit. Hate is hate.
In Charlottesville, hate came adorned in white shirts with tiki torches. It also showed up dressed for combat, holding radical signs, like “Kops and Klan go hand in hand.”
Hate led to violence. Who attacked who? That’s easy; the haters attacked the haters in the street.
Of course, there was one pure act of depravity, where a man, apparently enamored with Nazi hate, drove his car into a crowd. Inspired by hate, the weakest often look to attack and kill because they are neither smart nor brave enough to combat the hate they were taught.
Remember when a radical murderer scaled a Dallas parking garage and shot down six police officers? Black radicals were his inspiration. His shootings took place during a BLM protest, though no one found direct ties to that organization. Still, the investigation into his motives found hate. Investigators found links to his hate … a hate that manifested itself in his obsession with innumerable organizations that preach racial division and yes … hate.
A Professor at George Mason University, with whom I appeared one on TV to debate the opposite side of an issue, and with whom I sometimes spar in the imperfect format of Twitter, seemed incredulous that I would compare BLM to Nazis (I didn’t).
Do you honestly believe BLM is the moral equivalent of the Nazis?
That's so mind blowing in its ignorance that I hope not.
— Jeremy Mayer (@JerryDMayer) August 15, 2017
His reply was the perfect example of either a sophisticated misdirection, or a complete misunderstanding of the point of another piece I wrote on combating racism. Given professor Mayer’s resume, intelligence, and known political proclivities, I am certain his tweet is the inspired misdirection of a political zealot trying to mislead the uninformed. Knowing him as I do, I am also certain he thinks me the uninformed.
The failed syllogism he promotes in his phony outrage essentially goes like this: You think the average BLM member is worse than the average Nazi? You are ignorant.
No, that wasn’t the comparison. The point I made was that racism, and the hate that underlies it, are equivalent. Is the average Nazi that sits at home studying Mein Kampf and living a lawful existence worse than Micah Johnson, a man who murdered six police officers inspired by black racial hatred? One man acts on his hate, and another does not. Still, we must combat all forms of hate, and punish it when it acts out.
The problem with the seeds of hate is that while racists and haters of all type plant them everywhere, we never know where they will sprout, or into what form of horrific crop they will grow.
That’s why a smart and decent society tolerates no hate.
The Vice-Mayor of Charlottesville is a self-confessed racist. He doesn’t like white people according to his own tweets. Maybe he never acts on that hate. Maybe he already has and we don’t know it. Or, maybe he inspires another with his hate to act in a way that causes harm and death. His hate of white people, his homophobia, and his crude and demeaning background don’t disqualify him from public service for the left because there are people, like Professor Mayer, who believe all hate is not created equal.
The hate excusers, the hate deniers, and the hate apologists don’t want to draw a moral equivalence between different forms of hate and division because some of them are profiting off of it politically.
Still others don’t mind hate, as long as it leads to a result with which they agree. As between choosing a known hater or someone in another party, some people will excuse the hate of their own “team.” My team is America, and I don’t excuse the hate.
Hate is hate. Racism is racism.
When hate bubbles into violence, we have the law and a justice system to address which acts of hate deserve greater punishment. Vandalizing a Jewish temple might get you 30 days in jail or a stiff fine, or both. Beating someone may send you to jail, and running over people or gunning them down, those acts of hate may merit life in prison or the death penalty.
The crimes are not equivalent. The hate that inspires them is equivalent … and I intend to treat the hatred with the moral equivalency it deserves.
We are long past the time when the left must face up to its hate. It must face up to racial hatred that is devastating in some communities. It must face up to hatred born of classism, and it must face up to the political hate it has inspired that sends its young people into the streets to riot, dressed for combat … ready to beat people for their words.
The argument I hear from left-wing hate apologists amounts to essentially this; our hate is self-defense or affirmative hate. Those who think their hate is justified feed off the excuses and passes given them by a society too frightened to stand up to hate in all its forms.
One of my favorite teachers from High school, a decorated Vietnam vet and Reagan Republican turned hard-core, no-holds-bar, hard leftist … wrote this on his Facebook page of the President:
“OK, Don, here’s the thing. During WW2, millions died fighting Nazis. There is no equivalency between the two groups who faced off this past weekend. One represents evil, and the other represents resistance to evil. What an idiot!”
Once again we see a logical fallacy that rests on faulty reasoning, inspired by political blinders. Those who fought in a war against the Nazis or the religious, suicidal Japanese were soldiers. My dad fought that war. In a war, against an armed aggressor trying to kill them, soldiers resist with combat and counter attack. That “resistance” is quite different than what my friend describes.
He describes political resistance born of hate that uses violence to attack free, unpopular speech. The two have no association or relationship. An underground, war-time, resistance fights an illegal occupying force that is repressing and killing it.
Those were not the facts in Charlottesville.
Once again, a lefty conflates the peaceful protesters who showed up to properly jeer the Nazis with the radical, left-wing, combat types who poured off buses with communist flags, racist signs, anti-government rhetoric … all aiming for a war. They brought their own hate, and their own violence.
Their “side” of hate is every bit as morally repugnant as the hate they attacked. “Period, the end of it, stop” … as my father who fought as a marine in the South Pacific would say.
I have lauded the proper form of political resistance where superior speech meets hate and evil in a peaceful protests. It is quite another scenario to defend fascists, thugs, haters, and people who gleefully march under any flag … except our American flag. These are people who confront speech with hate and violence.
Most of those people don’t have American flags, they burned them all.
Eight Supreme Court Justices just re-affirmed that offensive and hateful speech is free, political speech. It would have been nine Justices to zero, but Senate has not yet confirmed Justice Gorsuch.
Justice Alito wrote:
“Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful,” But as the Justice added, “the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.’”
Those who defend the hate of one group, excusing its violence against the Constitution, ought not be lecturing anyone on moral equivalency. Let’s treat hate equally, with the disdain it rightfully earns. Until we recognize the moral equivalency of ideologies of hate, we have no moral authority.
When the shelf life of this piece is over, maybe several thousand will have viewed it. Most won’t read it in its entirety, some won’t understand the distinctions, and still others will read only what they want, drawing conclusions that have no foundation in reason or fact. I’ve seen it thousands of times.
Some will falsely accuse me of being a Trumper, having no idea I wrote this, among innumerable other critiques of the President.
However, no matter who reads what, and draws whatever conclusion he or she deems sufficient to confirm his or her own bias, I know I am on record as opposing hatred and racism of every kind. I know that I will not have whitewashed the Battle of Charlottesville to fit a narrative of my choosing.
The civil society can no longer bear the weight of affirmative hate.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.
Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.
At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.
Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.