The Harm in Hate Speech
By Jeremy Waldron
Hardcover, 304 pages
Harvard University Press (June, 2012)
"In this elegantly written, fair minded, and carefully reasoned book, Jeremy Waldron raises important issues about the real harm caused by certain kinds of speech. His argument is certain to give even free speech absolutists pause.” --Louis Michael Seidman, Georgetown University
An Extraordinarily Biased and Obtuse Attack on the First Amendment
Reviewed by Michael Hoffman at Amazon
Here is one example of his obtuse approach to the subject, from p. 195:
"Suppose someone puts up posters conveying the opinion that people from Africa are nonhuman primates.... Maybe there was a time when social policy generally ... could not adequately be debated without raising the whole issue of race in this sense. But that is not our situation today.... In fact, the fundamental debate about race is over - won, finished. There are outlying dissenters, a few crazies who say they believe that people of African descent are an inferior form of animal; but for half a century or more, we have moved forward as a society on the premise that this is no longer a matter of serious contestation."
What Waldron forgets (or doesn't wish to mention) is that the source for the disgusting charge that Africans are non-human is the "Rambam," the illustrious Rabbi Moses Maimonides who, in the uncensored edition of The Guide of the Perplexed (cf. Shlomo Pines), rules that Black people are midway between apes and humans. What does Waldron make of the fact that the most eminent rabbi in Judaic tradition is one of the hate speech "crazies" whose malevolent racist influence over western society is incalculable? He doesn't deign to say from the Mount Olympus by which he judges what is and is not "hate speech.” One gets the sense that even to mention Maimonides in the same breath as some white bigot from the deep South is beyond Waldron's tightly circumscribed mentality. He's representative of the Zionists-are-always victims syndrome, permanently in denial concerning racist rabbis and Judaic gentile-haters.
Another major flaw in his argument is the fact that the USA has existed for many decades without the kind of regulation of expression that Waldron espouses, and our society did not sacrifice civility or decency because we safeguarded speech from the Old World fiat that "error has no rights." Americans have always asked to the contrary, who decides what is error? This book does not exhibit any doubts. It is certain of its mission -- to determine what constitutes hate speech, who are the hateful speakers and how they are to be punished. You'll find similar rationales in tattered Bolshevik CHEKA handbooks.
The hidden agenda in this volume is the use of laws against hate speech to suppress speech that is hateful to Zionist commissars, Israeli chauvinists and bigoted adherents of hateful religious texts such as the "Mishneh Torah" (Hilchot Melachim 11:4); "Tanya;" "Torat Hamelech"; "Baruch Hagever;""Romemut Yisrael Ufarashat Hagalut;" Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (167:15); and the Gemara itself in tractates such as BT Sanhedrin 57a . Waldron might have taken the time to parse the infamous rabbinic hate speech acronym for gentile women: NSHGZ (Niddah, Shifcah, Goyyah and Zonah) which is too filthy to explicate here.
The Harm in Hate Speech introduces, under a pretense of human rights for all, a means to gain legal advantage over one's political rivals and opponents -- stigmatized as haters, they will be prosecuted and silenced, while rabbinic and Zionist haters will be portrayed as victims and gain relative immunity. It's one thing for the author to put forth this unspoken double-standard; it's quite another for him to fail to even anticipate questions about the fairness of his criteria for what constitutes hate speech.
Reading this book one gets the distinct impression that Talmudic megalomania is at work and that no amount of Arab-hating West Bank settler racism, or Crown Heights, Brooklyn goyim-bashing, is ever going to qualify as "hate speech." Rather, what will be outlawed is the body of thought that forms the traditional consensus patrum of American society. The truth behind the facade is that the "intolerable" hurt feelings which candid speech by the American yeoman and populist supposedly generates, is reason enough to overthrow the First Amendment, although Waldron has sufficient wit not to frame his revolution in those terms. He seeks “regulation" not abolition of the First Amendment.
There is a gulag being prepared in these United States by people like Mr. Waldron for those who challenge Talmudic racism, Zionist war crimes and the imperial personalities who justify them.
The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights is one of our nation's most blessed gifts to the world, let us uphold it to our last full measure of devotion.
Michael Hoffman is the author of Judaism's Strange Gods and the editor of Revisionist History newsletter.
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