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 on Amazon.com
Mr. Waldron proceeds from the premise that "hate speech" consists in
stereotypical redneck bigotry and assorted "anti-semitic" attacks. He
ignores the deluge of Talmudic hate speech that has poured forth in
recent years from Orthodox rabbis execrating Arabs and gentiles.
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, Goyah 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 uphold 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
Michael Hoffman is the author of Judaism's
Strange Gods and the editor of Revisionist
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