Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
'Hate' a Convenient Excuse for BrainwashingBy Sam Francis
What would "racial reconciliation" really amount to if you didn't use it to enhance the powers of the state and inflict some old-fashioned, unreconciled punishment on those who just don't get the message? While President Bill Clinton and his commission on race have been dangling the carrot of racial reconciliation in various speeches and interviews for some months, and interviews for some months, the president has at last pulled out the stick.
At a conference on "hate crimes" at George Washington University, Clinton spelled out what will be done with those who won't be reconciled by 'fessing up to their own "racism." He proposes that American schools start mandatory "diversity teaching" to overcome the hatred kids supposedly learn from their parents, that federal hate crime laws be expanded, and that a "national hate crimes network" be established to keep tabs on just how much we really do hate. All in all, it was a pretty good week for hatred.
The latest hate crisis comes straight out of the nightmarish vision of American society that possesses the Clinton administration. In that nightmare, the entire culture is suffused with hatred. "Children have to be taught to hate," the president preached to the audience, and presumably the need for anti-hatred classes in the schools means that parents are teaching their children to hate -- blacks, Jews, foreigners, women, homosexuals, the handicapped. Who says the Clintonites lack faith in America?
But while the whole nation is being cranked up to form a mass lynch mob against "hatred," it might be well to stop and think what the concept of a "hate crime" really involves.
In the first place, by making certain kinds of attacks on certain kinds of people federal crimes, the concept is a jolly way of expanding federal law enforcement powers even further at a time when those powers are already far too large. In the second place, such laws arguably violate the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection of the law. Some people are being protected more than others, and some lawbreakers are being punished more that other law- breakers for essentially the same offense. In the third place,, the essence of the concept of a hate crime is totalitarian.
It is totalitarian because it seeks to punish motive -- that is, the thoughts, attitudes and emotions that lead a person to commit an action -- rather than the action itself. This is precisely what totalitarian states like those of Stalin and Mao Tse-tung sought to do, an it is what distinguishes their particular contribution to the high science of tyranny.
Most states, tyrannical or free, have been content with controlling conduct. Even in most tyrannies of the past, you could think what you wanted, but if you challenged the power of the state, you got clobbered. The same is true in free societies: it doesn't matter why you assault, rape rob or murder. What matters as far as the law is concerned is what you do, not why you do it.
NOT WHAT, WHY
But the "hate crimes" concept is qualitatively different. The crime committed (assault, killing, etc.) Is illegal anyway, but by adding penalties to the crime merely because of the motive, the state is criminalizing the motive -- that is, the thought. It is the criminalization of motive that makes the concept of "hate crimes" equivalent in principle to totalitarian brainwashing.
Even the trappings of totalitarianism were present during the president's appearance at the conference. One speaker was a Jewish woman named Tammie Schnitzer, whose family was supposedly subjected to anti-Semitic attacks in Billings, Montana. Mrs. Schitzer told the conference, "We need to understand this isn't a children's issue. We have children we educate in our school systems, and then they go home and hear racial jokes from their parents. I have to teach my grandparents first, before I can teach my kids."
Now with all due respect to Mrs. Schnitzer, It's doubtful she really has much to teach her grandparents about hatred. But the larger point is that what she is proposing, and what Clinton agrees with, is the totalitarian device of enlisting children to enforce the new orthodoxy on parents, a device developed to perfection by the aforesaid. Stalin and Mao. In the New Order, you see, there can be no privacy that is exempt from the prying and poking of the omnipresent state.
With the unveiling of the president's new "anti-hatred" campaign, the mask has fallen from the real face of Clinton's growing obsession with race. What we can now plainly see behind the mask has nothing to do with hatred, or race, or reconciliation, but everything to do with the construction of a state that would be impossible to resist because even the thought of resistance would be a thought crime.