Farrakhan, ADL, NRA, AIPAC
As one who lives in America’s “Flyover Country”, the insidious infection of political correctness throughout all walks of life is beginning to take on a “Walking Dead”-like surrealism.
As I have stated in other posts, I hold Donald Trump partially responsible for this social degradation because his use of Twitter and his inability to apply even a limited level of filtration has contributed to a coarseness in our political exchanges that could so easily be softened.
But his incapacity to find a Presidential tone in these very direct communications has made it permissible for anyone to tweet with a personal animus that seems to mirror the President. It even seems that no statement can be declared mendacious, no declaration too outrageous, no defiance of the Federal government subject to possible prosecution because The Mad Hatter occupies the highest office in the land.
Lately, members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been openly identified as having associated with Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. Even a photo surfaced of Barrack Obama with The Minister. Rep. Keith Ellison, who aspired to chair the Democratic Party, had a lengthy relationship with Farrakhan and the Nation but denounced them as he aspired to higher national political office.
Rep. Frank Hornstein, a longtime member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, defended Ellison when “several right-wing blogs began attacking him”. The American Jewish World endorsed Ellison saying they were convinced that he has “had a real change of heart and mind”. Ellison said that Farrakhan “is a role model for black youth” and “is not an anti-Semite”. The ADL and J Street also came to his defense.
Hornstein, the American Jewish World, the ADL and J Street are left-wing dreamers who can forgive Ellison’s life in the Nation because he embraces abortion, gun control, climate change and the socialist state which trump his honest declaration that he was hoping it wouldn’t “come up.”
But Farrakhan doesn’t blame Ellison. Now that all this has become public, last Sunday Louis X said, “I’m not here to bash my brother. Let me tell you something when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door.”
Very nice call, Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL is beginning to teeter into Southern Poverty Law Center territory. The Southern Poverty Law Center has to be an advocacy group with the greatest name in the world. One would think it has a very specific mission based on its name, but it doesn’t represent anybody in the South suffering from poverty, and it certainly doesn’t provide legal services to anybody in the South suffering from poverty. It monitors “hate groups”.
Its website says there are 954 “hate groups” that it has identified on a map of the United States. But you know what? It does not identify Antifa as a hate group. It does not identify the BDS Movement as a hate group with the rampant anti-Semitism the movement exhibits on college campuses across the country. It does, however, identify a male supremacy group in Houston called A Voice For Men as a hate group.
I have castigated The Times of Israel on this matter once before, but I was astounded to see a lead story that was pulled from the ADL subliminally attributing a 60% rise in anti-Semitic activity in America to Trump.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, explained that these incidents came “at a time when we saw a rising climate of incivility, the emboldening of hate groups and widening divisions in society.” Hmmmm. I wonder what he is talking about?
Before joining the ADL, of course, Mr. Greenblatt worked in The White House as President Obama’s Director of the Office of Social Innovation (good use of my tax dollars there) and was a member of the Starbucks Foundation.
Mr. Greenblatt should note that the states with the largest incidents of anti-Semitic incidents are New York, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts – four of the most “liberal” states in America, none of which we generally associate with intolerant or “hate crime” behavior.
This was a purely political document intended to stoke the notion that Trump is encouraging wider divisions in society and these incidents are a manifestation of his mania. The Times should never have stooped to give Greenblatt this platform despite its being cloaked in the ADL’s former legitimacy.
The final weirdness of the week was the demonization of the National Rifle Association in the wake of the senseless slaughter at a high school in Florida. You have read about the story widely in Israel so I will not repeat it, but you are well aware that the murderer should never have been in possession of the firearms he used nor should he have been anywhere near that high school campus.
But as AIPAC is often accused of steering American foreign policy in Israel’s favor, so is the NRA often accused of wielding so much power in the government that no “sensible” gun control can ever be enacted.
It is true that the NRA is an influential lobbying group and it does make contributions to politicians who favor their agenda. But the amount of money they contribute and spend on advertising pale in comparison to the expenditures of unions in this country, for example. I do not hear anyone – least of all anyone in the media – clamoring that the unions, which contribute 90% or more of their lobbying funds to Democrats, should be constrained in any way because their money gives them an unfair advantage over non-union or right-to-work employee bases.
The ineptitude of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI had far more to do with what happened in Parkland, FL, than the NRA. But the NRA has become an easy target and is as unlikely to be defended as Keith Ellison is likely to be criticized for concealing his lengthy association with the Nation of Islam.
My final “Walking Dead” thought pertains to AIPAC. That organization has faced a complex challenge, particularly in the last eight years, as the Democratic party has become less enthusiastic in its support of Israel because of the strain in the Netanyahu – Obama relationship combined with its somewhat reluctant support of the Iran deal contrasted with the Republicans’ embrace of Netanyahu and complete rejection of rapprochement with Iran.
Now, AIPAC has somewhat bizarrely appointed a progressive, Orthodox psychiatrist from New Jersey as President in an effort to set a tone of diversity and outreach. Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, who supports sanctuary cities and drove down Michigan’s credit rating during her administration because she is a big spending liberal, declared, “There is a strong pro-Israel voice within the Democratic Party.”
I have my doubts, but I understand that neither AIPAC nor the Israeli government can afford to alienate either American political party because the tides of power will shift. Perhaps AIPAC could have really made a bold choice and instead of going with the progressive psychiatrist, they could have held the door open for that former Nation of Islam adherent who had had a real change of heart and mind.
The ADL and The Southern Poverty Law Center would have loved that choice.