The Aiding and Abetting Defamation League swings at a hornet’s nest

On July 18, 2017 Gavin McInnis, Lucian Wintrich, and Michael Cernovich were featured on a document called From Alt Right to Alt Lite: Naming the Hate. This document, which would be hilarious if it were not part of a professionally planned campaign of character assassination, is the latest slap in the face of freedom of expression and association by an organization that is fully earning the moniker that I’ve given them: the Aiding and Abetting Defamation League (A&ADL). I do not dispute that the A&ADL has helped the Jewish community as well as other discriminated minorities in the past, but the well has long since overflown and become a cesspool. Rather than being an effective community resource for Jewish Americans, and an educational resource on threats to them and others, the A&ADL is now a fellow front group of an elitist and restrictive agenda that is acting counter to the interests of Jews, and for that matter the other so-called minority groups that it claims as fellow allies.

When I was growing up I remember using the ADL’s publications to learn about groups that spread hate and incited for Racial Holy War (RaHoWa) as it was once known in the white power music scene. Nowadays I see the A&ADL’s press releases and they make me think of a Hollywood movie producer going through an old script with white out and writing in different character names to sell as a new movie. To be clear, I am not disputing the fact that there is an anti-Jewish, anti-black, anti-Mexican element within the United States. What I am disputing and will never relent on is that the proper method for contending with this trend is through direct engagement in the forum of debate and argument. I will never give legitimacy to the disgusting collaboration with acts of blackmail and censorship that the A&ADL has practiced in the the past as in the #CNNBlackmail scandal of just two weeks ago. CNN and the A&ADL also through innuendo tried to imply that the new president, Donald Trump, was responsible for a spate of anti-Jewish actions and threats that were later determined to have been committed by two different people with absolutely no ties or support for him.

But the latest “resource”, Naming the Hate, broadens the original despicable sin of the A&ADL’s role in the prior scandals. That time they simply pursued a Reddit user over the matter of an offensive joke meme and threatened to expose his identity to the public having already exposed his browsing and sharing history of demeaning comments towards racial groups. Instead of deterring such speech, however, the A&DL’s collaboration with CNN basically added fuel to the fire, and an avalanche of scorn was poured on the network by groups by commentators and trolls from all the way to the left to the actual neo-Nazi publications like Daily Stormer. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that the goal of this organization’s activity was to identify potential threats to the Jewish community, not to coerce against free speech (however distasteful and demeaning it is) and in so doing unite Americans of diverse opinions against the A&ADL and by extension the Jewish Americans that it claims to be serving.

Well this time, Jonathan Greenblatt and his pathetic stooges opted to go after not only the so-called “Alt-Right”, who may be bigoted demagogues but also have almost negligible systemic power, but the equally buzz-termed “Alt-Light”. Included in the list for that category are the viral independent internet journalists that I mentioned in opening as well as a number of others like performance artist and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulis. It feels ridiculous to have to emphasize this again and again, but just to be clear there are plenty of positions that these people take that differ from my own. The Canadian McInnis for example has a number of statements on American Indians that I think are dismissive and hostile.You know who else is dismissive and hostile at times? Me.

And therefore what — are we supposed to desist from giving an open forum to commentators that grind our gears? Is this the culmination of the long-held metaphor by Allan Bloom of the “Closing of the American Mind”? Our recent ancestors here, Lenny Bruce, Mel Brooks, and George Carlin (OK, he was full-blooded Irish) defied social convention in using provocative and offensive humour in order to broaden the freedom of expression and creativity. Similar parallels can be found in the journalism of Jimmy Breslin and Hunter S Thompson, as well as in literature by Jack Kerouac and JD Salinger. The work done by the A&ADL of late is an attempt to reverse the remarkable tool that the internet has given for more people to embrace the same mentality as all of these great creators.

What will be left if we cooperate in this slander and libel against these so-called bigots is render ourselves to be pawns of an organization that is part of an alphabet soup of fraudulent advocacy groups: the NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), CAIR, and GLAAD.

Do not be deceived by the ham handed attempts by their slick spokespeople to portray them as civil rights activists; they are at best marionette puppets obeying the dictates of donors pushing an agenda that has little to do with sustaining and defending American Jews and their institutions. Do you think I’m exaggerating or making false accusations? This was the statement by Greenblatt last November in The Atlantic (including commentary): “The day after the election we received a 50-fold increase in online donations,” Jonathan Greenblatt,  the organization’s CEO, wrote in a statement, a level that continued through the end of the week. He added that nearly 70 percent of those who gave were first-time donors. And should Trump’s incendiary campaign-trail proposals become actual policy, it’s easy to imagine that the ADL and others will have no trouble finding more eager donors.

Does this sound like an organization looking out for the community interest or its own? How is threatening to expose the personal information of an internet user serving the interests of anyone? And why are they actively partnering with a corporate media conglomerate like CNN while lumping independent internet journalists with unrelated racial activists? It seems today that we are confronted with a true crisis where Jewish Americans must decide whether to state their own opinions or conform to the A&ADL’s herd mentality. With the second option, the herd is either being led to the slaughter, or to the donation milking station.

About the Author
Ramón Epstein writes analysis of political and social issues from a libertarian perspective. He also writes for the Hard News Network.