Sow a Hate Crime, Reap an Institute
June 7, 2005

The first person to have realized the political potency of the "hate crime" construct probably said something like, "Find me a bloody shirt, and I will wave it!"

The Nazis were famous for their hatreds; communist revolutionaries also found it to be a useful emotion. In his famous essay, Create Two, Three, Many Vietnams, Che Guevara wrote about "intransigent hatred for the enemy that takes one beyond the natural limitations of a human being and converts one into an effective, violent, selective, cold, killing machine. Our soldiers must be like that; a people without hate cannot triumph over a brutal enemy."

So hatred does have its uses. But the wimpy, squishy Left that has infested large parts of academia and related realms is much more comfortable with accusations of hatred. That is to say, they can invoke the power of the emotion only indirectly. There is an analogy here that ought to be placed on a SAT test. A whore employs sexual fascination directly. A preacher employes it indirectly by condemning the whore. A Nazi employs hatred directly. An anti-racist activist employs it indirectly by claiming to be a crusader against it.

My position on hatred is: I'm pro-choice. Sometimes it is felt rightly, as a result, for example, of grotesque injustices. Sometimes it is felt wrongly, springing from envy or greed. It is like terrorism. We may verbally oppose groups that encourage hatred. We may oppose with force groups that employ terrorism. But programs to end hatred are like wars "against terrorism." They are necessarily covers for ulterior motives, since we cannot eliminate the human capacity for feeling hatred, nor can we subjugate all who might potentially commit acts of terrorism against us.

In the case of George W. Bush's "war against terrorism," the ulterior motives are fairly obvious: oil, Israel, a few others. Now, I am all in favor of whacking Al Qaeda and similar groups. They whacked us. We whack them. I am not a peace creep. But the question in the Bush administration was, "Hey, what else can we get out of this?" Then, at a high-level staff meeting, someone said, "We could attack Iraq!" The other staffers looked at each other with a wild surmise and said, "Oh, wow, cool-a-roonie!!"

This brings me to a recent posting on the Inside Higher Ed web site: Majoring in Hate by David Epstein, which led to these musings on the fun topic of hatred. The article describes an effort to establish "hate studies" as an academic discipline. Spearheading the initiative is an outfit called the Institute for Action Against Hate, "which was formed at Gonzaga University in response to hate crimes against black students there, and to the actions of white supremacist groups in the Pacific Northwest," according to the Inside Higher Ed posting. If you follow the above link to the IfAAH page, you learn that the "hate crimes" consisted of "racist, vile and sometimes threatening mail and phone calls."

One of the things I was taught when I was trained as an investigator many years ago was to look for omissions. Dogs that don't bark. That sort of thing. The IfAAH page contains no mention of an investigation. Who sent those letters? Who made the phone calls? The IfAAH page begins its description of the response:

Members of the University community did not stand idly by waiting for action. Instead, a groundswell of activity sprang forth from Gonzaga faculty, staff and students to support the victims, to help increase diversity and to improve cultural understanding on campus and in the community.
Which led to a "crowning achievement . . . the development of the Gonzaga Institute for Action Against Hate in December 1997 . . ."

I really would like to know who sent the letters and made the calls. Many "hate crimes" turn out to be hoaxes. When the "reward" for such crimes is an institute, with good paying jobs for "anti-racist activists," the hoax probability is especially high. And when there is no investigation as to the perpetrators, well, draw your own conclusion.

I inadvertently noticed another omission on the GIfAAH page. It has a list of objectives, such as "Dissemination of research, data, and curricular innovations to interested schools, organizations and agencies." As I was preparing this blog entry, I thought I would go back to that page and see what kind of research they've been doing. But there were no links!! I'd like to ask those people, "Over the last seven or eight years, what have you learned about hatred?" As far as I can tell, they've learned nothing! Yet now they want to establish "hate studies" as an academic discipline! Hell, I could easily design an introductory course: "HS101 -- How to make money sitting around and planning conference sessions."

The whole idea of "Hate Crime" institutes, programs or courses of study is just another instance of politically motivated silliness. This just might be my paranoia acting up again, but the "Hate Studies" project sounds like an excuse for a few leftist pseudo-scholars to act out their own hatred by "studying" their political enemies while at the same time securing jobs and perquisites for themselves and their friends.

According to it's web site, Gonzaga University "is named after a young 16th century Italian Jesuit, Aloysius Gonzaga, who died in Rome trying to save young people from the plague. He was later named the patron saint of youth." The spirit of Aloysius Gonzaga needs to intervene in our present age, and rescue our youth from the plague of devious leftism.

Addendum, October 26, 2005:

A staff member of the institute has kindly called to my attention that, contrary to what I wrote above, the institute has put out three issues of the Journal of Hate Studies. If you follow this link to the Gonzaga University Institute for Action Against Hate, you'll be able to access articles from three issues of it.

I read two articles from Volume 3, Issue Number 1 (2003/2004) of that journal: The Social Psychology of Hatred [PDF] by Evan R. Harrington and Positioning Hate [PDF] by Kathleen Blee. I didn't find any stunning new insights into the general topic of human hatred in these papers, but the Harrington piece had some interesting accounts of several famous group psychology experiments. Both papers have a strong political bias against right-wing and racial realist perspectives.

I've spent some time over the last two weeks thinking and writing about issues brought up directly in those articles along with several related issues. See my blog entries:

The staff person also pointed out that the institute's board members serve without pay, and that:

The Director of the Institute gets a 3-credit buyout, and the graduate assistant gets some tuition relief. The only actual money goes to me as editor of the Journal. So nobody's part of the Institute to get rich--or even to have a job.
I still think the enterprise is essentially political and that courses in "hate studies" would not be appropriate, but I appreciate that the editor took the time to correct me on a few factual points.

 
Copyright © 2005

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