Denouncing the Deviationists

 

In her memoirs, Russian combat pilot Anna Egorova remembered her mother ”kneeling before the icons, as she firstly listed all our names, the names of her children, begging God for health and wisdom for us, and then at the end of each prayer repeating: ‘God save them from slander!’”  She didn’t understand that word ‘slander’ in her childhood, Egorova wrote, but after her brother was sent away as An Enemy of the People, “it was exposed before me in all its terrible nakedness.”

I was reminded once again of this story by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s agreement to pay $3.75 million to Maajid Nawaz and his organization, the Quilliam Foundation, for wrongly including them on its now-defunct list of “anti-Muslim extremists.” Sixty other organizations are also considering litigation against the SPLC.

Throughout American society, accusations of racism, sexism, white nationalism, and Islamaphobia have become common. Just the other day, a fellow academic asserted that University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has become a popular writer and speaker, was an “incel misogynist” and “committed white nationalist.” (“Incel” is an involuntary celibate, i.e., a person who is unable to attract people of the opposite sex.) After Peterson threatened to sue, his attacker issued an apology of sorts. (Calling a married man and father an “incel” provides an example of just how grade-school-level many of the current insults flying around tend to be.) Dozens of examples of such accusations, often but not always by academics, can be easily found.

The consequences of being the recipient of such accusations are, of course, not as harmful in present-day America as they were in Anna Egorova’s Stalinist Soviet environment. You’re not going to be sent to a concentration camp or shot in the neck in a GPU cellar. But wild and unfair accusations are resulting in job losses and exclusion from social connections, and many people are deciding they’d better just shut up and keep any nonstandard beliefs to themselves.

See also my posts When Slander Goes Rampant and Freedom, the Village, and the Internet. The latter post is about social media and its contribution to on-line mobbing. I reviewed Anna Egorova’s excellent memoirs here.

There are 16 comments.

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  1. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    David Foster: Sixty other organizations are also considering litigation against the SPLC.

    I’m hoping for a massive class-action lawsuit . . .

    • #1
  2. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    David Foster: Just the other day, a fellow academic asserted that University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has become a popular writer and speaker, was an “incel misogynist” and “committed white nationalist.”

    And with today’s search engines and computers, you can probably take some of Jordan’s words out of context and “prove” your point. The Democrats (sic) and the media (but I repeat myself) do this all the time. But with such information at your fingertips, how could you miss that he is married and a classical liberal with no ties to white nationalism? Only someone with a Piled Higher and Deeper degree would be foolish enough to do this.

    • #2
  3. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    Yes, I would like to see that nasty outfit, which began as a trial lawyer scam, to be run out of business.

    It is reminiscent of the disability scam that Clint Eastwood put out of business in California.

    • #3
  4. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Ah, but the name of the organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center, is worth its weight in gold.  That name always sounded warm and fuzzy to me. How could an organization possibly be radical with a name that contains the words “Southern” and “Poverty”?

    They defend southern poor folk, don’t they?

    Kent

    • #4
  5. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Very good. They are sitting on $320 million (poverty huh?) including $69 million parked off-shore.

    Poetic justice will be served by a massive class action lawsuit. They are a hate-mongerer.

    • #5
  6. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    The SPLC should burn in the fiery pits.  They are horrid.

    • #6
  7. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Yet SPLC is only a small part of the problem (an especially problematic part, to be sure, because media and some supposedly-respectable corporations treat them as a reliable guide to who is a ‘hater’ or a ‘hate group’)….but there are plenty of unfair accusations in universities, in corporations, and in social groups.

    • #7
  8. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Very good. They are sitting on $320 million (poverty huh?) including $69 million parked off-shore.

    Poetic justice will be served by a massive class action lawsuit. They are a hate-mongerer.

    Interesting – and who decides who is on the list?  It’s about time they were taken to task – attacking people in any way possible is becoming the norm rather than the exception and that is a scary situation that might as you pointed out, exist in a totalitarian or socialist country, but not here – yet here we are…. 

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Vectorman (View Comment):
    And with today’s search engines and computers, you can probably take some of Jordan’s words out of context and “prove” your point.

    Exactly.  One thing I’m tired of seeing is the left use words or sentences from the Bible out of context to try and support their positions, or to denigrate people of faith as hypocrites.  It’s funny in a way, because many on the left don’t believe in the Bible at all.

    • #9
  10. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    David Foster: Sixty other organizations are also considering litigation against the SPLC.

    There’s blood in the water and the other sharks are no longer extending professional courtesy.

    • #10
  11. Merrijane Inactive
    Merrijane
    @Merrijane

    It’s about time somebody pushed back at the SPLC, although I’m not sure it would have worked if the individual had been Christian instead of Muslim. The thing that is so strange to me is that many Muslims hold the exact same attitudes about homosexuality as some Christians do. What happened to the SPLC that turned them into a group dedicated to attacking one group of religious conservatives while protecting another group of religious conservatives with essentially the same moral code, if not stricter?

    • #11
  12. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Merrijane (View Comment):
    What happened to the SPLC that turned them into a group dedicated to attacking one group of religious conservatives while protecting another group of religious conservatives with essentially the same moral code, if not stricter?

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”

     

    • #12
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Merrijane (View Comment):

    It’s about time somebody pushed back at the SPLC, although I’m not sure it would have worked if the individual had been Christian instead of Muslim. The thing that is so strange to me is that many Muslims hold the exact same attitudes about homosexuality as some Christians do. What happened to the SPLC that turned them into a group dedicated to attacking one group of religious conservatives while protecting another group of religious conservatives with essentially the same moral code, if not stricter?

    This is a very good point.  Christians decry homosexuality as against God’s law because it’s a sin, but embrace them as fellow sinners.  Muslims just kill homosexuals.  The left in general, and the SPLC in particular, have skewed their so-called beliefs to embrace Islam in the name of diversity, but refuse to condemn it as a value system which treats women as chattel, homosexuals as people to be executed, and severe corporeal punishment as the way to maintain the “faith”.

    • #13
  14. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Reported at the University of Denver, a suspension over hearsay.

    • #14
  15. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Reported at the University of Denver, a suspension over hearsay.

    From the article, a real Catch-22:

    The College Fix reached out to the university via email for information about the alleged errors. A school spokesman responded: “[T]he Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not allow the University of Denver to comment about a specific student and/or matters involving a student…For the privacy of our students, we cannot speak about specific students or cases. However, factual errors have been made by outlets reporting on this incident.

    If they can’t comment on the errors due to FERPA, do they really exist? If a tree falls in the forest, but no one hears it, does it make a sound?

    • #15
  16. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Reported at the University of Denver, a suspension over hearsay.

    Heresy is next.

    • #16

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