Clarence Darrow said, in his famous closing argument that saved Dr. Ossian Sweet and his family from a murder conviction,
“I am the last one to come here to stir up race hatred, or any other hatred. I do not believe in the law of hate. I may not be true to my ideals always, but I believe in the law of love, and I believe you can do nothing with hatred.”
Darrow was a progressive, you know, and sometimes a radical one. He was, after all, a great admirer of John Brown. A constant theme in his work, however, both in court and in his many debates and essays, was avoiding hatred, and seeking love. In another of his famous trial, in which he saved thrill-killer Nathan Leopold and Dickie Loeb from the gallows, he concluded his closing argument for mercy this way:
If I should succeed in saving these boys’ lives and do nothing for the progress of the law, I should feel sad, indeed. If I can succeed, my greatest reward and my greatest hope will be that I have done something for the tens of thousands of other boys, or the countless unfortunates who must tread the same road in blind childhood that these poor boys have trod, that I have done something to help human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love.
I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayyam. It appealed to me as the highest that can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all:
“So I be written in the Book of Love,
Do not care about that Book above.
Erase my name or write it as you will,
So I be written in the Book of Love.“
But at some point, and relatively recently, wielding hate as a weapon has become a fetish of the Left that once styled itself in Darrow’s tradition. Even though today’s progressives and Democrats loudly deplore what they call “hate speech,” even to the point of insisting that speech they disapprove of is unprotected by the First Amendment, they are willing and eager to not only deploy the rhetoric of hate but to encourage hate in furtherance of their own agenda.
This is undeniable; mine is an objective observation. Donald Trump was defeated by four years of carefully cultivated (but still reckless and destructive) hate. (Not surprisingly, his supporters—and Trump himself—hated right back. Hate is like that.) As the year closed and a new one dawned, Lefist allies like Twitter, Facebook and the Big Tech companies escalated their campaign to silence opinions that their highly selective and biased definitions of “hate” required, while allowing other, equally inflammatory opinions from those with whom the metaphorically traveled ideologically (or who were the enemies of their enemies, as the saying goes.) As the New York Post said of Twitter, “All the evidence suggests Twitter doesn’t police according to any neutral standards, but with an eye on what bothers its woke workforce.”
On January 19, the latest entry in the category of approved woke bigotry and hate arrived. HarperCollins released “I Hate Men,” a recent French sensation by Pauline Harmange and translated by Natasha Lehrer. Gushes the Amazon blurb,
More than a banned book, the must-read on feminism, sexism and the patriarchy for every woman…Women, especially feminists and lesbians, have long been accused of hating men. Our instinct is to deny it at all costs. (After all, women have been burnt at the stake for admitting to less.) But what if mistrusting men, disliking men – and yes, maybe even hating men – is, in fact, a useful response to sexism? What if such a response offers a way out of oppression, a means of resistance? What if it even offers a path to joy, solidarity and sisterhood?
Hey, I never thought of that! What if bigotry makes you happy? Being happy is good, right?
I feel silly even having to point this out, but deciding that you hate a group of people, any group of people, based solely on their membership in that group and without regard for the character and actions of the individuals in that group, is not just unethical and wrong. It is intellectually indefensible, but more than that, it is the source of most of the violence and conflict in the world throughout history, and perhaps the primary reason the world cannot have peace and prosperity today.
It may be more socially acceptable in the Biden Era to brand all men as terrible—nobody has been banned from Facebook or Twittter for insisting they are—but hating all men is ethically indistinguishable from hating all women, haying all gays, hating transexuals, hating Jews, hating Muslims, hating the rich, hating the poor, hating whites, or hating blacks. There is no ethical or logical distinction: hatred toward all members of a group based on a single characteristic is wrong, and advocating such hate is wrong.
Yet in a fawning article about Harmange’s book in the Times never mentions the fact that the book is per se bigotry, though it does describe, as the author does, the work as misandry, which is a case of res ipsa loquitur. But misandry is reasonable because men deserve to be hated. That’s the book’s theory anyway, and the Times makes no effort to dispute it.
“Some women still believe that calling out men as a group does more harm than good,” Times gender reporter Laura Cappelle tells us. Well that’s encouraging! Some women actually believe that bigotry, blind prejudice and discrimination fueled by blind hate is harmful! I feel much better now. Not all woke women hate me without having met me.
Layers upon layers of dishonesty and hypocrisy. Whatever admirable goals they have or claim to have, modern progressives, unlike Clarence Darrow, do indeed believe in the law of hate, as long as its their hate.