Unethical Quote Of The Month: American Bar Association President Patricia Lee Rufo

Rufo

 

The American Bar Association is deeply troubled by the recent proliferation of hate speech directed against members of the Jewish faith and at LGBTQ, Asian American and Muslim communities. Such hateful behavior, coming in the wake of attacks on African Americans and other groups, have serious consequences as studies show a correlation between exposure to hate speech and the increase in hate crimes. Hate speech also serves to legitimize intolerance, reinforce stereotypes and further discrimination. We must not let any messages of hatred be normalized if we hope to advance the rule of law to achieve an inclusive society.

Patricia Lee Rufo, the 2021 president of the American Bar Association, in an official statement last week.

This is disgraceful, and in so many ways. Imagine: the head of the largest lawyers’ association in the country authored that collection of vagaries, buzz words and wokisms in a naked virtue-signaling exercise with no substantive value at all, but with significant sinister potential. Worse, nobody at the ABA had the guts or integrity to tell her, “Uh, Patricia, that’s just plain embarrassing. We can’t put our name on that!” Also…

1. Rufo never defines “hate speech,” because there is no definition. Again, a lawyer, head of the most prestigious bar association, issued a proclamation condemning a dangerously undefined type of protected speech, while her profession is one that insists of verbal clariry and precision.

2. She engages in the popular trick of transforming speech into “behavior,” because behavior can be regulated, while speech cannot. Cute! Also unethical: dishonest and irresponsible.

3. The leader of the lawyer’s association also engages in the logically incoherent device of a circular argument to an extent that would be laughed out of court, and that would rate an F on a first year laws school brief. The “hate speech,”she says, is especially bad coming AFTER attacks on various groups, because “studies” [what studies?] have shown that they cause such attacks.

4. “Hate speech also serves to legitimize intolerance, reinforce stereotypes and further discrimination.” Evidence, counselor? Since Rufo never defines hate speech, this sentence is meaningless. If the hate speech, whatever it is, has nothing to do with stereotypes, how does it reinforce stereotypes? Meanwhile, there are many kinds of intolerance that are legitimate and should remain so. I for example, cannot tolerate leaders of associations who abuse their position, and lawyers who make their profession look foolish.

5. Her last sentence is an attack on freedom of speech. Free speech and expression must be “normalized,” and that includes speech that expresses hate. Who is the almighty “we” that gets to disallow speech they don’t like or find offensive?

6. “[W]e hope to advance the rule of law to achieve an inclusive society” sounds totalitarian, since “inclusive society,” like “hate speech,” is conveniently undefined. Mandated quotas—is that what she means? If so, the statement is deceitful, deliberately ambiguous so casual readers don’t understand the real meaning.

Two final notes:

  • This is why I am not a member of the ABA, and
  • Would it be unethical for me to comment on that photo? Because I’m pretty sure that look in Rufo’s eyes was awfully familiar to the residents of Jonestown….

18 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Month: American Bar Association President Patricia Lee Rufo

  1. The leader of the ABA wants to toss out free speech? And expects to be taken seriously? Where are the other members of the ABA on this? We need some courage here.

    Generalities, repeated often enough, become our version of Hitler’s Big Lie.

    Who can get her OUT.

  2. the largest lawyers’ association in the country

    And the only non-obligatory one. They should call it something along the lines of Virtue Signalers Galore. Most junior high school student councils are more impactful than the ABA. What a joke.

      • I’ve visited a few in my day.

        So in Mass, you can be admitted to the bar but you need not maintain a membership in any bar association? And that’s the case in many states? Did not know that. Interesting. In AZ, you have to be a member of the state bar association, i.e., pay annual dues so they can tell you how wonderful the people working at the bar association and the lawyers volunteering there are.

  3. Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
    In recognition of the desirability of the promotion of civility and community and the discouragement of hatred based on race, gender, religion, orientation, disability, background, or national origin, the First Amendment to the Constitution is hereby Amended as follows:

    Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of any religion, nor interfering with freedom of citizens to worship as they choose, so long as that worship does not offend others. Congress shall have the power to limit freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and the right of the people to peaceably assemble only to prevent the spread of hatred based on the above categories and other categories it shall determine that it is desirable to protect.

  4. My decision to quit the ABA after Hillary Clinton presented some kind of award to Anita Hill remains vindicated. And to think it believes it should have some say-so in the qualifications, competency, and fitness of individuals being considered for judgeships.

  5. I’m not sure this has been said, so I’m going to point it out.

    “The American Bar Association is deeply troubled by the recent proliferation of hate speech directed against members of the Jewish faith and at LGBTQ, Asian American and Muslim communities. Such hateful behavior, coming in the wake of attacks on African Americans and other groups, have serious consequences as studies show a correlation between exposure to hate speech and the increase in hate crimes.”

    This isn’t just your average “video games cause violence” or “hate speech causes hate crimes” narrative, the former having been debunked multiple times over, and the latter not having been studied. This is saying that hate speech against black people is driving hate crimes against jews, asians and gay people.

    It’s mindblowing… Not only is she asserting a causation that might not even exist (I would really be surprised if there’s ever science that shows a causation from hate speech to hate crime), she’s taking it one step further and asserting hate speech levied on one group leads to hate crimes against different groups. And she’s doing this using Jews as her backdrop while we’re seeing Jews being targeted explicitly because the attackers have grievances over the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

  6. Hmmmm…Her pronouncement, specifically noting “hate speech” and crimes directed against “…Jewish…LGBTQ… Asian American…Muslim… African Americans… seems suspiciously constructed to lead us to infer that a certain group NOT mentioned is the source of these attacks.
    If that’s the intent, it doesn’t mesh with crime statistics showing that offenders are more concentrated in one or more of the “victim” demographics.
    Curious, that.

    • Come on Wim. Democracy is under an existential threat from white supremacists everywhere in the country. They are a bigger existential threat than climate change. They are the biggest threat to America’s security, according to Merrick Garland. Didn’t you get the talking points memo?

      • I feel like I’m not doing my part. When we walk through our neighborhood, we sometimes encounter a neighbor of Asian descent walking his dog. Next time, instead of chatting with him and petting the dog, I’ll just clock him in the head with an AR pistol brace and yell at him for causing the Wuhan virus. That’ll be a start, I guess.

Leave a Reply to Cynical John Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.