“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….