Tag Archives: Fear-mongering

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Harry Belafonte

“In a few weeks from now, if there is a platform on which I will be privileged to stand and speak, my opening remarks will probably be something like “Welcome to the Fourth Reich.”

—Legendary singer and long-time civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, now 90, speaking at a “Democracy Now!” event with an audience of 2000.

Harry Belafonte radiated sunniness and spirituality when he sang in his unique, whispery voice, but his political activism was always angry, radical, and with the passing years, increasingly bitter and paranoid. It was predictable that, health allowing, “The Banana Boat Song” artist would be in his element in the 2016 Post-Election Freak-Out and Ethics Train Wreck, and, sadly, he did not disappoint.

In his remarks, Harry mentioned with affection Paul Robeson, the late actor and singer who left the U.S. for the worker’s paradise of  Stalinist Russia, and America-hater Noam Chomsky. He might have mentioned Fidel Castro, for whom Harry frequently expressed his admiration in the past. Back in 2012, Belafonte told another one of his pals, Al Sharpton, that since the evil, racist Republicans wouldn’t do Barack Obama’s bidding, “The only thing left for Barack Obama to do is to work like a third-world dictator and put all these guys in jail!”

But Donald Trump is a Nazi. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, History, Popular Culture

Ethics Observations On This Kind Of Post-Election Hate, Those Who Write It, And Those Who Believe It [UPDATED]

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The piece in question is one published in The Daily Banter. The author is Justin Rosario, self-described as a “center-left Jewish-Puerto Rican atheist liberal.” His essay came out just before Thanksgiving, and he titled it, Yes, You Should Shame Your Trump Voting Relatives At Thanksgiving Dinner
(They’ve gone beyond politics and should be treated like the pariahs they are).

Here are the guts of it, when he explains exactly what your Trump-voting relatives “are”:

They’re the people in Germany who stood by and watched the Jews be herded into concentration camps and murdered. Except they’re worse because at least the Germans had never seen anything like the rise of Hitler before. They had no frame of reference to understand what was happening to their country. Your Donald voting relatives have heard and read about Nazis their entire lives. They know and they didn’t care.

Yes, they will have a million excuses for why they voted for someone they knew was a monster but they’re all bullshit. It wasn’t the economy. It wasn’t ISIS. It wasn’t unemployment. It wasn’t Hillary’s emails. It wasn’t Bill’s affairs. It wasn’t Washington corruption. Every single reason they give is a lie and they know it. They wanted one thing and one thing only: To take “their” country back from that fucking n*gger in the White House. That’s it. End of line. Full stop.

Your Donald voting relatives were so freaked out that a black man was president that once Donald told them it was not just permissible to be racist but necessary, they leapt at the chance to put Those People back in their place. And in doing so, they knowingly elected a man that will be all the things they were so afraid Obama was going to be: A tyrant. A dictator. A bully. An autocratic pig that will disregard the rule of law and treat America like his own personal playground. A brutal despot that will silence the media, arrest his political opponents and use the full power of the government to destroy his enemies.

Observations: Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Family, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Race, Romance and Relationships, Social Media, U.S. Society

Ethical Quote Of The Day: Marjorie Ingall

pibull pile

“Let’s not generalize about an animal based on the shape of its head or the texture of its coat… Individuals are individuals. Generalizations—about dogs, or about people—are odious.”

—–Marjorie Ingall in her review of Bronwen Dickey’s new book, Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon

I have several times,in posts here about the senseless, ignorant and unethical vendetta pursued against “pit bulls” [Ingall: “Pit bulls’ (meaning ‘any dog that looks the way we think a pit bull looks’) “], compared the reasoning of the anti-pit bull Furies to the logic of racism. Thus I was especially pleased to read Ingall’s essay, while she called “Pit Bulls—the Jews of the Canine World.” Another sample…

Nowadays, people associate pit bulls with thugs. And the word “thug,” as we all know, is barely coded shorthand for a young African-American man. (Truthfully, I’d thought of pit bulls being Jews … but comparing pit bulls to African Americans is even more resonant, in terms of the stereotyping both face.)…Study after study has shown that pit bulls are no more likely to bite than any other breed…Fear of the word “pit bull” and misplaced fear of the breed, combined with a healthy dose of racism, have trumped common sense.

You can find the Ethics Alarms post on this topic here.

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Filed under Animals, Around the World, Comment of the Day, Law & Law Enforcement, Race

Mission Accomplished: Hillary Corrupts The Human Rights Campaign

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Hillary Clinton’s dishonest spinning of her gay rights positions received an endorsement today, as the U.S.’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization chose her as its choice for President. The Human Rights Campaign’s  board of directors, made up of community leaders nationwide, voted to endorse Clinton, and said in a statement:

“All the progress we have made as a nation on LGBT equality — and all the progress we have yet to make — is at stake in November…Despite the fact that a majority of Republican and independent voters today support federal protections for LGBT Americans, the leading Republican candidates for president have threatened to halt progress as well as revoke, repeal, and overturn the gains made during President Obama’s two terms…”

This statement means, in essence, that the largest group of LGBT advocates have openly endorsed the Joy Behar approach to civic responsibility. Behar, on “The View,” you may recall, said brazenly (well, she says everything brazenly) that she’d vote for a proven rapist as long as he “voted” for issues that were important to her, a.k.a. abortion rights. Single issue voters of this low ethics threshold are irresponsible and breach their civic duties by making democracy itself incoherent and too easily manipulated—by cynical, ethics-free, power-mongers like Hillary Clinton. Are they even aware, I wonder, that openly associating a group with a candidate of proven ethical bankruptcy—even on the issue they think she embraces!–calls into question their own integrity, trustworthiness and values?

The disconnect between conservatives and LGBT Americans stems in part from a false belief that gays and other Americans of non-traditional sexuality aren’t as red, white and blue as they are. Being American means caring more about, say, the economy, unemployment, the debt, the collapse of schools, the miserable state of colleges, terrorism, racial distrust, the still burgeoning cost of health care and the welfare of your neighbors, children and fellow citizens than about narrow, single issues of special concern to you or your “tribe.”  I think this way; so do most of the LGBT people I know.  It is the ethical value of citizenship in action. Could I respect someone who found Donald Trump appropriately nauseating, knew he would be a human and cultural disaster for the nation, but supported him solely because he swore he would protect LGBT interests? No. Of course not.

This endorsement of Hillary Clinton is exactly as irresponsible. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, U.S. Society

Eleven Ethics Observations On The Fox GOP Presidential Debate In South Carolina

The moderators...

The moderators…

1. Last night’s Fox News debate was the most ethical,  and generally the best of them all so far, in either party.

2. Rand Paul’s boycott of the so-called “undercard” debate reveals his arrogant nature. Chris Christie was demoted for one round, didn’t complain, participated, did well, and came back to the main event. Rand thinks he’s more qualified to be President  than Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. Well, then, show us. Paul, in one complaint, proudly pointed to the fact that he’s the only GOP candidate who wants to legalize drugs and return the U.S. to isolationism as the world burns.  Yes, and this is why you’re not on the main stage, Senator. This is called “answering your own question.”

3. A group of Paul supporters started chanting his name at one point, causing Neil Cavuto to pause and look bemused. Oddly, Donald Trump did not command that their coats be confiscated.

4. Early on, both Bush and Marco Rubio pointed out—since the news media is still trying to soft-peddle it—that Hillary Clinton’s legal problems are serious, and that her lies about her e-mail and Benghazi should disqualify her for national leadership. Good. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Leadership

The Washington Post Surrenders To Web Hoaxes

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The Washington Post’s two year old column dedicated to flagging web hoaxes is shutting down, because…well, you read the story and explain it to me, because I read the column twice, and I still don’t get it.

I think Caitlyn Dewey, whose beat this was, is complaining that there are too many hoaxes to track now, because there are now whole websites devoted to hoaxes (as Ethics Alarms has documented), that hoaxes are fed by confirmation bias (well, yes, everyone knew THAT in 2014) and partisan bloggers are sending out hoaxes as fear-mongering tactics. Dewey then mentions two terrorism-related hoaxes. In fact, every example she uses suggests that the increase in hoaxes comes from conservatives. It’s all because conservatives are so eager to believe untrue things, you see. She can’t keep up any more.

Which is funny, because it was Hillary Clinton who stated…

“We also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don’t fall on receptive ears. He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”

There is no evidence whatsoever that ISIS is using videos of Trump. If a fake news site had a headline, “ISIS USES VIDEOS OF TRUMP FOR RECRUITMENT,” that would be an internet hoax, and though Hillary Clinton would apparently fall for it, Dewey claims what has suddenly made internet hoaxes uncoverable is all those gullible people who no longer trust “institutions,” as in “government.” You know who those people are.

Then there are Dewey’s colleagues, journalists, like the ones at CNN who broadcast that “Ethan Couch’s attorney convinced the judge that the teen suffered from “‘Afflienza,” which is factually untrue. If that were a headline, I’d call it a hoax. Continue reading

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Filed under Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, The Internet

Comment of the Day: “Unethical Website of the Month: Dogsbite.Org”

staffordshire

Ethics Alarms is about ethics. It is about what is right, wrong and how to decide which. Here, we go where the facts, ethical systems, valuable and logic take us, as convoluted as the process may be. There is no other cause, here. occasionally I have pointed out a developing case of ethics perverted, and  by dint of timing or good fortune, it has had some tangible effect. The Sweet Brier College rescue was such an example, I am told. There have been others.

The cruel and ignorant persecution of dog breeds grouped under the category of “pit bulls’ and the “dangerous breed” litigation that has been passed by hysterics bullying craven legislators is another ethics issue that Ethics Alarms has tried to alert the public about for years. I am not an activist however; the idea of labeling something as wrong is meant as education. If it also engages activism, that is a bonus. Activism in pursuit of a more ethical society is an unequivocal good, much to be desired by us all. In addition to spur much needed activism, the dog breed bias story is also unusually relevant to other issues: racism, genocide, ignorance, government over-reach, gun control, profiling, fear-mongering, misinformation, cowardice among elected officials…it’s a long list. There will be more about this issue in coming months.

New commenter sadingo advances the issue with a discussion of pit bull banning in Great Britain. Here is his Comment of the Day on the post Unethical Website Of The Month: DogsBite.org.: Continue reading

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Filed under Animals, Around the World, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement