Cutting off one's nose to spite one's face

Cutting off one's nose to spite one's face

© David Burton 2008

Verizon FiOS

     Bette Keva, on page 1 of the Jewish Journal/Boston North edition of April 17, 2008 reported that “the Massachusetts Municipal Association [MMA], a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of Massachusetts cities and towns, has dropped its sponsorship of the Anti-Defamation League’s [ADL’s] No Place For Hate [NPFH] program, because of the ADL’s “ambiguous” stance on the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1918.”

     “In its written response, the ADL said it was ‘disappointed’ in the MMA’s decision, but it stressed that No Place For Hate ‘continues to flourish’ in the state and in New England where it is working with increasing numbers of groups to ensure that communities are safe and welcoming to all.”

     “The national ADL’s statement on the issue reads: ‘We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities. On reflection, we have come to share the view of Henry Morgenthau, Sr. that the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide. If the word genocide had existed then, they would have called it genocide.’

     The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Now the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all. The ADL serves as a resource for government, media, law enforcement, educators and the public.

     The ADL Charter of 1913 states that its “ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens."

     On April 4, 2008, in Washington, DC, in a serious and urgent effort to prevent youth-initiated hate violence, a comprehensive and innovative approach of outreach, education, and training, with a new interactive Web site, was announced at the National Press Club, by a coalition of civil rights organizations. The PAH program sponsors are a collaboration of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Leadership Conference Education Fund (LCEF), and the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence (CPHV). PAH received a $1 million government grant to design and implement this new endeavor. The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program jointly funded the grant.

     Typical of other communities, the Plymouth, Massachusetts Partners Against Hate [PAH] program was formed “to provide outreach, education and training in techniques to prevent juvenile hate-related behavior.” The NPFH Program empowers communities to respect diversity and prevent and respond to hate crimes in their towns. More than 50 Massachusetts cities and towns were officially certified 'No Place for Hate'.

     The primary goal of the Plymouth PAH was stated to be “a resource to the Town of Plymouth by providing support and education on diversity issues.” The PAH volunteers were appointed by the Plymouth Board of Selectmen to address issues of Racism, Anti-Semitism, Homophobia, Ethnic, and Religious Bigotry, and other forms of Prejudice.

     The Massachusetts PAH program was established as a statewide campaign to empower communities to nurture the strengths of diversity and to empower communities to challenge discrimination, prejudice, racism, hate, anti-Semitism, and bigotry of all forms. The Massachusetts PAH was created by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in partnership with the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) in September 1999. The PAH has been supported by a coalition of over 50 organizations representing a wide range of religious, educational, law enforcement, ethnic and community groups including the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and the 19,000 member Massachusetts Police Association. Over 60 Massachusetts cities and towns have participated in No Place For Hate.

     So, here we have a program that is designed to combat hate and bigotry in our communities that is being abolished because some “right-minded” and “politically correct” zealots want to “punish” an organization that has developed and sponsors the program because that organization won’t march in lock-step with the dictates of those “politically correct” vigilantes. It isn’t sufficient that the ADL has stated that it has “always described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities.” These commissars require that the ADL explicitly call these nearly 100-year old events “genocide”. Never mind that the actions of these feeble minded zealots do away with a program to protect and defend the rights and privileges of all the citizens in their communities. Never mind that their actions do little to harm the ADL but do much to harm the helpless and the minorities that are the victims of hate, bigotry and discrimination. Political Correctness must be served at all costs!!! Would the MMA and other like-minded people have taken the action they have if the organizations sponsoring the NPFH and PAH programs were the Catholic Church, the NAACP or a coalition of Hispanics? I seriously doubt that they would. In the present case, it can be truly said that the actions being taken are the same as cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.


  26 April 2008 {Article 42; Whatever_11}    
Go back to the top of the page