Who you may hate

Who you may hate, by Brendan O’Neill. Obviously the PC crew are always “fighting hate speech”, yet they are incredibly hateful towards the rest of us.

This weird, contradictory situation was really summed up for me at a debate on Charlie Hebdo in LA that I attended earlier this year.

One of the speakers was this super liberal, very popular Californian cartoonist. He said he despises Charlie Hebdo because it is hateful against less powerful people: Muslims. He said he wasn’t sure that Charlie Hebdo deserves freedom of speech. The audience nodded in agreement.

Later on, he displayed one of his cartoons caricaturing Southerners who are opposed to gay marriage. He had drawn them as fat, ugly creatures, with tombstone teeth and hairy arms, almost as animals, as gorillas: it was reminiscent of how black people were caricatured in the past. The audience laughed.

So here we had people agreeing that hatred of Islam is bad and then engaging in collective mocking, a two-minute hate, against poor Christian communities who are opposed to gay marriage. They were anti-hate and hateful at the same time.

The contradiction mandates that the PC crew cannot be taken at face value (that is, they are lying or deluded about something). So what is really going on?

This coexistence among the liberal elites of anti-hate and hate, of a war on hate speech alongside the promotion of hate speech, is very revealing.

What it tells us, I think, is that today’s hate-speech codes and laws and clampdowns are not really about outlawing hatred; rather, they are about policing politics, policing ideology, policing passion, policing emotion itself. U

nder the guise of tackling hatred, the political classes are really seeking to punish ideas or views they find difficult or wrong or overly confrontational or just plain uncomfortable. They are implicitly communicating hatred for ways of thinking and ways of life they don’t like.