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The Law of Perceived Ideology

'So how do we sort out all these slurs and the contradictory consequences that follow them?

Apparently, racist, sexist, or homophobic words themselves do not necessarily earn any rebuke. Nor is the race or gender of the speaker always a clue to the degree of outrage that follows.

Instead, the perceived ideology of the perpetrator is what matters most. Maher and Letterman, being good liberals, could hardly be crude sexists. But when the conservative Limbaugh uses similar terms, it must be a window into his dark heart.

It’s apparently OK for whites or blacks to slur the conservative Clarence Thomas in racist terms. Saying anything similar of the late liberal justice Thurgood Marshall would have been blasphemous.

In short, we are dealing not with actual word crimes, but with supposed thought crimes.

The liberal media and popular culture have become our self-appointed thought police. Politics determines whether hate speech is a reflection of real hate or just an inadvertent slip, a risqué joke, or an anguished reaction to years of oppression.

Poor Paula Deen. She may protest accusations of racism by noting that she supported Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. But the media instead fixate on her Southern accent and demeanor, which supposedly prove her speech was racist in a way that utterances by the left-wing and cool Jamie Foxx could never be.

We cannot forgive the conservative Mel Gibson for his despicable, drunken anti-Semitic rant. But it appears we can pardon the liberal Alec Baldwin for his vicious, homophobic outburst. The former smears are judged by the thought police to be typical, but the latter slurs are surely aberrant.

The crime is not hate speech, but hate thought — a state of mind that apparently only self-appointed liberal referees can detect.'


- Victor Davis Hanson, 'Supposed Crimes of the Mind.'

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