The smoke has cleared and the good guys won, but rather than any sense of justice done or victory over evil, I’m tense, depressed and waiting for the other shoe to fall. In case you missed the news, the anti-semitic “Stop Israel’s War Crimes” bus-side billboards were pulled just a few days before they were scheduled to debut here in Seattle.
Seattle is one of the most liberal cities in America with almost limitless tolerance for everyone. It goes out of its way to be inoffensive. It surely tops 11 on the pc-o-meter! If you hadn’t already read about it, it was deliberately chosen (along with Albuquerque, Houston and several other cities) as a test-market, purchasing side-of-bus and free-standing billboards depicting a presumably war-demolished building and terrified Palestinian children, along with the accusation that Israel receives thirty billion dollars of US taxpayers money in order to commit war crimes. Seattle, just because it is a bastion of free-speech and relativism, seemed a perfect place to try to sneak vile hate-speech under the radar of those “freedoms”
Although the county bus authority finally showed the courage to pull these ads, the episode revealed a level of hate I, naively, never imagined was possible in post-war, post-civil-rights-act America. That it was ever even conceived of as acceptable has been one of my life’s most painful moments. Several good-hearted county council members had the courage to denounce these ads for what they were, but the decision to pull them only came when the possible threat of inciting local violence was invoked. If, like all of us, you have a short memory, it was only a couple years ago that a local terrorist decided to kill some Jews and broke into the local Federation office and started shooting, killing one woman and injuring several other people.
I’m scared and depressed, unable to transform this article into something positive and hopeful, as is my wont. I’m shocked that any American entertained for even a moment that this kind of public hate-speech is ok. That this was initially approved, not to mention cancelled for any reason other than it was just, plain unacceptable, terrifies me. It’s only a matter of time until this sort of message pops up, spreads and becomes acceptable as “a valid narrative”.
This, of course, is the reason a city like Seattle is such fertile ground. Going out of our way to be “non-judgmental”, as radical philosophy dictates, there is no longer any such thing as truth, only “competing narratives”. Once you are able to camouflage your agenda as a “narrative”, it’s now equal to all other “narratives”.
It all sounds so polite, until you remember the ancient Jewish wisdom, “He who is kind to the cruel is cruel to the kind”. Maybe not yet, thank God, today, but tomorrow our villainization will become an acceptable “narrative”, even here in America.