The lynch mob blasted through town amid the cheers and unconditional surrender of all the inhabitants; at least almost all. In their triumphal rage they trashed traditions that had made America famous and successfully replaced those traditions with something awful for America.
If Thomas Jefferson were alive, he’d drop dead!
Whatever happened to those shining syllables of French philosopher Voltaire that I thought had become the bedrock of real American exceptionalism, the important kind? I refer to Voltaire’s ringing proclamation to the effect that, “I may disagree with every word you say, but I’ll fight to the death to preserve your right to say it!” [Editor’s note: Those who have followed Barry Farber on the radio will be thinking of Barry’s own version, in which he declares “… I’ll join you on the ramparts with a broken bourbon bottle to fight for your right …”]
Not only can you be lynched, demolished, erased from the roll-call of acceptable society for your words, you can now be wiped out and turned into nothing by your very opinion, if “they” manage to find out. When you went to bed there was some sanity. When you woke up your once-glorious constitutional guarantees had been transmogrified as if by a select committee of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Idi Amin. It happened all that fast. Don’t shake your head and mutter “Exaggeration!” just because your career hasn’t yet been dropped into sulfuric acid and sprayed across Death Valley.
We hadn’t quite digested what they did to Brendan Eich before they did it to Don Sterling. The emcee should have told us the lions were about to feast upon the Christians in a coliseum-full of barbarians. It was like one punch before the knockout. Mr. Eich, the mogul of Mozilla, apparently “had to go” because he was discovered to think marriage was between one man and one woman. And what about the fact that the president of the United States had that identical position at the time Eich contributed $1,000 to that cause? One more irrelevant crack like that and we’ll throw you into sulfuric acid, too, so you can be close to your career!
Because of a galaxy of stupid and ugly comments about black people, the Court of Star Chamber was heard throughout the land pronouncing Don Sterling banned from the National Basketball Association for life, fined $2.5 million and warned that they were going to do everything they could think of to force him to relinquish ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. That’s big-league punishment, right? Sterling bought the team for $12 million, and it’s now worth $350 million! The important detail is that this bigoted billionaire has been brutally dis-fellowshipped from the rest of America not for his deeds, but for his privately held thoughts. Sterling did not seek and did not want his odious views made public.
Am I here defending Don Sterling in any way? I am not.
I am defending the right to hold unpopular opinions within the walls of your own home. And you should have enough brains to make sure no one seeking your destruction ever gets you to make suicidal voice recordings.
Gone is the distinction between attacking the lyncher and defending the victim. Stupidity now dictates that whosoever finds fault with the treatment of Don Sterling must obviously sympathize with him and his views. Sterling and I would be tossed into the same boxcar!
Who knows what America-changing dreams the lynchers hold in this moment of their triumph? But they’ll soon learn that some of the enemies they feel they’ve overrun and stomped into silence have survived. And I’m proud to be in that silent and, for-the-moment, apparently losing army. I may not have passed my physical or my mental, but I pass my “American morals.” Before they can intimidate every single American, they’ve got to get rid of me and my kind. And we’re the kind that gives dictators gas pains. While the late Adolf Hitler was pasting countries like Norway, Denmark, Greece and especially Yugoslavia and Russia into his scrapbook, the “overwhelmed and defeated” citizens of those countries were finding one another … and turning the life of the Nazi occupiers into overflowing misery. There are deeds, words and thoughts. Who can honestly say, “My father warned me that in America it would become dangerous to think”?
In medicine we know about the “ignored lump.” What’s happening in America today is an ignored tumor the size of Fort Ticonderoga. You can’t convince me that the people who obliterated the Japanese totalitarians and helped so much do the same to the Nazi Germans are going to sit back with a stupid smile on their faces and let Americans be immolated because of their opinions, no matter how grotesque.
Voltaire, call your office! And if Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton answers, tell them you’ve got the wrong number.
And tell them they’ve got the wrong country.
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