Hate group
by H. Millard (c) 2001

After reading of the arrests this week of Irv Rubin, 56, chairman of the Jewish Irv RubinDarrell IssaDefense League, and Earl Krugel, 59, a member of that organization, for allegedly plotting to blow up a Mosque and the offices of Arab-American Congressman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., I decided to find out what the Southern Poverty Law Center had to say about the JDL. After all, the non-profit SPLC, claims on its web site that it is internationally known for "its tracking of hate groups." Surely, I thought, the SPLC would have something on its web site about the JDL. I was wrong.

On the SPLC web site, I found a list of 602 groups that the SPLC considers "hate groups." Actually, the number is somewhat misleading, because the SPLC counts each of the chapters of a group as though it were a separate group. Thus, there are only three Black Separatist groups listed, but with all their chapters, they are counted as 48 of the 602. But, let's not quibble; that might be hateful. Hate is something to be hated, by gum, and it's hateful to question hate. According to the site, "All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or denigrate an entire class of people, typically for their beliefs or immutable characteristics." "Class of people" was not further defined, but my dictionary defines "class," in the apparent sense intended by the SPLC, as "a group, set, or kind sharing common attributes."

The site also states "Only organizations known to be active in 2000, whether that activity included marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting, publishing literature or criminal acts, were counted in the listing. Entities that appear to exist only in cyberspace are not included because they are likely to be individual Web publishers who like to portray themselves as powerful, organized groups."

Now, a question that some might ask is whether or not an "anti-hate group" could, itself, be considered a hate group if it denigrates, by characterizing as a "hate group," an entire class of people--say, members of some church--based on the beliefs of the entire class? Never mind. Such an inquiry might send us off on a hateful path, where we might actually question the qualifications and motives of any person or group of persons in one group who call other groups hate groups. In other words, what sort of professional education and experience does one have to have to be a hate expert?

The SPLC web site makes it easy to find hate with a drop down window where the SPLC has broken down its 602 "hate groups" into seven categories: Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, Skinhead, Identity, Black Separatist, Neo-Confederate, and Other.

I went through all seven categories, and unless I missed something, there was no mention of the JDL or any other Jewish group (as of 12/15/01). Instead, I found groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church; Crusade against Corruption; the Council of Conservative Citizens; National Organization for European American Rights; American Renaissance, a couple of immigration reform groups and many more, including Ku Klux Klan groups.

There were also groups with "Israel" in their name, but they were under the "Christian Identity" heading, which includes churches that the SPLC characterizes as being " fundamentally racist and anti-Semitic."

I figured that I must have missed the JDL, so I checked again. Even then, I still couldn't find any mention of the JDL. I did find more Christian Churches and other religious organizations including at least one Muslim group, but there was no mention of the JDL or other Jewish groups, that I could see.

Then again, maybe, the JDL isn't a "hate group," at all. Perhaps the JDL isn't like that hateful Baptist Church, or like those hateful immigration reform groups that want our laws upheld, or like those hateful conservative groups, or like those hateful publishing houses. So, I went back to the news reports of the arrest of Rubin and Krugel to see if I could find a clue about the nature of the JDL, that would indicate why it isn't on the SPLC list.

According to these news reports, an affidavit filed in the case claims that Krugel was secretly audio taped and allegedly said that Arabs "need a wakeup call," and the JDL needed to do something to one of their 'filthy' mosques. Congressman Issa was apparently targeted because he is an Arab-American. It was also reported that the arrests weren't made because of the things allegedly said by Rubin and Krugel, but because some explosive powder allegedly to be used in making bombs had been delivered to Krugel.

News reports also carried accounts of past JDL activities that included marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting, publishing literature; so it's probably reasonable to believe that the JDL doesn't just exist in cyberspace, which would have excluded them from the SPLC's list.

I also noticed that the SPLC doesn't list any Latino or Asian hate groups on their web site. Could it be, I wondered, that Latinos and Asians along with Jews are simply free of hate? I took a couple of minutes and did a quick internet search that turned up Jewish, Latino, and Asian versions of some of the European American groups listed.

So,why are European American groups listed as hate groups while some Jewish, Latino and Asian groups, aren't? Could it be because many European Americans are haters no matter what they say or do, and Jews, Latinos and Asians aren't haters no matter what they say or do? Somehow, that doesn't seem right.

I next checked some of the web sites of the European American alleged hate groups listed. Many of the groups seem to be interested in constitutional issues; others are interested in matters of heritage and many are political or religious in nature. Many of them use direct, working class language instead of the circumspect language of the academy, and many of them weren't politically correct, but in America we have a tradition of having a robust exchange of ideas, and most of these sites were in the best traditions of this nation. I couldn't find any calls to violence on the European American sites I checked, but I didn't check them all. In contrast, some of the non-European American sites--that, as mentioned, didn't make it to the SPLC hate group list--did seem to come very close to advocating violence, revolution and even the taking back of parts of the United States to be part of Mexico.

#  #  #


The Outsider "THE OUTSIDER" H. Millard's novel of alienation in post-American America is available. Get it by telephone: 1-877-823-9235, at Amazon.com or from Barnes & Noble.
If THE OUTSIDER doesn’t appear when the link page opens, just type in the author’s name or ISBN and it should take you to the book. The book is also available in brick and mortar stores, either on the shelves or by asking for it.
The ISBN for the OUTSIDER IS: 0-595-19424-9 (helps when ordering).