E Pluribus Umbrage Redux: Maybe It's "Extolerance"

Hey, Afghans! Not everybody in America is burning copies of the Koran! Here’s a little rally against “Islamaphobia” featuring members of Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace and other groups, held this morning outside L.A.'s Museum of Tolerance at Pico and Roxbury. 

I didn't have time to stop for the demo, but was surprised by it. How can a museum be putting down a religion when it’s a museum of tolerance? Here's a press release from Code Pink: 

50 years ago, the Freedom Riders, a group of black and white women and men who had been trained in non-violence, went to the Deep South to challenge Jim Crow laws and end segregation in interstate public transportation facilities… 

50 years later, we live in a time of widespread Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism.

On April 6, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s “Museum of Tolerance” is honoring the Freedom Riders and asking them to speak to high school students in a videoconference. But it has failed to be a voice for justice for the Muslim community. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has opposed the building of the Park51 Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan and is building a new “Museum of Tolerance” on the site of a historic Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, over strong opposition from relatives of those buried there and others.

Code Pink’s Kristen Ess Schurr says the L.A. demonstration topped out at about 15 people. Jewish Voice for Peace spokesman Jess Bacon (seriously) says a counterpart demo in New York draw about 25 45. 

I don't know whether the Mamilla cemetery issue is worth getting worked up about. The Jerusalem site has become a hot button issue – not a big hurdle to clear in that neck of the woods. But there’s evidence that the development of the graveyard site was slated for development as far back as 1945. 

I was surprised, however, to find that the demonstrators’ claim about the Ground Zero Mosque and School of Dance was accurate. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which funds the Museum of Tolerance, did oppose the Park51 development back when that issue was still in the headlines. I’d think the whole “tolerance” thing would include tolerating the exercise of somebody else’s First Amendment rights. 

In any event, it’s an interesting demonstration of my nearly decade-old Reason cover story “E Pluribus Umbrage,” the gist of which is that there really is no pure anti-discrimination movement on earth, just competing interests, conflicting group identities, and claims of offense. In the measly world of identity politics, everybody ends up hating everybody else. 

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  • Brett L||

    Museum of Tolerance? Now you're just fucking with us.

  • Rich||

  • Mike M.||

    These idiot women of Code Stink should try being a woman living in many of these Arab Muslim countries for a day or two. They would shut their pieholes pretty quickly.

  • Douglas Fletcher||

    They'd love every second of it.

  • Ky Voter||

    The Ground-Zero WHAT?!? Why didn't anyone at H&R blog about this?! That's outrageous!

  • Warty||

    Wait, there's actually a Museum of Tolerance? South Park didn't just make that up?

    Tour Guide: We have to accept people for who they are and what they like to do. [notices someone nearby] Hey! What the hell are you doing? [it's a man smoking on the edge of the fountain]
    Smoker: Oh I was just uh-
    Tour Guide: There's no smoking in the museum!
    Smoker: But I'm not in the museum.
    Tour Guide: Get out of here, you filthy smoker! [the smoker rises and walks off]
    Gerald: Yeah, dirty lungs!
    Sharon: Go ahead and kill yourself, stupid tar-breath!
    Chris: Dumbass!
    Richard: Get out of here! [the smoker walks out of view]
    Tour Guide: Well, have a great day, everybody.

  • ||

    You can't make this shit up, dude.

  • ||

    Your tolerance of the intolerant is intolerable.

    tolerate

  • Thom||

    Tolerance is a strange concept. I've always considered the word to impart a certain dislike or distaste for something. For example, I really don't like my neighbors, but I tolerate them. It's odd that we celebrate this.

  • ||

    ""For example, I really don't like my neighbors, but I tolerate them. It's odd that we celebrate this.""

    Maybe not. Freedom requires tolerance. By tolerating behavior X, people are free do to X.

  • ||

    You are correct. They don't speak of justice or freedom but some idealist notion of be nice...even though they themselves disrespect others' genocides. Too much victimhood for this old Jewish lady.My Bubbe raised be to stand for justice for all.

  • Warty||

  • ||

    Can't we go back to the good old days, when nobody gave a shit what the Afghans were up to?

    Of course, that would require getting all the American troops the fuck out of there. I won't hold my breath.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    I'm pretty sure we're out. Our president has a Nobel Peace Prize. I think he knows a think or two about getting the military out of other countries.

  • ||

    The Museum of Anti-God was already taken.

  • Douglas Fletcher||

    I'm skeptical this actually was a demonstration. One of those signs says "will work for food" and another says "god bless."

  • ||

    No one wants people to be tolerant of them any more. They want us to accept them. That of course is totally different. I do not accept the woman-hating, beheading-at-the-drop-of-a-hat motherfuckers in Islamic countries. I am quite willing to tolerate them, if they stay over there. If saying I hate those shitheads is evidence of intolerance of the Muslims here, too fucking bad.

  • Jim||

    You are correct to draw a distinction between "acceptance" and "tolerance". However, by applying the caveat of "as long as they stay over there", are you saying you would not tolerate (not accept, but tolerate) legal muslim immigrants to the US, who obeyed our laws (presumably meaning they're not beheading anybody or beating their wives)?

  • ||

    All for that. I just don't want to be told that I am intolerant of "them" because I speak out against the barbarous acts of their fellow practioners.

  • ||

    ""I just don't want to be told that I am intolerant of "them" because I speak out against the barbarous acts of their fellow practioners""

    Well let's review.

    "" I am quite willing to tolerate them, if they stay over there. If saying I hate those shitheads is evidence of intolerance of the Muslims here, too fucking bad.""

    So why would you not want to be told you are being intolerant when you are being intolerant?

  • ||

    Wow, let's have our disregard for the US constitution up front and personal. Got racism? just spit it out.

  • ||

    Talking about the clit-cutters and beheaders. Do you want them here? Are you that tolerant? Enjoy.

  • Jim||

    Fair enough. That answers my question, thank you. Any further than that, and we just get into free speech issues (and I'm assuming we won't find anyone here except maybe Tony or Shrike would seriously say that you shouldn't have the right to badmouth people you don't like).

  • juris imprudent||

    we won't find anyone here except maybe Tony or Shrike

    I suppose we can be thankful that Lindsey Graham doesn't grace this forum.

  • Otto||

    I remember speaking to an admission counselor for a college I worked at. He told me about a Saudi guy who was applying to the school. The Saudi was interviewed by the counselor and a female colleague. When answering, the Saudi guy completely ignored the woman and addressed all his responses to the guy.

    He didn't get in.

  • rather ||

    Typical behavior in Arab countries, and a woman alone is told to get a man to converse for them.

    A friend once told me he got a hard-on every time a woman sat next to him on the metro; it took him awhile to control himself

  • Otto||

    In the measly world of identity politics, everybody ends up hating everybody else.

    Figures one of your kind would say that, Cavanaugh.

  • Number 2||

    Where is this "widespread" Islamaphobia and anti-Arab racism anyway? Hiding out with the vast army of obese teenagers I have still yet to find?

  • Paul||

    Here’s a little rally against “Islamaphobia” featuring members of Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace and other groups, held this morning outside L.A.'s Museum of Tolerance at Pico and Roxbury.

    All seven of them showed up?

  • Paul||

    Code Pink’s Kristen Ess Schurr says the L.A. demonstration topped out at about 15 people

    *spits out drink*

    Jesus, I was just kidding...

  • Abdul||

    The most amazing thing is that all seven were able to find a date who would come to this thing. Then they double-counted the fatty.

  • Tman||

    I liked Steyn's take on cultural tolerance-

    When I’m speaking on this subject, I often get asked to reprise the words I quote in my book, from Gen. Sir Charles Napier in India explaining to the locals his position on suttee — the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Napier was impeccably multicultural:

    You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows.You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.
  • Paul||

    I’d think the whole “tolerance” thing would include tolerating the exercise of somebody else’s First Amendment rights.

    My speech: Protected under the First Amendment.

    Your speech: Hate speech or an in-kind contribution.
  • ||

    ""The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global Jewish human rights organization that confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations."

    http://www.wiesenthal.com/site.....&b=4441257

    Is he for tolerance or the tolerance of Jews?

  • Jim||

    Yeah, it's a pretty thin line to walk to "promote human rights and dignity" and also "stand with Israel". I'd be interested to know where they stand when Israel takes actions which diminish human rights and dignity.

    *Gregory Smith Disclaimer*
    I'm not saying the mooslims don't kill innocent Israelis. I'm only commenting on this specific organization's slogans.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No, the line is not thin at all. Israel is a prime defender of human rights and dignity.

  • ||

    "Israel is a prime defender of human rights and dignity"

    You're kidding, right? That's why run pogroms against Palestinian villagers, why Israeli soldiers abuse them at checkpoints, prevent them from accessing water or medical care, and shoot their kids for sport?

  • WTF||

    That's why run pogroms against Palestinian villagers, why Israeli soldiers abuse them at checkpoints, prevent them from accessing water or medical care, and shoot their kids for sport?

    Citations?

  • ||

    I'm sure there must be some report from the UN Human Rights Commission that supports the statments. Oh wait, it was just repudiated by its author.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Cemeteries: Stupid use of land, if you expect it to be there forever andeverandever. Who owns a grave that no one cares about any more- the dead guy?

  • ||

    Speaking of tolerance, the proposed museum in Jerusalem is not "on the site" of a Muslim cemetery. It's to be built on the site of municipal parking lot that sits adjacent to the cemetery. Apparently, Muslims are aggrieved at the notion of a Jewish building near their cemetery.

  • ||

    AS some are fond of saying, "you can have your own opinions but not your own facts." the MOT has long been known as slighting others genocides, defending Israel as all costs even when Israel calls for making neighborhoods in Jerusalem 'jewish only' and deporting the children of foreign workers who are brought in so they won't need to use local Palestinian labor, for example. So I agree that they 'tolerate' what they support and don't 'tolerate' anything Palestinian. The event today was about the fact that the MOT is honoring "freedom riders'. BUT they chose to honor only white and Jewish ones. Not even recognizing the the Freedom Rides were the beginning of the modern civil rights movement and rightfully so was led by African Americans. As a US Jew, who lives in the neighborhood I was creaped out by them from the 1st time I went into the place.

  • sevo||

    Marsha|4.6.11 @ 7:46PM|#
    "So I agree that they 'tolerate' what they support and don't 'tolerate' anything Palestinian."

    "Tolerate" or "support"?

  • ||

    Actually, the NY demo ended up with 45 people. Re building on Mamilla Cemetery, you would think that if the families of people buried in a historic cemetery asked you not to build a Museum of Tolerance on top of the cemetery, you would find another place to build.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Did MOT oppose the Park51 mosque or call for government action to stop it? They are not the same!

  • juris imprudent||

    I think I'm going to start a new RKBA group and call it Code Plink.

  • ||

    The so-called "Museum of Tolerance" advocates desecrating native burial grounds, but only because they happen to be Arab/Muslim native burial grounds.

    For those who note Saudi intolerance of women, why is that relevant to Israel's mass murders of Palestinians and expulsion from their native land, supported by the MOT? FYI a lot of Palestinians mass murdered or exiled by Israel simply because they aren't Jewish were women and children. Tying up the men in a village then shooting them and dumping their bodies in a mass grave, and raping the women, terrorizing others with threats of rape and murder, that's how Israel got rid of the native people, and that's what the head of the MOT supports.

    It's a desecration of the memory of the holocaust too, to use it as a means to get rid of evidence of the native Arab/Muslims of Palestine by building over their graves. And like, if you want to encourage anti-semitism, what better way?

  • rather ||

    up the men in a village then shooting them and dumping their bodies in a mass grave, and raping the women, terrorizing others with threats of rape and murder, that's how Israel got rid of the native people, and that's what the head of the MOT supports.

    Cite your evidence

  • ||

    But you ask the impossible!

  • Gregory Smith||

    What's wrong with opposing a mosque? In New York you can't have certain business near schools, Giuliani persecuted the porn stores, and anyone who wants to build anything has submit his plans to the city.

    In other word, if you wanted to build a skyscrapper shaped like a giant penis, I don't think they would approve.

    So how come when it comes to Muslims everything goes? How come it's easier to build a mosque than a cigar bar in New York? Is it because they tend to kill people when they're angry?

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