Friday, August 20, 2010
"A lie in response to a lie, only reinforces the original lie."
Below is a criticism and response to this article published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal group that seeks to discredit and combat the ultra-right.
The article you posted about the "Top Ten Paranoid Beliefs of the "Patriot" Movement" has a serious omission in it, that is key in discrediting this ultra-rightist deception.
The "FEMA camps" conspiracy is based on the McCarran Internal Security Act. (see Wikipedia - McCarran Internal Security Act) This was a law passed in 1950, with the support of "Libertarian" Isolationist Ohio Senator Taft, author of the Taft-Hartley anti-Labor law, as well.
The bill established a government agency called the "Subversives Control Board." It required all members of the Communist Party to register, and "de-naturalized" the citizenship of foreign born members of the Communist Party. It called for the creation of a list of "disloyal" and "subversive" citizens who would be placed in "detention" in times of "internal security emergency."
After the law passed, a list was created, and 2 million people were listed. A network of "camps" was created to place these 2 million listed "subversives" in, if an "internal security emergency" occurred.
The vast majority of the law was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, so it is no longer good law. The camps no longer exist. Most of the land was sold to private owners, some of it is used by the federal government for military training and other purposes.
Ironically, the same people who call Obama a "Communist" and "Socialist" are paranoid about being rounded up and put into camps, under an outdated law, passed by conservatives like themselves to round up actual Communists and Socialists.
The reality of McCaran Internal Security Act, in my opinion, would be much more educational than the articles claim that there is "no proof." It is much more effective to counter the ultra-right by finding out what their actual arguments are, and showing that their supposed "evidence" leads often to the opposite conclusion.
Yes, the camps are long gone. Yes, the law has been stripped of its danger by the Supreme court.
But, the McCarran Internal Security Act is a real piece of U.S. legislation though outdated. It was written to suppress Communists by right-wingers like themselves. Denying that any law ever existed only gives the ultra-right "credibility" when they can point to such a law, and "discredit" those who deny such a thing.
Those who think the U.S. is "communist" or "moving toward socialism" are often very un-informed about the REAL suppression of the ACTUAL socialists and communists.
For example, in California teachers in public educational institutions are still required to sign loyalty oaths, though this is rarely enforced. Until a victorious law-suit by the Socialist Workers Party in 2004, it was illegal for Communists, Socialists, or radical leftists to hold ballot status in the state of Indiana.
The Palmer Raids of 1919 involved the deportation and de-naturalization of thousands of U.S. citizens who were part of the Socialist, Communist, or Anarcho-Syndicalist movement. This act of anti-Communist suppression was carried out by Woodrow Wilson, who is now labeled a "Progressive" and "Socialist" by ultra-right noises of Glenn Beck and Jonah Goldberg.
Likewise, the Smith Act of 1940 was passed and signed into law under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, another figure labeled "socialist" by current "Tea Party" hysteria. This law sent over 300 communists to jail in 1948, after jailing the leaders of the Socialist Workers Party in 1942. The "Mothers Campaign" and "Christian Front" were the only right-wingers ever charged under it, and they were found not-guilty, after a lengthy trial.
Suppression of civil liberties is a reality in U.S. history. To refute the lies of the Tea Party Fanatics and their John Birch, KKK, and corporate puppeteers, it is necessary to do more than "poo poo" their claims and dismiss them as insane. It is necessary to educate the population about the real history of Communism, Fascism, and civil liberties in the U.S.
Denying that any "FEMA Camps" ever existed, as the essay linked below does, only adds to their credibility. All they need do to build loyalty is hold up the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950 and say "liar!" Only the truth, my friends at SPLC, can refute lies. A lie to refute a lie, only reinforces the original lie, by discrediting its opponent.
Regardless of how it may hurt your "credibility" with Social-Democrats, the Democratic Party, and other Liberal Anti-Communists to show the reality of U.S. history, if you are in fact serious about defeating the ultra-rightists and fascists you expose, this must be done.
If the Fascists are victorious, the result is mass death for not just Communists, Socialists, or liberals such as you at the SPLC, but entire populations. 14 million perished in the Nazi Death Camps. Combating such a menace requires seriousness, not sloppy liberalism.
Let us together, effectively combat the fascist movement,
Caleb T. Maupin