Hate-free zone


Hate has no home here.

There. I said it. I am now officially a good person.

I’m considering adopting that as the permanent tagline for my column so that people will know that this is safe place, where they won’t find ideas that they disagree with or make them uncomfortable. But that’s just a secondary reason.

The main reason I’m doing it is so that everyone will know what virtuous, noble person I am.

I’m also working on getting one of those signs for my front lawn that has “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE” written in five languages. Russian won’t be one of the languages, because we hate Russia. Hate has no home here, but hate for Russians has a long-term lease until at least November 2020.

The HATE HAS NO HOME HERE sign will look great in my front yard – right next to my ADT Home Security sign. Even though I’m for open borders for our country, I don’t want to share my home with any riffraff walking in off the street. Being welcoming has its limits.

The Hate Has No Home Here movement “seeks to declare neighborhood residences, businesses and places of community free from hate speech and behavior, providing safe places for conversation, work, learning and living. Having a sign is a public declaration that hate speech and hateful actions against others will not be tolerated.”

You’d think that would go without saying. But these days, nothing goes without saying. Everything must be said, especially when displaying it on a sign makes us feel superior to our neighbors who don’t feel the need to state the obvious.

We’ve come a long way as a society in terms of human and civil rights. But we feel much more righteous pretending it’s still Selma, Alabama circa 1960. That way we can engage in ostentatious virtue signaling, and every homogeneous suburban community can justify having its own Human Rights Commission.

At the turn of the 20th century, economist/sociologist Thorstein Veblen coined the term “conspicuous consumption’ to describe the practice of spending money on acquiring luxury goods and services as a way to publicly display social power and prestige.

Today we have “conspicuous compassion,” whereby we use things like lawn signs to signal our virtue and enhance our standing in the community.

In 2017, conspicuous compassion is much more fashionable than conspicuous consumption. It’s also cheaper. Why spend $50,000 on a Tesla when you can just slap a “Coexist” bumper sticker on your Subaru?

It’s literally the least you can do.

[This column originally appeared in the July 20, 2017 Wakefield Daily Item.]

4 Responses to “Hate-free zone”

  1. Doesn’t the “no hate” mantra really mean that the left has the right to label you as a “hate monger” if you are against gay marriage, mass immigration of Islamic people to your country or the belief that global warming is man made? Isn’t it really based on the rejection of intellectual debate by labeling people as “haters” so they can automatically be disregarded rather than engaging with them in debate?

  2. No one. No one. has defined the manufactured, hate-shaming situation as clearly as you. I must post the link to your blog on my Facebook. Can we dare hope some will see their selves?

  3. I couldn’t articulate why those signs rubbed me the wrong way and you nailed it perfectly. I appreciate this commentary on so many levels, thank you.

  4. “Conspicuous Compassion.” Brilliant! And precisely right. I like to think that my neighbors who post these utterly meaningless signs in their yards have honorable motives. It is really difficult, however, to not read these messages as “I am a good person. And by implication, you are not–at least not as good as me.”

    If I had the guts, I would post my own sign that reads: “HATE LIVES HERE: Terrorists, child molesters, illegal immigrant felons and Kim Jong-un, BEWARE!”

    Thanks, Mark.

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