Pam Geller: Her blog includes a eulogy for Eugene Terre'Blance
Throughout the long drama of the Cold War, advocates of liberty were left in a dilemma by the failure to define the struggle as anything other than communism versus anti-communism. The latter's unwillingness to define itself as anything positive, as pro-Capitalism, left it willing to side with the unacceptable and defending the indefensible, whether it was the Taliban in Afghanistan, or the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
This left the conscientious defender of liberty in a dilemma. If one considers the American civil rights movement, its proponents could ask how the land of the free could deny liberty to millions of its citizens and use them as canon-fodder solely on the basis of pigmentation? However, its opponents could ask how a movement could advocate justice for the descendants of slavery while defending a system that had just enslaved a third of mankind? Only a vanishing minority were able to oppose both.
I mention this history because a horrible repetition seems to be underway in the counter-Jihad movement. A loose and sloppy definition of what it is for, rather than against is empowering fantastically illiberal movements. I am thinking of two leading lights of the movement, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.
To even begin to make this case, I must make several concessions. It is certainly true that the decision to prevent their entry into the UK is a disgrace. It is also true that one must tackle the ball and not the man; the menace of the Islamic far-Right is not diminished no matter who points it out. Finally, going too far is infinitely preferable to a mainstream that goes nowhere at all. (The most tiresome experience in the recent row over Richard Dawkins's tweets were the number of people who said that, yes, of course they believed it right and proper to criticise Islam, as long as it was under the right circumstances and in the right time, and really, tweeting was just going much too far.)
None of this can make the issues of racism and fascism non-existent or irrelevant.
Once again, I must stress that I do not believe that either Spencer or Geller are racists or fascists or have any sympathy whatsoever for either of those views, and acknowledge that these terms have been abused almost to the point of meaninglessness. However, just take Ms Geller for starters. In her blog, Atlas Shrugs 2000, alongside her anti-Islamic material one finds a rather impassioned piece on the murder of Eugene Terreblanche, the former leader of the South African AWB. Now, what exactly is blog supposedly dedicated to opposing Islam's Jihad doing writing a eulogy for a racist thug, and former leader of a white supremacist terrorist gang? Why, to ask the larger question, are the internal affairs of the new South Africa of any interest whatsoever to Geller and her readers?
There's an obvious answer and it is wrong. Genuine racists do not go out of their way to, for example, form close friendships with escaped Sudanese slaves.. Geller certainly does not want for courage — the defence of slave's rights and the prevention of at least one honour killing is a better days work than I have ever done. However, she suffers from a fantastic lack of discrimination in the stuff she publishes and advances, and this sometimes leads her to recirculate, the work of a truly rancid fringe of the American right — a fringe for whom the present day sufferings of white Afrikaners is a cause celebre and a fringe that had exactly nothing to say about the Apartheid system. That she seems to be completely clueless about the nature of what she is defending, is not a defence that is particularly reassuring.
To further the point about a lack of discrimination, I invite the reader to consider the following. It is true that the world will stop using fossil fuels before the American political process stops using hysterical paranoia, but even by those standards, an article, promoted on Miss Geller's blog, that argues President Obama is the lovechild of Malcolm X is excessive. Her defence is worth nothing — that she didn't believe that President Obama was the lovechild of Malcolm X, merely that the article in question made some other valid points. Well, the prosecution rests.
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