The SPLC's Attack on Rush Limbaugh, David Horowitz, and Me
Cohen notes that Blumenthal has tweeted the entries of one David Benedetti, who, on his own website, went after a Jewish reader using Holocaust images, and saying “your grandmother also made a nice lampshade.” Now, he points out, Blumenthal is trying to argue that there is a similarity between Nazi ideology and Zionism -- an old canard of pre-war and wartime anti-Zionist leftists. The same website on which Alterman writes, Mondoweiss, also has published an article by Annie Robbins, who wonders if Miller’s Kansas murders were an Israeli conspiracy.
The danger, as I have pointed out in earlier columns and Cohen too notes, is that left-wing anti-Zionism has become respectable, as the endorsement of Blumenthal by liberal journalists James Fallows and Peter Bergen has revealed. Months ago, I waged an unsuccessful effort to get the New American Foundation to cancel Blumenthal’s appearance. As Cohen writes, the group was “apparently unperturbed by his flock of Nazi admirers, or by the fact that he was the subject of a flattering profile on Press TV, the official mouthpiece of the Iranian regime.”
Now, hardly surprisingly, Mondoweiss has published a piece by Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins, who write in praise of the SPLC attack. Indeed, they say -- possibly intimating plagiarism -- that their article “somewhat echoes our excellent piece by Alex Kane and Phan Nguyen.” This well-known anti-Israel extremist site’s editor and co-author write that “The Southern Poverty Law Center has come to Max Blumenthal’s defense against the wretched smear campaign propagated by neoconservatives and Rush Limbaugh that seeks to connect him to the murders outside Kansas City Jewish organizations a week ago.” No wonder they are also upset that the left-wing Israeli daily Haaretz saw the truth and headlined their own story “Kansas Murderer Admires Prominent Israeli Critic,” referring to Blumenthal.
So, Blumenthal is responsible for the way others interpret his columns, and that includes the manner in which Frazier Glenn Miller uses his words for his own purposes. He wrote his columns to gain adherents for his own point of view; unfortunately for him, a reader who accepted his case was none other than an American KKK advocate and a Nazi. Miller's interpretation of what Blumenthal believes in is accurate, and hence this proves to be more than embarrassing for Blumenthal.
Finally, let me respond to the attack in the Hatewatch column on David Horowitz, because it exemplifies the warped methodology used by the SPLC. To the SPLC, Blumenthal himself is not a hate-monger, but simply is being attacked for “his criticism of Israel.” Really? Anyone reading Blumenthal’s hating screeds knows he goes way beyond criticism, as Nation columnist Eric Alterman has shown.
They describe David Horowitz as “a close associate of Radosh,” and someone whom, they suggest, I should “denounce for inspiring Miller’s murderous rampage.” The reason they argue this is because they quote a years old post by Miller who said that Horowitz’s book Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes, which Miller does not comprehend and which he distorts and also gets the title wrong, “throws Whitey journalistic bones from time to time,” whatever that means.
Secondly, they say that Frontpagemag.com has “apparently condoned Miller’s behavior in the past- notably, his role in the 1979 Greensboro Massacre, in which Klan members shot and killed five protest marchers. Miller was a leader of that massacre and did no prison time.”
Their claim is not only totally wrong, but Horowitz’s website never published anything condoning the Klan members who shot and killed a group of white Maoists who marched in Greensboro and did all they could to incite the Klan to attack them. The article they ran did not, as the SPLC claims, blame “the victims for the massacre because they were Communists, and ultimately praised the KKK and neo-Nazi perpetrators. ‘In this war they were the patriots fighting an anti-American threat that was global in scope.’” The quote they reproduce from the review is meant to prove their argument, and as I will show later, is taken entirely out of context.
Here is the link to the review they are talking about. What author Barbara Kay actually argues, and documents as well, is that the Maoist sect, the Communist Workers Party, wanted to stage a suicidal attack and make themselves Klan targets so that they would “evoke the sympathy of poor blacks and enlist them in their Communist cause.” She documents the earlier attempts of the CWP to provoke the KKK to attack them, and quotes one CWP leader as saying: “There [had] to be some bloodshed. We want as many comrades and friends alive as possible, but some will be killed.” Welcome to Maoism in the USA, 1979 style!
Indeed, Kay’s nuanced review praises the author of the book, a former CWP member named Sally Avery Bermanzohn, as a person who “struggled back, to a life of normalcy and academic achievement,” which she writes is “a testimony to her determination and strength,” and writes that her own testimony “is more nuanced than” others in her book. She says after her husband was paralyzed in the shooting, Sally ran the household all on her own, and she praises her “intelligence and spirit.”
Her entire review is sympathetic to the motivations of the deluded CWP members. In particular, she explores why the black members of the Party responded to real iniquities of Southern racism, and how that led them to be susceptible to Maoist doctrine. Communists, she writes, “are extremely good at mythologizing their own past,” and at “forgetting the victims their ideology has created.” Rather than salute the real victims of racism at their memorials to the 1979 events, she writes that it is mainly “white radicals of the Communist Workers Party” they celebrate, a group that “manipulated blacks for their own political ends” and whom they can now claim were “civil rights heroes.”
Rather than praise the Klan as Hatewatch claims, Kay’s review says that the KKK members "were not more virtuous than the Communists who confronted them, and indeed not virtuous at all. But in Greensboro the Communists provided a symbol that persuaded them [the Klan] that a real war had been declared and that in this war they were the patriots fighting an anti-American threat that was global in scope."
So, she was saying what the Klan believed about themselves -- not as the SPLC Hatewatch author writes, that the quote means Horowitz and his reviewer believe that the Klan were patriots who were fighting a Communist threat. Anyone reading the review can see the meaning of what Kay wrote. The distortion is intentional. It says a great deal about how the SPLC makes an argument, and shows why anything they write cannot be taken seriously.
So, dear readers, I hope you have learned what the SPLC is really about. Their current campaign against all of us reveals their true agenda -- not civil rights, but a willingness to use their clout to attack honest conservatives, who know that both the Ku Klux Klan and the likes of Glenn Miller are as much our enemy as the Communists and anti-Zionists of the far left, and like the man who gives journalism a bad name -- Max Blumenthal.
The SPLC owes an apology to Horowitz, Rush Limbaugh, and to me as well.