October 16, 2018

Incendiary?

After the recent disruption and cancellation of a Donald Trump campaign event in Chicago, the media — and Trump’s Republican opponents — blamed Trump for what had transpired. Specifically, he was blamed for the incendiary remarks he had made at previous events encouraging violence against some protestors. For example, he announced that he would pay the legal bills to defend a man who punched an anti-Trump protestor as he was being escorted out of a Trump event (while extending his middle finger to the crowd).

That those comments were incendiary is incontrovertible. In my last column, I listed many additional reasons for my opposition to Donald Trump.

However, when the left levels the charge of “incendiary,” it betrays a lack of self-awareness that is a marvel to behold. When it comes to incendiary statements in American life, the left has close to a monopoly. And these statements are not made by one individual whose affiliation with the left is new and tenuous — as Trump’s affiliation with Republicans and conservatives is — but by the most distinguished politicians, artists, writers, academics and journalists on the left.

Such comments are made so often that most folks on the left do not consider them incendiary — just everyday truths.

The president of the United States has contributed to a level of racial tension unlike any we have seen in a generation. Black anger at America has actually increased since Barack Obama was elected. Perhaps this was inevitable given how many hopes most Black Americans placed on having a Black president. But incendiary statements by the president have exacerbated this tension. 

The most egregious and damaging has been the president’s reiteration of the term “Ferguson,” as if the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer in that Missouri city was an act of wanton — and race-based — murder. That is incendiary, because it is a lie. Blacks who witnessed that incident and who have no love for the police testified to how legitimate the white officer’s actions were. 

Nearly every Democratic leader and liberal columnist has stated that much of the Republican criticism of Barack Obama is due to racism — as if Republicans were easier on Bill Clinton or will be on Hillary Clinton because they are white. 

Writing during the debate over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that Republicans are “probably reacting less to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s doing, than to who he is.” It’s not Obamacare the Republicans opposed, he suggests, it’s largely Obama’s race. “The driving force,” he continued “is probably … cultural and racial anxiety.”

Is that incendiary?

Former President Jimmy Carter: “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a Black man, that he’s African-American.” 

Is that incendiary?

New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal: “There has been a racist undertone to many of the Republican attacks leveled against President Obama for the last three years.” 

Is that incendiary?

What about the “White Privilege” doctrine that the left uses in almost every college to indoctrinate students against whites? Or the notion close to universally held among left-wing academics that only whites can be racist?

Are those incendiary?

The left labels every white who opposes race-based affirmative action a racist, and labels every Black who opposes it an “Uncle Tom.”

Is that incendiary?

While Donald Trump’s provocative comment that he’d like to punch the nose of a protester who disrupted one of his rallies may have led to one man being punched at a different rally, the left’s drumbeat of incendiary anti-police rhetoric has led directly to police and innumerable others being killed. So many police have disengaged from proactive policing in Black neighborhoods because of the “Ferguson Effect,” that the number of murders in cities such as Chicago has increased dramatically. 

But the left’s incendiary comments are hardly confined to charges of racism.

Left-wing professors at virtually every American university regularly call Israel an “apartheid state.” In my debate at the venerable Oxford Union in 2014, one of my opponents, a left-wing Ph.D. from Berkeley, said that Israel is doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews. And during the last Israel-Hamas war, actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, and director Pedro Almodovar labeled Israel’s actions in Gaza “genocide” and a “war of extermination.”

Are these left-wing libels of Israel incendiary?

For that matter, recall the left-wing reactions to my completely respectful column in the Jewish Journal on the Torah teaching the importance of maintaining the male-female distinction. I was accused of cruelty, intolerance, bigotry, hate, publicly humiliating someone, being like a murderer, ignorance, and much more by left-wing rabbis and other left-wing Jews in leadership positions.

Is that incendiary?

The left labels every American who believes that marriage should remain defined as the union of a man and a woman a hater, a bigot, and, of course, a homophobe.

Is that incendiary?

The left labels Americans troubled by the influx of many millions of illegal immigrants “xenophobic,” “nativist” and “racist.”

Is that incendiary?

Here’s a difference between conservatives and liberals one might ponder. Virtually every major Republican and conservative, myself included, has called Donald Trump’s statements incendiary. Yet there isn’t a left-wing voice of which I am aware that has labeled any of the above incendiary.

Conservatives criticize their own. The left only criticizes the right. 

Dennis Prager’s nationally syndicated radio talk show is heard in Los Angeles from 9 a.m. to noon on KRLA (AM 870). His latest project is the Internet-based Prager University (prageru.com).