George Lakoff: The Mass Marketing & Normalizing Of Hate


By George Lakoff
George Lakoff’s Website (/18/17)

I have been asked what hate speech is. It is not exactly hard to detect.

Hate speech defames, belittles, or dehumanizes a class of people on the basis of certain inherent properties — typically race, ethnicity, gender, or religion.

The most dangerous form of hate speech comes from the government itself when the President excuses racist violence and supports the oppressive use of governmental force.

Hate speech attributes to that class of people certain highly negative qualities taken to be inherent in members of the class. Typical examples are immorality, intellectual inferiority, criminality, lack of patriotism, laziness, untrustworthiness, greed, and attempts or threats to dominate their “natural superiors.”

The method of defamation typically includes:

  • Salient exemplars — that is, using highly rare and very ugly individual examples that have been sensationalized by the media and taking them as applying to the whole class. Examples: Trump’s racist attacks on Latinos and Muslims, attempting to stereotype all of them and smear entire classes of people on the basis of a handful of individual cases.
  • Extolling the false virtues of the opposite class, suggesting that the defamed class lacks those virtues. Example: The racist right falsely claims that whites are responsible for all advances in civilization. This deliberately covers up the enormous contributions and advances made by nonwhites in order to undermine their status as human beings.
  • Metaphor based on fallacious understanding: “Whites are more evolved” — from a survey of racist right-wing members. Note the mistaken understanding of evolution. The statement suggests that non-whites are lower than whites on an evolutionary scale, as if they were animals.
  • Perhaps the most dangerous form of hate speech comes from the government itself when the President excuses racist violence and supports the oppressive use of governmental force — large, organized crowds of armed demonstrators, police who target minorities, ICE trapping undocumented immigrants for deportation, discriminatory laws that intimidate minorities from voting, etc.

Hate speech these days is not just speech by an individual. It has become an industry for the racist right — organized, purposely provocative, a recruiting tool, and a show of power aiming at greater power.

Mass marketing hate

Mass marketed hate speech is not “mere speech” by an individual. It is actually physical in nature because all ideas are physically constituted by neural circuitry in our brains. When you are repeatedly told by those protected by the President and his government that you are a lesser being and are hated, it can have a crippling effect, physically, on your brain, mind, and heart.

Freedom in a free society is freedom for all. We are not free to prevent others from being free. Hate speech can affect those who are repeated objects of hate with a crippling toxic stress and a sense of distrust and fear that can keep those hated from living full and free lives. Mass-market hate stands resolutely in the path of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans.

Institutions whose role is to promote freedom of speech, thought, and action need to rebut hate speech, rather than give the honor of official invitations to purveyors of mass market hate who bring with them a mass of violence-prone supporters to exploit and dishonor widely publicized “free speech” events.

(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to )

Link to Story

Fascist Worms In The Nation’s Civic Woodwork…

  • White Supremacist Finally Served For ‘terror campaign’ Targeting Jewish Woman — After Five Months In Hiding – Andrew Anglin, infamous founder of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website and the subject of a lawsuit alleging he unleashed an anti-Semitic “terror campaign” on a Jewish woman, has been served via an Ohio newspaper. As The Daily Dot reports, Anglin, who has been off the grid for five months, was served via the Daily Reporter, a Columbus-based legal and business newspaper. Anglin is believed to be in that area based on multiple known addresses, the Daily Dot reports. The lawsuit was served on behalf of Tanya Gersh, a Montana real estate agent who said Anglin and the Daily Stormer launched a “troll storm” against her that resulted in anti-Semitic death threats against her and her 12-year-old son. … Read the Rest


  • Louisiana Man Held For Two ‘racially motivated’ Murders – A suspect has been arrested in the US state of Louisiana for the murders of two black men, which authorities said were “racially motivated”. Baton Rouge police have also charged Kenneth Gleason with attempted murder after shots were fired at an African-American family’s home. Investigators say they discovered the 23-year-old’s DNA on pistol shell-casings found at the crime scenes. A lawyer for Mr Gleason, who is white, said his client denies the charges. During a search of the suspect’s home over the weekend, authorities discovered a speech by Adolf Hitler, as well as cannabis and human growth hormone, US media report. Bruce Cofield, 59, and Donald Smart, 49, were both shot in separate incidents while walking on the streets of the Louisiana state capital last week. … Read the Rest
  • WATCH: Uber Driver Calmly Boots ‘white privilege’ Boasting Bro For Calling Him A ‘b*tch-ass n**ger’ – In a video uploaded to YouTube, a black Uber driver boots a group of young white people out of his car after they begin boasting about “white privilege.” The ride ends with one man calling the driver a “b*tch ass n**ger.” … Link to Story and 5-Minute Video

  • South Carolina Teacher Suspended After Telling 5th Graders To Come Up With Reasons For Joining The Klan – A teacher in South Carolina has been placed on administrative leave after assigning students a question asking them to imagine themselves as members of the Klu Klux Klan. The teacher asked fifth grade students at Oak Pointe Elementary School in Irmo, SC to envision themselves as “a member of the KKK,” and followed the visualization by asking them to answer the question “Why do you think your treatment of African Americans is justified? … Link to Story

  • ‘Did they rape you?’ Armed Right-Wing Militia Surround & Verbally Assault Counter-Protester At DC Rally –  New video from the alt-right’s “Mother of All Rallies” last weekend in D.C. shows an anti-fascist activist surrounded by members of the armed right-wing “Proud Boys” militia, one of whom repeatedly shouted “Did they rape you?” at her. The video, posted by Daily Kos’ Rod Webber, shows antifa activist Lacy MacAuley being pushed by a man, who she then yells back at. She was then escorted out by capitol security, but not before a man Webber identified as a pro-Trump Proud Boy repeatedly yelled “How was Turkey? Did they rape you? … Link to Story and 12-Minute Video

  • New Research Reveals Trump Riding On Wave Of Increased Hate Crimes – New data obtained by Huffington Post indicates first consecutive annual increases in hate crime since 2004. As rights advocates continue to denounce how President Donald Trump has emboldened intolerant ideology, newly obtained data shows that the number of hate crimes rose nationally in 2016, with figures from this year pointing to a troubling trend. The data looking at crimes motivated by racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, or other anti-otherness comes from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino and was obtained by the Huffington Post. The findings from Professor Brian Levin, director of the center, show that from 2015 to 2016, there was a five-percent uptick in hate crimes; that follows a 7-percent rise from 2014 to 2015. “If these moderate overall increases of 5 percent hold nationally for 2016,” Levin told HuffPo, “this will be the first time since 2004 that the nation has experienced consecutive annual increases in hate crime.” … Read the Rest

  • A Scary Number Of Americans Don’t Think Muslims Or Atheists Have First Amendment Rights – Nearly a quarter of Americans ― 22 percent ― either don’t know or don’t believe that U.S. Muslims are granted the same constitutional protections as other citizens. Roughly 20 percent don’t know or don’t think that atheists are protected under the First Amendment. These are among the findings of a new study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, released ahead of the Sept. 17 Constitution Day, which celebrates the anniversary of the U.S. Constitution’s signing in 1787. The survey asked respondents whether they thought it was accurate to say that U.S. citizens who are Muslims have the same rights as all other citizens. Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said it was very accurate or somewhat accurate, while 18 percent said it was very or somewhat inaccurate. Four percent said they didn’t know. On the same question about U.S. atheists, 79 percent said it was very accurate or somewhat accurate, and 15 percent said it was very or somewhat inaccurate. Five percent said they didn’t know. … Read the Rest

  • Alt-Right Executive Boasts: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’ – Patrik Hermansson, a 25-year-old Swede, went undercover to infiltrate the alt-right, creating a fake identity that led him to meetings with some of the group’s leaders. As video Hermansson provided to the New York Times shows, he got one of the group’s highest-ranking members — Alt-Right Corporation board member Jason Reza Jorjani — to admit his “final solution” for minorities. “It’s gonna end with the expulsion of the majority of the migrants, including [Muslim] citizens,” Jorjani told an undercover Hermansson at a pub near the Empire State Building in New York City. “It’s gonna end with concentration camps and expulsions and war at the cost of a few hundred million people.” “We will have a Europe, in 2050, where the bank notes have Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great,” he continued. “And Hitler will be seen like that: like Napoleon, like Alexander, not like some weird monster who is unique in his own category — no, he is just going to be seen as a great European leader.” … Read the Rest