Place For Counterfeit Tolerance
light of recent revelations, it has become abundantly clear that Watertown
would be better off were it not ensnared in the “No Place
to Hate” quagmire. The current controversy has done nothing but
(ironically) cause division; threaten, if not encroach upon, free speech;
and in general become a distracting nuisance. In short, it is exactly
the kind of phony feel-good twaddle that our municipal government has
no business getting involved in.
But alas, the die has been cast. We find ourselves in bed with Abraham
Foxman, National Director of the Anti Defamation League and Armenian
genocide denier extraordinaire.
Despite this sad truth, Tab Editor - Chris Helms - advises us not to “throw
out the baby with the bath water”. He adds: “when our friends
disappoint us, the solution isn’t to stop being friends”.
Wow! I’m completely awe-struck by my editor’s Solomonic wisdom.
Why, his argument is truly a Socratic wonder! Rivaled only by the “alternative
logic” recently articulated by our Council President!!
First of all, ya just gotta wonder: Has Chris Helms listened to a few
too many Grateful Dead records? He sure seems to be singing their ‘psychedelic
hit’: “A Friend of the Devil is a Friend of Mine”.
Secondly, any “friend” who denies the Armenian genocide is
no “friend” of Watertown and should be no “friend” of
yours—Mr. Helms! You might ask yourself if over indulgence in mainstream
media Kool Aid has induced this biased absolution.
Watertown has no choice but to extricate itself from “No Place
to Hate”. How can Watertown --of all places-- remain associated
with a genocide denier, no matter how remote the connection?
The ADL’s collaboration in Turkey’s genocide denial is not
simply a matter of hypocrisy by the national organization. Local “No
Place to Hate” committees (ADL ancillaries) stand equally in contempt
because they have not withdrawn their affiliation and or demanded Foxman’s
Foxman’s actions are a vile repudiation of the very principles
the ADL claims to advocate. They damage the ADL’s credibility,
stripping it of any moral authority. More importantly, “No Place
to Hate” now appears to be nothing more than counterfeit tolerance
based on selective indignation.
Local sponsors claim they are not participants in the ADL’s genocide
denial. Ok, fair enough. Why didn’t they immediately inform us?
Instead, they allowed the Council to reaffirm “No Place to Hate” unaware
of Foxman’s treachery! If they didn’t know beforehand, will
they now publicly condemn Foxman? Demand his immediate termination? Sever
any and all ties with the ADL until he’s removed and repudiated?
As for Watertown, our continued participation (in “No Place to
Hate”) would amount to nothing less than a tacit approval of the
Armenian genocide and it’s subsequent denial.
Our town has always been a welcoming community. Just look at the diversity
that occurred here naturally. We didn’t need ADL social engineers
or a federal mandate. And we don’t need a silly sign stating the
obvious or programs sponsored by organizations that have dubious agendas!
If we insist on affirming what is already clearly evident, why not craft
our own proclamation of fraternal love? We can design our own silly sign,
with our own catchy slogan. Heck, we all know Kumbaya. We can certainly
sing it without the discordant virtuoso Abraham Foxman, leading his phony
Why should we continue to associate with an organization that, by duplicitous
leadership, denies the Armenian genocide?
Not only should Watertown withdraw from the program, we should take a
page from the activist handbook. Why not urge other communities to boycott
the “No Place to Hate” until the ADL removes Foxman? By doing
so, we could help restore the ADL’s integrity and truly be able
to say that Watertown condemns hatred in all its forms.
Watertown’s residents did not ask to be ensnared in this quagmire.
We, rather I might say, the Council was hoodwinked. That’s what
happens when the Council gets embroiled with inane gestures that have
little if anything to do with municipal governance.
This controversy should serve as a lesson. Watertown’s municipal
government exists to govern the town. The Council should limit its activity
to pressing matters such as the budget, the town’s infrastructure,
and future development. It has limited time and resources, and can ill
afford to waste them on feel-good proclamations, social engineering,
idiotic signs, and politically correct pandering.
Unfortunately, having fallen into a trap, the Council has every moral
obligation to act forthwith to rectify the situation. The citizens of
Watertown should give them no rest until they do!
We owe no less to the multitude of Armenians that fled persecution to
legally settle in Watertown. We owe no less to ourselves as a loving
and welcoming community.
Watertown Citizens for Common Sense Government