I know John touched on this earlier, but I am amazed at how low the ADL has sunk. There was a time in my lifetime when this was an organization to look up to. Like the ACLU and the NAACP, the ADL was an organization committed to justice and protecting core ideals and beliefs regardless of the political winds of the moment. All three groups were born in response to mobs of hate attacking minority groups in America.
The NAACP was a response to the Jim Crow backlash to Reconstruction and the open terrorist campaign of neo-Confederate white extremists in America. The ACLU was founded in the wake of the Palmer Raids and a Conservative effort to piss on the Bill of Rights. The ADL was founded in response to the Confederate campaign of hate spilling past blacks and extending to immigrants–especially immigrants with weird religions like Catholicism and Judaism.
In 1913 a Jewish worker in Atlanta was accused of raping a Southern girl. He was lynched by the same kind of hate fueled mob that inspired (and still inspires) the NAACP to call out racism. Out of that lynching, the Anti-Defamation League was born.
For most of the last 100 years these three groups have been true to their core missions, but that is no longer the case. While the NAACP and the ACLU continue the fight for justice, the ADL has quit the field.
Once the ADL was an organization of heroes. No more. Now when bigots call for a lynch mob to form out of fear and religious intolerance, the ADL no longer stands in the way. Now they call on their members to grab a rope and join the rampage.
Peter Beinart has a post up that helps to explain how the ADL went down the hate spiral of Wingnutopia. He makes a good case for how an important organization destroyed its credibility in an effort to appease the powerful and the extremists in their network.
It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad, but it took less than a century for Abe Foxman’s ADL to find common cause with the spirit of bigotry that lynched Leo Frank.
When the flash mobs of hate came for mosques and followers of Islam–Abe Foxman’s ADL decided that silence was insufficient approval. In a through-the-looking-glass bootleg move, the ADL now celebrates religious intolerance. More than that, they encourage their followers to join the old school American pastime of hate/fear fueled mob action. I can hardly wait to hear Foxman justify a lynching because the mere existence of the mooslim victim had hurt someone’s feelings.
Foxman’s re-branding of the ADL may be complete, but it is is the worst re-branding effort since New Coke.