Portrait of America: Shouting Down the Peaceful “Hate”


Upon some reflection, I actually find it difficult to disagree with progressive state senator Joshua Miller (D, Cranston) when he describes conflicting rallies at the Rhode Island State House regarding Syrian refugees as “one of the most American moments I’ve seen in this building.”

According to Karen Lee Ziner’s Providence Journal telling, “hundreds” of people — including many from the nearby elite Ivy League college where students complain that their academics interfere with their activism — “shouted down speakers” who disagreed with them on a matter of public policy and “jeered” the spokesman from Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

According to Jacob Kamaras, writing for JNS.org, a Jewish speaker concerned about the proliferation of anti-Semitism in Syria was unable to finish his speech because of the “group of about 100 protesters.”  (That number seems more plausible, given photos, than Ziner’s plural “hundreds.”)

When it came time for the angry mob’s own turn at the podium they took the opportunity to denounce the peaceful group’s “hatred and fear-mongering.”  If this isn’t a snapshot of modern American politics, I don’t know what would be.  Young agitators trained in elite institutions to believe that disagreeing with them is tantamount to violence refuse to let a man from a religious minority finish his description of how students in another country are taught to hate people like him.

If the complete impossibility of turning actual reality into any more of a dark, vicious satire doesn’t wake Americans up, I don’t know what would.