Wrong is wrong

By H. Millard
web posted April 1999

Some things are just wrong.

And they're wrong not because this or that person says they're wrong or because this religious tradition or that says they're wrong or because the laws say they're wrong. They're wrong, because they're not fair and because they don't treat all people the same in the content neutral way that we have prided ourselves for in this country.

People of true principle know when wrong is being done, but unfortunately, too many people have a relative view of right and wrong -- and these people are found on the right, on the left and in the middle.

Those with this relative view will often mouth noble sounding phrases about freedom of speech or freedom of assembly or freedom of religious views and on and on, but what these relativists often mean is that they want these freedoms but don't want those who disagree with their views to have them.

Consider the case of Jonathan Pollard who is rotting away in prison because of alleged spying for Israel. What's wrong with having a traitor (if that's what he is) rot away in prison? Just that the public has been denied access to the facts of the case and simply has to rely on the good faith of the U.S. government in telling us that Pollard is a bad guy. How would we feel if someone we knew was thrown in prison and we didn't really know why? Pollard is being wronged.

Consider the case of Matthew Hale who was denied the right to practice law because a "character" committee doesn't like his political, social and religious views. If Hale pushed any of the acceptable PC political, social or religious views in our society he wouldn't have been denied his license. This is the problem. The character committee is looking at the content of Hale's views and deciding that this content is not acceptable to the committee.

In a truly just society, the content of one's political, social and religious views (that are things of the mind) should not make one the brunt of those who hold different views. Hale is being wronged.

Consider the fact that in our society all ethnic and racial groups freely organize for their group interests with no hate words thrown their way, except whites. Whites are being wronged.

Consider the fact that President Clinton was raked over the coals for a private sexual matter. Attitudes on sex are ultimately based on religious views, and the religious views of some have condemned Clinton whose personal religious views may not be as strict at these others' views. Clinton is being wronged.

Consider the fact that Pat Buchanan is already drawing hate filled and baseless comments about "racism" from those who intend to smear him once again as he tries for the Presidency. Buchanan is being wronged.

Consider the Vietnamese mobs in Westminster, California attacking another Vietnamese man because he put up a flag and a picture that the mob didn't like. This man is being wronged.

How do we know, in each of these and hundreds of other cases, that someone is being wronged? Simply substitute other items of the same kind when you think of these things and if the person is being attacked in the first instance but wouldn't be in the second, then you can be pretty sure that someone is being wronged and that the haters and bigots are doing their dirty deeds.

Take the case of the just mentioned Vietnamese man with the flag and picture, as an example. He put up a Vietnam flag and a picture of Ho Chi Minh. That's why the mob attacked him. Would he have been attacked had he put up an American or British or any other flag along with pictures of various dead leaders of the nations represented by those flags? Of course not. This means that he's being attacked for the particular content of his expression. This is wrong.

The list of wrongs in our society could go on and on, but to what end? The bigots who attack and do wrong to others won't change their minds. And that's the definition of bigotry. Still, one hopes that there are enough honest decent people left in Post American America who still know right from wrong and who will stay glued to principle even when they have a personal dislike for some other person or position.

Society fails when it allows members of that society to treat other members of that society poorly because of the content of these others' minds and their expressions of this content or when it allows the government to ride roughshod over people's rights because of what these people believe.

Society also fails when it allows the government to act against people behind closed doors and keeps the people from knowing the facts.

Wrong is wrong.

(c) 1999 H. Millard

Current Issue

Archive Main | 1999

E-mail ESR



1996-2020, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.