Everyone’s, or at least my, favorite part of politics is the hypocrisy. Oh, the silly things one will say and do to push an agenda. Those disgusting little instances of the pot calling the kettle black have far too often been accepted as legitimate activity, and many Americans buy into it. Therefore, I feel it necessary to compile a list of organizations, national and local, that epitomize sleaziness, hypocrisy and all around dumbassness.

Paul Wong
Ari Paul

The Anti-Defamation League

Or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Christian Right.” In reaction to growing criticism of the Israeli occupation, the ADL has decided to buddy up with the evangelical right because people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell support Israel. They don’t support Israel for any great love of the Jews; it’s 1) out of their support for an imperialistic foreign policy, and 2) because the Jews returning to the region fulfills a Christian prophecy about Judgment Day. Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, states that current “realities should make American Jews highly appreciative of the incredible support that the State of Israel gets from a significant group of Americans – the Evangelical Christian Right.” The same group of people that put up billboards about how the Jews need to convert is now Abe’s best friend. The ADL’s official slogan is “Fighting Anti-Semitism, Bigotry and Extremism Since 1913.” Apparently after 89 years, the ADL doesn’t really care anymore.

Students Allied for Freedom and Equality

The brainchild of LSA senior Fadi Kiblawi dedicates itself to fighting racism (mainly Israel). The fallacy that combating certain types of racism is anti-racism is proven by the fact that many members of SAFE are openly racist. One member posted links to a white supremacist website on a University-related Internet message board in order to “prove her point.” Another decorated his dorm room door with caricatures of Jews with big noses. Another, in response to a book that denied the existence of the Holocaust, once said in complete seriousness, “other than that, it’s a pretty good book.”

The United States of America

President George W. Bush has outlined a simple policy that tells us who against we must wage war. The criteria are: any country that possesses and has used weapons of mass destruction, any country that aids and abets terrorist organizations both foreign and domestic and any country that has invaded defenseless nations. Therefore, the United States of America has no choice but to launch a pre-emptive strike against the United States of America, and anyone who disagrees is, well, un-American.

National Rifle Association

Every single member of the NRA probably has at least two American flags for each gun, so it’s pretty easy to assert that those that love their guns love their country. They love their country so much that they support the political force that wants to protect us from terrorism so badly that they are willing to throw away our constitutional freedoms, except of course, for the only liberty that may actually cause terrorism, which is the right for anyone to buy as many uzis, bazookas and nuclear warheads as one possibly desires. Furthermore, if Saddam Hussein actually does have a weapons stockpile, wouldn’t the NRA defend his rights?

Michigan House Co-Op

Inside this house (it is sometimes referred to as Michigan Socialist House), one will find a sign saying “Co-ops Cure Poverty” and surely a few bumper stickers like “I’d rather be smashing imperialism” on bedroom doors. And sprinkled throughout the house are the whitest kids on the block smoking reefer and pounding brews in a revolutionary act against capitalist society.

It’s not exactly hypocrisy, but there’s a certain something about a house full of kids that think that by sharing tofu and rice and drinking microbrews they’re going to alleviate the world of socio-economic inequality. But if they’re right, then cheers! And pass the tofu.

It seems that these organizations spend more time thinking about all the things that they hate and not enough time on how they should behave themselves. Next time SAFE wants call something or someone racist, they should all look within themselves and come to terms with their own prejudices. The ADL should have more common sense than to throw away their values and make friends with anti-Semitic, racist demagogues in blind defense of the Israeli policies.

But people get so caught up in their emotions that they don’t even realize that they are making complete fools of themselves. And sometimes, the public doesn’t know all the facts and doesn’t know how hypocritically some of these very influential groups are behaving.

If more people called out these groups for being so publicly ignorant, maybe they would act a little better. That’s probably expecting too much.

– Ari Paul can be reached at aspaul@umich.edu.

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