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The Face of Hatred
An Interview with Matthew Hale, World Church of the Creator

by Scott D. Gillette
sgillette@politicalusa.com

1/23/2000

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The positions of the WCOTC on subjects as varied as the biological makeup of races, the roots of civilization's march in China, and the philosophy of Nietzsche deserve far deeper scrutiny in a separate forum, but it is safe to say that the views expressed here by representatives of the WCOTC speak for themselves. The WCOTC has positions about other aspects of human existence, and they can be explored at http://www.creator.org/. They also have a site for children at http://www.creator.org/kids/ that speaks for itself. 

After the interview, I believe more than ever that the best way of combating any threat the WCOTC may present is by letting them express their viewpoint openly. Although the WCOTC believes that their views will prevail in the end, I believe that as they express their views, their appeal and mystique to individuals who otherwise may be attracted to this group will wither, and as will their argument that their rights to free speech are being denied.

I remember reading a column by George Will several years back that advocated a ban on a pro-Nazi group's effort to march in the Jewish community of Skokie, Illinois. He argued , and I paraphrase, "To give the marchers to right to march is to give them the right to compete in the political process, and the right to compete means the right to prevail." I used to concur with this position, but now I conclude that free speech has to be considered an absolute; otherwise, who would set the boundaries that establishes who has the right to prevail in the political realm, and who does not? Besides, a society that provides for free expression has a way of sorting everything out in the end. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandies had it right when he said, "If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."

I do not know whether the right to free speech carries over to the privilege of Matthew Hale obtaining his law license, as I don't know what the criteria are for receiving the license in Illinois. Nor could I speculate about whether Ben Smith would have gone on the shooting rampage if Hale did get that license. Perhaps Ben Smith's disposition towards violence was already too deeply rooted. Nevertheless, the virulent feelings of rage and generalized resentment that the WCOTC espouses are less likely to metastasize themselves into violence when allowed to breathe in the open air. Moreover, any open society requires a basic faith in the human condition.

But even if free speech serves as the best immediate antidote to preventing organizations like the WTOTC from resorting to violence, what could be done to prevent individuals from joining the WTOTC in the first place? I have two separate views on this: one political, and one spiritual.

From a political standpoint, individuals are far less likely to find racist groups appealing when the American body politic is succeeding and thriving. Maintaining a strong economy and culture, where people can remain free to pursue their endeavors while not being threatened by others, and where the powerful are held accountable for their actions - this is America's promise. The World Church of the Creator does not believe in America the idea, as they only believe in their own ethnic group. But the American idea is a unique experiment in human history, and it's worth fighting for, because it holds all human life as being worthy of dignity. Even if American history is full of examples of this idea being tarnished, this does not mean we should give up on its promise, and indeed the real progress that it has made possible.

From a spiritual standpoint, I can provide no easy answers as to how fewer individuals can be persuaded to join the WCOTC. The sad fact is that the WCOTC provides basic human needs to its members, albeit in a perverse way. The organization provides structure, a set of beliefs that root an individual to something larger than one's self, and a sense of camaraderie among its members. Moreover, the uncompromising harshness of the WCOTC must inculcate its members with a feeling of strength and of being better than others around them.

It's the easiest thing in the world to sit on a soapbox and to talk about how bad it is for people to reject the basic humanity of others who belong to a different race. And of course, it is. The key is to demonstrate through words and deeds that one cannot affirm anything worthwhile and decent that degrades the worth of others. This is where the ideology of the WCOTC is most vulnerable. Even the most irredeemable soul cannot shield itself from periods of vulnerability from time to time, and the moral imperative that Kant believes that we are all born with. The darkest impulses of our natures are always confounded by the divinity of light.

Related web sites:
Stop the Hate.org
Southern Poverty Law Center

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Scott D. Gillette, 2001

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