"It's time to speak out against hate," declared Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a video introducing the State Department's new "campaign to stop bigotry." Created by the Obama administration's Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Farah Pandith, and Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, 2011 Hours Against Hate will "promote respect across lines of culture, religion, tradition, class, and gender." (All 23 current classifications of gender? Just wondering.) The campaign was launched at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, February 17, 2011.
At the OSCE, Pandith raised legitimate concerns about the defacing of mosques and of Jewish tombs, schools, synagogues, and kosher shops. But she also said that the "latest trends show growing movements that target 'the other' – be they immigrants, or religious and ethnic minorities, in the name of protecting the identity and 'purity' of their nation." By 2011 Hours Against Hate standards, British Prime Minister David Cameron's declaration that multiculturalism has failed is a dangerous targeting of "the other." Pandith also noted that "permissibility of anti-Muslim speech is growing." Really? A host of individuals facing charges, paying fines, and hiding from death threats would be surprised to hear this. But then it seems permissible to target "the other" of "the other."