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A Checklist Of Hate

In Oregon, Big Brother wants you to love -- or else (1984 still)

Hi everybody, I’m really sorry that I’ve been quiet here these past two days. I’ve been in New York City on TAC business, but I also had some other things I had to do. Most importantly, I had to get my visa sorted for my trip to Russia later this fall. I went to the consulate this morning, and began a long journey. The happy result is that I will have a visa, and my passport will be mailed to me with the visa in it. But man, did it ever take some doing. What an incredibly bureaucratic procedure. I’m glad I took care of it in person, though, despite the long delay. I probably would have screwed it up had I relied on mail alone. In fact, I know I would have; the “invitation document” that everyone going to Russia is required to have did not have “Jr” attached to my name. Had I relied on the mail, it would have delayed the entire thing so long that I might not have been able to go to Russia at all.

Anyway, I have a lot to get caught up on here. I’m about to board a plane for home, so I’ll be real quick with this. A reader sent this poster from the workplace. This appears in a state office in Oregon:

Read it closely. Notice all the things that are defined as “love” — which presumably means their opposite is “hate”. Don’t want to be an “ally”? You’re a hater. Don’t agree that “all forms of family” is family, even if you don’t say a word about it? Hater. Don’t want to “share power”? We know what you are, and it rhymes with mater. Aren’t “culturally flexible,” whatever the hell that means? Hatey McHaterface!

And so on.

This is a state agency. This is the face of therapeutic totalitarianism. The reader who sent it to me says that they are living in the closet in this agency, and that this poster and the ideology behind it seems like a serious escalation of ideological thought-policing.

UPDATE: So, I’m in an Atlanta airport hotel courtesy of Delta Airlines, which was late taking off from LaGuardia tonight. One of these days I am going to learn never, ever, ever to book a flight home that relies on the Baton Rouge leg of the journey being the day’s final flight there. I was at the back of the NYC-ATL plane, and huffed and puffed my fat self all over Hartsfield, and galumphed up to the gate just as the jet bridge was pulling away. I tell you this so nobody is wondering why I’m not posting heavily in the morning. I’ll be flying.

Anyway, look, I am really and truly gobsmacked by the fact that more than a few liberal readers of this blog can’t understand why this list is offensive, or at least objectionable. Let me put it to you like this: if this list defined love in ways that quoted the Bible and the Collected Writings Of Pope Benedict XVI and Billy Graham, I would still find it wildly inappropriate, and flat-out idiotic. This is the kind of cheesy office-therapeutic crap that liberals used to make fun of. I’m finding it hard not to get cussy here, but come ON, who in the $%*^@# cares about modulating the inner emotional states of state workers? The Office Of Equity And Multicultural Services of the State of Oregon does. It’s a do-nothing outfit that provides jobs for Grievance Studies degree holders, who make it their job to be political-cultural commissars.

Here’s what a workplace needs: men and women who work honestly, competently, and with respect for and courtesy towards others. “Love is understanding yourself” — whatever that means. “Love is believing my story” — but what if your story is unbelievable? “Love is being in ally-ship” — but if you don’t want to be in ally-ship, are you a hater?

Again: what business is it of the employer here to massage the feelings and internal subjective states of their employees? You’re a freaking state agency, not a New Age retreat center. It’s just so bloody condescending and infantilizing.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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