This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Today's political extremism has roots in the past. The organization that did more than any other conservative group to propel today's extremist takeover of the American right is the John Birch Society. That's according to the new book "Birchers: How The John Birch Society Radicalized The American Right." My guest is the author, historian Matthew Dallek. The society was known for its opposition to the civil rights movement, its antisemitism, its willingness to harass and intimidate its political enemies and for spreading conspiracy theories.No, that is not what the Birch Society was known for. It was primarily anti-Communist. It was also against many other Leftist policies, whether or not related to actual Commie.
Communist plots were alleged to be behind many things the Birchers opposed, from the U.N., to teaching sex education in schools and putting fluoride in the water supply.
The Birchers were not radical at all. The show cannot give any examples of radicalism. It mentions water fluoridation, but the State of California was also against it, and so were a lot of others.
It was not racist or antisemitic either. Some members may have been, but people are free to have opinions. It would be easier to make the case that the Democrat Party was racist and antisemitic.
Speaking of antisemitism, here is Ben Shapiro accusing someone of antisemitism and goes into a rant about how Anne Frank was a 14-year-old girl in Denmark who was captured and gassed to death in Auschwitz. My sources say she was a 15-year-old German living in Amsterdam, and died of typhus.
It may be antisemitic for me to point that out. Possibly illegal in some countries.
The NY Post reports:
The White House on Thursday rolled out a 60-page strategy to counter anti-Semitism in the United States that some Jewish and anti-hate groups say misses the mark. ...I cannot keep up with this. I thought that Jews were against anyone identifying the problem. Jews are the most powerful, influential, and privileged ethnic group in the USA today, if not the world. Nearly all claims of antisemitism have turned out to be hoaxes.
But some groups have taken offense to what the White House says it considers anti-Semitism, and argue that President Biden has chosen a diluted definition of the term that doesn’t say it’s anti-Semitic to oppose Israel’s creation or hold the Jewish state to different standards than other countries. ...
Liora Rez, executive director of watchdog group StopAntisemitism, argues that the Biden administration’s acceptance of numerous definitions “flies in the face of the plan’s assertion that ‘If we cannot name, identify, and admit a problem, we cannot begin to solve it.’”
In a statement, Rez adds that she is “extremely disturbed by several key aspects of the White House’s antisemitism strategy” and says the Biden plan “falls short.”
Update: RT reports;
German police have launched a criminal investigation into English rock legend and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters on suspicion of glorifying Nazism during two concerts in Berlin. The musician has insisted the performance was in opposition to fascism.Shapiro was responding to the Waters performance. I do not want to violate German law. In the USA, we are allowed to post facts about how someone died. Not sure about Germany. I am not trying to deny Nazi tyranny or disturb the peace.