One Voice Can Make A Difference

By Ralph Filicchia

“Dr. King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. It bends towards justice, but here is the thing: it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice….” Barack Obama

In early May of 2007 one man noticed a sign in front of his Town Hall that read: This Is A No Place For Hate Community. He inquired about the sign and found it had to do with a “No Place For Hate” proclamation the town had signed with the Anti-Defamation League. He read the Proclamation and decided he did not agree with it, considering it a threat to his freedom of speech and expression as a free American.

A week later, he appeared before the Town Council of Watertown, Mass. and demanded that the sign and proclamation be done away with for the above reason, and also because he found them offensive. The Town Council of this very liberal town of 32,000 people decided to ignore his request.

The fight began.

The man started with letters to the editor in the local paper. A few people here and there began agreeing with him, but the Town Council continued to ignore his request. Momentarily frustrated, the man bought a 3 by 5 Confederate flag and hung it in front of his house over the front lawn as a public sign of rebellion against the town’s position.

The Boston Globe newspaper got wind of the story and sent a photographer out to get a shot of the man and his flag, with some of the man’s accompanying comments. The picture and story appeared in the June 24 issue of the Boston Globe and as a result was seen by thousands in the greater Boston area.

One man from the adjoining city of Newton contacted the man twice to inquire about the turmoil in Watertown. The first man suggested that this man send a letter to the local Watertown paper and give him some support. The man from Newton did this, and in his letter mentioned that the Anti-Defamation League was lobbying Congress not to recognize the Armenian genocide of 1915-1922, so why was Watertown involved with the ADL’s NPFH program?

Why was that important? Watertown Mass. has the 2nd highest population of Armenians in The United States — and they did not take too kindly to this news. This was the spark that started the fire!

At the same time a columnists for the weekly Watertown paper began hammering the issue demanding that the NPFH and its sign be dumped as the town leaders had no business getting involved in issues of this nature and should stick to worrying about potholes and police salaries, etc.

The uproar from the town’s approx 8,000 Armenian citizens began to overflow into other communities and was noticed by Armenian congregations in other parts of the country, especially in the Los Angeles area. It wasn’t long before some Jewish groups began scolding Abraham Foxman, head of the ADL, for trying to suppress information on the Armenian genocide. (The Armenians and the Turks have a good relationship and Turkey had evidently asked the ADL to pressure Congress not to push the matter for its own political reasons.) At this point the story really took off! Front page articles in the Boston Globe were filled with news of the ADLs crisis in leadership. The conflict was picked up on the internet and actually went worldwide, even being reported in Jewish publications based in Brussels, Belgium, and inquired about by the Jerusalem Post in Israel, and also by almost every Armenian publication in the USA.

At its next meeting the Watertown Town Council, under pressure they could no longer face, voted unanimously to throw out the “No Place For Hate” program. The Proclamation was rescinded and the sign taken down that very night. One councilor even began a campaign to ask other cities and towns in eastern Mass. to dump their NPFH program in deference to the Armenian people in Watertown.

As of this writing, 13 towns around the greater Boston area have thrown out the ADLs “No Place For Hate” program. There is no way of knowing what can happen if even one man stands up publicly and says, “Hey, wait a minute. I don’t agree with this!” You could start an avalanche for something good that has been waiting to happen and that could snowball worldwide, and that never would have happened if you had kept your complaints to yourself and your own inner circle.

4 Comments

  1. Jefferson

    February 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I like this story. It is a very good example of what one person can accomplish if they just speak out. If you are reading this newspaper, chances are you are that “type” of person. The one willing to stand alone for what is right. I hope we all have the fortitude to be this “one man.”

  2. sherry

    February 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I was very excited to print it. The author, Ralph Filicchia, was actually the one referenced in the article…so you can tell he is humble, but not one to toot his own horn. It seems he just wanted to share his success with others who may think that they can’t affect change…

    I hope to be able to find more stories like this to reinforce that we are far more powerful than we are accustomed to realize when we are motivated by the right things…

    Is that how you’d put it Jefferson?

  3. Jefferson

    February 12, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Jefferson says….You put it better than she could.

    This article will get passed along for the very reason you mentioned. Encouragement and hope tend to be in short supply these days.

  4. Ilana

    February 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    THE EARLIEST “HATE” CRIMINALS

    If you can’t guess the people I have in mind, I’ll give you
    some clues—clues found in a major world religion that is many
    centuries old. I’ll call it Religion X.
    Religion X traces its roots back to the First Couple, Adam and
    Eve. They were on earth before any other form of worship—before
    Islam (appearing 14 centuries ago), before Hinduism or Buddhism
    (appearing 25 centuries ago), before even the worship of various
    gods in Mesopotamia (60 centuries ago).
    Early on, Religion X’ers were told by their God: “Love your
    > neighbor—and even the stranger who dwells among you—as much as
    > you love yourself.” But it wasn’t long before Religion X began
    > rebelling against the laws of the One who had blessed and
    > preserved it so much. In response God warned: “All those who hate
    > me love death.”
    > After centuries of hating their God (which predictably led to
    > hatred of fellow humans, God’s creations), Religion X’ers were
    > allowed by God to be conquered and transported to ancient Babylon
    > where they experienced a 1,600-year-long “vacation.”
    > If you haven’t guessed yet, the religion I’m describing is
    > Judaism. But don’t stop reading. The
    > most shocking stuff is just ahead!
    > While in Babylon, the “wise men” among the people began
    > formulating new laws which supposedly supplemented and explained
    > the time-tested Old Testament writings. But the new rules actually
    > contradicted and eventually replaced the original laws!
    > The “new and improved” laws are collectively known as the
    > Talmud. Even though rabbis are Talmudic experts, probably not one
    > Jew in a thousand (and not one non-Jew in ten thousand) knows what
    > is in the Talmud. Without further delay, here’s some of the
    > Talmud’s “wisdom” (plus sources):
    > (I) THE TALMUD HATES SCIENCE:
    > Hyenas turn into bats after seven years, and later on turn into
    > thorns and demons (Baba Kamma, 16a).
    > Being naked in front of a lamp causes epilepsy (Pesahim, 112b).
    > There’s medicinal value in dirt found in an outhouse’s shadow,
    > also in a white dog’s excrement (Gittin, 69a,b).
    > (II) THE TALMUD HATES FEMALES:
    > The birth of a girl is an unhappy event (Baba Bathra, 16b).
    > It is never good to talk too much to women including one’s own
    > wife (Aboth, 1.5).
    > All women are “temperamentally light-headed” (Kiddushin, 80b).
    > It is okay to divorce your wife if she spoils your food, or if
    > you find a more beautiful woman (Gittin, 91a).
    > (III) THE TALMUD HATES CHILDREN:
    > It is lawful for a girl three years old to have sexual
    > intercourse (Abodah Zarah, 37a; Kethuboth, 11b,39a; Sanhedrin,
    > 55b,69a,b; Yebamoth, 12a,57b,58a,60b).
    > When a man commits sodomy with a boy under nine years of age,
    > it “is not deemed as pederasty” (Sanhedrin, 54b,55a).
    > Sexual intercourse with a boy under the age of eight is lawful
    > since it isn’t fornication (Sanhedrin, 69b).
    > (In other words, Religion X became X-rated! Is it any wonder
    > that many Jewish persons today are liberally involved with the
    > current sexual revolution and are even favorable towards
    > legalization of adult-child sex?)
    > (IV) THE TALMUD HATES ALL NON-JEWS:
    > Since all Gentiles are only animals, all Gentile children are
    > bastards (Yebamoth, 98a).
    > When a non-Jew robs a Jew, he has to pay him back, but if a Jew
    > robs a non-Jew, he doesn’t have to pay him back. Moreover, when a
    > Gentile kills a Jew, the Gentile must be killed, but when a Jew
    > kills a Gentile, “there is no death penalty” (Sanhedrin, 57a).
    > It is okay to “use subterfuges” in a court of law in order to
    > cheat a non-Jew (Baba Kamma, 113a).
    > (V) THE TALMUD HATES CHRIST AND CHRISTIANS:
    > Jesus was born a bastard (Jewish Encyclopedia, “Jesus”;
    > Yebamoth, 49b).
    > Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a whore and “played the harlot
    > with carpenters” (Sanhedrin, 106a,b).
    > Jesus “practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostacy”
    > (Sanhedrin, 43a).
    > Jesus was punished and sent to Hell where he ended up in
    > “boiling hot excrement” (Gittin, 56b,57a).
    > Christians will go to Hell “and be punished there for all
    > generations” (Rosh Hashanah, 17a).
    > Those who read “the works of the Judeo-Christians, i.e., the
    > New Testament” will end up in Hell (Sanhedrin, 90a).
    > The books of the Christians “may not be saved from a fire, but
    > they must be burnt in their place, they and the Divine Names
    > occurring in them” (Shabbath, 116a).
    > (Now you know what’s been inspiring many of the anti-Christian
    > attitudes and actions these days.)
    > By roughly 500 A.D. Jewish scribes had completed the voluminous
    > Talmud, the written version of what had long been the Jews’ oral
    > tradition—the tradition that Jesus condemns in the 23rd chapter
    > of Matthew and other parts of the New Testament.
    > Whenever anyone claims that for 1500 years the Talmud
    > needlessly aggravated Gentiles (who in turn put Jews into ghettos
    > and even the Holocaust), Jews can look at even earlier history and
    > claim that the “anti-Jewishness” of the New Testament forced Jews
    > to hit back with their printed version of the Talmud.
    > Actually the New Testament, like a newspaper, merely reflects
    > the true condition of Judaism at that time. If someone could prove
    > that damaging descriptions of Jews never appeared before the New
    > Testament, that would be one thing. But during many centuries
    > prior to Jesus or any Christians, Jews were saying and doing the
    > same things that we find them still saying and doing during New
    > Testament days!
    > If the New Testament record of their words and works is
    > “anti-Semitic,” is the Old Testament record of the same
    > rebelliousness just as “anti-Semitic”?
    > A while ago I was talking with a young woman in Los Angeles who
    > is training to become a rabbi. I asked her about the Talmud. (She
    > seemed shocked I should know so much about it already!) “Oh,” she
    > said, “I don’t think it’s as relevant as it once was.” When I told
    > her that the “hate” movie “The Last Temptation of Christ” was an
    > amazingly accurate reflection of the Talmud—and that more such
    > “hate” films are in the works because Hollywood takes the Talmud
    > seriously—she had no explanation.
    > In the future when “hate” laws are passed, will the incredibly
    > hate-filled Talmud and some hate-promoting film studios be swept
    > under the rug?

    [You are allowed to publish this non-copyrighted article. To avoid the prevalent internet censorship, feel free to change the title to "The Original 'Hate' Criminals" (or Crooks, etc.) or "The Earliest 'Hate' Rebels" (or People, Persons, etc.) or "The History of Hate" (or the Jews, the Hebrews, Judaism, etc.) or any other meaningful title, or no title.]

    [Also Google "David Letterman's Hate, Etc."]

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