A recent case in the South Euclid Municipal Court should warn conservatives where cultural Marxism is heading. It has long used judicial processes to enforce its rules on university campuses. But its goal is to use the legal system to cram its commands down the throat of every American. In South Euclid (a suburb of Cleveland), a judge did exactly that.
The facts of the case are these. In a long-running feud between two neighbors, one man had consistently harassed the family next door to him, including in ways that included assault (spitting on them) and damaging their property. The family included some disabled people. The harasser, Mr. Edmond Aviv, pleaded no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct.
Mr. Aviv had broken the law, and in consequence was sentenced to 15 days in jail, seven months on probation, 100 hours of community service and anger management classes, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer of April 11. So far, so good.
But the sentence did not stop there. The judge, Mrs. Gayle Williams-Byers, a black woman, further ordered Mr. Aviv to undergo personal counseling at the “Diversity Center of Cleveland” and to stand by a busy highway for five hours with a sign reading, “I am a bully. I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in.”
Apart from the brief statement of facts (“I am a bully. I pick on children that are disabled,…”), all the rest of Mr. Aviv’s sentence was pure cultural Marxism. The cultural Marxists insist on “tolerance,” by which they mean Marcuse’s “liberating tolerance:” tolerance for the left and its “victims” groups, intolerance for the right and white males (Mr. Aviv is one). “Diversity” is another culturally Marxist buzz word, which in practical terms means conservatives must live near and accept the behavior of people, again from among the politically correct “victims,” who do not hold or manifest standard middle class values. Nor dare we complain; we are just supposed to keep our mouths shut and put up with it.
None of this is to justify the behavior of Mr. Aviv, who broke some laws. But the South Euclid court to the contrary, “tolerance” (a la Marcuse) and “diversity” are not laws. The court was here enforcing an ideology, not the law. That is a direct threat to the liberties of every American who rejects cultural Marxism, as the law still entitles us to do.
The sentencing of Mr. Aviv to “counseling” at the Diversity Center of Cleveland is straight out of both Soviet practice (sending dissidents to the mental asylums) and Brave New World. Such “Centers,” or on campuses “Studies Departments,” are places where people are psychologically conditioned to accept, or at least not to defy, cultural Marxism. The origins of such places trace directly to Adorno’s book The Authoritarian Personality and the Frankfurt School’s integration of Marx with Freud.
As if all this were not enough, punishing Mr. Aviv by forcing him to hold in public a sign confessing his “sins” against an ideology reeks of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, where “right deviationists” and other dissenters from Maoism were compelled to do the same thing. The object in both cases was to subject the dissenter to public shame and ridicule and to warn others what would happen to them if they defied the state ideology.
But while cultural Marxism is the de facto state ideology both in America and in most of Europe, it is not yet the de jure ideology, at least not here. Courts must apply the law, not invent it. Of course, if actions such as that of the South Euclid Municipal Court are allowed to stand, they become precedents, which other judges can then cite to the same end, enforcing ideology.
Mr. Aviv served his sentence, at least the part that had him sitting by the side of the road holding his sign, rather than appeal it. But Judge Williams-Byers sentence, at least the ideological portion of it, is so lacking in a legal basis that it should raise the question of judicial misconduct. Members of the Ohio Bar Association and of the Ohio legislature would appear to have standing to raise that question. Let us hope that some of them do.