H.L. Mencken by the Forward

Why we shouldn’t be quoting H.L. Mencken

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It was simultaneously surprising and ironic to read a quote from the notoriously anti-Semitic H.L. Mencken in your July 28 article about anti-Semitism.

Mencken infamously wrote the following in his 1930 “Treatise on the Gods,” one of his best known books: “The Jews could be put down very plausibly as the most unpleasant race ever heard of. As commonly encountered, they lack many of the qualities that mark the civilized man: courage, dignity, incorruptibility, ease, confidence. They have vanity without pride, voluptuousness without taste, and learning without wisdom.”

We are in an authentically remarkable moment in time when so many are struggling to point out the racist and bigoted remarks and deeds of Americans of the past and explain how allowing the flaws of these figures to continue unexamined hurts our nation as a whole.

Mencken just as surely as fellow extremists Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Charles Coughlin, Louis Farrakhan, Mel Gibson, Helen Thomas, Noam Chomsky, and David Duke are Jew-haters and anti-Zionists and must be called out as such.

There is no place for using any quotes from any of these anti-Semites in any positive or neutral way. Especially not in a Jewish publication.

Moshe Phillips is National Director of Herut North America - The Jabotinsky Movement

Why we shouldn’t be quoting H.L. Mencken

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Why we shouldn’t be quoting H.L. Mencken

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