“The “patriotic” hate speech is based on unfounded accusations and contrived concern for the people, the state and its institutions. Basically, it is an attack which directly spreads hatred against critics of the government and indirectly fosters love for the politicians in power, who are being identified with the state and/or the nation. “
Written by: Zharko Trajanoski, MA in Human Rights
Earlier we suggested that “patriotic” hate speech is recognizable by the division to “We” (“the patriots”) and “they” (“the traitors”) and by the intention to incite hatred against the critics of the current government. We gave several examples of “patriotic” hate speech against “sorosoids” in which they are negatively presented as “spies” and “domestic traitors”, as “terrorists” and “mercenaries” who are destroying journalism, as “thugs” and “crime instigators”, as a “para-state government” and a “gang”, “traitors of the name”…
In this part we will review several recent cases of “patriotic” hate speech against NGOs due to their public criticism of government policies. We’ll see how “patriotic” hate speech is used to blame the NGOs for the failures of the government, and how the NGOs are presented by the media as “enemies” of the state and the people.
„Critics as “constant culprits” for all the problems in the country
The “patriotic” hate speech is based on unfounded accusations and contrived concern for the people, the state and its institutions. Basically, it is an attack which directly spreads hatred against critics of the government and indirectly fosters love for the politicians in power, who are being identified with the state and/or the nation.
For example, on the same day that the NGO “Civil” promoted the publication in which the previous elections were assessed as a “dirty match“, pro-government media published several demeaning articles with different titles, but with almost the same propaganda content.
For instance, the title “Civil is attacking the government with 5.2 million euros – unnecessarily stirring interethnic intolerance” is defamatory, as it states that the NGO has all the funds of the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia, and accusing it for fueling interethnic intolerance.
The same defamatory statements are used against the NGO in titles such as “Civil conducts someone’s black scenarios – fueling tensions and provoking interethnic conflicts and “NGO Civil – the striking fist of SDSM.
This timed cannonade of propaganda media content has nothing to do with ethical journalism and is a classic example of “patriotic” (or “partyotic”) hate speech aimed at a non-governmental organization.
The articles are based on false accusations (“Civil” allocates much of the Soros funds to the opposition-friendly media”) and on the false concern for the state and its institutions, which were being tarnished by “Civil”: “Aside from the denigration of the state and its institutions, “Civil” is also trying to eat the state from the inside as well, creating an atmosphere of conflicts and strife.”
The articles are using a number of propaganda strategies. The NGO is presented as “guilty by association” it with other “constant culprits” (“Soros” and SDSM). NGO “Civil”, which publicly condemned hate speech by the pro-government media was blamed for “creating a black and white perception of society in which the government will always be the dark side.” The criticism that “Ethnic tensions are the result of wrong policies of VMRO-DPMNE and DUI” is presented as a “denigration of the state and its institutions.” The non-governmental organization which on the occasion of the protests on July 4 was the first to call the citizens and the police to refrain from the use of weapons and violence was blamed for fueling interethnic intolerance. The critic of the policies of the parties in power is presented by the media as a “scapegoat” taking the blame for the current problems (“eating the country from the inside, creating an atmosphere of conflicts and strife.”).
The orchestrated media attacks on “Civil” are also an attack on its “first man”, for whom a perception is created that he was “guilty by association” with “Soros” and SDSM (“The words of SDSM are obvious in every announcement, opinion or report of the “Civil” NGO.) The inciting of hatred against “Civil” is used not only for inciting hatred against the largest opposition party SDSM, but against all the other opposition parties, individuals and non-governmental organizations, all of which are blamed for “doing enormous damage to the Republic of Macedonia”.
Conspiring “patriotic” hate speech
“Patriotic” hate speech is recognizable by the overuse of the word “traitors”. The column “TRAITORS, PATRIOTS, SPIES AND SPOOKS” is a classic example of hatred being spread by the author (identifying himself with the “anguished, but wise Macedonian”) against the “modern traitors” embodied in “part of the NGO network in our country – led by quasi-intellectuals and spineless people.”
The author of the column is not concealing at all that the motive for his “patriotic” outpouring of hatred against non-governmental organizations are the critical reports: “The reports, rating lists, assessments of freedom, democracy, media, rights and similar things that these organizations periodically present.”
The title full of labels “TRAITORS, PATRIOTS, SPIES AND SPOOKS” refers to a “social sore spot called NGOs”, a puppet managed by “foreign governments (hiding behind philanthropic foundations).”
To substantiate his “patriotic” claim that NGOs are foreign “agents”, the author uses the following unsubstantiated “facts”:
“The United States has a total of four (FOUR) foreign NGOs. NGOs MUST be registered with the US Department of Justice, Counterespionage section. “
Interestingly, this unsupported assertion, with exactly the same words, letters and punctuation is also found in the column “NGO in the US!!!“, which features a more explicit “conspiring” hate speech against NGOs:
“In Macedonia NGOs can do what they please at will, they are not being asked about anything, they can spend cash without anyone knowing its origin… They can create chaos, lie, manipulate … No one can stop their rampage of destruction.”
It is indicative that the motive for this media attack on all the NGOs in Macedonia was the TV newscast criticizing the media’s denigration of the world organizations, emphasizing that “according to the last report of the international organization Freedom House, only three positions separate Macedonia from the states with completely controlled media.”
This is another one of the numerous examples of how “patriotic” hate speech is being used in an attempt to discredit and silence the NGOs criticizing the government in the Republic of Macedonia.
|Series of analyses on “patriotic” hate speech in Macedonia:|