Is the number twelve a hate symbol? Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, the same people that the press quotes as saying All Lives Matter is hate speech also have a section on the number 12.
Why? Apparently, some prison gang (which I never heard of, and which has no members in Romania, Portugal, or anywhere I ever lived), decided to get tattoos that included the number 12. Why 12? Apparently, the first letter of the Alphabet is A, and the second is B. The prison gang, which has without any evidence that I can see been classified as a hate group (okay, I will take their word for it that it is a hate group), allegedly discovered this childhood code of replacing numbers for letters of the alphabet. And, as their gang’s first two letters are A and B, they decided that they would use the code numbers one and two to show membership. How original. (sarcasm).
Of course, many kids in primary school came up with a similar code. I might some day have a tattoo of the number 12 if I want to use the same code to represent Alba Iulia, which uses AB in their license plate, or show that I am a fan of Chuck Barry (whose given name was Anderson), I guess I will have to think up a more complicated code.
I asked chat gtp who else I might not be able to celebrate with a number 12 tattoo
Here are a few famous Romanians with the initials AB:
Ana Blandiana – poet, essayist, and literary critic
Adrian Bărar – musician, guitarist and founder of the rock band Compact
Alexandru Bălan – football player
Alexandru Bogdan – philosopher, essayist, and politician
Alexandru Botez – chess player and coach
Andrei Bărbulescu – actor
Andrei Blaier – film director and screenwriter
Andrei Brezianu – historian, art critic, and journalist
Augustin Buzura – writer and literary critic.
Then I asked chat gtp what the number twelve symbolised. I was afraid to ask a real person, in case they had real the ADL page and would think I was a member of a prison gang. (I have no tattoos, by the way, but I do not think that people with a tattoo of the number 12 are committing hate speech).
Here are some of the responses, rephrased by me.
Completeness. 12 months in a year (because the moon orbit around the earth is almost a 12th as long as the earths orbit around the sun), twelve hours on the clock,
Holiness. there are twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles of Jesus.
Balance. This was new to me, but apparently is has to do something with Chinese astrology. (Is astrology a hate crime? I hope not. I have many friends who have star signs.)
Time. Twelve hours in a clock is mentioned twice by the GPI. But why? Is it an ancient code from a Babylonian prison gang, that decided to use a twelve hour clock to hide their membership from prison guards? I hope not, I like to tell time with a twelve hour clock.
I could go on, but my conclusion is, chatbot is more intelligent than the current management of the ADL. Any stupid arguments on the part of chatbot
Really, that is all you need to create a hate symbol, a number or set of words only has to be used by more than person who is accused of some kind of hate. So, as Putin and Erdogan once shared an ice cream together, perhaps sharing ice cream is a sign that you oppose Finland’s nato membership.
You see, hate groups might use any phrase, image, or even number as a code for their membership. But just because some obscure American prison gang can count to two, that doesn’t make the number 12, or any other number (or innocent set of words) hate speech.
Just like an Antivirus program becoming useless when it has too many false positives, so too does a antidefation league become useless when it produces too many false positives.
The number of false positives is stifling free speech. It is time for institutions like the ADL (and many other NGOs) to change management if they are to again reach their former. And it is time for the press to investigate the ludicrous claims made by these NGOs.
What does this have to do with Dilbert? Well, its creator, who is largely unknown in Romania, reacted to a poll based on something else silly that the ADL posted. The same people who are afraid of the number 12 pointed out that other, ice cream sharing, counting, hate groups said ‘It’s okay to be white.’ This resulted in a poll, which not everyone understood.
The creator of Dilbert reacted badly to the results of the poll. And a few days later, his comic strip mentioned Romania! After Dogbert hired Russian trolls to create a Dogbert Da! meme, he decided to spring his business partner from a Romanian prison. Romanian! Dogbert is probably not talking about me, as I have never been to prison (hence, no tattoos).
Dilbert has many instances of taking risks to be funny. It is entirely possible that Dilbert’s creator was trying to tell a joke with his rant, but his joke was taken seriously.
Anyway, if I cannot read Dilbert anymore, at least I can still use the number 12. It might be difficult for the media to ignore the words of a popular comic strip creator, but I can easily ignore the numerous false positives of an ageing NGO.
image credit – created by the author in Canva. Basically an altered Canva template. Happy late women’s day, to all twelve women in my life. (family and otherwise)