Saturday, February 18, 2006

I'm Not Racist Because I Don't Like BBQ Ribs

Not too long ago black Americans and people of color in general, were subject to tremendous hardship and enormous stigma as a result of segregation. Avoiding the evils of segregation is simple. People should never be treated differently because of their race. Sadly this simple rule remains beyond the understanding of many people.

Let’s look at a simple example. Imagine a segregated BBQ rib joint in the old south. Imagine a black family that tries to have lunch at such a “white” restaurant. As was often the case in those days, the poor family is arrested and thrown out of the restaurant or into prison.

Now, a southern racist is talking trash with some of his friends and says, “I am one hundred percent white, I haven’t got any black blood in me, and thank God I can eat at that lunch counter.” He then states that, “it would be impractical if blacks were allowed to eat with whites.” However, says the good ‘ol boy, “I am not racist because I don’t like BBQ and I would never eat at that place anyway.”

Would we believe him? Somehow I don’t think so. I think that a reasonable person would say that his belief in superior rights based on racial heritage is racism per se. However, this argument is exactly analogous to Doug’s racist views of the “right of return” and the de facto apartheid that exists in Israel. Doug brags that his racial purity grants him an unconditional right to immigrate to Israel. He is strongly supportive of this racial preference because it benefits him. However, he would deny the right of return to people who’s right is not grounded on racial purity, but rather on their historical and familial connection with the land. In his self-delusion, he argues that his support for what is on its face a racist policy is not racist because, “I would never want to go live there.” In effect, Doug behaves just as the racist who supports a segregated restaurant but claims that he is not racist because he doesn’t like BBQ ribs and would never go to that restaurant anyway.

Racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and the other social evils which eat away at society are caused by a germ or arrogance. Those who fall prey to these evils lack vigilance and fail to keep asking themselves, “Am I asking for more than I deserve?” For example, Doug is perfectly happy to criticize interest groups other than his own, or to use racial or ethnic slurs and innuendo for rhetorical effect. However, he strongly believes that his racial group should be able to play by different rules. He can make reference to another’s religious or racial background and intimate that their beliefs are somehow the simple outgrowth of racial factors, but clearly he rejects the same argument going the other direction. He can refer to a Christian who disagrees with him as a “Paladin,” to at once signal to other racists that this person is “the other” and should be spurned, and to intimate that the person’s views are the outgrowth of their religious or cultural background and not the product of rational thought. However, were his opponent to refer to Doug as a “Talmud scholar,” he would cry “anti-Semitism.” This is the basic problem; Doug’s profound sense of racial superiority affects his very ability to reason. He is incapable of putting himself in another’s shoes. For example, he has yet to apologize for the straw-man in black-face posting he made earlier this week. He apparently doesn’t understand why intimating that Arabs or Islamic peoples in general speak in pigeon-English, spout racial hatred and reason like animals is offensive. I hope for the sake of our country and of the world in general that bigots like Doug are the exception rather than the rule.

6 Thoughts:

Blogger Doug said...

1. Right of return (Palestinian). What I think (ie, agree with). Geneva Accord (scroll down to Article 7 – Refugees, negotiated by Israeli and Palestinian "holdovers" from Taba who weren't ready to quit. Or blame each other. Not a perfect solution, but I've yet to see a better one, especially emanating from people who actually have to live with the consequences.

2. "Racial purity," and the concept of race in general, if you even consider "Jews" to be a race -- if you even consider "race" to have any meaning, outside of the sociological. What I think (ie, agree with). Richard Lewontin, biologist, "The Concept of Race: The Confusion of Social And Biological Reality" RealPlayer required; free.

4. Paladin: originally given definition from Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: paladin /"pal-schwa-dIn/ n.L16. [Fr., f. It. paladino, f. L palatinus: see PALATINE a.1 & n.1] Each of the Twelve bravest and most famous warriors of Charlemagne’s court. Also, a knight errant, a champion.

Those guys were Catholic. I don't know whether Andrew is Catholic -- the Greek side likely isn't; the other side, I don't remember. Protestant? Doesn't matter, as the obvious usage of the word is bolded above. Here's what it means below, as I realize that one must be careful with one's metaphors, as language always leaves room for manipulation with some folks:

knight errant n. (1654) A knight traveling in search of adventures in which to exhibit military skill, prowess, and generosity. (American Heritage Dictionary, 10th Ed.

champion n. 1. Warrior, fighter. 2. A militant advocate or defender. 3. one that does battle for another's rights or honor. 4. One who shows marked superiority.

That last definition is ironically hilarious.

irony n. [many definiitions, but the apt one for this situation is:] 3.b.incongruity between a situation developed in a drama [which this surely is, by now!] and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience [of cyberpols] but not by the characters [in this case, one character, who is quite a character, Demotiki] in the play [or, in this case, blog].

"Paladin" was used i-ro-nic-a-lly in this and the last interminable string.

4. "pigeon-English [sic]" Quote where in my parody of Goebbels' Nazi-German-translated-into-English I make fun of Arab pidgin-English. Or where I say or imply "they" "think like animals."

Question for the non-existent audience: why would Andrew assume that I think that Arabs, Muslims (Muslim Arabs? -- not the same thing) -- perhaps he means Berbers, Turks, and Turcomen as well -- think like animals? I mean, based on ANY syllable any one who cares to can find on this blog?

But we all know no one will respond, least of all Andrew (directly).

Sunday, February 19, 2006 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog has become much less interesting to read ever since these two guys started using it as a stage to hash out their personal feelings about each other, in front of others.

Is there any possibility they could exchange email addresses, and communicate with each other directly? Then maybe cyberpols could be allowed to return to the purpose it seemed to have in the past, of offering a mix of interesting news, analysis and respectful debate.

Monday, February 20, 2006 3:17:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

I agree.

Nothing works like a flame war to drive away interest from a blog.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 8:37:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

Keep diggin'! With every line you prove my point over and over that you think yourself above the rules everyone else ought to follow. I have no time for you because you have no time for thinking.

Clearly the state of Israel is based on bigotry and those who categorically support the right of Jews to take other people's land because of their ethnic, religious or even racial purity are wrong. Saying that others have been wrong too throughout history is no defense. The creation of Israel was a crime. The Arabs know this and are still pissed off. They know that truth is on their side and you can spin like a dreidel but it won’t make a bit of difference to them or to any objective observer.

Until bigots like you accept that non-Jews are human beings like you or me and have the same rights as you or me there will be no peace in the Middle East. Bigots like you are preventing a resolution to the problem. You are constitutionally incapable of facing up to your racism and lord it over everyone you come into contact with. You are psychologically invested in the fantasy that the creation of Israel was fair, commendable or even advisable because it gives you feelings of ethnic or racial superiority.


By the way, I haven't read anything you have posted to this site for months. I have better things to do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 5:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If you "haven't read anything you have posted to this site for months" -- even though I left the blog months ago, so I guess you mean over the past two weeks -- how do you know that "[w]ith every line you prove my point over and over that you think yourself above the rules everyone else ought to follow"?

If you "have better things to do", why have you posted a couple dozen times -- all while not reading what I had to write?

The "spin like a dreidel" comment is telling and interesting. I wonder how your compadres or the 4 readers left on this blog would interpret that.

I don't know where you get the idea that I think I'm racially superior, especially as I don't accept "race" as a biological category (just a social fiction).

Anyway, let's review:

1. I never said that Jews have some superior rights, or are superior in any sense. Just as good and bad as any other group, however (ill-)defined: the variation within the group exceeds that between that group and any other similar group.

2. The creation of Israel involved crimes, was the result, in large part, of a crime, and has perpetrated many crimes. That, however, is not the full story. I know you hate to see any complexity at all, but many others do. Even those Palestinians and other Arabs whom you think I consider subhuman.

3. Amazing that the only reason you can find for my disagreement with you is my supposed need for superiority. To what do you attribute pawl's and bspot's disagreement with you? Or do you not read them, either?

Anyway, I do in fact have better things to do, and anonymous/Paul have requested a cease-and-desist on this. Since you either don't read what I write or do and pretend you don't, and since you have pretty much shown the 4 people who read this blog what your illness is, there ain't much point in not giving you the last word.

As far as blog readership -- I've gotten e-mails and phone calls from previous loyal readers who have been turned off, not by pawlr, not by bspot, not by palmer, and not by anyone else -- but by you. Of all stripes. A quick perusal of the blog stats should show the correlation, if not the cause. I leave the latter to everyone else.

The last word is all yours. I believe the term is "projection."

Thursday, February 23, 2006 9:04:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

I am still not reading your posts. Please do as you promised and leave this site. As you said in your childish little email, you are leaving the blogg to us. Now stop stalking me!

Andrew

Thursday, February 23, 2006 11:58:00 AM  

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