Subtle anti-semitism of “Nice People” incites violence in America

Subtle anti-semitism of “Nice People” incites violence in America

Subtle antisemitism makes me sad.

subtle antisemitism

Protest against circumcision in Metairie, LA, 29-Oct-2018

Subtle antisemitism is problematic

There are a number of issues in our body politic that have origins in discrimination against Jews. While there are many reasons for ignorance on these, I’m still concerned. Therefore, it’s important to take a moment and talk about things that have their roots in hatred of Jews.

Circumcision

There was a protest against circumcision in my neighborhood (#themetrys) yesterday. I know a number of people who do not approve of circumcision. While their numbers are few, they make a solid case for not doing this to their infant sons. I respect that.

What I don’t respect is a group of men protesting this issue in public within days of a massacre of Jews. The Jewish people are the one single group in the world immediately connected to circumcision. Did those men standing on Clearview and Veterans in Metairie yesterday consider this when protesting this procedure? It’s unclear. It’s unclear because they did it in the wake of the massacre of Jews in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

Failure to recognize context

I saw the photos of this protest tweeted by a friend around mid-afternoon yesterday. My first reaction was, this is way too tone deaf. No legitimate group looking to promote an idea or issue could possibly be this unaware of the world around them. So, my process took the next step. Clearly these people were organized. They had to know what happened Saturday. They had to know those people in Pittsburgh were gunned down at a bris, of all events. Therefore, there was a good chance the protesters were antisemitic.

Reactions from social media

I said as much on Zuckerbook. Read the responses. A number of people know the group and its agenda. They claimed the protesters are not antisemitic. Commenters presented logical reasons for their beliefs.

My concern continued. These people have a website. They’re literally “on tour” with these protests. Zuckerfriends reported seeing them in Shreveport, Galveston, and Baton Rouge, before their appearance in Metairie. That level of commitment requires logistics. It requires communication.

So, now I’m even more skeptical. They’re not operating in a vacuum. A group concerned about the bigger issues would stand down, out of respect for others who disagree with them. This group didn’t. Are they ignorant, or do they have an an additional agenda?

Antisemitism has long roots

subtle antisemitism

Pogroms in Russia. Turned away from the United States. Hitler and Himmler. These are but examples of discrimination and hate focused on Jews.

Hitler served in the German Imperial Army in World War I. The Treaty of Versailles ended that war. That accord dealt harsh terms and conditions to Germany. Those terms included demands for reparations that were unreasonable. Like many at the time, Hitler was hurt and angry and defeated. He channeled that anger not towards the British or the French, but towards German Jews.

Hitler believed the Jews came out of World War I way too nicely, while Christian Germans suffered. This is a common theme going back millennia.  Shakespeare created “Shylock, a Jew”, as his bad guy for The Merchant of Venice. That didn’t happen in a vacuum.

Pogroms in Russia

The Tsars treated their serfs badly for centuries. To make Christian serfs feel better about their lot in life, the Tsars and the Church focused the anger of the serfs on the Jews. Blood libel and profiting from Christians were two examples of “crimes” of the Jews. The Tsars allowed Christians to carry out “pogroms” against Jews. Thousands of Jews were displaced, turned out of Russian cities. Jews were attacked, injured, and killed.

Have you ever watched Fiddler on the Roof? Go back, now that you know what a pogrom is.

“Mutilation” of Christian boys

One of the common tropes of the 20th and 21st centuries with respect to Jews relates to circumcision. Groups spreading hatred of Jews claim there is a conspiracy involving Jewish doctors to mutilate Christians. This goes back long before the Nazis. That regime used this accusation as one of many to deny Jews civil rights in Germany between the World Wars.

Lack of understanding

Read. Learn. Understand. Do you have Jewish friends? Ask them why they circumcise their children. Do you think they’re part of an international conspiracy? Do you believe they should be shot down in their places of worship? Take a step back. Look at the entire picture.

Dear Prudence – touchy feely relationships in a #metoo context

Dear Prudence – touchy feely relationships in a #metoo context

Dear Prudence tackles an interesting letter

dear prudence

Slate’s “Dear Prudence” pod, starring Daniel Mallory Ortberg.

Dear Prudence advises

The latest number of the “Dear Prudence” podcast presented an easy but thoughtful situation. A woman wrote, seeking advice on how to discuss playful/casual groping by her boyfriend. The boyfriend gives her the occasional caress on her butt, or boob-grab. She’s been OK with it. Until lately, that is. The whole #metoo thing triggered her. She’s less interested in in random touching. That boob-grab that was once fine now concerns her.

Unspoken triggers?

The letter-writer expressed problems with the groping and touching of late, but did not really offer a reason beyond #metoo, in her letter. That’s her privilege, of course. If a person wants more space, end of discussion. Many things trigger this sort of reaction. Cat-calls, a work colleague who doesn’t respect personal boundaries might be the issue. Maybe it’s just too much time on social media, listening to other womens’ stories.

So, let me re-iterate: Whatever her reasons, if she doesn’t want to be touched, that’s that.

What about the boyfriend?

The letter-writer seeks advice on how to explain this to the boyfriend. She factors in potential reactions from her partner. Daniel and his guest made it clear, this is about what she wants. While the hosts understood her concerns, they wanted to be clear, this is about HER. They understood. This is a relationship, therefore, a dramatic shift should be discussed. The writer wants an approach. The reply was simple: tell him how you feel!

That’s rarely bad relationship advice. So, hopefully the boyfriend will get it. Understanding and empathy are important.

What if he doesn’t?

Short letters allow Daniel and his guests opportunity for expansion. They moved from specifics to general observations. Boyfriend behavior in #metoo shouldn’t be a challenge. Still, defense mechanisms kick in when we tell someone they’re doing something unwelcome. The hosts explained that this presented an opportunity to the letter-writer. After presenting her thoughts on the boob-grabs, she receives the opportunity to observe. Will he understand? Will he freak out? This issue changes boundaries, even temporarily. Reactions tell both partners if they’re a good fit.

I wish we could see how this turns out.

#metoo means working on relationships

Guys often resist change. They resist challenges to their masculinity. A woman rejecting an advance, even in a consensual context like this relationship is problematic. What was once playful may now be triggering. Guys need to understand how that works and adjust.

Punditocracy ignores racism – @JonFavs and @DanPfeiffer disappoint

Punditocracy ignores racism – @JonFavs and @DanPfeiffer disappoint

Punditocracy ignores racism – #whiteprivilege on the podcasts

punditocracy ignores racism

Pod Save America – Favreau, Lovett, Vietor on Tuesdays, Favreau and Pfeiffer on Thursdays.

The Punditocracy ignores racism

Pundits like the ObamaBros of Crooked Media dance around the main issue. In last Thursday’s Pod Save America ep, Favreau and Pfeiffer say all the right things, except one. They fail when it comes to addressing racism.

Southern Strategy Racism

punditocracy ignores racism

LBJ knew what would happen

LBJ got it right when it comes to Southern Strategy racism. He knew that signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would set the Democratic Party back generations in the rebel states. Nixon turned LBJ’s concern into a full-blown strategy. He ran on it and won in 1968. While Nixon’s corruption ended his administration, racism remained.

Carter’s defeated Ford because Nixon was a crook. Reagan defeated Carter because Ronnie ran as a racist. Reagan knew how to bring fear from a simmer to a boil. His rhetoric on the Black Panthers in California contributed to the fear and uncertainty of white voters. Nixon teed up the racism. Ronnie added the fear. Carter wanted people to practice compassion. Reagan wanted a 600-ship Navy.

Nixon to Reagan to Trump

The racism never left. Radical clerics like Falwell and Robertson gave racism a cross. Trump expanded the hate. Now it includes brown folks from the Middle East. When Al Qaeda and ISIS cooled down, Donnie added MS13, promoting fear.

Why don’t the pundits address racism?

It’s simple: #whiteprivilege. The Crooked Media pundits outsourced race relations to Deray McKesson. A former teacher, now full-time activist, and author, Deray hosts Pod Save The People on Crooked Media.

While Deray, along with regulars Brittany Packnett, and Sam Singyangwe, and Clint Smith, III, address racial issues, the white guys focus on white pundits. In Thursday’s ep, Favs describes how Republican pundits freaked out when talking to reporters. They told the world the nomination was on life support.

Talking to the Punditocracy

But, of course, it wasn’t. That’s because McConnell had the votes. So-called knowledgeable liberals pointed out the delays. They argued McConnell didn’t have the votes. By Saturday, they all lined up.

And the guys can’t figure out how that happened? They understand the strategy. They know Republicans raise the flags of racism and fear. While they get it, they soft-pedal the whole thing. MS13 becomes “immigration”. They don’t even mention black folks.

Those Republicans knew they had the votes. They operate with different motives. Republican operatives want guest editorials. They want spots on Tapper’s CNN show. The never-Trumpers want mentions from Hayes and Maddow. If they say, we have the votes, those opportunities dry up.

Favreau and Pfeiffer need to get off twitter. They need to talk more to their own colleagues. We’re not going to affect change by ignoring racism.

 

New Orleans Saints – LSU Purple-and-Gold? That’s an abomination.

New Orleans Saints – LSU Purple-and-Gold? That’s an abomination.

New Orleans Saints – LSU? Nope, nope, nope.

This is an abomination.

New Orleans Saints – LSU

That’s just an abomination. An abomination before King Cake Baby Jeebus. 247 Sports did a what-if article on NFL team colors. What if the pro team used the “local” school’s colors? The article paints the Saints helmet in LSU colors. It’s a failure on multiple levels.

These teams aren’t local

UT at Austin for Dallas? SMU is IN Dallas. Texas A&M for Houston? What about, you know, the University of Houston? How about Rice? They get Florida totally wrong. Tampa – Florida makes more sense. Jacksonville should pick up the school in the panhandle, Florida State.

Georgia Tech matches better with Atlanta than the hours-away University of Georgia. GaTech is ACC, not SEC, sure, but they’re in Midtown Atlanta.

Some teams make sense

Los Angeles Chargers matching up with UCLA, Los Angeles Rams pairing up with USC, those make sense. Indiana with the Colts keeps Notre Dame out of the article. I’m good with that.

LSU and Georgia are just wrong

New Orleans Saints - LSU

Double fail. Wrong school, and the Falcons are always a fail.

LSU and the Saints, simply wrong. It’s lazy. While LSU is closer to New Orleans than Georgia is to Atlanta, still, no. Yes, the two schools chosen are bigger football schools. They’re not the right matches, though. Tulane and Georgia Tech both were originally in the SEC. While Tulane’s program dropped significantly, they’re still New Orleans. They played in Tulane Stadium, then the Superdome, now in their new stadium. Georgia Tech plays at Bobby Dodd Field, on their campus. The writer looked for the big names, not the geographic fits. I concede that my University of New Orleans Privateers don’t have NCAA football, but Tulane does.

Phoning it in

The writer totally phoned this in. The tells are the Florida teams. The others indicate the writer either didn’t know or didn’t care about teams situated in the NFL cities. Fail. And an abomination!