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Anti-Semitism: WTF?

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  • Anti-Semitism: WTF?

    Of the many things in this world that puzzle me, anti-Semitism ranks up there. Whenever I hear the reasons given, my first reaction is to wonder what parallel universe the speaker/writer hails from, because the truth is quite divergent from the views presented.

    Seriously, I don't get it.

  • #2
    Specifically, what reasons do you hear? Remember truth is entirely subjective, so any counter opinion is liable to be equally flawed if you're not careful. Also, it is better to deal with so-called 'reasons' for belief a reason at a time rather than to say they are all nonsense or by insulting the holder of the view. But remember people are liable to listen to reasonable argument that supports their emotional response, so it is usually a futile exercise to try to change someone's mind.

    The reasons I ask is I've heard justifications for anti-Semitism/racism that are, to my mind, delusional or untrue (usually conspiracy orientated), but also some reasons of justification that hold an element of truth, albeit a partial or twisted truth or a truth that might just be unimportant to me, but is to someone else. I also hear denials of these perspectives that are equally held due to the political assumptions of the holder.
    forum

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    2. a medium for open discussion, such as a magazine
    3. a public meeting place for open discussion

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    • #3
      Out of all of the racists I've had the misfortune of knowing I've encountered two distinct types; those who learned the behavior from others and those who developed it. I think most of us are familiar with learned behavior so I'll gloss over that and get to the more disturbing culprit; people who have had negative experiences with another person of a different race/class/nationality and associate all such individuals as equivalently undesirable.

      It isn't difficult to understand why people become bigoted but it is very distressing to face. This is particularly true when otherwise open-minded and intelligent people develop a bigoted perspective. I know a couple who I would never have thought to be racist before who developed a dislike for Arabic people after being swindled by an Arabic accountant. After the unfortunate incident I heard them make wildly racist comments in a rather off-handed manner. If nothing else this has shown me that virtually anyone is capable of being bigoted and we must regularly question why we think and feel the way we do for it is possible that we're behaving irrationally without knowing it.

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      • #4
        Very good point there!

        On the other side of the ledger i find myself distressed by those whose anti -semitism has been informed by what might be described as pre-existing cultural memes who as otherwise intelligent adults fail to rise above such indoctrination.
        Many of this world's woes stem from a blind obedience to bad ideas...
        Last edited by Kymba334; 12-25-2011, 02:13 PM.
        Mwana wa simba ni simba

        The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom

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        • #5
          I had an interesting view into Thanos' 2nd type a while back. A few years ago I was waiting for a tram when I was approached by 2 guys, one was Caucasian (or at least looked to be) and the other was Australian Aborigional. I had seen them steal a bike about 5 mins earlier (long story, don't ask) and to make a long story short, they initiated some banter, then attempted to rob me with threats of implied violence. Mostly because of me being a bit slow on the uptake I didn't work out what was going on, so while one kept my attention, the other walked around and smacked me in the back of the head with something large and heavy. A fight ensued, police showed up at a suprisingly convenient time (thanks to the kid who had had his bike stolen ringing them pronto) and all was sorted out*.

          I bring this up because I found my own opinion of Indigeonus Australians being impoacted by this experience. Luckily, at an oportune time, someone pointed out that only one of the two assailants was indigeonous, and it hadn't affected my opinion caucasians. I had to admit they had an excellent point and started working on changing my views.

          Admittadly, now I just assume that 90% of every group are jerks, but these days I put it down to "humans are pretty shit" rather than "this particular group is really shit"


          *actually, initially the police arested me, but that got sorted out in pretty reasonable time.

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          • #6
            I suppose, from the anthropological point of view, racism can be explained as the members of a given group fearing some other group will take their resources, and taking pre-emptive measures. As a species we are not a very friendly to outsiders - though as it happens, we are the only species that has sufficient empathy to trade in goods and services.

            Racism seems to be a restriction of empathy to only the group the racist belongs to.
            sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

            Gold is the power of a man with a man
            And incense the power of man with God
            But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
            And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

            Nativity,
            by Peter Cape

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            • #7
              totally agreed, Loos.

              My ipal has some good comments about groups.


              http://humanisthappiness.blogspot.co...stupidity.html
              Papa was a Rolling Stone......

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              • #8
                I used to live close to this village and the denizens would come to the local towns to buy things, but never really "noticed" us - keeping very much to themselves. Their very aloofness and coldness in the midst of outsiders made me dislike them very much, but it had nothing to do with their religion (I have Moslem and Jewish friends), it was more to do with their desire to ignore me as a human being.
                Spacerockmanifesto on Facebook

                Hawkwind tabs

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                • #9
                  I think anti-Islamic sentiment is a much bigger worry in today's world. But I shouldn't even get into sectarianism, it's a touchy subject for me being Irish and having lived in Belfast where I witnessed the lowest forms of human behaviour on both sides of that conflict. My basic philosophy is 'don't be an asshole.' And it gets me by.
                  One thing I certainly am is anti-Zionist, and ignorant people often accuse anti-Zionists as having a problem with Jewish people. At the end of the day I am FOR the human race, regardless of sect or skin-tone. I have a huge problem with Israel's policies regarding Palestine, and their wanton abuse of international law and basic human rights, but one of my best friends was born and raised there, so nothing is ever truly back or white, that's what people need to understand in life.

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                  • #10
                    ...

                    I think that it is fairly safe to say that there is no such creature as a 'good racist' regardless of the style of racism on display. As individuals they are horrid,in groups ...can be a major threat. I think perhaps it might have been Winston Churchill who once described the nazis as being like 'Cannibal Sheep'.
                    Mwana wa simba ni simba

                    The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kymba334 View Post
                      I think that it is fairly safe to say that there is no such creature as a 'good racist' regardless of the style of racism on display. As individuals they are horrid,in groups ...can be a major threat. I think perhaps it might have been Winston Churchill who once described the nazis as being like 'Cannibal Sheep'.
                      Cannibal Sheep is a good one!

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                      • #12
                        ...

                        Perhaps that definition could have instead been a gem from Arthur Koestler.
                        I hate my memory...it's always shot to !!!!
                        Mwana wa simba ni simba

                        The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by In_Loos_Ptokai View Post
                          I suppose, from the anthropological point of view, racism can be explained as the members of a given group fearing some other group will take their resources, and taking pre-emptive measures. As a species we are not a very friendly to outsiders - though as it happens, we are the only species that has sufficient empathy to trade in goods and services.

                          Racism seems to be a restriction of empathy to only the group the racist belongs to.

                          Ah yes, the ol' Us and Them bit. And I wholeheartedly believe its something always in practice, from small to larger groups.

                          What I don't get about anti-Semitism is the use of the term. Generally, I believe, what is meant by this is anti-Jewish. After all, there are Semitic peoples who are not Jewish, are there not? Arabs, for instance? And Semitic is actually a group of languages. To me it seems an misused term. Anyone happen to know when it came into use?
                          Last edited by Wanderlust; 12-26-2011, 12:35 PM.
                          Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

                          ~Henry David Thoreau

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                          • #14
                            I would like to see the OP expand upon their thesis before everyone else gets too entrenched in this (potentially controversial) discussion. If it weren't for their previous (brief) 'good behaviour' in the forums, I would suspect the OP of engaging in 'culture jamming' - lobbying a particulartly sensitive grenade into the forum merely to see what effect they can create rather than because they have a genuine interest in the topic. TEA is quite right to ask the OP to explain themself and it's disappointing that two days later they haven't. Their absence might be explained by the Christmas/festive holiday I suppose but hopefully EvilSnack will come back into the discussion sooner rather than later and everyone else will tread lightly until he(?) does so.

                            Originally posted by Wanderlust View Post
                            What I don't get about anti-Semitism is the use of the term. Generally, I believe, what is meant by this is anti-Jewish. After all, there are Semitic peoples who are not Jewish, are there not? Arabs, for instance? And Semitic is actually a group of languages. To me it seems an misused term.
                            FWIW I think WL has hit the nail on the head here but without EvilSnack rejoining the thread it's difficult to know if he was referring to the same thing or something else.
                            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

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                            • #15
                              http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...xtremists.html

                              Intriguing report (admittedly from the DM), about a group splitting.
                              Papa was a Rolling Stone......

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