AlicetheKurious wrote:From herebarracuda wrote:Sounder wrote:AlicetheKurious wrote:Could somebody please explain why the OP is ok, but what Gilad Atzmon writes is not?
Well, one difference to be noticed is this does not offend JAZZ or APAIC
Another difference might be that although the OP rather clearly shares certain parallels with Mr. Atzmon's writings, in that it appears to be a racially charged essay delineating with glee the faults and hoped for downfall of a specific racial group - in this case priviledged western whites - no one of that group of priviledged western whites on this particular forum, which is populated primarily by priviledged western whites, seems to find it offensive in the least. I'm certain it would be entirely possible to find forums at which this article would be met with intense scorn and angry derision (e.g., white supremacist sites or hard core teabag outlets), just as I'm certain it's entirely possible to find a forum at which Mr. Atzmon's views would be rather universally cheered. It's even entirely possible those hypothetical forums might overlap in some venues. I realise that's sort of a "reader response" or survey type of critique, but it tells me something that has to do with appropriateness of context and content within the scope or narrowness of the political outlook of a particular setting.
Then there's the whole holocaust revision/Christ-killers thingy. Some folks 'round here just have a inexplicable aversion to that sort of stuff.
The members of RI do not represent the majority, even of Americans, let alone western white people. It's not true that only the members of white supremacist fringe groups and "hard core teabag outlets" would find the OP highly objectionable. Try printing it out and handing out copies to random white Americans on the street, even (especially) in working-class neighborhoods -- I'd love to hear about their reactions (after you get out of the hospital).
So far, you seem to be agreeing with the main point of my comment - that there are appropriate and inappropriate settings in which to air particular political perspectives if you wish be understood and accepted. This is the answer to the question you posed: the OP is ok, but what Gilad Atzmon writes is not (at least the part of what he writes that is not) because Mr. Wise's essay is entirely appropriate within the political climate of the Rigorous Intuition discussion forum. No one here, in this venue, is apparently shocked, dismayed or offended by the essay as they might be at a white supremacist site or a conservative republican neighborhood, or if they were, their dismay was nnot significant enough to cause them to object to it in context. It is the nature of the group, the politic of the seminar, that it defines its identity by its passages through questioning such issues of standing, and by reaction confirms or changes that identity. I put forth that the general consensus of this group you and I are both members of here and now in this place is that Mr. Wise's propositions are largely acceptable, and in fact obvious, and therefore okay. There may be disagreement about his conclusions - the inevitable downfall of the oppressors - but there is little disagreement about his general statements, even if they are, in fact racially tinged.
I certainly agree with you that we are most decidedly NOT the majority, unfortunately. That'll be the day.
In fact, those who would find the OP highly offensive are more numerous than you assume. Furthermore, they are not at all likely to agree that western, white people are privileged in the first place. On the contrary, a lot of them feel terrorized, hated, attacked and very much endangered, both from "America-haters" within their own country and from outsiders. They're hated for their freedom, for their religious beliefs, for being white, they are envied for their collective accomplishments and hard-earned success. Or they're hated by the people who steal their jobs and the welfare bums, and the criminals and drug addicts and immigrants (legal and/or illegal) who are making their neighborhoods and their country unsafe. Or they're hated for their government's well-meaning interventions abroad, in which they sacrifice their own lives and taxpayer money for ungrateful savages and terrorist sympathizers and appeasers who hate them all the more and blame them for all their problems. Or they're hated by the radical femi-nazis and militant abortionists and gays who are destroying the family and the very fabric of their society.
You may dismiss their fears as irrational or misplaced, and I would agree with you; these fears may even have been deliberately induced, but that does not make these fears any less real to them.
Yes, I know the essay would be found offensive by many people. That's one of the reasons I enjoyed it the small amount that I did (it wasn't exactly fantastic, after all). The people who's be offended by it are just the kind of people who need to hear it and come to terms with their misplaced fears and very real privilege. They would be offended by ninety-nine percent of what passes for polite discourse here, if they were able and willing to adjust their world image enough to read it, and that's one of the reasons I like this site.
Incidentally, as I was writing this, I felt hungry, so I made myself a sandwich. Since I couldn't type and eat at the same time, I decided to take a short break and turned on the tv. Talk about synchronicity! I don't watch American tv, but my kids watch do, all the time, and they'd left the tv on a channel that shows only American shows and movies. Click: it's a show I've never heard of, called "The Condemned" (it says so, on the top right of the screen). An all-American, muscular, clean-cut military type is yelling, "I want an Arab! A child-killing, Koran-spouting, suicide-bombing Arab!" Seriously. Then, they cut to a horrible, dungeon-type prison somewhere in Latin America, where a sleazy-looking warden is standing in front of a filthy, dark cell. He yells out, "Hasheem!" (no need to bother using a real Arab name -- "Hasheem" sounds Arabic, right?) Cut to a dark corner of the cell, and the back of a man with long, matted, greasy hair, who slowly turns around, raising dead eyes to the warden. Back to "headquarters", where the all-American guy says something about how anti-Americanism is becoming "rampant" around the world, then some other stuff, but I'd finished eating and turned it off.
Damn. That's horrific. Yet another reason to thow away the television.
Give me a few minutes to address the remaining part of your post, please.