Saturday, June 17, 2006
And Another Republican Lie Is Summarily Debunked
Yeah, yeah, I know: Dog bites man. Sun rises in East. Just consider my further publicizing of this as my own effort to combat the well-funded cogs in the Republican Noise Machine. Take THAT, PowerLine Doofi! From today's StarTribune (scroll 2/3 of the way down):
HE OPPOSED ANTI-SEMITISM Ellison, then and now I was president of the Jewish Law Students Association at Minnesota Law School in 1988-89, when the Black Law Student Association, led by Keith Ellison, cosponsored speakers on campus who had previously made comments that were anti-Jewish, sexist and homophobic. I led a coalition that issued a petition of protest signed by law student organizations representing Jews, women, progressives, and gays and lesbians. In response, Keith explained that he disagreed with these speakers' views of Jews, gays, and women's equality, but he believed that African-American students should have the opportunity to hear the messages of self-sufficiency and pride that these speakers brought. Keith challenged one of the invited speakers regarding past comments about Jews, and he constructively participated in dialogue between blacks and Jews on campus. Keith understood that Jews, even in America, have faced discrimination, and he appreciated the contributions of Jews to the movement for civil rights. I recall Keith questioning Israeli policy, but not the necessity of Israel's existence. I disagreed sharply with Keith about whether the positive messages of the speakers he sponsored could be separated from their hateful statements. I am not surprised that he soon changed his views on that question, given the genuine humanism that animated his passion for activism. JOSHUA WIRTSCHAFTER, BERKELEY, CALIF.To bring everyone up to speed: Keith Ellison is a black man, a Muslim, and a really nice guy according to pretty much everyone who's ever dealt with him. He's been in the Minnesota State Legislature for a number of years, and now has the DFL (Democratic Farmer-Labor, the local arm of the Democratic Party) endorsement for the congressional seat held by the retiring Martin Sabo. The primary isn't for a couple of months yet, but he's the front-runner for the DFL nomination. Which is why the Republicans, led by the PowerLine bozos, are doing everything they can to smear him. (No, I won't link to those clowns -- just Google "Keith Ellison" and scroll down; you'll find their swill.) Their weapon? His brief association, as a college student, with folks affiliated with Louis Farrakhan -- an association which he ended when he realized that Farrakhan was more about nastiness than he was about good works. Well, a Jewish college friend of Ellison's has come along to debunk this particularly vile GOP smear job, and I thought I'd pass it on, as noted above.
Now, most African American and Jewish leaders have taken special steps to build bridges. They understand that the interests of both communities are served by working together for social justice. And, truth to tell, anti-Semitism among blacks is probably not greater than among whites. But when a guy like Farrakhan says something anti-Semitic, it gets a lot more play than when it's coming out of the mouth of, say, Richard Nixon.
People are getting tired of hearing baseless accusations of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is real and dangerous. But more Jews should follow Joshua Wirtschafter's lead, and insist that the term be used appropriately.
Marty, you should listen.
Speaking of debunking, I noticed your Kennedy/Ohio bit was shot down awful fast... and after all that typing from you... oh well.
Got proof for your statements, bad-actor fan? (And how much is Rendon paying you?)
My comments on the RFK, Jr. article have never been refuted. Salon didn't even try-- they just twisted a few words out of context to try and turn my generous treatment of Manjoo into an attack on Kennedy. So, T100 is very likely what you say: someone who has to get paid to have an opinion, because he doesn't have the brains to have one of his own, or the nuts to defend his beliefs if he had any.
I recently saw these comments of yours:
"The Republicans-- and especially Jews who go along with them on this-- are playing with fire by using charges of anti-Semitism for political purposes. Anti-Semitism was deliberately stoked by Republican leaders like Henry Ford. There was a definite divide-and-conquer strategy put in place. It continues today, with hysterical and baseless charges of anti-Semitism being lodged against, for example, Walt and Mearsheimer for daring to mention that Israel lobbies the US Congress."
Well, that's certainly an interesting analysis. I'll start by being completely upfront and telling you that I find your comments repugnant. I am disgusted by your casual dismissal of the worries about Keith Ellison's past associations with known anti-Semites. Frankly, it seems like many folks these days seem to have double standards about discrimination and hateful speech - in other words, there seem to be a lot of people concerned about racial and ethnic prejudice who suddenly become less concerned about it when it's directed at Jews. And no, I'm not calling YOU an anti-Semite, but I find that phrases such as "especially Jews who go along with them on this-- are playing with fire by using charges of anti-Semitism for political purposes" raise some red flags for me. What do you mean by "playing with fire by using charges of anti-Semitism for political purposes"? Do you mean to suggest that Jews should never call others on anti-Semitism when they see it happening? Do you disagree that the Nation of Islam is indeed an anti-Semitic organization? Perhaps you need to brush up on their past comments regarding Jews:
As a Jew, do I not have a right to be concerned that Keith Ellison associated with this group in the last 5 to 10 years? Wouldn't a black person have every right to be concerned if their potential future congressman had appeared publicly with a member of the Ku Klux Klan within that same time span?
Additionally, I personally fear that the phrase "using charges of anti-Semitism" is itself a bit loaded with creepy stereotypical overtones. There is a long history OF anti-Semites levelling claims at Jews that they are "using charges of anti-Semitism" to advance their own agenda, and the image you seem to be conjuring is one of the conniving, scheming Jew who will stop at nothing - including levelling false charges - to get ahead. It is not entirely dissimilar from the caricatured images of the greedy, sneaky Jew that Joseph Goebbels perpetuated relentless in Nazi propaganda. I'm just saying...
What bothered me most about your post, though, and what ultimately prompted me to resist my usual urge to ignore things like this that make me so passionately angry, was the complete falsehood in your statement that:
"Anti-Semitism was deliberately stoked by Republican leaders like Henry Ford. There was a definite divide-and-conquer strategy put in place." Here, now, I don't even get where you're coming from. The first part of your post seemed to reflect your anger that Republicans and, in your words, "especially Jews" are USING the ISSUE of anti-Semitism for political purposes. Fine. I'm a Democrat and a Jew, so I only fit half of that accusation, and though I wholeheartedly disagree, it's at least a credible argument. However, bringing Henry Ford into this argument simply makes no sense. When you talk about people using the issue of anti-Semitism, I take it you are objecting to ACCUSING others of anti-Semitism where it is not actually occurring. But this has nothing to do with Henry Ford. He WAS an anti-Semite, in the extreme. He was an active Nazi sympathizer/supporter with close personal ties to Hitler himself. He published lengthy anti-Semitic screeds in his paper the Dearborn Independent and republished the entire anti-Semitic forgery known as the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
Hitler himself said "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."
I'd like to highlight this part of your post too:
"There was a definite divide-and-conquer strategy put in place. It continues today, with hysterical and baseless charges of anti-Semitism being lodged against, for example, Walt and Mearsheimer for daring to mention that Israel lobbies the US Congress."
I'm really confused by your post. Do you somehow think Henry Ford wasn't an anti-Semite? Do you think the charges of anti-Semitism against Henry Ford were somehow "hysterical and baseless"?
You seem to be linking him to the phenomenon of "lobbing charges of anti-Semitism" but he was indeed an anti-Semite himself.
Most of all, I'm depressed and angered by your overall tone. I'd like to know what you would consider to be a legitimate reason for a Jewish person to ever feel that something said or done was anti-Semitic. I'm disturbed by posts like yours, because underlying all of it I get the sense that you think Jews are somehow "howling" about anti-Semitism where none exists, and that's just dead wrong. Basically, your whole post, if you'll excuse the inexact phrase, FEELS antagonistic against Jews, as if you feel wronged by the Jewish people and resent us and have long-standing grievances against us. Well, sir, anti-Semitism has always existed and always will, and millions of Jews have suffered or died because of it. Of course there are Jews who "cry wolf" about anti-Semitism, just as there are people of any group who see victimhood in situations where none exists. But that does nothing to negate the fact and reality of anti-Semitism in the world, even today. The media in the Arab world is full of the most vile, Nazi-like propaganda against Jews. Iran's president denies the Holocaust and wants to wipe Israel off the map. Israel is demonized in ways that many countries that commit far worse human rights violations are not. And leftist blogs like this one seem to have become perfectly acceptable venues to promote ideologies that aren't directly anti-Semitic, but are so focused on demonizing a tiny country called Israel that one cannot help but wonder what the agenda is behind such anger at the only Jewish state in the world. Oh, sure, you'll argue until you're blue in the fact that you're not anti-Semitic, just critical of Israel, but if somebody argued repeatedly and vociferously against even the mere existence of Italy but insisted they have nothing against Italians, I'm sure Italians would disagree. Furthermore, I would like to add that a black person who claims "racism" where none exists does nothing to blunt the force and effect of centuries of racism, oppression, and enslavement of black people. You have no business exonerating Keith Ellison just because one or several Jews say he's not anti-Semitic. They don't speak for me any more than Louis Farrakhan speaks for all black people. Shame on you for even suggesting this - frankly, it's a hallmark of a bigot to use the statement or behavior of one member of an ethnic group to somehow suggest that all members of that group share the same beliefs or behaviors. Uh huh. It's called stereotyping, and it's ugly and sickening.
I will conclude by going so far as to say that if you can't admit that anti-Semitism exists at all, you are in effect negating a part of Jewish history and the historical suffering of the Jewish people and then, yes, you are an anti-Semite. I hope you're not, and I hope you can find it in your heart at some point in your life to examine why you write posts like this about Jewish people.
You are welcome to defend yourself there if you like. I don't think you can.
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