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Re: Saima Alvi's Contribution to Understanding
by Paul Gomberg
01 October 2002 21:31 UTC
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Depends on what you mean by "racist." Most important, politics is not determined by the "racial" and "national" categories that capitalism gives us. Those who hate racism (oppression grounded in racial and similar categories) should reject nationalism. Nationalism, even of oppressed peoples, actually contributes to racism by uniting us with our enemies of the same "race" and dividing us from our allies. I am an internationalist.


Khaldoun Samman wrote:

Paul, if a black living under Apartheid identifies South Africa with whites and understands his suffering to be perpetrated by whites, does that make him or her a racist?


 Paul Gomberg wrote:

I want to second Matthew Caygill's comment. The anti-Semites and Zionists share
a premise: the identification of Israel with "the Jews" or "Jews." So for the
anti-Semite any Israeli brutality is perpetrated by "the Jews" and for some
Zionists any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism, an attack on "Jews"


"Caygill, Matthew [CES]" wrote:

> Oddly the quote given doesn't contain anything like the anti-semitism that
> is alleged, whereas the comments about the 'whole world' and nothing needing
> to be said about it seemed to me like a version of the generalisation that
> the proposed rule 13a would prohibit - even if cast in the negative. And
> this sort of discourse is really a very familiar attempt to prevent
> criticism or opposition to Israel.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: lr [SMTP:luca269_up2000@hotmail.com]
> > Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 10:23 AM
> > To: wsn@csf.colorado.edu
> > Subject: Re: Saima Alvi's Contribution to Understanding
> >
> > I have to thank you because I missed that article. It seems that you need
> > a second read, because it is just a collection of others' quotations. Many
> > of them quite factual and/or authoritative. Did you check its sources?
> > Regards.
> > l.
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Kessler Adam <?xml:namespace prefix = mailto />
> > To: wsn@csf.colorado.edu 
> > Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 5:10 AM
> > Subject: Saima Alvi's Contribution to Understanding
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the 19th century it was deemed perfectly acceptable
> > for educated, well-meaning people to make generalizations about ethnic,
> > religious or national groups along the lines of: "the Irish are
> > drunkards," or "the Negroes are happy-go-lucky," or "the X are a
> > commercial race." Then around 60-70 years ago with the rapid rise of
> > modern racism this began to change. Expressions of this type slowly
> > disappeared from civilized discourse. It is unimaginable for example, for
> > someone on this list to utter a sentence like "the blacks are criminals,''
> > even though prisons throughout America are filled with black people.
> >
> > The piece by Mark Weber which Alvi is disseminating
> > demonstrates that there is one people about whom such sentences can still
> > (or again?) be spoken: "the" Jews. The article itself consists of layers
> > and layers of lies, non sequiturs, and paranoia: in other words the most
> > standard kind of old-fashioned anti-Semitism, which is apparently
> > acceptable nowadays in some circles, especially on what might be called
> > "the stupid left." It is useless to try to disentangle such stuff. One
> > comment will suffice: Kofi Annan is quoted as saying that "the whole world
> > is demanding that Israel withdraw [etc., etc.]. I don't think the whole
> > world...can be wrong." The "whole world" presumably consists of the 191
> > members of the U.N. Among these are countries such as Libya, Sudan and
> > Syria which are regarded as perfectly respectable, eligible to serve on
> > the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, etc. Nothing more needs to be said
> > about "the world."
> >
> > But I wish to make a more general contribution to
> > current discourse on this list and elsewhere. And that is to formulate a
> > set of modern debating rules. Rule 13a goes like this:
> >
> > Rule 13a:
> > If in the course of a debate participant P
> > states: the X are Y (where for X substitute a religious, ethnic national
> > or "racial" group and for Y substitute some attribute, positive or
> > negative) then P is a jerk.
> >
> >


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