Friday, November 17, 2017
On Thursday, November 16, the New York Times ran a racist, anti-Polish piece by Jan Tomasz Gross.
Gross resorts to racist stereotyping in addressing Poland's resistance to the Islamization of Europe.
This is especially ironic given that Jan Tomasz Gross *appears to be* condemning racism.
But he is resorting to racism.
We all know why many people think that unvetted and unchecked immigration of Muslims into Europe should be stopped.
Terrorism, like the Bataclan.
Birth rates. European women have rights, and can delay having, or even decline to have, children.
Gender apartheid strips Muslim women of rights. In Islam, given the example of Mohammed, who married his favorite wife, Aisha, when he was over fifty and she was six, there is no age of consent. Females can be married off quite young. Men are allowed four wives and an infinite number of sex slaves. For these reasons, Muslims are statistically more likely to have many children than non-Muslims.
Western Europe's immigration policies have created seismic change and social instability. Women are less safe. Homosexuals are less safe. Jews are less safe.
Anyone who cares about social stability will question whether or not mass, unvetted and unchecked immigration is a good idea.
Jan Tomasz Gross declines to note these obvious roots for Poles' focus on Islam.
Rather, Jan Tomasz Gross plays the racism card. Poles qua Poles are guilty, disgusting, racists. It is in their blood. It is in their history. Gross misrepresents Polish history by presenting only one side – the racist side. Shame.
Poles are terminally stained by the unforgiveable sin of racism.
I have frequently defended Gross on this page, and I will defend him again. He has produced important scholarship.
In this New York Times piece, Gross is nothing but a racist.
The solution to the nationalism and scapegoating of Muslims going on in Poland and in the US today is *not* to demonize Poles – or Americans.
The solution can be found on the left.
The left has gone too far. It expresses contempt for its perceived enemies. It rides roughshod over mainstream culture.
This has happened before. A terrifying example can be found in the excesses of the Versailles Treaty.
If you push people too far, they push back. Solution? Stop pushing people too far.
Want to weaken racists, xenophobes, and chauvinists in Poland – and in the US?
Stop pushing people too far. Work for the change you want to see in a respectful way, rather than in an arrogant, high-handed, contemptuous way.
Brief clips from Gross' NYT piece below. You can read the whole thing here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/opinion/poland-pure-blood-march.html
"Tens of thousands of people -- many of them young men with crew cuts, but some parents with children, too -- flocked to the Polish capital to celebrate Independence Day in a march organized in part by two neo-fascist organizations. They waved white and red Polish flags, they brandished burning torches, and they wore 'white power' symbols. They carried banners declaring, 'Death to enemies of the homeland,' and screamed, 'Sieg Heil!' and 'Ku Klux Klan!'"
Gross goes on to say that "we are witnessing a resurgence of fascism in Poland."
"…Ever since the Law and Justice Party won both the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2015, Poland has been undergoing a disturbing political transformation…Two years ago, the party bet that latching onto the refugee crisis in Europe would give it purchase…"
The governing party, he says, is using the threat of Islamization as is occurring in Western Europe to radicalize Poles into violent xenophobia and dangerous, primitive nationalism.
"Poles," Gross writes, "couldn't tell a Muslim or a Buddhist from Jesus."
Their attitude toward Muslims, Gross insists, "springs primarily from a deep pool of ethnic-cum-religious hatred, which is indigenous to Poland and has historically been aimed at Jews."
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
A blog alleges that Poland is unsafe for non-Poles, Muslims, and homosexuals.
Read the blog here
My thought, fwiw: the blogger is conflating many different things. Homophobia is not the same as resistance to Islamization. Beating up someone because the person is speaking German is a bad thing to do but to understand it one must understand Poland's recent history.
Conflating hostility to homosexuals, Germans, and Muslims obscures rather than clarifies.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Friday, November 3, 2017
|Source: Vanity Fair|
Leon Wieseltier, Harvey Weinstein, and Bieganski
In a previous post I mentioned that The Tablet, a Jewish magazine, had identified Harvey Weinstein's sexual predation as being informed by his Jewish identity. That Tablet article caused an uproar and the author was forced to apologize for it.
I think the question should be asked and answered. Heaven knows enough people conflate German identity with mass murder. Me, I don't see the connection. Rwandans, Cambodians, Russians, Muslims, Comanches, are all capable of real or attempted genocides.
OTOH, Germans carried out their genocide in a typically German way. All that obsessive documentation, for example, is very German. Photos. Bills of lading. Rwandans didn't keep such scrupulous records of the bloated corpses they sent down the Kagera River into Lake Victoria.
In other words, crimes are universal and human but various identity groups can put their own spin on crimes.
Bieganski is the Brute Polak Stereotype. It is a cultural creation, not a reflection of reality. It is supported by performances.
I witnessed this particular performance many times. A purveyor of the Bieganski stereotype would announce, "I am a virtuous person, and the seal of my virtue is six million dead Jews. You, a Polish Catholic, are terminally filthy, and the seal of your filth-as-identity is those same six million dead Jews. You, therefore, cannot argue when I smear you as being a stereotypical brute."
An example of this dynamic. I was invited to a dinner party in Berkeley. My white, wealthy, Nordic hostess was not Jewish. One of the guests, Neal, was. Over dinner, apropos de rien, Neal told a series of offensive Polak jokes. I protested. He immediately blurted out, "Poles were never lynched." An interesting thing to say, given that lynching was, significantly, a white supremacist crime against blacks, also given that Poles suffered under Mikhail Muraviev, aka "The Hangman," who did indeed hang Poles. But Neal's message was clear. He was Jewish. He suffered. His virtue status trumped mine. My job, as a Polak, was to shut up and take his abuse.
There's a species of huffy outrage that some not all purveyors of the Bieganski stereotype perform when elevating their own words above any critique, and lowering all Polish Catholics below any human respect or sympathy.
The Slate article, "'There’s This Gap Between Your Values and Lived Reality' Former New Republic editor Franklin Foer on Processing and Learning from the Leon Wieselter Sexual Harassment Allegations," reports that everyone knew that Leon Wieseltier was a pig, a serial violator of women. Everyone allowed him to do the disgusting things he did. The article said that Wieseltier's piggery was an "open secret." They didn't just allow Wieseltier to abuse women. They elevated Wieseltier to the status of a modern-day prophet. You can read the article here.
Wieseltier is a child of Holocaust survivors. People feel guilty and sad about the Holocaust. People let Holocaust survivors' children get away with a lot of guff and nonsense. I've witnessed this in real life.
I think that that guilt helps fuel the Bieganski stereotype. I write about this process in my book Bieganski. Jews are popularly understood as victims. Polish Catholics are not popularly understood as victims. When John Guzlowski was interviewed on the Leonard Lopate Show, Lopate's first question for John was, paraphrase, "You write poetry about your Polish Catholics parents' experience of being persecuted by the Nazis. But the Nazis didn't persecute Polish Catholics, did they?"
So, ignorant people playing a weird psychological game say, "Jews are victims; we must accord them virtue and not judge their excesses; Polish Catholics are not victims; we must allow them no quarter."
Of course not everyone does this, and not everyone who does do this does this in all circumstances. Too many people ready to sympathize with Jews and dehumanize Poles in relation to the Holocaust or any aspect of Catholic history, are perfectly willing to throw Jews under the bus when it comes to the mere existence of the state of Israel. Muslims' status as symbols of suffering and virtue trumps Jews' status for many liberals.
I think that something similar happens in the US with African Americans. I think that's part of the point of the play "Six Degrees of Separation." A black con artist is able to fleece rich white liberals by pretending to be Sidney Poitier's son. The liberals never expose this young man to the kind of basic questions you would ask a white stranger who invades your home and pretends to be a celebrity's son.
I think it's possible that Wieseltier got away with being a pig, and not just a pig but a holier-than-thou, Jews are too good to speak to Polish Catholics, purveyor of the Bieganski stereotype at least partly because he is the son of Holocaust survivors, and people paved his way with their own guilt and internal psychological games. The game being, "If I am indulgent of the son of Holocaust survivors, I am less guilty."