“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

The Guardian’s Blindspot.

with 5 comments

There is an excellent article in today’s Guardian, dealing with the growth of Far Right groups in America and it highlights how aggressive rhetoric from people like Glenn Beck may have contributed to that rise, as it reports:

“How far such language is now part of the mainstream political discourse was confirmed by Politico today, which reported that it had obtained a Republican national committee document detailing plans to raise election funds with “an aggressive campaign capitalising on ‘fear’ of President Barack Obama” and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism”.”

So the Guardian is right to point out that aggressive rhetoric in the public discourse can have dire consequences, the rise of the Far Right, the potential for incitement, racial violence, etc

All very observable and easily documented, based on the evidence.

Yet the irony is that the Guardian, in the form of its electronic service, Comment is Free contributes to such racism on a daily basis.

Granted, it is not the bellicose demagoguery of American talk show hosts, it is rather very English, understated, but the effect is similar.

Instead of attacks on President Obama, creeping socialism etc, instead of that Comment is Free posts outpourings of anti-Jewish racism, conspiracy theories and attacks on Israelis on a daily basis.

And that is the Guardian’s blindspot, their inability to see how they are actively contributing to anti-Jewish racism.

(H/T: Adam Holland)

Written by modernityblog

05/03/2010 at 14:20

5 Responses

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  1. A more depressing cry for censorship on political grounds I never saw. Don’t you realise that “zionist” could equally easily be added to the list of prohibited ideas?

    Roger Pearse

    05/03/2010 at 15:50

  2. In the American First Amendment, we not only have the freedom of speech, the right to say almost anything (with slight restrictions on libel, slander, plotting crimes and so forth) but we also the freedom of association. This right means we can choose, again with minor restrictions for people like parolees, with whomever we wish. That means, Roger can save whatever the fuck he wants to, and if I dislike it, I can avoid him. I refuse to hire him. I can shun him. If enough people do this, it might even compel him to self censor which perfectly acceptable.

    What this author seems to be arguing is tbat the Guardian should exercise its freedom of association and refuse to allow bigots to post on its boards. Nothing wrong with that. It’s no more censorship than I refuse to allow you to post on my blog particularly since its not government inspired, ordered, or promoted. Free Speech does not compel anyone to provide an audience or platform to speech.

    History Punk

    05/03/2010 at 17:50

  3. The SPLC’s “hate map” show the number “3” for Rhode Island. Can anyone provide any evidence of Klan Activity in that State in the last decade or two? I didn’t think so.


    06/03/2010 at 00:33

  4. Mr History Punk, no-one is obliged to provide anyone with the means to circulate their arguments. But a major political forum supposedly open to all is a different matter. We all know that those making these demands have every intention of denying free speech to their intended victims, by any means whatever, not excluding imprisonment or violence. Making the right to property a pretext to deny it to others is merely playing with words.

    Of course you may feel that you don’t give a damn about right or wrong, you just want to stick it to those you hate. But … while you are demanding that “bigots” are denied the right to say what they think in public fora, you are engaged in making sure that you will get the same treatment if your views happen to differ from those of the establishment. Unless you imagine, that is, that you (or I) will be the ones who decide which views are allowed to be expressed, now and always?

    Don’t promote censorship. It’s cutting your own throat.

    Roger Pearse

    06/03/2010 at 15:21

  5. […] The Guardian seems to lead in this area, the Independent has a problem too and now the Torygraph. Readers can plough through the racist filth if they wish after the post by Julian Kossoff on Adolf Eichmann and the Pope, which makes some surprisingly good points: “Germany is fighting to keep sealed the Adolf Eichmann files detailing the years the Holocaust chief logistical organiser spent on the run before he was captured by Mossad agents. […]

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