ModernityBlog

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

Archive for April 30th, 2010

Euphemisms For Racists.

with 2 comments

Anyone who’s ever dealt with neofascists, bigots or other assorted racists will know how they love using euphemisms.

Instead of stating what they mean they often soften their bigotry by using an alternative name.

So you would have heard in 1970s Britain “I don’t mind blacks, it is Jamaicans I can’t stand” or more recently “I like Afro-Caribbean’s, it is immigrants I can’t stand” etc etc all dressed up bigotry, that’s what it is.

Whilst such bigots can keep up this game for a few moments invariably they will slip back to their old habits and admit that they “can’t really stand any blacks or any immigrants”

It is a pattern that you will see repeated, along with the old excuse “some of my best friends are….” and then they will let their bigotry pour out.

That’s how prejudice often manifests itself, hidden in silly word games and excuses that wouldn’t convince a child.

More recently, we see examples of these techniques whenever the Middle East is discussed, and you’ll probably hear an excuse something much like this:

“I have nothing against Jews, some of them are my best friends, but it is the Zionists that I can’t stand.”

But every once in a while, the mask slips and the prejudices come forth, so it was with a Lib Dem candidate.

For her, no need for euphemisms, no need to hide her prejudice and she doesn’t even used the “it is Zionists I can’t stand” ploy, no Madeleine Kirk was direct, the JC has more:

“Ms Kirk, a long-standing local city councillor, replied that an embargo should be in place, but was not, “because of the Jewish lobby”

Later on she compounds it, by backing Baroness Tonge’s call for an inquiry into a racist allegation, which itself legitimises that racist allegation, not a good idea unless you share some of the bigotry and prejudice underlying the false allegation.

She then went on to back disgraced Lib Dem peer Jenny Tonge’s call for an inquiry to disprove allegations that Israeli army medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims.

Baroness Tonge was stripped of her role as the party’s health spokeswoman in the Lords following her comments in February.

When contacted by the JC, Ms Kirk said: “I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by my remarks.

“I recognise that the allegations against the IDF’s humanitarian operation in Haiti are completely unfounded and utterly reprehensible. I was not aware of the allegations when asked about them at the hustings and responded without considering their full implications.” “

We’ve seen this before with the Lib Dems, nothing learnt, nothing understood.

(H/T: Engage)

Written by modernityblog

30/04/2010 at 16:38

Stigmatising Dress Codes.

with 2 comments

Sadly, I haven’t got time to do a long post on this topic.

According to the BBC, the lower house in Belgium’s parliament has passed a provisional piece of legislation on the banning of the Burka and Niqab.

This is a very bad proposal, which I believe will have to go through the upper house and finally be ratified by the Belgian King, before becoming law

Ages ago I detailed my opposition to this type of proposal in a post at the Z-word blog.

I suspect that the law of unintended consequences will come into this, it will probably blow up, literally, and its political ramifications felt widely across the globe.

What a terrible mistake.

Although I haven’t seen the voting figures it wouldn’t surprise me if the Flemish Far Right had a hand in this too.

Update 1: From the above BBC link,

“Only around 30 women wear this kind of veil in Belgium, out of a Muslim population of around half a million.”

30 women and a whole law against them, not a good idea.

Written by modernityblog

30/04/2010 at 00:44