Let's clear the air...

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by wil, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    And you are saying there is not a shred of truth. That jews (in general) are not proud of being frugal and shrewd negoatiators?
     
  2. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Wil, if negative stereotypes are wrong, why would positive stereotypes not be wrong as well ?

    Some people use frugal as a euphemism for cheap.

    Some people use shrewd negotiators as meaning manipulative.

    Some Jews are profligate spenders.

    Some Jews are terrible negotiators.

    So what, why would you want to label a group of people with such oversimplified labels ? Why can't we characterize people for their own unique behaviors ?

    Some people think stereotypes are funny. But I do not think a Muslim who is not allowed to board a plane thinks it is funny that he / she has be racially profiled.
     
  3. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    No, there may be a shred of truth, as there may be with other populations for whom the stereotype does not exist and would not have reason to arise because it wasn't predated (as it was with the Jewish people) by a negative connotation of monetary Know-how. But whether or not that is a value for some Jews, it doesn't validate the generalization. I don't think the stereotype that asians are good at math and music is valid either.

    Further, implicit in such a generalization is the *** hoc association that this is something caused by Jewish culture or upbringing. Even if it is valid to associate your stereotype with Jews, maybe it has more to do with having been descended from a generation of upward-striving immigrants (as I suggested previously) in which case a generalization of the values of descendents of upward-striving immigrants would make more sense, or maybe it's something to do with class-value where Jews in Western societies tend to be in the middle-to-upper-middle and upper classes (and at the same time I know situations where this is blatantly not the case.)

    I don't see the stereotype as justified because even if it is true, there is good reason to suspect it's not something directly related to Jewishness and there's good reason to suspect that, whatever its justification, it's not something directly connected to the original reason for the application of the stereotype.

    To draw up an analogous situation to the latter. Let's say there's a group of people, the Oronians, and many centuries ago, because of outside pressures, many of them entered accounting. When people were irresponsible with their money, they were in the position that htey had to tell them so. This led to other people seeing them as hyper-critical. It became the case that, seeing an Oronian on the street, someone would mock them and poke fun at them. When an Oronian made a fairly innoccuous observation, it would be scrutinized in light of the stereotype (another person making the observation would not have received the same scrutiny, or been seen to be fitting a real and existing pattern.) Sometimes it would turn to violence which was acceptable at the time toward Oronians.

    Many centuries pass. The world changes. Some Oronians have done pretty well for themselves. For a time they were more frequently poor and uneducated because of backlash from the negative stereotypes against them. This led to a generation that strove to provide a better education, hoping that many of their children might join academia in order to educate against the stereotypes that existed. But with higher education came the pseudo-fulfillment of the ancient criticism stereotype. The higher education included a greater familiarity with rules of debate and a greater breadth of knowledge. Now other people felt justified in applying the stereotype even though it had no connection to the reason for the stereotype and didn't really mean the same thing. And to be sure, there were other people who also emphasized education but to whom the stereotype wasn't applied, and there were Orionians to whom the stereotype didn't apply at all. It should also be noted that, while some applied the stereotype positively, others meant to apply it quite negatively.

    If you agree that the application of the stereotype is not valid in the above situation, then you should not hesitate to retract your own application of a similar stereotype.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Yes, some people think it is funny, as many a comedian has made their entire career using the stereotypes...many those that are in regard to their own ethnicity or race.

    Call me crass and politically incorrect but I don't care what it is. If I know that it is red ants that bite and black ants don't bother me, guess which ones I will pre-emptively strike against. I slap mosquitos and wave away flys. Do all mosquitos bite? No only the females...but my only method is to swat them. If I instead detained them to determine sex prior to irradicating them I think they'd be appreciative. Just as if I were a law abiding Muslim, I would think I would be aware that many radical Muslims are a problem, and especially on airlines, and as I would prefer to land at my destination safely, if that means I have to be racially profiled and searched so that they increase the liklihood I do...I'd do it. Just as I as a white guy am ok with standing in line, going thru the detectors, xraying my suitcase, taking off my shoes, not having liquids over three ounces, not carrying my knife...all these things I didn't have to do 30 years ago...and why do I have to do it today?? Hijackings in the middle east and three planes that were crashed by a bunch of radical muslims.

    Yes some Jews do not fit the stereotype...I'll ask you again.
    Seems to me every kids favorite part of the seder is the negotiation... this is part of the teaching is it not?

    It will be impossible to clear the air if we can't discuss reality.
     
  5. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Let's not confuse the issue. Racial profiling is a separate matter because it's intended for the greater good. Whether or not taking actions informed by racial profiling is thusly justified is a separate matter but clearly in the case of the Jewish stereotype, we're not dealing with something that may be in the service of the greater good for similar reasons. To reject the stereotype would not put the community at a greater risk of harm. The cost of holding the stereotype in the Jewish case is higher than the cost of letting it go, imo. That's I suppose one more issue to add to my list of objections.
     
  6. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Yeh Wil, it's snowing in hell today! I'm here to back you up. (lol, I can almost see you breaking into tears saying NO NO NO....PLEASE NO!!)

    As a Scot I am subject to the usual stereotyping that you see in everything from Scotch-Tape, (penny-pinching fix it together), to the drunken Janitor in the Simpsons. Like the Jews the Scots have endured great hardship just for their ethnicity. As I have mentioned before even my own family had all its male members murdered only a little over 250 years ago. Just a brief look at the Highland Clearances shows that the parallal between the persecution of Jew and Scot is striking.

    But since WW2 the Jews have been conditioned to use what has been a far from unique history of persecution to shout down any criticism of any kind. And this has spilled over into an intollerance of even the gentlest and most well meaning of ribbing. The Scots reputation for frugality and penny pinching stems from the Scot William Patterson, the founder of the Bank of England. And so is directly analgous to the 'Jewish' money lenders that earned the Jews the same reputation. The Scots were also refered to as sub-human savages just like the Jews were called "two legged beasts".

    The only difference between the Scots and Jews is that we Scots endured our attempted genocide a century before the Jews and there was no need to use the Scots and Scotland as a front line supply depot for an Imperial war machine. The whole emphasis on the victim mentality that has been engineered by Jewish Institutions in full complicity with the American Empire has been very effective. For a non Jew to even use the word Jew is verging on the taboo. It is like an electric fence charged with 1000s of volts and is designed to stop people holding any meaningful discussion on modern Judaism and more precisely the state of Israel. Many peoples have suffered as badly at the hands of tyrants as the Jews. But they want to make themselves a special case. Or, more accurately, they have been brainwashed to demand they be seen as a special case. And the Great Irony is that such a demand was INVENTED in order that American Imperialism has a carte blanche platform of operations on the edge of the richest oil resource on the face of the planet.

    Now as a Scot I am quite happy for anybody to use the stereotypes that have come into use in order to have a laugh. I have been called a skirt wearing, sheep shagging, tight fisted, inbred drunk on many an occasion and without doubt will be called so again. The reason I can laugh about it is because I have not been subjected to the intense propaganda of the Jewish Institutions that were set up to produce such indignation. My attitude is carry on. Do not give ground to this manufactured perversion of indignation. It is utterly false. The human spirit naturally has humour as a part of it. If that is suppressed by the people who are amongst the most malign individuals of our global community we have lost a very important expression of our freedom.
     
  7. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    That's not my experience. My experience is that 'ribbing' is quite acceptable. Using stereotypes within the context of humor is fine. The problem is when those stereotypes are applied in an ordinary context e.g. a person who says sincerely:

    "Jewish people are cheap."

    That is in essence what Wil is doing.

    No it's not, certainly not as a noun. Used as a verb to imply cheapness in normal conversation, it certainly is.

    And as a Jew I have no problem with Jewish stereotypes used for a laugh, nor do most of my Jewish acquaintances. That's not the issue in question.
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Gotta run, so short answer, but Dauer I'd hope you'd had a better feel for me than that.

    One of my business partners is Jewish. Two of my accountants, one of my lawyers and my financial planner/mentor is Jewish.

    Guess why? Because of a generalization/stereotype that I have found to be quite accurate in the past and continue to find as valuable.

    I am a gambler. I have a specific quantity of information and need to make a decision. I will base that on past experience every time.

    Some say cheap and coniving, I see frugal and shrewd, and a worthwhile associate, partner and adversary.
     
  9. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Taken in context, what I said means that, whether you had meant it positively or not, you are applying a negative stereotype of the Jewish people in ordinary conversation. Please review my prior list of objections which you have not responded to.

    But from what you've said, you're not merely basing on experience. You're using the stereotype as a reason to seek out experiences that validates it, then taking that experience to justify the stereotype you began with. Assuming your process of evaluating a new accountant, lawyer, financial planner is a bit more involved than "He's Jewish, so must be good", it becomes a self-fulfilling stereotype.
     
  10. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    what an utter load of crap. it seems that in the last couple of years the best defence against accusations of prejudice has become a pre-emptive one of "you don't want this discussed, do you? you're trying to shut down debate - you're oversensitive". well, let me tell you, i know where that comes from. it's the cry raised against the loony left and it has been noticed by the loony right. yes, you guessed it, it's the "We Want To Talk About The Stuff They Don't Want You To Hear" shibboleth, the favourite rallying call of everyone's favourite cuddly neo-fascists, the BNP. before you all jump on me, i'm not accusing anyone here of being a fascist. i'm just saying that the people who benefit most from this sort of discourse are not the people who are supposed to be stifling debate, whether they are or not. this is just the latest tactic, an offensive disguised as a pre-emptive defense. astonishingly, it has been adopted by both the hard left and by the people they claim to be furthest from. i am strongly reminded of eddie izzard's famous "circle of fashion", on which one extreme is "looking pretty cool" and the other is "looking like a dickhead" and, guess what, go too far in one direction and you end up on the other side of the circle.

    now i am strongly in favour of free speech. i am in favour of such people as david irving and george galloway (and make no mistake about it, they are part of the same circle) being permitted to peddle their lies and weaselry - their ideas will be challenged and fall in the arena of public debate. let them try. but don't you dare tell me i'm trying to suppress that debate. what i reserve the right to do, however, is to choose where and when i will enter that debate. it bores the soapy tits off me refuting the same old tired accusations over and over again. there's always another idiot in the queue. i don't have to put up with that. it is a waste of time - because we are debating the terms of the debate, not debating the issues. and i have no time for futile condemnation-by-numbers.

    seriously, tao, look at the actual facts of this debate. how many threads are there on the rights and wrongs of israel and palestine? and how many threads are there on the three times as many people that were intentionally killed since the beginning of the year in sri lanka? if debate on israel is being "stifled", i hate to think what is happening in sri lanka, or kurdistan, or chechnya, or tibet, or any of the places where human rights organisations and journalists aren't allowed to get any information. nooo, no, it's the jews stopping people talking about the *big* issue, isn't it?

    and that is up to you. some people find jackie mason hilarious. i find him sad, racist and woefully outdated. have you heard chris rock's excellent stand-up piece (which had a practically all-black audience on its feet cheering) about "the problem is between black people and 'niggaz'?" (excuse my use of the word, i hope the context makes it clear) - well, this argument has been had. and not just by jews, or scots.

    now you're really sounding like the elders of zion have got to you. it must be that jews don't ... have... a sense of..... humour.... yes, that's it.... there aren't any ... funny jews.....

    really? do you know any jewish cops? security guards? handymen? builders? i do. i believe that was one of the points of israel, according to hertzl; that jews should be able to be blue-collar workers as well as members of the liberal professions. he was ignoring, of course, the entire sephardi world.

    you know what the real thing about judaism is? it's a LEARNING CULTURE. we have, whether we are rich or poor, a culture of lifelong learning. from traditional religious stuff to advanced science, it's all grist to the mill. some cultures, perhaps, are not. there are times when a learning culture was not valued as a fighting culture was, but every book *i've* read on it says that now is otherwise.

    precisely. as a gambler, wil, you must be familiar with the idea that bad gamblers think cards have a "memory". this is known as "confirmation bias". your sort of heuristic assumes that jews make good accountants and it also prevents black men being hired by architecture firms. i don't know about you, but i don't like where that goes.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  11. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Its not that I do not see your point, I just think it flawed. I am not proficiently aware of the state of perceptions in the US but I have never heard Jews referred to as 'cheap'. But I do not see it as wrong to use what some people may think of as negative stereotypes in a positive way. Jews do have, rightly or wrongly, a reputation for good business ability and you cannot change that fact. For Wil to see as a positive attribute what others see as a negative (jealousy) is in no way wrong.

    Over the pond here I can with every justification in fact make the statement "the Polish are cheap". For they are indeed willing to accept minimum wage for jobs that previous to the influx of Poles paid 20% more. Now I can say that with some rancour, as someone who has lost their job to a Pole willing to work for less than me, or I can say it gleefully, as a businessman who has managed to cut his costs significantly. Either way the statement remains true. A stereotype is born.

    But with Jews, as per my previous post, you see this hypersensitivity that you do not see in any other group. Racism come from the heart and someone using a stereotype to select attributes does not imply racism. It implies a recognition of some truth in a stereotype, and stereotypes almost invariably have some basis in fact. The Scots do drink a lot, its a fact. Jews are often good, shrewd businessmen and women, its a fact. Black people do not smell the same as whites, its a fact. Each of them can be taken positively or negatively dependent on the psyche of the individual recognising the stereotype. The sterotype itself is usually ambivilant without context.


    I think you really need to ask non-Jews that question. In my experience use of the word is not quite the same as using Muslim, Catholic or Hindu for example. It is a subtle difference but it is there. There is a caution involved in its use that is not present in any other such label. A caution engineered by Jewish organisation in my opinion. Part of the policy of making the questioning of Jewish/Israeli actions virtually taboo. People are afraid to use it for fear of being thought of as anti-semitic. My take is that Jews are people too and their culture leads to certain stereotypes. Positive and negative. You have to accept that and realise that Jews are not exempt from them. If someone is being hateful we have laws to deal with it. Trying to claim some special exemption from normal human behaviour because its about Jews will only isolate Jews and give power to the bigots.
     
  12. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    I actually base my opinions more along the lines of the thinking that Noam Chomsky details so accurately in his books. I have never paid the slightest attention to Irvin or Galloway. I arrived at a similar attitude to Noam Chomsky quite independently, before I had read any of his work. He is a racist, a bigot, a Jew hater? No. He is the best and most accurate cataloguer of the history of American Imperialism alive today. I do not blame Jews. I can see how easy it was for them to be lured into the propaganda coup of our Imperial overlords. This transcends race or creed. So for once can you get off your high horse and stop being only a Jew and be a human being like the rest of us, open your eyes and see what is really being played out.
     
  13. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    I've had the direct experience on more than one occasion.

    You acknowledge that the perspective that Jews have good business ability may or may not be correct. In previous posts in this thread I have brought up reasonable defeaters that challenge the accuracy of such a statement. If I have made Wil aware of them and he writes them off based on what has been established is logically inconsistent reasoning, then it would be inaccurate to describe his position as 'in no way' wrong. Rather, he is in some ways very wrong.

    No, not with every justification because what you are saying is not accurate. More specifically, your experiences of recent Polish immigrants informs you that subset of the Polish community is willing to work for less. The word 'cheap' is not well-defined, nor is the word 'Polish' in your statement. You may feel that you have a right to say 'Polish people are cheap', but just so I have a right to challenge that such a statement in the context of normal conversation is inaccurate and bad for society.

    edited to add: And one of the issues I want to make clear, if your language is imprecise then it allows for misinterpretation and generalization by others which only feeds the ethnocentric perspectives of bigots.

    I didn't bring up the issue of racism.

    I see where you're going, but that's not something I've ever seen a Jew reinforce. I have myself, and seen other Jewish people, correct that discomfort.

    I'm claiming no special exemption.
     
  14. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    there is no need to quote my entire post. it detracts from clarity.

    oh, good grief, chomsky. spare me your straw men. he may well make some intelligent criticisms of the sort of neo-conservative tribalists that dominate jewish discourse in the states, but he quite simply doesn't understand the first thing about my point of view, which is not from that stable. that does not mean he is right and i am wrong. politics is not even his area of expertise - that is linguistics, i believe. as i am neither an imperialist nor an american i fail to see how this applies to me. go on, tao, compare me to michelle malkin, daniel pipes or dershowitz or someone, see where that gets you. sheesh.

    well, you appear to have arrived at a similar attitude to galloway quite independently, as if that was anything to be proud of. and much of your argument is precisely that made by david irving - that a "powerful establishment" (guess which one) is trying to silence him. he had his day in court - and was unable to substantiate his accusations and was proven thereby to be a liar. galloway is, of course, cleverer than that, albeit it hasn't actually helped any of his pet causes, because he is more interested in headline-grabbing publicity stunts and soundbites than actually helping real people (other than his accountant, who i am sure he is probably delighted to point out as probably jewish and no doubt one of his best friends)

    ah, the rallying call of the european enlightenment, which called for us to relinquish our differences in the name of common humanity, which we were promptly then excluded from. tao, what would be your reaction to someone who told you to stop being "only" a scot and be a human being instead? universalism is important, but so is particularism. we don't yet understand truly why this is, yet judaism makes it clear that both are irreducible parts of humanity.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  15. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    My sympathies. I have been the subject of the negative side of stereotyping too in England and abroad. Not that it bothered me. I have worn glasses since I was 6 and so quickly got used to the fact that some people are just not nice.
    I have seen figures before that clearly show that in the US per head of population Jews are extremely successful. But the stereotype is far older than that and is justified in much writing that had no negative agenda.
    In the context of a stereotype it is accurate, the definition derives from it being a stereotype. In the context of society the influx of Poles has been to the detriment of the UK national workforce and you trying to say to those that lost their jobs that they have no right to call poles "cheap" is to deny these people the right to express their annoyance. But I do see your point, I even agree with it. I do not blame the Poles at all. I see them as exploited as the native workforce. It is the social engineers at the top of the pile that cause the environment where people fall back on blaming each other. In an ideal world you are right, such stereotyping is bad for society. But Jews are not exempt from it, as the recent outrage over Israeli army T-shirt designs shows.
     
  16. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    and
    Is some of the support for one of my challenges which was referenced in my argument from analogy. The intended meanings of the original stereotype (generalizing unhappiness with the practices of moneylenders into the negative traits of Jews as a community) and the origins of that stereotype (in referencing moneylenders) differ from Wil's application, yet those who apply the stereotype (including Wil) are invariably informed by the older conceptualization because of the matrix of information in which they find themselves. Being informed by a false justification is not justified, even if one's belief is true.

    I'm not denying that they have a right to say it. My previous post validated your right to say it. I did say, however, that it is inaccurate and bad for society.

    That we have a definition for what a stereotype is doesn't validate the blatant use of stereotypes in conversation. If your line of reasoning works in the "Poles are cheap" situation you've presented then it works to defend most any bigoted statement about a particular group of people.

    It's not about denying the write to express annoyance. It's about using accurate language in order to stem rather than feed bigotry. You have a nuanced perspective of the situation of Polish immigrants and imo your statements about Poles should be so informed.

    And I think that we should work toward such an ideal. I get the sense you don't feel the same way and that may be much of the source of our disagreement.
     
  17. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    You know you are just like Thomas, constantly telling me who I am, throwing mud in the hope that it sticks. Trying to diminish not my words but my person. Am I right in thinking that you also work for some sector of your establishment?

    Your blanket dismissal and your wholly inaccurate description of Chomsky reveals to me you know little or nothing of what he says. Or that you know he is far to big a man for you to take on. I have seen your bias played out in the perversion of facts on many a post now. You make much wind of your independence of thought but it seems to me increasingly that you are nothing but a barking guard dog who comes to shout down and humiliate anyone who might dare suggest anything other than the doctrine you support.

    I stand by every word I say about Israel and the manipulation of the holocaust legacy for American Imperial aims. And you can do your damnedest to link me to some fringe loonies but I know that is not where I belong. And shame on you for suggesting that I do.
     
  18. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Not quite. I just think that blaming the little man is a cop-out. People cannot help but use them as they are a part of everyday life. It is our religious and political leaderships that engineer and sustain these stereotypes.
     
  19. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    I don't see myself as blaming the little man. I'm suggesting that he take on his fair share of accountability. How can including all of the little people in society under the burden of responsibility be a cop-out if we are those little people? Surely the only real cop-out in this situation would be to wag our fingers at the folks on top as if we are nothing more than marionettes on a string.

    You have said that you agree with my point. I go a step further. It should be incumbent upon each of us to take responsibility and embody the change we seek rather than heft the work onto those who we perceive to be at the top of society's hierarchy. There is no top without a bottom that supports it. It's a reciprocal relationship.


    -- Dauer
     
  20. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    That is exactly how I have always seen that too. Dogs who fight, bark and bite at every little sound.
     

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