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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Better Way to Put Things

With reference to my last post a few days ago, in the pneumatic isolation of the Vatican, the Pope's Preacher might very well not have been aware that in all the fervor and mess surrounding the creation and the maintenance of the state of Israel, things have gotten to the point where the terms "antisemitism" and even of "Jew" for that matter have become so sensitized that using them has been put largely offlimits to all except those to whom those words refer. Otherwise that very high and favored Vatican official would have known that he would immediately get in trouble for any allusion to antisemitism, regardless of the point he was trying to make.

Rainbows (i.e. "black" Americans) would very much like to have the charge of "racism" to be an automatic weapon similarly reserved for their use only, with the needed special force, but that effort hasn't been nearly as successful, and ironically, one of the main eroders of the meaning of "racism" has been a group that if anything, should be much in sympathy with the concerns of Rainbows. Yet the likewise much stepped-upon Palestinians, along with other Arabs, habitually refer to the many offenses committed against them by Israelis as "racism."

That makes no sense, because so far the Israelis or even Jews for that matter have, to my knowledge, not yet been included in a so-called "racial group" that is separate from the one in which the Palestinians are also put, namely one that for some reason is named after a snow-peaked range of mountains that can be found in the southeast of Russia and beyond.. . In addition, the more immediate ancestors of both the Israelis and the Palestinians, harking back to the days a couple of thousand years ago on which the Israelis base their claim to be in what, till 1948, was usually called "Palestine," were called "Semites," which means that, all things considered, being a victim of antisemitism can't possibly be seen as being reserved only for people of the Jewish persuasion.

As in so many cases of misunderstandings, up to and including ghetto walls and armed conflict, a lot of the trouble is the traditional laziness and confusion in the use of language.

I have no immediate suggestion to make that would be more precise than the term "antisemitism," mainly because that subject is too explosive to think about. But, because it is so much closer to me personally, I think I have come up with a perfect replacement for the word and the concept of "racism," and that is "groupism."

Ever since I can remember, there has been some trouble with the whole concept of "race," anyway, I guess because of the absolute ease with which the various races can interbreed, and more recently the discoveries in the identical lineups of genes, chromosomes, DNA, and all the rest of that kind of stuff, as seen through strong microscopes. So, for instance, it used to be commonly thought that there were four main races and they were easily distinguished by color: black, white, red, and yellow. But now the Indians of the Americas, or "Native Americans" as they are also somewhat clumsily called -- who after all has even heard of Amerigo Vespucci? -- Crazy Horse and Geronimo almost certainly never did) may be surprised to learn that in the eyes of some rightwingers they no longer are a whole race in themselves, and instead they are lumped in with the Mongolian groups, which leaves only three races.

Getting back to my main point, when one is being racist, he should really be accused of being "groupist" instead, for it is between groups that have different ideas about the way they think things should be, not "races" based on certain physical differences, that the present-day vicious social struggles are being waged. Otherwise people are generally one.

Even casual glances at school assemblies in my bygone days, or from just looking around at my own family, and also from seeing how people acted in the military integration that had just started when I enlisted just over 60 years ago, it was always clear that the differences between so-called "white" people and s0-called "black" people and also within both those groups were and still are minor at most. In the military the slob quotients were especially identical, indicating that certain shortcomings in the most basic "home "training" are largely universal in the U.S., regardless of the financial and social status of one's family.

So the Palestinians and the Israelis would be angered but I suspect not particularly surprised to be told that from the creation standpoint actually they are one, and the real trouble they have is in the home training they received after birth, and between the groups in which they have consequently and subsequently been split -- the progressive versus the regressive groups among the Israelis, and between Fatah and Hamas among the Palestinians..


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