I know from the title of this post it sounds like I'm going to write one of my typical posts on family time, but I'm not. I'll get back to those soon, since they're closest to my heart, but I want to take a little detour and talk about Prince Harry. (In the meantime, if you'd rather read about marriage or housework, feel free!)
Not that Prince Harry's important; far from it. But over on Bookworm Room there's a great discussion on the moral outrage at Prince Harry referring to a Pakistani as a raghead.
Were his choice of words good?Absolutely not. But at the same time, I completely agree with this analysis:
It's like when everyone starts throwing the "Nazi" word around. Remember when people were calling Bush a Nazi? Oh, wait. They're still doing that. But here's the issue: people listening to that may think, "Oh, yeah! Bush is a Nazi!". And then they hear that Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister is a Nazi, and they think, "Oh, yeah! Harper's a Nazi!". Because they don't like Bush and Harper, they agree with their assessment.
The level of anger and hysteria about everything nowadays — absolutely everything — just puts me off, especially because it leaves no room to paint with the real brush of outrage. If calling your enemy by a pejorative, or using a very low level slur in a sarcastic way to refer to someone who is obviously a comrade in arms, is exactly as horrific as using children as human shields, you’ve rendered your moral compass useless. To use an analogy only those of us over 40 understand, if you play all your records at 78 rpm, they all sound like indistinguishable gibberish. We live in such a hysterical era.
As Wendy Kaminer wrote years ago (I think it was in her book called I’m dysfunctional, you’re dysfunctional), in a therapeutic age we feel obligated to give everybody’s’ ow-ies equal sympathy, whether the injury is a hang nail, hurt feelings, or an escape from the Cambodian Killing Fields. I feel as if I’m perpetually surrounded by nervous Victorian maidens fainting on couches at real or imagined insults. It’s exhausting.
But here's the problem. Even though they don't like Bush and Harper, they do know that the reason they don't like them is because they disagree with their policies, and they think Bush and Harper are hateful (I don't share their assessment, but follow me for a moment). So if a Nazi is simply someone you disagree with whom you also think is hateful, a whole bunch of people could be Nazis, including your mother-in-law.
Then, when you hear that Hitler was a Nazi, you forget about tossing 6 million Jews in the ovens, along with a million Poles and a million gypsies and countless others. You forget about the medical experiments by Mengele. You forget about the teenage girls who were used as prostitutes by the Nazi officers, and killed them when they got pregnant. They don't think about the German Jews who had to hand over their children to complete strangers to smuggle them out of Germany, knowing they may never see them again, because it was those children's only chance of survival. They forget about the emaciated ghosts of human beings that were found in liberated concentration camps.
They forget so much that we can have protests all over North America, like this one in Toronto, attended mostly by Muslims and union workers, who can hold signs saying, "Jews back in the ovens!", or "Jews = Nazis", and we think nothing of it.
No matter what you think about the war in Gaza (and I happen to think Israel has a right to self-defense), bombing people who have bombed you is not the same as choosing identical twins so that you can do medical experiments on them. It is not the same as gassing babies to death, or dashing their heads against walls in front of their mothers.
Have we no conscience? Have we no ability to think critically anymore? Have we forgotten what real evil is?
Real evil is with us. It was demonstrated on the streets of Toronto on Saturday by hateful people, but even they are not Nazis, though I disagree with them. Let's keep the ability to identify to real evil, rather than diluting evil to simply mean something we disagree with.
So let me take a moment and use "evil" to really mean something vile and disgusting, and not just mean something that I disagree with.
I think it is evil to mulilate the genitals of little girls. I think it is evil to marry four wives. I think it is evil to say that it is okay to rape a woman caught in a war, as long as she is not a Muslim, and then pass her around for everyone else to use. I think it is especially evil to say that God Himself condones this sort of rape. I think it is evil to say that it is okay to marry a little girl, as long as you don't consummate the marriage until she is 9, like Muhammad did with his wife Aisha. I think it is wrong to demand that women cover themselves from head to toe, or else they risk beating.
And when people who believe in these evil things start protesting on our streets against Israel, under the banner of a terrorist flag, and no one says anything, including our political leaders, I think that's evil and wrong, too. So consider this post my attempt to speak out in the apparent media silence against these protesters: calling Jews Nazis is evil, and demonstrates your lack of morals and of logical ability. Calling for the death of Jews is also evil. Such things have no place in a civilized society, and the fact that they can happen here, without any real denunciation, is sobering indeed.
Labels: politics, social issues