Audio Recording by George Hahn
There was controversy this month involving Kanye West. You can catch up here; I won’t reiterate it. I believe Kanye is ill, and I’ll return to ignoring him soon after this post. This post is about Adidas, Gap, CAA, and his other corporate partners. It is about the moral obligation we have to draw a line.
Authoritarian power, fascism especially, often rests on the persecution of a group. Fascists ascribe the problems of society to the influence of a minority and argue that controlling or eliminating that group will solve a social ill. The most popular target for this form of social weaponization, for hundreds of years, has been the Jews.
Making up 2% of the U.S. population, and only 0.2% of the world’s population, Jews are, year after year, the target of more anti-religious hate crimes than any group. In the two-year period 2001-02 bookending 9/11 — when Islamic terrorists killed 3,000 people — the FBI identified 636 anti-Islam hate crimes in the U.S., up from just 61 in the two prior years. Over the same period the FBI identified 1,974 anti-Jewish hate crimes — three times as many as directed at Muslims, more than half the religious hate crimes committed during the period.
The anti-Islam number was the anomaly. Year after year, more hate crimes are committed against Jewish Americans than against any other group except Black Americans. (There are six times as many Black Americans, and in total they suffer twice as many hate crimes.) The situation is similar abroad and over time. Persecution of the Jews is so common, there’s a Yiddish word for being massacred: pogrom. QAnon is strange and vile, but likely ends up only a stain on this American era. Antisemitism is history’s most enduring and deadly conspiracy theory.
That’s why special attention should be paid to tropes like “the Jewish media.” The real demon, of course, is demonization, of any target. The history of discrimination and violence against “out” groups is extensive, from the Armenian genocide, to the mass killings of Christians by ISIS, to China’s detainment of Uyghurs, and much, much more. In fact, the Nazis did not limit their attacks to Jews alone. They targeted Romani people, Black people, homosexuals, and the handicapped. Whoever the target, identifying a group, blaming them for society’s problems, and encouraging persecution, including violence, against them is the fascist playbook. We cannot ignore these tactics in the rantings of billionaire celebrities, regardless of what we think of their music, their shoe designs, or their mental health.
A companion tactic is the assertion of victimhood by the fascists themselves. “Replacement theory” is the noxious combination of both, asserting that the persecuted minority will somehow supplant the majority. The rhetoric of fascism is like a battery, drawing energy from contradiction. A self-proclaimed billionaire, for example, wailing about how oppressed he is.
We have incorrectly conflated the liberal tradition of “free speech” with neutrality, with protecting the dark shoots of fascism in the name of tolerance. By the time speech has flowered into actions that cannot be ascribed to a “lone wolf” or the “mentally ill,” it has ripened into a movement. Movements are harder to stop, and the cost of resistance becomes so high that good people stop doing and saying the right thing as the understandable instinct for self-preservation kicks in. Later, we find eloquence and grace only in our regret.
I have the feeling that we let our consciences realize too late the need of standing up against something that we knew was wrong. We have therefore had to avenge it, but we did nothing to prevent it. I hope that in the future, we are going to remember that there can be no compromise at any point with the things that we know are wrong.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
Standing up against the rhetoric of hatred has nothing to do with censorship. There is no law forbidding people from employing the rhetoric of oppression, nor should there be. But no principle obligates us to accept them in media or business relationships.
A pillar of state-sponsored horror is the steady normalization of stereotyping and blaming. One person ranting about the Jews or anyone else is readily identified as an outlier and ignored. But as these claims multiply, as they have recently, they seem less outrageous. Political scientist Joseph Overton postulated that at any time there is a range of policies the population deems acceptable, but this “window of discourse” is not constant. It’s become a strategic objective of extremist groups to shift the “Overton window” over time toward their position by using rhetoric and advancing policies just outside the current scope of societal acceptance. And as the volume of hateful rhetoric rises, as research has shown, so too does hate crime.
The rise of fascism — the normalization of hatred — is concomitant with the accommodations of powerful people who register political and financial gain by looking the other way. “Appeasement” is historically associated with Neville Chamberlain, the U.K. Prime Minister who caved to Hitler’s territorial demands rather than risk war with Germany — only to make the eventual war more costly. Chamberlain is unfairly singled out. Much of the British ruling class supported his position, and the U.S. Congress passed law after law barring aid to those threatened by the Nazis until Pearl Harbor made such a position untenable. Accommodation inside Germany began years earlier, with Hitler’s rise to power (via an election) in 1932.
Although Chamberlain is the poster child for appeasement, often the key enablers of fascism are not politicians, but corporations. Large companies benefit from stability, the expansion of their nation’s sphere of influence, and the centralization of power at the expense of the individual — many of the central themes of fascism. It’s no surprise that corporate power is often the handmaiden to authoritarian rule. I write that not as an indictment of corporations — corporations are essential. They are how we organize human effort to accomplish extraordinary things, from electric cars to vaccines. But as corporations become more powerful, their rejection or enablement of hate speech takes on additional importance.
Corporate accommodation of and support for the Nazis is well documented, from Adidas to Volkswagen to Krupp to IG Farben. Multinationals flooded into Pinochet’s Chile as he murdered his political opponents by the thousands. Vladmir Putin’s Russia has made “oligarch” (once simply a term for a member of a ruling clique) into a synonym for business leader. The risk is even greater today, considering the role corporations play in modulating our national discourse. The pure pursuit of profit can lead to dark places. There has to be a line, a moral consideration in place.
Drawing that line can be hard, because the leaders of large companies are culturally inclined toward, if not political neutrality, avoiding political adventurism. Corporations take political positions for business reasons, and 99% of the time, the best position is none. Donate to both sides, lobby for regulatory capture, and then stand on the sidelines.
But neutrality in the face of evil is not neutrality. Amorality is too easily hijacked by the immoral. Hannah Arrendt was fascinated by Adolf Eichmann, the architect of Hitler’s death camp system. He evidently had no ideology of his own, just a “manifest shallowness,” she wrote, “which made it impossible to trace the incontestable evil of his deeds to any deeper level of roots or motives.” If Meta were to change its name again … “Manifest Shallowness” strikes me as a decent fit.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
— Desmond Tutu
Drawing the Line
Which brings us back to Kanye. And to the corporations that did business with him. Their decision to sever ties is important. Not because they need to “cancel” Kanye. It’s not about Kanye, but drawing a line, arresting the normalization of the demonization of a minority.
In the case of Adidas, the ink for this line will cost shareholders hundreds of millions, if not billions, in shareholder value. The shoe maker has been criticized for waiting 10 days to cut ties. Ten days is an eyeblink in history (and even if management made the decision in 10 minutes, the logistics and legalities of responsibly disentangling a multibillion dollar relationship take time). The company should be commended for its actions.
As expensive as it was, Kanye did Adidas, the corporate world, and maybe America, a favor. As John Oliver put it, “The answer to where you draw the line is literally always ‘somewhere.’” If you never draw one, you forget how. So when someone goes to “death con 3,” society’s writing hand rediscovers penmanship. It helps to practice our cursive so we know we can do it. Drawing a line is a chance to remind yourself, your employees, your shareholders, and your customers that you’d rather take a stand now, when the cost is only profits vs. something much worse.
The Line to Here
In writing and presentations, I often point out that much of my success is due to my circumstances — being born in America, getting a state-sponsored education, etc. But the real roots of my good fortune run even deeper. During the Blitz, my mom was a 4-year-old Jew, sleeping in the London tube. Had the British not drawn a line, and then the Americans and Russians, it’s likely that a 21-mile-wide strip of water would have been breached, and my mother’s life would have ended with a train ride. And someone else would be writing this newsletter.
It should be noted: The allies drew a line against fascism and potential invasion, not antisemitism. The costs would have been less dear had we drawn those lines earlier. The line on Kanye should have been drawn sooner. Every elected leader, citizen, and CEO must ask themselves, Where is my line? To answer the question: We must first decide there is one.
Life is so rich,
P.S. If you’re a marketing leader, I’m doing a free, exclusive Q&A for you on Nov. 10 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. We’ll discuss marketing in the current environment, the challenges you’re facing, and anything else on your mind. You can apply to attend here.
This is a great and important article because I strongly agree that fascism can start from what people deem to be “just comments” however I want to highlight that comparing anti-Jewish hate to anti-black crime/Islamophobic attacks is a dangerous game and we must avoid the oppression olympics! All are awful and should be condemned – trying to say one is worse than the other is a dangerous rhetoric considering the rampant violent islamophobia and police brutality against black people.
los judios mataron a Jesus.
Hmmm. You’re asserting that my good friend X, who happens to be a Jew, murdered a (possibly mythical) Jewish rabbi two thousand years ago.
Do you understand how ridiculous that sounds?
Thank you, Scott for a very thoughtful post (my first). I’ve subscribed to your newsletter and look forward to reading and reflecting.
An important and exquisitely written post. This needs to be read. Twice. Then, passed along.
Thank you, Scott. That was an important post. Maybe your most important post. There is too much hatred and we need to draw the line.
How do you reconcile your thinking with the hate against those who stood their ground against Covid vaccination. They were treated like lepers, and still are – why can an unvaccinated person not get into the USA. There is absolutely no proof that they will be more contagious than a person who has been vaxed.
Thank you for such thoughtful words. This newsletter and your podcast are an oasis of sanity in a sea of madness.
Lots to think about!
I don’t agree with West. I don’t agree with most on the left and many on the right.
But, when you actively censor them, you fuel their movements. It becomes a ‘whack-a-mole’ issue. The left media has essentially discredited itself so many times that it fueled the success of the competition. Best way to neuter ‘conspiracies’ is to be seen as trustworthy. Trust is hard to get and easy to lose. Ask CNN
Did you read the article? Your usage of the word „censor“ seems to suggest not. It’s about the distinction of „censoring“ and „drawing a line“ that does not seem to be made much today.
I don’t agree with all your stuff but I’m in 100% agreement with this article.
Commend Adidas. Seriously?
If a white celebrity partner of theirs went to town on vicious anti-Black/women/gay stereotypes and said it was time for “Death Con 3” on those people, and then double/triple/quadrupled down, it would NOT have taken Adidas 10 days to make a statement distancing themselves.
How about leaving the commend-or-not decision to the victims? Or does that rule not apply to Jews either?
Self-destructiveness of human species marches on
Anti-semitism has been a part of the Jewish community for over 2000 years. There has been ebbs and flows over this time but the Jewish community has miraculously survived which has been a wonder to historians and a dilemma to the people out to destroy it. Spirit, culture, identity and tenacity have enabled the community to flourish. A recent value added in modern times is the commitment to democracy involving the free expression of opinions and a belief in the ability of groups to govern themselves fairly , responsibly and effectively. This is
the most effective way to fight hatred and anti-semitism by education and truth. You have done a mitzva by discussing this issue on your podcast.
Thank you (Toda )
too bad the US , NATO UN did not ‘draw the line’ with Russia in the Ukraine last January!
Very disappointing to hear your biased and misinformed point of view . Please check exactly how many Christians did ISIS kill vs the number of Sunni Muslims they killed and you’ll have your answer .
As for anti-Jewish hate crimes you are comparing a verbal insult of a Jew vs. a physical attack on a Muslim . Neither is acceptable but you can’t even compare them together. How many extremist Jew were sent to re-education camps like Guantanamo ? How many Israeli civilians who committed crimes against Palestinian children were arrested , prosecuted and sent to re-education camps ? None .
I listen to your podcasts religiously but here you seriously disappointed.
You’ve completely confused Fascism with bigotry. Fascism is a form of Socialism – one side of the coin – the other side is Communism. These are economic systems of social governance. Nothing to do with race.
Secondly, Judaism is a religion, not a race.
Lastly, Kanye was wrong but not abnormal.
Everybody made bigoted remarks before. Nobody is immune from prejudice. It’s a humanist survival trait. It is inexcusable but people do it in every culture and every race. It won’t stop because of your article.
You need to read “How Fascism Works” by Jason Stanley. Why? Because you don’t know what fascism is.
@Dean, I was just about to recommend that ‘Truth’ read Eugen Weber’s seminal work on the subject: “Varieties of Fascism”, which would easily dispel the notion that fascist regimes in Europe were primarily ‘socialist’ in their leanings. It is a common mistake given that the Nazis originally adopted the NSDAP for their political organization. In point of fact, Nazism was not fundamentally either a socialist or a worker’s movement at all when it came down to it, and with more or less half of Europe going fascist in one variety or another during the mid-20th century, the historical record is clear that fascism had much more to do with populist nationalism, violent and romanticized nationalism, various flavors of xenophobia, and also a valorization of dynamism & violence. Socialism was not their defining characteristic by any stretch. Also, @Truth your characterization of a fundamental conflict between Socialism and Communism is pretty far off the mark historically. Communism as an ideology was much more closely aligned to Socialism with some necessary nuance. The other side of Communism in a world historical sense is Capitalism, and that was the crux of the Cold War. Socialism, at least as manifest in various European Social Democratic forms, have been much more closely aligned to liberal democracies than to authoritarian Communist regimes. In either case, I think you should brush up on your historical information on what fascists were really like.
I think there’s a clear distinction between his illness, as described as bipolar and his racist rants. Clinically speaking, there are those diagnosed with this illness who take medication and don’t who don’t; however most are not racist and don’t spew antisemitic tropes. Please don’t. confuse his racism and hatred with his disease.
That Adidas’ HQ is in Germany probably helped them to draw the line
Can I ask what font or stylelib you use for your graphics? It’s similar to the xkcd stylelib for matplot but a bit cleaner.
This is the best and probably the most important thing you’ve written.
This is an exámenes of a moral compases in good shape. Many thanks fron Uruguay Scott
There is one mistake: “pogrom” is not Yiddish or Hebrew. It`s Russian.
Secondly “pogrom” is not about anti-jewish word it`s riot or fight but not against goverment, but other people.
Pogrom is quite unique word meaning something close to breakdown. But main goal of pogrom is not massacre (it`s reznya), but demolition.
That’s the Russian word. But it was borrowed into Yiddish, and then English, to refer specifically to attacks on Jews.
This is perfect, Scott! Thank you <3
Thanks Scott. Antisemitism is the cancer of society. If not defeated by the immune system early enough it proliferates and causes death.
A moving, deeply resonant piece. Bravo Sir. Thank you for reminding us about the importance of drawing the line (“It’s not about …, but drawing a line, arresting the normalization of the demonization of a minority”. Well said.
You definitely did it this week. THANK YOU.
I know you are skeptical of Professional Responsibility and Leadership as a course, but you supplied the support for the assignment prompt this week. THE LINE.
I often tell my students this course is about identifying your values and learning when to put your stake in the ground or draw your line in the sand. Your recent post is a gift to my students and the course.
THANK YOU once again.
This is one of the best pieces on this topic I’ve read. Thank you, Scott, for your thoughtful leadership.
Excellent and timely article. It should be required reading for everyone in the US Congress who are selling out our American democracy for their own personal benefit.
Required reading for the Congressional candidates in PA as well.
Unfortunately most of the people in Congress will never look beyond their own selfish needs. Look at their willingness to raise funds using any means that they can to stay in power. This pandering to their base has contributed to the polarization of our country and the victimization of those less fortunate.
Omar seems to get a pass from all her antisemitism. If she was in any party but Democrat the media would freak out. Why do Democrats get a pass for antisemitism?
Yes, any statement that makes universalist claims of harm by a single group must be condemned. I’m a half Jew myself, and so I should have a horse in this race.
Should Kanye be debanked, as he was by Chase? You are not concerned about the dystopic possibilities of disfavored speech leading to the denial of basic rights like the capacity for economic exchange?
Would Kanye have been annihilated if he had a different set of political commitments or made these comments about Christians? (Answer: no.)
What strikes me is that you make no such claim and would never make such a claim on behalf of another disfavored group: whites. It is routine to encounter universalist claims of harm by whites. I can read the Times op-ed on a daily basis and find such claims. I can watch MSNBC and find such claims any time of day. I can find similar claims against Trump voters. Your moralizing is selective and utterly low hanging fruit. You risk nothing by writing this article. You defend no one. But moral principles are far more demanding than this. They require a far broader perspective than the one displayed here. Most of all, they must apply across the board to everyone. Isn’t that obvious?
Very valid points, put very well. Curious to hear Scott’s perspective, response
I won’t judge Apple Music and Spotify for choosing to continue offering Ye’s music, but should they pass on their profits from doing so to organizations that effectively combat antisemitism?
Thanks much, Steven. I’d certainly be interested in Scott’s perspective.
Very valid points, put very well Anthony. Curious to hear Scott’s perspective, response.
I think you are choosing to read more into what’s NOT written than what is, it’s a fairly classic case of ‘whataboutism’ on your part leading to a partial reading of Scott’s article. In this specific case Scott is talking about drawing a line “somewhere” in relation to a group that has, through millennia, been discriminated against and persecuted to the point of systematic programmes designed to remove them from humanity (aka murder). I really don’t think you can claim equivalence. Even the term “disfavoured against” in relation to “whites” undermines your own case for equivalence to antisemitism where I think we can all accept ‘disfavoured’ is the least of that group’s challenges. Equally Trump voters may be disparaged but I don’t think you can really claim persecution, and if that is the case then I feel really confident Scott would feel strongly about that too. I also completely disagree that if Kanye had said he was going Defcon 3 on Christians that he would have got a different response! I can only imagine how that would go down.
I’m glad there’s at least one (two-Kara) sane voice that actually has influence in this crazy world. Thanks, Scott, for using your voice to CLEARLY stand up for what’s right.
Today’s OpEd from Dana Milbank is also quite good (but I liked Scott’s better): “American Jews start to think the unthinkable”. WaPo gifted link: https://wapo.st/3znVyCU
Best excerpt from Milbank’s OpEd:
The leader of the Republican Party, who remains the top presidential contender for 2024, reacted to West’s attacks on Jews by saying, “He was really nice to me.” Donald Trump compared Jews unfavorably to “our wonderful Evangelicals,” and warned Jews to “get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel — Before it is too late.”
Excellent Professor Galloway! Probably your most potent and socially relevant post ever. Powerful and important message for all of us. Thank you for your clarity and courage.
Bravo! I don’t always agree with you and this is spot on. Thank you!
Amen to Scott’s perspective here. We are losing our moral compass with leaders who lack one!
It’s sad that in the USA, of all places, a society dedicated to the rights of individuals that so many citizens would condemn groups of folks. We the people, not; we the white/black/Christian/republicans/etceteras.
Dear Scott, in five words: Absolutely brilliant arguments and warnings.
Ps.: The unfortunately relative line described by the father of the Relative Theory.
“If my theory is confirmed, the Germans will say I am German and the Frenchs will say I am a citizen of the world. But if my theory will be proved wrong, the Frenchs will say I am German and the German will say I am Jewish.
As always, right on the mark! Best one maybe Scott. Two lines western societies are taking too long to draw: Putin’s craziness and big tech’s extreme power. Anyone with sharp pencils? We should all be drawing ours.
Good points on not being ‘neutral’ AKA ‘not getting involved’.
We are all accountable for our actions and non-actions.
Do something, say something and write something in response to injustice. Make sure you think how passive viewers, listeners and readers will react. It doesn’t matter if your target is unbending, as many others will be thinking about the questions raised.
This is well reasoned and well presented.
I’m trying to wrap my mind around the real value of drawing the line AFTER it’s been crossed. For a former president to say “American Jews need to get their act together before it’s too late” is just as harmful, if not more so, but an entire major political party, the body politic version of a major corporation, has apparently deemed by its inaction, that that particular incitement is not “over the line.” It is up to us stakeholders to draw that line on November 8.
Probably the best piece you’ve ever written.
I used to get informed by these weekly pieces but being against Kanye, Old Politicians and over-incarceration seem like unworthy opponents. Too easy. Are there any liberal shibboeths or totems you will argue against?
Name some he should consider…
I think you would agree that the world seems headed into a dangerous authoritarian phase, between the far right and anti-semitism being normalized here, to parts of Europe, Russia (obviously), and the Chinese seeming to backslide against market reforms and individual freedom.
I wonder if you would agree that this is all of a piece, in conjunction with the failures of capitalism to provide for everyone, the rise of social media and its discontents, and climate change created scarcity? And how do we re-infuse some basic social contract back into capitalism before people go seeking leadership in a dangerous charlatan?
“There exists no more democratic institution than the market.” — Joseph A. Schumpeter
“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” – Milton Friedman
This is your best and most vitally important No Mercy / No Malice ever. Thank you.
These essays have always been essential reading for engaged, rational businesspeople.
This essay is essential reading for every American.
Yes Adidas finally decided to draw the line. Let’s be clear to recall that they did NOT in WW2. Shocking that given their involvement (and profits) with the Nazi party they delayed their decision until banners and heil hitlers were flying across the 405 in Los Angeles.
Except Adidas did not exist during WW2. There was a company founded by two brothers who fell out during the war, one of them went on to start adidas, the other started Puma
Thanks for the call to action. My pen is in hand, my actions aligned.
Philosopher Karl Popper described the paradox of tolerance as the seemingly counterintuitive idea that “in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.” Essentially, if a so-called tolerant society permits the existence of intolerant philosophies, it is no longer tolerant.
Well said, as usual. Thank you for taking a stand. May we all tow “the line”.
Thank you for writing this and making it about drawing a line, not about Kanye. Like you, I believe he is Ill.
If one suffers from the illusion that all Jews are born on third base and did not hit a triple to get there I would recommend the
Chaim Potok series of books- Asher Lev. It is the story of the hard work ,intellectual discipline, ,and sacrifice Jews expend to get where
they are at.
This is extremely well said and well written. Thank you for putting these thoughts out there and for the (sadly needed) reminder about lines needing to be drawn. Regarding your point about commending Adidas on drawing the line – I hear you on profits and all of the things that need to happen behind the scenes first… 10 days is a blip in history but in today’s comms world, it is a lifetime (for better of worse). For a company so closely connected to Kanye with historical ties to the Nazi party to literally be silent for over ten days begs the question of profit or position… or both? If just a bad comms decision, that’s a real shame. I should hope that whoever did the deal with Kanye to begin with had a hard out morality clause given his instability and unpredictability. I had a very uncomfortable conversation with some teenagers driving carpool yesterday. Some seemingly smart kids don’t understand why Kanye shouldn’t have a platform. His music is great after all…. These conversations need to be had at home, in the classroom, in public. So important to help the younger generation understand the difference btw free speech and a platform for hate that can become a movement.
This was a very well written, thoughtful and insightful take on the whole situation. Thank you for providing much needed perspective, and for adding an emotional aspect to a well-prepared rational argument.
Perfectly put sir.
Good on Adidas and Gap. But when will Apple, Spotify, Amazon, and Google setup to pull his music from their libraries. If they don’t they are also blindly ignoring his hateful remarks.
Thank You Scott for this piece. It can and should stand as a line, or impetus for the potential drawing of a line in American Polity. Please, sustain your reminders about us.
And here we are with Elon Musk and Twitter opening up to his new definition of “Free Speech”, which will again allow a flood of hate tweets to poison the future. Time to draw the line and boycott Twitter. Much more alarming is Neuralink that implants brain machine interfaces.
Nonsense. Elon is committed to free speech, which is essential for Democracy to flourish. Equating that to a “flood of hate tweets” just reveals your political bias.
Progressives have realized that they will no longer have an unopposed platform.
Brilliant approach to the real meaning of neutrality. Indifference is a position. One that is inside the darkest side of our world. And it just keep growing.
Thank you Scott for educating the world on the dangers of this type of rhetoric from anyone. History will repeat itself if we excuse these types of comments.
“But neutrality in the face of evil is not neutrality” = Switzerland’s “neutrality” against Nazi Germany.
What is so worrisome to me is that we seem to have lost the ability to call something right or wrong. There seems to be the acceptance that every point of view is valid, even if it leads to the destruction of a democracy or the incitement of hate crime. We need to find a way to turn to a moral center of gravity that we as a nation build upon. It needs to begin with more lines being drawn.
I agree with this. We need some kind of shared moral compass. Not sure how to get there. Scott you once again proved that you are a treasure. Absolute treasure. It never ceases to amaze me what a brave, smart and kind human being you are. PLEASE, PLEASE never change. You truly are a wonderful person.
The central tenet of the progressive CRT religion is that whiteness is a problem. Insert any other race or religion instead of white, and you’d call it crossing “the line”. Does saying 2% of the population commits 50% of the violent crime cross “the line”? Free speech is not violence. Violence is violence.
Yuri – You are misinformed and I must draw a line. The central tenet of CRT is that race is not “biologically grounded and natural”; rather, it is a socially constructed category used to oppress and exploit people of color.
Extremely provocative and moving essay. I almost forgot what it’s like to think while absorbing another’s words. Thank you.
Good stuff, but depressing that it needs to be said.
As for Chamberlain he does have a bad name, but so much is hindsight. He lived through (and fought) in World War I the most destructive war Britain had ever experienced. It put in the ground almost 1 million men and this scarred his generation. It is understandable that to avoid such carnage again he tolerated evil. Wrong and deluded, but not from bad motives. Anyway, all very academic.
Yes, a line needs to be drawn.
My high school students are going to read and discuss this essay. Thank you, Professor Galloway.
Nice post. Time for lines to be drawn.
And in all of the examples of global fascism, there is no mention of Israel’s Apartheid policies and treatment of Palestinians who are murdered daily as they are exterminated for illegal (according to Human Rights Watch and the U.N.) land expansion. Interesting stance Scott.
Scott is a Current Thing NPC. He also doesn’t understand the definition of fascism – the merging of corporations and the government. ESG/DEI/CRT commissars are embedded in both the public and private sectors, pushing the same agenda to the peasants. Scott and his fellow lefties love the power to stomp on everyone who opposes them. Kanye did nothing wrong.
He did nothing wrong? Anyone who fans the flames of hate toward an entire group of people only shows that he is mentally unbalanced. He obviously feels inferior and therefore feels the need to put down others since he is unable to raise himself up. This is no different than someone who says, “every person I date is terrible,” or “every teacher that I had in school was incompetent.“ at some point reality should step in and the person should understand that the problem resides within themselves.
Make no mistake. Kayne did something wrong. He’s been saying a lot of wrong for a long time. It is interesting what straw finally pushed everyone to denounce him because he should have been held accountable for his crazy views and generally denounced a long time ago. But regardless, Kanye is supporting hate and I do not support hate. That includes speech or actions. So when I find it gross that Scott left Israel out of the list of countries committing human rights violations that is because I agree we must draw a line. And we must be consistent with said line lest we be hypocrites lest we denounce hate and violence for some but not all.
When you use words like “extermination” to describe Israeli actions against the Palestinians, you are clearly trying to draw parallels to the Holocaust. Let’s talk about extermination. An extermination is half a million Rwandans being murdered with hatchets in 100 days. In 1939, there were 9.5 million Jews in Europe. In 1945, there were fewer than 4 million. That’s an extermination.
In 1948, there were about a million Arabs in the land that now makes up Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. In 2022, there are more than 6 million Palestinians. One does not normally associate sixfold population increases with extermination.
I’m not saying that Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians are right or good. In fact, I think they are immoral and short-sighted. I also don’t think they are terribly different than similar immoral actions by most other nations on earth. Using “extermination” and “apartheid” to describe them holds the sole Jewish state to a different standard than the rest of the world. Basically, you are proving Scott’s point about antisemitism. Congratulations for being such a sterling example.
Incorrect. It is absolutely extermination. They long ago violated the border established by the UN. They continue to expand past that border pushing the Palestinians further and further out and denying them basic rights and destroying their way of life. I am against Kanye and anyone else stirring up hate and I am against any country that attacks and occupies another. I drew a line. And a consistent one. It’s a shame so many others who selectively care about human rights have not done the same and support a country who seeks and actively engages in the dehumanization, destruction and murder of another. Wake up.
JCB, conflating “extermination” with “population” might be overly simplistic, as it ignores demographic and birthrate inputs.
More alarmingly, your penultimate sentence seeks to invalidate AS’s thoughtful comments by simply labeling it antisemitism. But sometimes, critiques do not equate to hatreds.
And in your last sentence, when you call AS a sterling example, are you calling him/her an antisemite? If so, please have the courage to strip away the veneer of fancy words, and actually call him/her that.
Henry + AS – repeating terms like “extermination” and “apartheid” without being able to actually back it up with any logical argument might be something to think about. If you are truly interested in seeking the “truth” about Israel, perhaps you might want to learn a bit about the other perspective.? You are simply parroting back lines that are completely discredited and not taken seriously. There is no “extermination” because the facts on the ground prove it. there is no apartheid because there is nothing close to the kinds of policies used in liberal, democratic Israel vs. South Africa. You are using inflammatory rhetoric that serves no purpose but to show either ignorance, anti-semitism, trolling, or a combination. There is a tonne of information published on this topic that any person (who wants to) can gain a deeper appreciation of what is really happening. Israel is far from perfect, but neither is the US, the UK or any other country. Do you feel the same way about them and look to call them out for boycott, etc?? If not, you have your answer to what JCB and I think of your comments.
While there’s a lot that’s problematic in Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay “Anti-Semite and Jew”, it does make one very excellent point:
“Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. […] They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.”
Is AS an antisemite? Obviously. In a discussion about the rise of antisemitism in the US, AS pipes up with “what about Israel?”, as though that excuses it. If Scott wrote an essay about American Islamophobia and AS commented “what about Saudi Arabia?”, it’d be reasonable to assume that AS was an anti-Muslim bigot.
Furthermore, they accuse Israel of being a fascist, apartheid, and genocidal country for engaging in actions that are sadly common among all states. Dual standards are obvious bigotry.
As for your attempt to be clever about extermination and your claim that AS’s screed is “thoughtful”, let’s just say that you’re failing the Sartre test.