Neo-Liberal Revolution

Monday, July 31, 2006

What if Mel Gibson isn't Anti-Semite?

What if he's just a liberal?

I honestly don't pay much attention to celebrities. Someone has to be really and truely obnoxious before I fail to forget whatever remark or antic I found so annoying when it happened.

Is Mel Gibson a self-identified liberal?

If he is, he may not be anti-Semitic at all, despite his alcohol induced rant about the Jews.

You see, liberals are the good guys when it comes to tolerance and ethnic sensitivity. What this means is that they are often not at all *careful* about their language. Why should they be?

In order for a conservative to slip into an anti-Jew rant they'd either need to be *heavily* anti-semitic or else far more drunk than a 0.12 alcohol level. Someone who isn't used to watching what they say... well, it doesn't take much. Not too much alcohol and not too much anti-semitism.

I grew up being told (by television and my culture) that I could be, and almost certainly was, racist without realizing that I was racist. The only reason that I wasn't also sexist was because I wasn't a man.

I've talked to blacks who said that their experience was that the South was less racist than the North. I've talked to gays who said that Red state neighbors were more tolerant of them as people than Blue state neighbors. I've worked for a liberated woman who saw nothing at all untoward with going through a pile of job applications and throwing away all of the ones with male names on them.

It's about self-examination. If it's not happening, if someone is too confident that they aren't one of *those* people, then racism, sexism, any sorts of prejudice can grow. People don't watch their language and they don't examine their own motivation when they *know* they are one of the good guys.

I don't doubt that Mel meant what he said... that wars are started by Jews. What we can't know is if he's just upset about what is happening in Lebanon or if he's actually anti-semitic.

What I do know is that anti-semitism is not a liberal virtue. Nor is racism, even the soft sort based on low expectations. Nor is sexism that favors women. And neither is pacifism in the face of human suffering. Things have become so twisted that sticking up for the oppressed has come to mean allowing *anything* if it's committed by the underdog... and blaming the war on Israel.


  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger Jonathan said…

    I'm not sure why people go on about "anti-semitism" in the 21st century. Surely it's just a particular example of racism? If someone believes Jews are bad because they're Jews, he probably has similar beliefs about other ethnic groups. So why not use the word "racism"? It's shorter than "anti-semitism".

    There is a problem about the stress on anti-semitism. I think some people overcompensate and refuse to accept that Jews can be bad like anyone else.

    Surely, Jews are just people, and they're just as prone to good or bad deeds as any other bunch of people.

    As for Mel Gibson, I know very little about the fellow and wouldn't like to try to defend him, but people do sometimes say silly things when they're drunk.

  • At 11:07 AM, Blogger montana urban legend said…

    Give me a break. Being upset about the war in Lebanon is not mutually exclusive with being anti-Semitic and making the clearly anti-Semitic remarks that his truth serum brought out of him. It might not be the core of what defines him as a person, but it's there. He knows it. And he knows that it was not a very pretty thing to acknowledge. If there was an academic point that he'd been mulling around in his head for years that had to do with the history of Jews and warfare and manipulation and conspiracy theories, rather than just blind hate or something less extreme but no less indicting, then let him have at it. In the nearly year and a half since his tirade, however, he he hasn't. Should we be surprised?

    In vino veritas.

  • At 1:53 PM, Blogger Synova said…

    It's a year and a half since this post. ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I'm now blogging at

  • At 5:24 PM, Blogger montana urban legend said…

    Wow. That's a busy blog. Looks like an interesting one. I just bookmarked it. Thanks.


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