Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Harsh Thing I Should Have Said (Martin Peretz Dept) Updated - James Fallows - Politics - The Atlantic

A Harsh Thing I Should Have Said (Martin Peretz Dept) Updated - James Fallows - Politics - The Atlantic image
James Fallows
The upsurge in expressed hostility toward Muslims -- not toward extremists or terrorists but toward adherents of a religion as a group -- creates an American moment that isn't going to look good in historical retrospect. The people indulging in this kind of group-bias speech deserve to be called out.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/09/a-harsh-thing-i-should-have-said-martin-peretz-dept-updated/62613/

Update

A Primer on Bigotry - James Fallows - Politics - The Atlantic


Sep 17, 2010 ... Why it's as wrong to talk about "the Muslims" as about "the blacks" or "the Jews
“…one obvious truth is that the more populous the category, the less it tells you about any individual within it. Yes, "men" are all a certain way. But there are three billion of us, and Kim Jong-Il doesn't have that much in common with Lance Armstrong -- or either of them with Benedict XVI or Stephen Hawking or Lil Wayne. Another obvious truth is that the less contact you have with individuals, the more you necessarily rely on group traits -- or stereotypes - for your images.”

I suggested that if such a person were any less well-connected, or if the sentiment had been about any other religious or racial group, he would be taking much more heat. (See: Marge Schott, Al Campanis, Trent Lott, Mel Gibson, Pat Buchanan, Dinesh D'Souza, Helen Thomas, etc. Think even of the flap over Lawrence Summers's comments about gender differences in math-and-science skills, or James Watson or William Shockley on racial differences in IQ. Try to find in one of these cases something approaching "Group X's life is cheap.") The question was all the more salient because, when called on this claim by Nicholas Kristof in a New York Times column, the editor doubled down and said that "Muslim life is cheap" was "a statement of fact."

The dissenting mail I've gotten has fallen into two main categories. Category one: He's right! Islam is a culture of violence, and Muslim life really is cheap! Category two: That was an unfortunate statement, but he's a great guy with a big heart. 


http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/09/a-primer-on-bigotry/63056/

con·cept: A Harsh Thing I Should Have Said (Martin Peretz Dept) Updated - James Fallows - Politics - The Atlantic