More double standards

So a few days ago the news broke that famous fashion designer John Galliano was arrested for making harsh anti-semitic comments.  Story here. He was at a cafe in Paris when he started insulting a couple nearby, saying things like “you and your forefathers should have been gassed” and “I love Hitler.”

Video here.

A few days later, I was watching CNN and they were trying to understand how someone like Galliano could make such comments.  They pointed out that he had lost his partner five years ago; that he was drunk; that he was at a bad point in his life. Etc etc etc, blah blah blah.

I wonder what the analysis would have been if Galliano was an Arab and/or Muslim.  Would they have tried to find individual reasons, like alcohol or depression? Or would they have discussed Islam, Arab culture, and anti-semitism among Muslims? Hmmm, I wonder.

Why did no one bring up the issue of anti-semitism in France, which is still a MAJOR issue? Why did no one bring up the issue of how alcohol affects people and society negatively?

How come when a European does something, it only reflects on him/her, whereas when a Muslim does something, it reflects on ALL Muslims, and even people who are assumed to be Muslim?

Why doesn’t this story affect all French and Europeans negatively? Especially considering what happened to the Jews in Europe (the home of “modernity”) 60 years ago?

Orientalism at its best!

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18 thoughts on “More double standards

  1. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord

    Glad I don’t have any John Galliano in my wardrobe – or my pattern collection. But seriously – the view of Europeans depends on the circles you travel in. I can tell you for 100% certain that there are circles on the planet which take a dim view of Gentile Europeans – especially Germans and Poles. But I doubt the French are viewed very highly either 🙂 And precisely because of these peoples’ attitudes towards Jewish people.

    There are people who grew up in extremely negative environments where they were told never to trust any Gentile – people who have spent a decades-long lifetime trying to heal from that kind of childhood input. Thank God that some of them deal with it by striving to treat everyone as kindly as possible regardless of their ethnic origin. That when invited to a little Gentile girl’s birthday party, they dance to the Beatles with the new stuffed koala she got as a present – just because they’re happy that this little girl got to live for six whole years!

  2. Well look at who your talking about (CNN) I’m sure there is a reporter who thinks like you and projects the other side but if you continue to listen to idots you here stupid things CNN! Would you listen to a builder for engineering information or would you consult the engineer to your left?

    • I mentioned CNN because that’s what I was watching, but I see the same arguments on many media outlets. Plus I don’t buy the whole “oh we should ignore the media” BS, because MOST people don’t ignore it, which means it has a tremendous amount of influence.

  3. My issue of contention is that we even know about this event at all. What makes this news? How is this breaking news that the media needs to cover? There are black people, asians, arabs, muslims and many other people of color who are abused in this exact same way, and it is not breaking news, the guys just gets kicked out of the bar, or hopefully, fired. Double standard? Uhh, yea. In my opinion, this shouldn’t even be news.

    That is the privilege of white people, jews included in this category, they get to be individuals, not spokespeople for their entire kind. I think the fact that the anti semitism was breaking news also speaks of the higher value our society has placed on the issue of anti-semitism, over other “isms”

  4. Almost clever, by you saying ‘white people’ you immediately contradict yourself by putting a box around a group of individuals and letting 1 of them be held to example for all.

    • What do you mean by that? Can you clarify? It seems the point she was making was that certain ethnicities, esp. anglo’s or people that look like anglo’s, can get away with a crime without the of the people of that particular ethnicity being called into suspect. Unlike a Muslim, who commits a crime, and the media seems to think that one individual must represent the whole.

    • Jessi, Jewish people are considered white in America and Europe. Skin color trumps religion. Jewish person = white person, they have been fully assimilated and accepted as white. THAT is my point in saying Jewish people are white, because they have white privilege. Along with white privilege comes the luxury of being seen as an individual, ie the luxury of people trying to understand the person (oh he has a drinking problem, he has problems at home), instead of looking for answers from an entire group (why do anglo people do this? Let’s look into the history of anti-semitism committed by non Jewish Europeans. Oh well he is Christian, now we understand, etc etc etc) . If you want to take it deeper we can go there. Let me know.

      • Also, let me add because I think you may be someone who takes things the wrong way, the point of contention I have is #1 that this is a story because of the fact that it is a comment directed at a group of people who have the luxury of white privilege. That is why it is breaking news, because the “isms” committed against one group are more offensive to society than the “isms” committed against other groups. This is strictly in terms of Europe and America.

        #2. That an anglo man who spits racism and profanity is given a “pass” and people want to do psychotherapy on him on CNN, when any non white person in that position would have had their entire ethnic group called into question.

  5. “Why did no one bring up the issue of anti-semitism in France, which is still a MAJOR issue? Why did no one bring up the issue of how alcohol affects people and society negatively?

    I think even if people did bring up these issues—and I’m convinced some people must have brought them up before—people like you won’t notice anyway. You will only notice when people bring up issues against Muslims, Arab cultures etc. That is human nature, we are more sensitive about issues related to us or our people.

    I suspect it is entirely possible that they are people who would say something like, “These White people are so and so,” or “The British are snobbish people…” etc. People like to do that, i.e. generalizing groups of people in connection with certain tendencies. But of course that doesn’t mean that every single person within those groups has that tendency.

    Likewise, there is also that tendency to generalize the Muslims or Arab culture etc. But again, not everyone within that group has that tendency. What’s even more complicated is that within the Muslim or Arab people themselves, there are many, many different groups with different ideologies. Perhaps you would claim that you are a true Muslim. Yet other Muslims may not consider you as a true Muslim, say, because of your many different interpretations of the holy book etc.

    The bottom line is that when people say something like, “The Muslims [or Arabs] are so and so…”, the truth is that that comment is from a very, very general point of view. It may or may not be an accurate generalization depending on which type of Muslim you are.

    Just my opinion.

    • “I think even if people did bring up these issues—and I’m convinced some people must have brought them up before—people like you won’t notice anyway.”

      Don’t agree that this is human nature at all. Then why are there male feminists, for example? We don’t only sympathize/pay attention to our own people – that’s a very simplistic take on things.

      Please refer me to these discussions on French anti-semitism that you are sure exist. I’ve only seen one, in scholarly journal. Anti-semitism is an issue in France, just as Islamophobia is. Which one receives more attention, and why?

  6. What I meant was exactly what cornelioous has explained for me. Generalisation is a part of the human condition. It has been used on these comments to say white people it has been used against jews, semites so on and so fourth. I didn’t take anything in the wrong way, I’m just trying to put fourth a retrospective look. I thinkk that by reading these comments there seems to be some europeans and some americans. In england racvism against black people is no waaaaaaay as much as it seems to be in the states, unfortunately it does still exist. I live in london, I am white, I come from a working class family and I’m the first person in my family to attend university. I am steriotyped ion these ways. Iv had a few comments that I should apologise for slavery, I’m singled out and boxed up in a lot of ways. I am also a muslim, a white scarf wearing muslim. I have other muslims referring to me as ‘those converts’ in a bad light because I don’t fit their ideals iv been made by my arab counter parts to explain the behaviour of other ‘white’ people almost every day. I’m told to go back to my own country on about a quarterly basis. Generalisation and puting people into boxes just seems like a bit of a cop out, whether your boxing up due to race, religion, or social group. Oh and I can’t see who said something abouty religion being held accountable over ethnicity because this is quite difficult from a tiny phone screen but I’d have to disagree sikhs and hindu’s are just often held accountable for the behaviour of a select few mmuslims and I am always seen as white or english before I am a muslim by many who themselves are muslims iv lost out because of the fact I’m not an arab or an asian muslim. It feels as though some of u may have taken offence by my previous comment but it wasn’t biased it wasn’t a generalisation I guess itys just a sensitive issue.

  7. A lot of words are being put in my mouth I feel, I never said ignore the media but if u make a general assumption on all media based on a select few then u have to expect a push for subjectivity. I am reallyt bad in the fact that I don’t listen to the media, at all I don’t watch the news or read the news paper not for any deeper meaning than it depresses me and has a serious effect on my outlook. But also if you give recognition to an organisation in weird ways u end up as a promoter, just like the fatwa put on salman rushdy for the satanic verses was its biggest marketing campaign and raised sales to millions. Please don’t be angry with me for my idea, I don’t know anything and take comments into consideration but there seems to be a lot of anger towards me and if you (being a general term) have already decided that I will take things the wrong way or won’t pay attention or what ever then what hope is there for me?

  8. I think Cornelius and Jessi are denying white privilege, and denying that there is an uneven balance in terms of privilege in America and Europe. I cannot argue with ignorance, it gets me nowhere, but I can say I completely disagree with where you are coming from, and hope you continue to try educating yourselves on the issues of white privilege in society.

    There is a difference between “labeling” or being “put in a box” and commenting on the patterns of a society. I think, Jessi, as white people, we need to accept and embrace that we have privilege, and work hard to get past it. Denial and defensiveness gets us nowhere.

    I am a convert also Jessi, and I have dealt with hardcore racism and prejudice against me by the Muslim immigrant community, because I am a white western woman I am preconceived as a slut and as having low imaan. I am damaged goods simply because I am western, nothing more.

    This does not, and should not, stop us from seeing our own white privilege played out within a society. Ok, yea, so sometimes we hate what it feels like to be labeled, and that is the point of this entire post, that the preconceived notions we have of certain people, over others, is making for biased media attention. These are not general assumptions, Jessi, they are patterns that have been playing in our society time and time again. We have to understand the power race and ethnicity and privilege has on all of us, if we want to change anything.

    Also, Jessi, I apologize for any offense or hurt feelings, I am not trying to hurt you, I am simply dealing with the realities of your comments. You have every right to believe as you do, I simply ask you to think critically, read critically, and try to see the world outside of your own white privilege. Guilt and defensiveness gets us nowhere. Yes, White people enslaved blacks, and I, as a white person, am so sorry for that history, but do I myself feel guilty or like I need to defend white people? Hell no! We have to accept truths and be able to dialogue with people without letting hurt feelings get in the way, it is not about us. Our ancestors did some horrible things, and we cannot compare that history to this post, they are not the same. If anything, that history is the legacy of what is happening in this post. White Privilege!

  9. Hmm… there is probably something wrong with my PC, or its settings. I somehow can’t reply to a specific comment. Anyway, this is in response to Sarah’s (almostclever’s) comment above.

    I should hasten to admit that I’m uneducated in those things you’ve mentioned, but yes, I will try educating myself on them. I’m not sure if we are talking at different wavelengths; please bear with me, for I have the tendency to jump in to discussion forums without knowing the gist of the matter!

    I’m just saying that people in general are more sensitive when negative comments, media reports etc. are made against things related or dear to themselves, but they tend not to notice when other negative comments are made against others who’re not related to them. It is impossible to control how people think, and what they say.

    If you live in a place where there are many pro-Christian people, then you will likely find more negative comments about the Muslims, for example, in the local media. On the other hand, if you live in a place where there are many pro-Muslim people, then you will likely find more negative comments about the Christians, for example. So what I’m saying it’s all a matter of perspective. In blogs such as this, for example, maybe you will find more posts leaning in the direction against the Western world and it’s ideologies—how the Western world are forever trying to control the Arab or Muslim world, for example. Again, it’s a matter of perspective.

    In Malaysia, since it is a Muslim country, it is very, very rare that you will find a negative comment about Islam in the media. Well, not if the commentor is still sane. But on the other hand we have interesting proclamations from the so-called Islamic Scholars saying things like Valentine’s Day celebration is immoral and originated from Christianity. So when a Christian sees that in the papers, of course that particular article would leap to his eyes. Perhaps that same article would not cause a similar impact on a Muslim reading the papers? He probably wouldn’t even notice it? I’m thinking maybe things are different in America as far as the Valentine’s Day is concerned?

    OK, I’m done with my meaningless rambling… hahaha! (Sorry about that, Sara)

  10. Cornelius you make excellent points. What you are seeing is also a pattern in your society. A pattern of Muslim privilege. We are essentially talking about the same thing, just from the worldview of our two different societies, with different problems and different societal patterns.

    I advocate for societal education, to uplift us all from the patterns of prejudice and majority privilege.

    Sara talks a lot about the west because she is interested in the dynamics of the politics of the mid east and the west. For her, she is the minority speaking up about the abuses of those who hold the power.

    For you, you are the minority speaking up about essentially the same thing, but in your worldview it is concerned with Muslim privilege and power in Malaysia.

    We all come from a different worldview due to our geographical location and the politics of our societies, but we are all essentially talking about the same issue. The abuses and privileges of the powers that be. Where you come across a problem, Cornelius, is that in Sara’s world, Muslims are the ones being abused, and in your world, Muslims are the ones in power and doing the abusing. We should step back and see, it is not a Muslim issue, it is a majority in power, issue. Just as this post is not a Jewish, Anglo post, it is a majority in power, post.

    • Granted, Sarah, I’m not disputing that point. This is not really about religions; nor about races. Of course it’s about majority in power. Perhaps I’m not so good in expressing myself, so people may misunderstand me sometimes.

      I was just commenting from a general point of view in terms of how people would react to what they hear or see around them. And what they hear or see around them would depend on where they are located. It needn’t be about religions nor races nor country. It can be about anything at all.

      If, for example, I’m an American and am very patriotic about my country, I would probably feel strongly against comments from people criticizing my country, even if those comments come from a drunk fellow. I’d probably be annoyed by the mere fact that that actually got reported in the media in the first place. But if I’m not a big fan of the USA, those comments probably won’t effect me in the same way. And those comments probably would be (likelier) published in places where the majority is not pro USA. That’s all I’m saying.

      Well, obviously my input doesn’t add anything of value to the subject at hand, i.e. MORE DOUBLE STANDARDS, so let me just find my spot in that quiet corner over there, and just watch from the sideline. Pray continue, y’all!

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