Thursday, March 10, 2005

"Law Student" racism and anti-Semitism...

This post on Volokh is pretty scary, to me.

He notes a law professor who wrote to him regarding a different Volokh post:

I read with some horror, and admiration for Eugene's forthrightness, the exchange with the NeoNazis who began "counting Jews" on the UCLA law faculty. These fringe nuts are a bit scary, but I must confess I find the following even scarier, since it involves the kids who are or may be our students:

Click on a few of the threads that are called up, and you'll see what I mean.

This purports to be a prelaw discussion site, and it appears a large number of applicants and current law students post there. If the appalling anti-semitism isn't enough, then try the racism:

or more here:

Perhaps if you called attention to this, the site's managers might "clean up" the content a bit? And perhaps students might be encouraged to move to the more mature and civil prelaw sites, such as

Volokh correctly notes that the private message board could, naturally, shut down the posts without impacting the 1st Amendment, but goes on to posit that people are responding to the anti-Semitic and racist posts, and that "[p]roviding a forum for these posts, in a context where they can be quickly responded to, may actually be something of a public service." I'm not so sure that's true. I understand his reasoning but I'm really not sure I agree.


At 2:12 AM, March 12, 2005, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

All this screming and yelling about anti-Semitism, while understandable, is counterproductive, IMHO, and in the end, I just think it's "bad for the Jews", so to speak. There's a boiling pot and Jews are trying with all their might to press down on the boiling pot to make sure not the slightest hint of steam escapes. We know why you do that - you think anti-Semitic talk, or even anything remotely smacking of such, leads to anti-Semitic acts, which Jews rightly fear.

But the problem is that probably 90% of the anti-Semitic scares that Jews and their allies scream about are IMHO false alerts. The Jewish joke is now banned, never mind that 80% of them were made up by Jews themselves; never mind they are a staple of Jewish humor. All criticism of Jews by Gentiles period is banned and insanely viewed as anti-Semitism, when clearly it is not.

Some of us Gentiles read your Jewish press too you know. In the Jewish press and in Jews-only chatrooms and Usenet groups, the Jews go at it like wildcats, and criticism of the Jewish people, not to mention intra-Jewish conflict, is rife and uncensored. The Hebrew press is far worse and all the dirty laundry is on display. So we end up with a situation where Jews can criticize themselves, but all Gentile criticism is instantly pathologized, ferociously, with threats and violent language, as anti-Semitism. So you end up with the boiling pot analogy.

The Jews try to keep the lid on the pot, but the steam keeps seeping out. I really think it would be "better for the Jews" to take the lid off the pot and let some of steam escape (blow some steam off). It's risky, but I think it would reduce anti-Semitism in the long run. Furthermore, talking to lots of regular folks, I can tell you flat out that one of top complaints against Jews in USA 2005 is "we can't criticize them in the tiniest way without them going insane and threatening us left and right". I get the distinct impression that a number of folks are getting pretty pissed off about this ban. It looks like a pot boiling over to me. But go on and ignore it as usual.

The notion, as you parrot, that "Israel is blamed for rising anti-Semitism" is not necessarily true. Obviously, much of today's anti-Semitism is related to Israel. Much of today's anti-Islam actions are related to Islamic guerrilla war and terrorism. Duh! This is just obvious to anyone with a brain.

Bigots don't get let off the hook for their behavior when it's directed at innocent people because they happen to be motivated for rage over 9-11 or fury over Israel stealing land and killing kids. The Jew walking down the street didn't steal anyone's land and the Muslim walking down the street didn't fly into the WTC. But bigotry does tend to have antecedents. Ignore them at your peril.

But do carry on. Continue your preposterous mystification of the complex phenomenon of anti-Semitism, keep on idiotically calling it "the oldest hate", the hate with no rhyme nor reason, or whatever the mystification du jour is. Continue at your own risk. Don't bother to learn from the past, just keep on acting the same way as ever, with the same predictable consequences.


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