Sunday, June 08, 2014

Shaming is bad...

...unless it's against Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons, Poles, Irish or other minorities that aren't currently a key part of the Democrat Party constituency.

Danusha Diane Goska asks, what's wrong with the Irish? and makes a good point about stereotyping:

Are you laughing? Do you think what I'm saying is ridiculous? If so, why?

I'm Polish-American. In 2001, Princeton scholar Jan Tomasz Gross published a book, "Neighbors," about an atrocity committed by Poles during World War II. For the next year I was bombarded with shaming and reprimands. I was born after World War II, in the US. No matter. I was Polish; I was guilty.
German friends can report similar stories, only more extreme. Ever since WW II, many people assume that there is something German about atrocity. They assume that only Germans could do bad things like what the Nazis did – that only German culture could produce Nazism.
As a kid, growing up with Polak jokes, I envied the Irish. To Americans in the twentieth and twenty-first century, Irishness is seen as warm and fuzzy, cuddly, soft focus, romantic, bucolic, poetic, musical, mystical, and peaceful. John Ford's "The Quiet Man," "Oh Danny Boy," "The Chieftains," "Celtic Women," Sinead O'Connor, Enya, William Butler Yeats, Saint Patrick's Day parades and a very, very aggressively marketed tourism industry all contribute to Ireland's excellent PR.
No one would ever associate Irish identity with atrocity, in the way that Polish identity was easily associated with atrocity, or in the way that African American identity is associated with criminality or in the way that Jewish identity is associated with financial fraud.
Recently a mass grave was discovered in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland. It is said to contain the bodies of almost eight hundred children who died over the course of 36 years in a Catholic-run institution, The Home.
This scanty information has taken on a life of its own.
Anti-Catholic haters were distastefully eager to jump on this information as if it were a winning lottery ticket. You'd think that they had spent their whole lives defending poor children. Of course they hadn't – somehow they were all oblivious to child camel jockeys in the Gulf States, or the dancing boys of Afghanistan, or child marriage in Yemen, or American children who die even while they are under the auspices of child protective services. These folks were only interested in atrocities that Catholics were alleged to have committed against children.
"I ALWAYS TOLD YOU THAT CATHOLICS WERE NO GOOD!" they said. "See? See? Catholics murder little babies. See? See? Catholics should be brought up before the world court on war crimes!" they said.
In my own small way I resisted this stereotyping of Catholics as murderers of little babies. I blogged my objection to the stereotyping. A prominent blogger, Andrew Sullivan, linked to and quoted my blog. You can read about that here.
I received an avalanche of hate mail, some of which I posted, some of which I did not post.
The gist of the hate mail – You are a Catholic, and you, like all Catholics, murder little babies. You are evil and you must suffer.

No comments:

Who links to me?