?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Subject line is a quote from Animal Farm by George Orwell. I'm referencing the "but some...are more equal" part, not attempting to insult any humans or any subset of humans by comparing them to animals.

I find this post upsetting: http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/335480.html
There was a lot of excellent critique in the comments to that post, but now the comments have been deleted, so I want to make my critique public. I'm only addressing a couple of bits.

Moon writes:
the business of a citizen is the welfare of the nation

I think the business of a human being is the welfare of other human beings and nonhuman life and the planet in general. (Other parts of the universe seem relatively protected from harm by us, so far.)

Insofar as the concepts of "citizen" and "nation" conflict with the above (for example, by encouraging the attitude "WE are good and THEY are bad, therefore THEIR welfare isn't worth our consideration"), I'm not in favor of those concepts.

Moon writes:
A group must grasp that if its non-immigrant members somewhere else are causing people a lot of grief (hijacking planes and cruise ships, blowing up embassies, etc.) it is going to have a harder row to hoe for awhile, and it would be prudent (another citizenly virtue) to a) speak out against such things without making excuses for them and b) otherwise avoid doing those things likely to cause offence.

How does "a group" get defined? Moon is arguing that the proposed Park51 development is "likely to cause offence" due to the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11/01. She defines a group called "Muslims" that includes both the developers and the terrorists. But I would guess that a lot of Muslims don't think they should be lumped into the same group as the terrorists.

The group "monotheists" also includes both those developers and those terrorists. So would it be prudent of Christians to scrap their plans for monotheist cultural centers in case the plans offend people? Is it incumbent upon them all to say "As a monotheist, I think it's wrong for monotheists to attack the WTC"? If they aren't expected to do this, why not?

Then there's the phrase "likely to cause offence." To me the wording implies that offense is an independent entity or thing. It's not. It's a human mental/emotional state, based on beliefs. Wherever you have offendedness, you have some humans who believe certain things. But note that the phrase doesn't mention which humans are offended and doesn't mention what their beliefs are.

Moon writes:
they should have been able to predict that this would upset a lot of people.

So Moon is creating a set of people and labeling them as "other," as "immigrants," and associating them with the acts of a terrorist organization. Then she is arguing that the people so labeled have the following civic responsibilities: (a) understand that some people in the country they live in lump them in with terrorists and mistakenly consider them all immigrants; (b) come to an agreement about which of those people to avoid offending; (c) come to an agreement about what behaviors will "upset a lot of people"; and (d) all avoid those behaviors.

I think those are unreasonable expectations. Especially when they are NOT paired with the expectation that other citizens have a duty either to educate themselves about the groups they consider "other," or to leave them alone.

I don't expect everyone to agree with my opinion, but since this is a sensitive subject, I expect civility in the comments to this post. I reserve the right to moderate/delete/freeze comments/threads if I think there's trouble brewing.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/688989.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
johnpalmer
Sep. 17th, 2010 05:41 am (UTC)
The whole "they should have been able to predict that the right wing would need a good hatefest in August that this would upset people" *really* bothers me.

This was a ginned up controversy; no one cared until enough people started shouting, and then, the victims were blamed for the people shouting.

It reminds me *so* much of the bullying of my youth. And it's the thing that frosts me most about the Republicans.

"This is how you get power - with dishonesty and hate - and you think you *deserve* to be in charge? You think that somehow, you'll do some *good*?"

Of course, that's kinda the point; once people are pulling this kind of shit, they've already decided that having power is good in and of itself.
firecat
Sep. 17th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
This was a ginned up controversy

That's the impression I have, yeah. I'm not sure it's only Republicans who do it, but a subset of them seems to be doing it a lot lately.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

April 2017
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars