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  • Racist Is As Racist Does

    Posted by James R. Rummel on March 7th, 2010 (All posts by )

    Glenn linked to this post at the Amazon.com food blog.

    The author was shocked (shocked!) to find out that the tuna she has been using wasn’t from Italy, even though it has a vaguely Italian-sounding name. In fact, the tuna is caught in the middle of the ocean, and packaged by an American company.

    So what does she do? The author swears off that particular brand of tuna! It was perfectly good when she thought it was from Italy, but it isn’t worthy enough to pass her lips now that she knows that a company based in the US is involved. Only tuna caught in the waters off Sicily, and packaged in that country, will be used from now on.

    Most of the comments at the post accuse the author of being a snob, which certainly seems to be obvious. But I think it shows a much darker and vile tendency than simple snobbery. Isn’t the author exhibiting blatant racism?

    Turn it around. If someone refused to use perfectly acceptable tuna from Sicily, just because it came from Sicily, they would be accused of being racist. How could they not? There isn’t anything wrong with the product, after all. They just can’t stomach the idea that those people touched the food.

    So isn’t it racist to do the same thing, just because the tuna is sold by an American company?

    As of this writing, the author hasn’t bothered to respond to the criticism. I doubt she will. Racists usually have a lack of backbone, after all.

     

    19 Responses to “Racist Is As Racist Does”

    1. chug Says:

      OK, she’s a snob, and not too bright to boot, but how does being anti-American make her racist? When did American become a race?

    2. James R. Rummel Says:

      “When did American become a race?”

      Show bigotry against any group, and the charge is that you are racist. This isn’t something I agree with, but it is the way things are nowadays.

      Islam is a good example. A religion, but say anything against Islam and you will be accused of being a racist.

      I’m just trying to apply some standards in this case. If someone exhibited bigotry against Sicilians, they would be accused of being racist. Why can’t someone blatantly flaunting their anti-American bigotry be accused of being racist?

    3. John Burgess Says:

      Snob? Maybe. Racist? Not at all. Just a pissed-off foodie.

      Tuna caught off Sicily is actually distinguishable on several counts from the typical Chicken of the Sea product. For one, it’s Blue Fin tuna, not the Yellow Fin or Albacore that comprise the majority of US-manufactured tuna. Second, the method of killing the tuna differs–long lines v. mattanza, where the fish are netted then killed by hand, relatively quickly. Some claim that the method of slaughter results in a different flavor. Not to my palate, but I’m not this particular consumer.

      Perhaps this customer swore off a company’s product when she realized that she’d be duped by their packaging. A personal boycott in retaliation for what she considered false advertising is hardly racist.

    4. James R. Rummel Says:

      “Tuna caught off Sicily is actually distinguishable on several counts from the typical Chicken of the Sea product.”

      Then how come the American canned tuna was perfectly acceptable, until she found out it came from an American company? If there was some sort of difference in taste that prompted her decision, then why did she keep using the product when she thought it was from Italy?

      “Perhaps this customer swore off a company’s product when she realized that she’d be duped by their packaging. A personal boycott in retaliation for what she considered false advertising is hardly racist.”

      If that is her position, then she certainly explained herself in a very poor manner. All indications are that she is upset that she was duped into eating food from a US companybecause it was from an American company.

    5. Libra in the Library Says:

      When I slag conservatives on chat groups like this, someone often pipes up to call me a bigot for it, as if merely disagreeing vehemently constituted bigotry. More often I’ve been called an anti-Semite for criticizing Israel, even when I make clear that I think Judaism is a great religion and Jews a great people.
      Cheap faux-moral one-upsmanship seems to be a popular way to throw rhetorical darts, on both sides of the political spectrum.

    6. Nicholas Says:

      I don’t think I’d describe reflexive anti-Americanism as “racism” but it certainly is bigotry and there is a lot of it going around.

      Quite often simply replacing “American” with some other nationality and repeating the statements that people make results in something that sounds quite disgusting and outrageous.

      I’ve had people tell me on several occasions things like “Americans are stupid”, yet when I turn around and tell them that people from their country are stupid (and it’s probably just as applicable) they are shocked. Yeah, clearly you are all a bunch of morons, with your space rockets and computer chips and other products of such a dumb country. Not.

    7. Shannon Love Says:

      Libra In The Library,

      When I slag conservatives on chat groups like this, someone often pipes up to call me a bigot for it, as if merely disagreeing vehemently constituted bigotry.

      Well, that is the standard that leftists have set for everyone else.

      If you disagree with a leftists on any subject, you can reliably expect to be accused of racism even if the subject has nothing to do with race. Look at the casual and reflexive accusation that those in the Tea Party movement are motivated primarily by racism. Apparently many on the left are under the impression that the people in the Tea Party would be fine with runaway spending if a white man were president. Ditto for healthcare. This apparently because all these leftist are under 30 years of age and don’t remember when the white male, southerner Clinton dashed his presidency against the exact same opposition.

      Since leftists have defined racism to mean, “the act of disagreeing with a leftist,” non-leftists have decided the same rules apply to them. You reap what you sow. Karma is a bitch.

      More often I’ve been called an anti-Semite for criticizing Israel, even when I make clear that I think Judaism is a great religion and Jews a great people.

      That is just the bigot’s ritualistic, “Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are…”

      People call you anti-semite because (if you are a typical leftists) your behavior towards Israel is indistinguishable from that of an anti-semite.

      (1) The Arabic/Islamic world is deeply infested with horrific levels of anti-semitism not seen in the West since Hitler shot himself. The Islamic position is very clear that all their troubles results from a grand Jewish conspiracy of which the state of Israel is only the most visible manifestation. They believe that in virtually every negative situation involving Israel, the Israeli are the ones who behavior is the single controlling factor and that the resolution to the negative situation is for Israel to alter its behavior.

      What do leftists believe? Why, they believe that in virtually every negative situation involving Israel, the Israeli are the ones who behavior is the single controlling factor and that the resolution to the negative situation is for Israel to alter its behavior.

      (2) Anti-semites in the West ignore the horrific depravity of the Islamic autocrats who impoverish and murder many, many times more Muslims than Israeli ever did. They ignore cases in with Muslims murder hundreds and even thousands of fellow Muslims but scream to high heavens if the Israeli kill one Muslim if open combat.

      What do leftist do? Same exact thing.

      (3) Anti-semites accept different standards of behavior on non-Jews than they do Jews. Non-jews can carry out terrorist acts and assassination on Western soil and still be feted and accepted. Yassir Arrafat died a centimillionare in Paris whereas most senior Israeli elected officials face arrest if they travel to Europe.

      Needless to say, leftists hardily endorse this practice.

      (4) American anti-semites (like Patrick Buchanan) claimed that the liberation of Iraq was done purely for benefit of Israel and that a Jewish cable of “Neo-Conservatives” hijacked American foreign policy for the benefit of country where their true loyalties lay.

      Leftist like Daily Kos have picked that slander up and repeated eagerly.

      There are many, many more examples. Ask yourself honestly, do any of your behaviors towards Israel separate you from anti-semites? Should your repeated claims that you are not an anti-semite really carry any weight?

      I mean, if you saw someone who advocated all the same policies of KKK would you believe they’re weren’t racist if they simply said they were not? Of course you wouldn’t so why should anyone else treat you any differently.

      For most people, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its a duck. If you behave like an anti-semite then people can reasonable conclude that your are one. After all actions speak louder than words.

      I know your not an anti-semite. I know you only pile on Israel because it is the fashion of your subculture to do so. In any conflict in the last 40 years between a liberal-democracy and some autocratic country or movement, leftists have reflexively taken the side of the autocrats and happily done their dirty work.

      I know that people like you attack Israel irrationally not because you hate Jewish people but because your narcissism and hubris require that you adopt a contrary position to that held by most Americans. You think that any idiot can pick the side liberal-democracy in a conflict but that it takes a great and insightful intellect to pick the side of the dictator. By savaging the liberal-democracy at every opportunity you make yourself feel like a superior member of an intellectual and moral elite. Of course, all the other members of your little subculture act the same way so all you ever see is your own narcissism and hubris reflected back on you.

      So, you inevitably end up behaving towards Israel like an anti-semite because your behavior is driven by your emotional need to be different from the rest of us who are not anti-semites.

      If you think this a stretch, reflect upon this: Back before WWII when many if not most Americans were anti-semtic to some degree, Leftist were pro-Zionist. Only after the big shift in public opinion after the war did the left reverse itself.

      In the future if you want to defend yourself against charges of anti-semitism, just say that you aren’t an anti-semite, you just end up mimicking an anti-semite owning to you low self-esteem and the resulting need to feel intellectually and morally superior to everyone else.

      I think most people will be understanding of your problem.

    8. Ginny Says:

      I suspect there are leftists who do not think like the anchors on MSNBC, on the drag in Austin, or at typical faculty meetings: reasonable, thoughtful people who have not erected straw men of monstrous, narrow and vicious opinions that the more vocal left sees in the right. They would assume that others have different, not necessarily morally inferior, opinions. I just wish I saw them more often. I think most conservatives think that most on the other side are well-meaning – wrong, but well-meaning.

      Polarization is likely to increase, not decreae, as demonstrations like those in Madison and Berkeley continue. A lot of people are not going to feel that they should be taxed heavily and their retirements destroyed so that 5th year women’s studies majors can spend a few more years with lower tuition. They don’t think the left academics are evil, but do suspect they are frivolous.

      Unfortunately, I think the rubber is going to hit the road in the next few years – and there is likely to be some road kill when it does. I don’t think it will be because the right is violent; I don’t even think it will be because the left is. But there are some clear problems with our society and our political polarization points to some fault lines.

    9. Richard Says:

      An irony: Last week I watched an Italian investigative television program on RAI international – “Blu Notte” – http://www.blunotte.rai.it/dl/portali/site/articolo/ContentItem-2fbfc96f-c520-4752-83fd-cbcb03b7096e.html – a report on the sinking of ships by the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/'Ndrangheta. Ships loaded with radioactive and toxic waste into the Terrenian Sea that separates Calabria from Sicily and the Ionian Sea.

    10. tyouth Says:

      Shannon, I think you assume a lot about Libra from his rather harmless comment. It seems only mildly provocative to me for the rant it incited. I mean,

      “I know that people like you attack Israel irrationally not because you hate Jewish people but because your narcissism and hubris require that you adopt a contrary position to that held by most Americans.”

      (limiting myself here to only one example) seems like a lot to gather from what little he wrote….

    11. chuck Says:

      Aren’t Mediterranean tuna endangered? From what I read, EU fisheries policy is pretty screwed up by political considerations and the result is overfishing.

    12. Shannon Love Says:

      Tyouth,

      I think you assume a lot about Libra from his rather harmless comment

      I fancy myself something like Sherlock Holmes. I can deduce an entire scenario from a flake of cigar ash on the back stoop.

      In this case, his comments fit a rather specific pattern. I feel confident I am correct.

    13. tyouth Says:

      Holmes, you’re amazing!

    14. Grill Boy Says:

      And should anyone demonstrate that your wrong, you’ll just delete their comment. LOL. This blog is strictly for people who can’t defend themselves in an argument, but love arguing nonetheless.

    15. Jonathan Says:

      And should anyone demonstrate that your wrong, you’ll just delete their comment.

      Lame. You forgot to use the term “echo chamber” and you didn’t mention George W. Bush or Glenn Beck. I’d rate your comment 4.5 at best. Your troll-fu is weak.

    16. Grill Boy Says:

      That’s the point, Jonathan. You’re fine with lame comments, and even relish them, because ad hominem is something you feel confident with. Counter argument is what you can’t handle.

    17. Jonathan Says:

      Yawn. What’s the matter, were you booted by one of the other blogs where you try to pick fights?

    18. Grill Boy Says:

      Sleepy? So that explains it. No Jonathan, the point is if I refute point-by-point Shannon’s assertions, you’ll just delete it. Whereas if I trade insults with you, you’re perfectly happy to take the time, as I’ve now demonstrated.

    19. Jonathan Says:

      You don’t come here for the hunting, do you?