The very idea that Kate McMillan is an anti-semite is — well, I’d need a coffee before I could come up with the right word.
I know the definition of “racist” has devolved to mean “having the poor taste to simply mention race at all, even if the subject is, say, sickle cell anemia — or FBI stats which claim that African Americans commit more violent crimes than whites.”
When Ann Coulter got in trouble for her remarks about the differences between Judasim and Christianity, she was called an anti-semite — again, an absurd charge; again, because she had the poor taste to bring up the two thousand year old fact that Jews and Christians believe different things.
Once upon a time, we’d have uttered a collective “duh”, but those times are long gone.
I have a black sense of humor. Very little is off limits for me. Actually I can’t think of anything right this minute. That puts me in the minority, I know.
With each passing year, as survivors pass on and new generations are born, it is inevitable that the Holocaust will no longer be seen as one of those “off limits” topics.
The event simply cannot evoke the same feelings in a twenty or thirty year old as it does in an older person who remembers seeing footage of concentration camps for the first time.
(And I’m not convinced that the inevitable sanctification of the Holocaust has turned out to be the best — for lack of a better phrase — p.r. move for the Jewish people.)
None of the Jewish writers behind those works of art are anti-semites. (I feel stupid just typing that sentence.)
However, Kate isn’t Jewish. So is it “acceptable” for her to pull a Holocaust-themed prank?
Obviously, I’m going to say yes. I don’t accept the trendy academic view that only Group A can comment on/joke about Group A.
Sure, I cringed when I went to see Dennis Miller and his first gag was about the new Pope, and how seeing a German guy up on a balcony waving to crowds makes him nervous. My boyfriend nudged me and said, “Come on, he’s Catholic.” Then the cringe went away.
That, to me, is simple human nature. But when we try to legislate feelings like that — “It’s ok for me to laugh at ‘our stuff’, but not you” — we’re doomed to fail, as all such utopian, social engineering feats are.
In his post, Ezra reminds us to focus on what’s really important and cut out the manufactured moral exhibitionism that’s a huge unrecognized problem on and for the Left.
So much easier to call a pro-Israel blogger an anti-semite over a goofy prank, or obsess over neo-Nazis on the net, than to acknowledge the deeply entrenched hatred of Jews in the Canadian Muslim community — and in the organized Left itself.
There’s way too much “messenger shooting” and not enough focus on the controversial issues that prompted the messenger to speak up in the first place and, yes, offend a few people. The average liberal is instictively more outraged about imaginary “Islamophobia” after 9/11 than about 9/11 itself, to cite just one example of this warped prioritizing that is eating the Left (and the culture they dominate) alive:
Her e-mail wasn’t a comment on the Holocaust; it used a reference to the Holocaust as a surefire way to set up Kinsella, whose hagiographic depictions of himself as a modern-day Nazi-hunter make one reach for insulin. The point of the prank might not be immediately obvious to those who haven’t followed the long-simmering Kinsella-Kate feud. But it’s offensive only in the sense that The Producers is.
Kinsella is a Simon Wiesenthal in his own mind; receiving such a flattering, if cryptic, e-mail appealled to his self-image as an underrecognized hero.
I think that’s an interesting difference here. Both Kate and Kinsella regard themselves as friends of the Jews; both campaign against what they regard as hatred. But though he’s the bigger talker, Kinsella limits himself to snipe hunts against harmless, politically incorrect cranks. Kate would rather die before calling herself a “human rights activist”, but arguably her defence of Israel and Western liberal values would give her more right to that title than Kinsella.
Kate’s prank was not an eloquent witticism. It was a blunt demonstration of Kinsella’s lack of Internet street smarts, and of the double standard he himself holds when it comes to insensitive comments.