They talk about [Muslims] the way people used to talk about blacks or Catholics and the way that our opponents talk about Jews. You can’t attack shrill anti-Zionists who veer into antisemitism on one hand and then on the other hand say, ‘Oh, by the way, the Muslims are breeding like rabbits and aren’t they filthy.’ It’s just wrong…. Some things are just beyond the pale. I don’t think these people should be thrown in jail or slapped with Human Rights Commissions sanctions, but they do deserve our criticism.”
I’ve never written “the Muslims are breeding like rabbits and aren’t they filthy” — so OBVIOUSLY he can’t possibly be talking about me.
But let’s look at what “people used to say”.
What did people “used to say” (and still do) about Catholics, for example?
Well, Chick Comics would have you believe the Jesuits killed Abe Lincoln. Pretty funny.
But were “nativists” right that Irish Catholic immigrants were clannish, ignorant, drunken wife beaters who got into too many fights?
That “the Irish are breeding like rabbits and aren’t they filthy”?
Many Americans fell prey to this destructive, racist form of thinking because of what they were seeing of the Irish underclass in mid-nineteenth century New York. Prostitution was rampant. The Irish immigration of the 1840s was some 60 percent female, most of them single, and many of these newcomers soon found themselves on the street.
But it wasn’t just prostitution: venereal disease, alcoholism, opium addiction, child abandonment, infanticide—the New York Irish suffered crippling levels of social pathology...
The criminals of the city were almost all Irishmen…
The police cart that hauled away prisoners became the “paddy wagon” because it invariably transported Irish hoodlums.
It should surprise no one that many wanted the Irish out of the city—and the country. In 1854, the anti-immigration Know Nothing Party captured 75 seats in Congress.
It took a charismatic religious leader to lead the Irish—and the nation—out of this destructive circle. “Dagger” John Hughes, an Irish immigrant gardener who became the first Catholic archbishop of New York (…) catalyzed a remarkable cultural change that would liberate Gotham’s Irish from their self-destructive underclass behavior, so that within a generation they began flooding into the American mainstream …
Yet if Hughes attacked religious and ethnic bigotry, he also recognized that the dysfunctional behavior of New York’s Irish was more destructive than the discrimination against them. After all, he knew that German immigrants, 40 percent of whom were also Catholic (the majority was Protestant, with a small minority of Jews), were almost immediately successful upon arriving in the country, even though most had come to America with no more money than their Irish counterparts—though they did arrive as intact families to a much greater degree than the Irish.
Some of those “people who used to say things about Catholics” included the “beyond the pale” likes of John Jay and John Quincy Adams.
They and hundreds of thousands of others thought Catholicism (personified by the Irish) was incompatible with American democracy.
Maybe they weren’t. (Ironically all around, the “Catholicism” practiced by the un-catechized first Irish immigrants to the US was 90% ritualistic superstition, not the genuine article anyhow.)
Should John Jay and John Quincy Adams et al have been shamed into silence for even daring to discuss the matter?
Fast forward: is what these “bloggers” saying today true? On any subject?
Truth should be the only criteria.
And if you put yourself forward as a debunker of conspiracy theories, you must therefore be a passionate advocate for truth above all else, right…?
“Some things are just beyond the pale”?
The only thing that should be “beyond the pale” for any journalist is a reliance on lazy cliches.