David Cole writes:
Abed, a tenure-track professor of ethics, social & political philosophy, and classical Islamic philosophy, believes that, in large part due to the overbearing historical presence of the Holocaust, the definition of genocide has become unnecessarily narrow. When someone cries “genocide” these days, folks expect to see gas chambers, crematoria, and Nazis stuffing Jewish children into trains. This “Holocaust standard” for genocide, Abed claims, betrays the vision of the fellow who invented the term, Raphael Lemkin. Lemkin, Abed argues, always intended for his gift to the lexicon to have a more open-ended, fluid definition. There are lots of ways to make a people, a culture, or a society disappear, and more often than not, there won’t be gas chambers, ovens, or manically emoting Hitlers.
It’s a fair point, and an appropriate topic for a professor of philosophy. But you know there’s gotta be more, right? Of course there is. Abed also claims that sometimes you just have to commit genocide in order to save the world, or some corner of it, from bad people…like racist whites!
And yes, Cole does his trademark thing in this Taki’s column:
He actually contacts the person he’s writing about!