[Vision2020] Apology, bias, and the holocaust

g. crabtree jampot at roadrunner.com
Mon Jun 15 19:48:58 PDT 2009

Mr. Campbell's apology wasn't offered to me either (it would be impossible not to laugh if it had) but he did mention me in, among other places, his post below so I do feel comfortable wondering how someone can in one breath make the following unsupported claims:

"slavery wasn't so bad -- which is one fringe claim you defended -- or that the holocaust never happened"

"explain to me what the difference is between Wilson's revisionism about US slavery -- which you've defended often" 

And in the next say:

"I never SAID they supported holocaust deniers"

"I don't even think that Crabtree is a slavery defender"
And be taken seriously in any way at all.

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: keely emerinemix 
  To: philosopher.joe at gmail.com ; vision2020 at moscow.com 
  Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 10:53 AM
  Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Apology, bias, and the holocaust

  Joe's apology wasn't offered to me, but he did mention me in his post below, so I do want to just add my comment.  What I wrote to Joe about saying that "everybody" who disagrees with him is, in his mind, "a slavery defender or Holocaust denier," was a bit of hyperbole intended to suggest that he was lashing out with labels that don't apply to the people who received them.  

  Joe didn't take well to my private suggestion or my on-line post, but he did mention me, so I want to clear up one thing.

  I'm sure he understands that I wasn't suggesting that he really believes, always, that every single person who ever disagrees with him on any point is automatically, in his mind, always a Wilson supporter or, in every case, an ally of Holocaust deniers, or simply bad, bad, bad.  (See the hyperbole?)  I was aware that a decent guy would seem unreasonable to his critics by writing in a way that didn't reveal his true character, and also aware that many of us were pained to see him lash out as he did -- for which he has graciously apologized.  I just want to make sure that no one misunderstands what I said to him.

  For the record, I think there's very little doubt in anyone's mind how I feel about Wilson, Christ Church, hate groups, racism, bigotry, or anything else.  Like Joe, I could not live with myself if I countenanced bigotry -- particularly, in my case, bigotry in the name of Christ.  I've immersed myself over the last seven years in attempting to understand and critique all of the above, and, like Joe, I sometimes regret the way I've put something.  Because of that, I commend him for his apology here.


  > Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 20:12:45 -0700
  > From: philosopher.joe at gmail.com
  > To: vision2020 at moscow.com
  > Subject: [Vision2020] Apology, bias, and the holocaust
  > I received a number of off-list emails suggesting that I went too far
  > today, which I suppose is correct. For most of the time I was being
  > playful and that was careless on my part, given the serious nature of
  > the topic.
  > I'm especially sorry to Dan and Paul for making it seem as if they
  > support holocaust deniers, etc. They do not. I'm sure in their views
  > on these subjects are complex, more complex than can be explained in
  > short responses to my questions.
  > Note I never SAID they supported holocaust deniers, nor did I ever
  > believe it. I merely asked some questions. Nor were they loaded
  > questions. A loaded question would have been: Do you STILL support
  > holocaust deniers? Mine was just the "Do you" part, which I thought
  > would be easy enough to answer. My answer is: "No, I don't support
  > holocaust deniers (or slavery revisionists)." (Thanks to Gary Crabtree
  > for (sort of) giving this same answer!)
  > Which brings me to the point I was trying to make in the beginning,
  > which is that we've become complacent in our acceptance of radical
  > right wing viewpoints. Some of this is for political advantage, e.g.,
  > conservative candidates afraid to say anything for fear of losing
  > votes. (Again, I'm sorry for implicating Dan in this since, as I said,
  > I think his views are more complex and not of this nature.) Some of
  > this is due to an incorrect view about objectivity: that being
  > objective requires you to see both sides of everything. Well, not
  > everything has two sides. The other side of "Denying the holocaust is
  > wrong" is not a defensible position, IMO. Call me arrogant but I've
  > seen the Sorrow and the Pity.
  > According to Keely, I think that "everyone who disagrees with [me] on
  > this point is either a slavery defender, locked into or indebted to
  > the Wilson camp, or simply just bad." I don't even think that Crabtree
  > is a slavery defender. He has defended slavery defenders, which is bad
  > enough in my book, but I have said time and time again that I don't
  > think he is racist. And he is the only one that I think is in the
  > Wilson camp. I'm simply astonished at how unwilling even moderate
  > conservatives are when it comes to criticizing the good pastor, or
  > criticizing crazed right wing viewpoints. I have no such
  > unwillingness. In fact, I feel an obligation to be critical.
  > I grew up in a town in NJ with about the population of Moscow spread
  > out over one square mile; 40% of folks are Jewish. When I was in high
  > school you could walk into almost any deli on almost any day and find
  > someone with a number tattooed on his or her arm indicating time spent
  > in a Nazi concentration camp. Many of my best friends had grandparents
  > with such tattoos, though all of them are now dead.
  > I still visit about 2-3 times a year and often I get to talk with my
  > friends' parents since I still stay in touch with many of them. (Five
  > of my friends flew out last December for my 50th birthday party, for
  > instance.) When I tell my friends about Wilson et. al. and their
  > criticisms of gays and Muslims along with their slavery revisionism,
  > they remind me that this is how it started in Germany. It starts with
  > minorities, because no one but them will complain, and then it builds
  > from there. There was a saying I grew up with: Never forget. History
  > has a way of repeating itself and if one is not careful, if one
  > forgets, it becomes all the more possible.
  > I have to look my friends' parents in their eyes when I see them 2-3
  > times a year and I could not in clear conscience do so without knowing
  > that I did my best to speak out against hate speech. I know that
  > people think that speech and beliefs are innocuous but I respectfully
  > disagree (more on this in another post).
  > The fact is that there are reports from numerous sources about an
  > increase in hate crimes, especially since the last election. My
  > earlier posts on this topic mostly contained questions: Is there a
  > connection between a rise in violence and conservative tolerance for
  > divisive speech? Later I became more aggressive but at no point did I
  > BLAME conservatives for the recent murders inspired by right wing
  > extremists. Clearly the blame lies with the murderers. My point is
  > more subtle.
  > We just finished an 8-year stretch in which hate politics was used to
  > get an idiot elected president for two successive terms. Just think
  > about that for a moment. He wrecked the economy, started two endless
  > wars, and made a joke of our constitutional rights -- to name just a
  > few things. But the worst of all of it was the way he won the
  > elections, since it was built on hate, pure and simple. Many key
  > states -- as well as politically irrelevant states like Idaho -- came
  > out in huge numbers to vote against gay marriage. He stirred up
  > hatred of Muslims to support the war as well as hatred of foreigners
  > to support his draconian immigration policy. And, I think, we are
  > still suffering from the consequences of that election strategy.
  > Today I saw a documentary on Information Discovery about the rise of
  > hate groups in American. And guess what? The strategy for recruitment
  > in such groups is much the same as Bush's election strategy: use hate
  > to build interest. And I think it is undeniable that these groups are
  > growing in numbers. (A friend mailed me something on this that I'll
  > post should any of you be in doubt.)
  > Does this make us blameworthy, or conservatives blameworthy, for the
  > recent murders? Of course not. But that is not the issue. The issue is
  > that each of us is part of the world and what happens in that world is
  > due in some part to our actions. We can speak out against hate speech
  > or not and whether we do or not will have some influence on our
  > future. In less than 50 years, whites in the US will be a minority in
  > this country. So respect for minority viewpoints is only a matter of
  > time.
  > Either we all learn to respect each other's differences -- which
  > includes, in my book, speaking out against hate speech whenever the
  > opportunity arises -- or our children and children's children will
  > suffer the consequences. It doesn't matter if anyone blames us for it.
  > What matters is that we can do something about it now.
  > Joe Campbell
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