Comment of the Day: “Charles M. Blow’s Anti-Mormon Tweet, Chapter 2…”

Michael, who is now the Ethics Alarms all-time leader in the Comment of the Day category, scores another with a thought-provoking post inspired by the New York Times’ stunning disinterest in its columnist tweeting a religious slur about Mitt Romney. I’ll have some added reflections at the end. Here is his Comment of the Day onCharles M. Blow’s Anti-Mormon Tweet, Chapter 2…”:

“I remember an article about this when I was in college. In analyzing how the news media treated different races, they came up with the PC Hierarchy. Anyone higher on the hierarchy can criticize or be insensitive to anyone below them. If there is a conflict between two groups, the one higher on the PC scale is assumed to be right”

PC Hierarchy of Races

Black Women
Black Men
Native American Women*
Native American Men*
Hispanic Women
Hispanic Men
Asian Women
Asian Men
White Women**
White Men**

*Native Americans only count when they are being represented by a White Liberal. Since they keep referring to themselves as Indians, they aren’t enlightened enough to speak for themselves.

**White people only refers to white conservatives. White liberals are always right and are never prejudiced unless it is in a good way.

This was presented as tongue-in-cheek, but there was a good ring of truth to it if you looked at the way events were portrayed in the media. In that same spirit, I present the “PC Hierarchy of Religions.” Based on what I have seen in the media, I would assume the NY Times’ response to your question about who can question what would be somewhere along these lines (if they were being truthful).

PC Hierarchy of Religions

1. Atheism – which all true progressives know is the one true belief and which gives them the right to belittle all ‘superstitions’

2. Spirituality’, Neopaganism, Wiccan, Satanist- are counterculture beliefs and tend to aggravate more traditional beliefs, so should be encouraged, but secretly it is OK to make fun of them if you are an atheist.

3. Buddhism, Shinto, Hindu, and other ‘Eastern’ religions– are believed by Eastern peoples who tend to have darker skin than white people, making them more PC.

4. Islam – Is generally against western culture and ideals, so deserves support from liberals. Be careful never to criticize Islam though, it could be dangerous.

5. Judaism– It is PC to support Judaism against Christians whenever possible, but many Jews are pretty conservative and vote Republican, so it isn’t a good idea to support them too much. Always side with ‘Palestine’ against Israel, but not against any other Middle-Eastern country.

6. Mormons – They are just above Christianity because they were persecuted by US society for awhile. OK, they were persecuted because of the polygamy thing and the racist stuff, but we can ignore all that when it allows us to beat up on Christianity. In all other cases, they need to be criticized because they vote Republican a lot.

7. Christianity* – I just plain evil, as it is believed by many people who vote Republican. It is the reason the US is the only country in the world where the working poor vote conservative. Many traditional beliefs in American culture are rooted in Christianity, so it must be subverted at every turn. Its adherents should be portrayed as stupid, racist, homophobic, and sexist whenever possible. Unlike Islam, it is OK to do so because Christians usually just write nasty letters or engage in a peaceful protest if antagonized.

*It is OK to be Catholic, as long as you don’t REALLY believe in anything the Catholic church stands for or believes.

Before anyone gets all outraged, I never said this is what I believe. This is just how the liberal news outlets (such as the NY Times) seem to treat religion. It may not be what they actually believe, but it sure seems like it from where I sit. If this makes you angry, sit down and listen to how different religions are treated in the media. What groups are shown as ‘normal’ for each one? Every Muslim shown on the news is a model citizen and a wonderful person, yet will they publish a cartoon critical of Islam? Half of the coverage of Christianity is the Westboro Baptist Church and “Some Guy with Six Followers who Burned a Koran” and crosses soaked in urine is celebrated as high art.

Thanks, Michael, for a brave and ringingly politically incorrect observation. I have stumbled into this sad cultural fact a few times, and, stupidly, am always shocked by it, mots notably when Christiane Amanpour led an all-female panel on ABC devoted to the topic of women’s innate superiority to men, as bigoted a discussion as I have ever heard anywhere and from anyone, including Aryan Nation. Naturally, there wasn’t a peep from the mainstream media. The hierarchies you lay out are rabidly unfair and undemocratic, of course, and exacerbate divisions in our society. You needn’t have included the caveat about not necessarily  believing that they are true: they are true, and it’s wrong. I’m aware of the jujitsu used by the left to silence criticism on this score: if you complain about feminist bigotry, you must be anti-feminist; if you flag African-American racism, you’re a racist. We all have an obligation not to let that tactic pass, or succeed.

A couple other observations:

  • Michael didn’t include gays in his first list, but clearly they top it, given the many high-profile incidents lately in which black entertainers or commentators have made homophobic comments and paid dearly.
  • I’m cheered to know I’m not the only one who reflexively mixes up the “i” and the “e” in “athiest”…that is, atheist.
  • The elderly and the over-weight, on the other hand, lie at the very bottom: slurs against members of these groups, especially if they dare to be Republican, conservative, or anti-abortion, are universally treated as harmless by the media, Hack, Al Franken got himself elected Senator by calling Rush Limbaugh “a big, fat, idiot.”
  • The degree to which all these multiple standards are tolerated is stunning and disturbing. I heard an African-American comedian on Comedy Central base most of his act on anti-White hate speech. They weren’t even jokes, in most cases, and the “comic” wasn’t smiling. Just “You know all white folks lie!” and “You know all serial killers are white, right?” The mostly black audience just laughed away. I don’t see that such acts do race relations any good at all; I know I felt personally attacked. But fine: if Comedy Central is going to proudly present that kind of swill, I see no reason why a white comedian exploiting black stereotypes shouldn’t be equally welcome, except he or she  should have to show some genuine wit and good humor in the process, and it can’t be mean spirited.   Let’s decide on a standard, but saying that one race can be savaged while another is immune from criticism isn’t a standard…it’s officially-sanctioned hate.
  • The existence of the lists are clearly based on an ethically invalid principle, namely “payback.” White men are being told that since they discriminated against the groups above them for thousands of years, they can expect sanctioned abuse for an equivalent amount of time. And since it is nowhere near as degrading or abusive as what the white males did to everyone else, they have no right to complain: they’re getting off easy, and should take it, well, “like a man.”

“My advice to Mormons and others: If you want respect, behead a few people. It won’t take much violence, as long as the threat is credible. Though it helps if they see you as an enemy of Western civilization. Then they’ll enjoy being intimidated.”

14 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: “Charles M. Blow’s Anti-Mormon Tweet, Chapter 2…”

  1. I’m hoping that neither you nor Michael are serious about any of this. You sound like the pathetic souls who rail at the war on Christianity and on white people. Not to defend Charles Blow’s offensive tweet or the NYT’s tolerance of it.

    • I think it’s res ipsa loquitur, Bob. How do you explain the tolerance for Amanpour, for Maher, for Sullivan’s libel of Sarah Palin; for the Comedy Central backdown on Muslim satire on South Park? If you don’t condone the Times’s acceptance of Blow’s tweet and faux apology–and you collect these, I know—Blow also referred to conservatives as “vermin” in another tweet–how else do you explain it without reference to Michael’s list? How can anybody be not be serious about the obvious double standard, usually bolstered by the reflex accusation that any white male flagging it is “just angry that they’re not on top any more”?

      I can find mainstream media quotes every day where a conservative is mocked as “an angry white guy.” Michelle Obama is listened to respectfully and sympathetically as she complains about being portrayed as an “angry black woman” by an author who never called her an angry black woman, but just suggested that she was angry about some issues. How is flagging the double standards evident in this “pathetic”?

      • Of course there’s a double standard. I just don’t buy that it’s OK by liberal standards. Of course, Maher is an ugly bigot. But when someone equates Maher with Liberals they’re almost as blameworthy as he. (Or as him? I’m never certain.)

        • Oh, I agree, and I apologize for misunderstanding you, Bob. I just need to see more well-respected liberals with the integrity to condemn the double standard. I’m certain Martin Luther Kind would have done so, for example. Who on the left stands up against political correctness today?

          • Well, Jon Stewart comes to mind, and I’ve written about others who speak up from time to time. but there’s a terrible shortage of people on BOTH sides who will call out people on their own side.

            On another point, i think political correctness deserves less scorn. mailmen, firemen, and policemen have disappeared in favor of letter carriers, firefighters, and police (or police officers. And negroes have given way to African-Americans. i think that’s not a bad thing–the former just recognizes real changes in our society; the latter is yielding to people’s desire about what they are called..

            • I don’t think of the former change as political correctness. It’s just accuracy, Political correctness is actresses insisting on being called “actors”. I’ll respect a group’s right to call themselves what they want when a term becomes associated with second-class citizenship, like “negro,” as long as the term isn’t silly (I will die before “person of color” ever exits my lips) or confounding (Mrs. Kerry is an African American and is white as white can be; David Ortiz is black as night, and a South American-Hispanic-American, or just an American citizen, He’s an American black,)

              • Hmmm, we’re not so far apart. Ugh to female actors. I don’t know anything about Mrs. Kerry. “Person of color” strikes me as a useful term, because it takes in black, latino, middle easterner, indian (both kinds) other Asians–I guess everybody ut you and me.

                • It’s a clumsy way of saying “colored.” That’s when political correctness drives me nuts, when it is rules without reason. I’m not a “person of no hair,” I’m bald, for heaven’s sake, I’m not a person of fat, I’m fat. This is making people jump through hoops, just because you can. Fine—I understand the need to dump “colored”, but come up with something that isn’t just a Middle English rephrasing.

    • From a non-white here: I don’t think you can deny that the double standard doesn’t exist in certain public areas of discourse. True, white Christian conservatives aren’t innocent of this either, but it doesn’t make it anymore right.

      On a different note, I find the European legacy of the last 500 years to be quite interesting; on one hand, all of that colonial-type bullshit, modern and otherwise; on the other hand, modern science and technology, the terms and ideas expressed by virtually every major political and economic ideology from the Right to the Left, Enlightenment-type tolerance, etc. Hell, even the colonialism can largely be created not to so much to moral inferiority as much as the simple fact that, to use video game parlance, Europe advanced more quickly on the tech tree.

  2. For the first time in a while, Jack, I shared one of your columns on my Facebook page. Personally, I can live with the slanders from politicians and radical groups. But the news media is supposed to be there to uncover and present the truth, not to be a part of the problem themselves. Some news sources invariably go bad. But when the bulk of the media establishment has apparently institutionalized this sort of thing, then we’ve all come to a sorry pass. Fortunately, the internet has come along to supplant them.

  3. I don’t like ‘person of color’ because it is awkward and it is used deceptively. Who do you mean when you say ‘person of color? You mean non-white. Why not just say non-white? The main use for this that I have seen is when some group makes a statement like “45% of the people at this school are people of color and that is why the Black Student Union should get to pick 45% of the representatives on the student council.”

  4. I got to this late, but you are it’s so far off base. If anyone thinks Atheism is treated with anything but scorn from the media, they’re an idiot. Flat out.

    The ranking of how the “liberal media” talks about Islam, Judaism, and Christianity is also completely off base. It looks like just ranking religious preferences in reverse order based on how much special treatment they are given.

    Before anyone gets all outraged, I never said this is what I believe. This is just how the liberal news outlets (such as the NY Times) seem to treat religion. It may not be what they actually believe, but it sure seems like it from where I sit. If this makes you angry, sit down and listen to how different religions are treated in the media. What groups are shown as ‘normal’ for each one? Every Muslim shown on the news is a model citizen and a wonderful person, yet will they publish a cartoon critical of Islam? Half of the coverage of Christianity is the Westboro Baptist Church and “Some Guy with Six Followers who Burned a Koran” and crosses soaked in urine is celebrated as high art.

    People don’t cover things in the news that are considered “normal”. What’s the story when a Christian is a good upstanding citizen? Nothing, but if a muslim is involved, it’s considered news to talk about how good they are. It’s stupid that this has to occur, but because of the prejudice in the audience, it’s required to be fair. Your examples are evidence completely contrary to your conclusion. This is entitlement bias, and nothing more. You’re used to be given special treatment, so you consider fair treatment as a slap in the face.

    • I think the truth is much more complex, tgt. I think “secular humanism” should top the list. Frankly, I don’t know where atheism stands, but I’ve never seen or heard atheism being mocked in news stories or even in opinion pieces, outside of “Town Hall” stuff. Yes, I think they are often treated as extremists or single-issue zealots.Evangelicals and Baptists are regularly mocked to the point of outright bigotry. No journalists are disrespectful of Jews (as opposed to Israel), and people are afraid to be critical of Muslims. Whatever the proper ranking is, it’s far from equal or fair.

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