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 on “Charles 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…
Native American Women*
Native American 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.”
- Regarding your comment about how anti-Muslim rhetoric is suppressed because of fear: uber-blogger Glenn Reynolds writes:
“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.”