Friday, July 16, 2004

Qualifying Statements: Excuse Me?

Have you ever noticed people often qualify their statements to try to make them "polite" or to show something is "bad", but really it's not "bad" because...?
I recently ran into somebody on a comment section who said:
"Jews in Israel are the new Nazis"
To which I replied:
"Are you an anti-Semitic?"
Return reply:
"I am not an anti-Semitic, I have many Jewish friends and they agree with me."
Excuse me?
Ummm....Does having "Jewish friends" not make you anti-Semitic?
That's like saying, "I'm not a racist, I have many black friends."  Does this somehow disqualify you from racist behavior?  I know some black people that think that Mexican immigrants are "wetbacks" and Korean immigrants are "slant eyes" and Vietnamese immigrants are "gooks" and all of these should go back to where they came from.  How about black people who refer to caucasions as "whities" or some other derogatory remark? 
Does the color of their skin disqualify them as "racists"?
In the world of "political correctness", why are any of these remarks ok? 
The Subjects That Started This Post
Lying Is OK Because the Other Guy Did It First
Recently, I have been party to two conversations that resulted in the other party "qualifying" their statements.   The first conversation was about the infamous Michael Moore film "F911".   I have personally said very little about this film.  I did a previous post regarding comments from an Iraqi citizen who was incensed at what he considered blatant lies about the supposed peaceful regime of Saddam, with children flying kites and everyone smiling and happy in the cafes.  He takes Moore to task because Moore did not see the underlying, dirty belly of the regime, nor does he know the personal pain of Iraqis:

Moore shows scenes of Baghdad before the invasion and in his weltanschauung, it’s a place filled with nothing but happy, smiling, giggly, overjoyed Baghdadis. No pain and suffering there. No rape, murder, gassing, imprisoning, silencing of the citizens in these scenes.(...)
Excuse me is this my Baghdad you talk about ,that Baghdad I live in for more than 20 year ,with all what we lived through ,how could we be happy and smiling ,and we got people bored to death ,under ground ,live ,because ,I cant give you a cause ,maybe you can ,you seems to know more than us ,how? we can be Happy ,and I got friends executed ,I got bothers in jail ,how? We can be happy, and we got nothing to eat, how? we can be happy ,and we got nothing to live for, Iraq was ruled by a regime that had forced a sixth of its population into fearful exile, maybe you have the answers?

If you haven't read Sarmad's impassioned discussion of this topic, you should do it now.
This topic was taken up on another blog, where a commentor, who I have talked to several times, agrees that the film had it's flaws, but begins to qualify that statement by saying that it was ok, because it is the Democrats way of combating the "propaganda" that is heard from Bush, "Rove & Co".
Excuse me?
Telling a lie is OK because the other side "lies"? 
My Grandmother always said, "two wrongs don't make a right".   Is it me, or are we losing are sense of right and wrong?

"Baby Killer" and "Murderer" Are Political Statements
Did you hear about the 23 year old DISABLED veteran of the Iraq War that was marching in his hometown parade in Bainbridge Island, WA where he was booed and called a "baby killer", "murderer" and a few other choice words?  
When I heard about it, I was incensed to say the least.  I quickly shot off an email be a number of people on my "contacts" list and said basically, "please support this young man.  Our soldiers deserve our respect", etc, etc, etc.  I gave out his email address and asked them to send him an encouraging email. 
Now, some of my friends on my "contact" list are admittedly (gasp) Democrats (qualifier?)!  That didn't stop me from sending it to them, because I believed that we were all on the same page regarding "supporting the troops."  At least they all claim that. 
I got back a reply from one of my friends that said (paraphrasing) "Did you know that he was carrying a 'Veterans for Bush' sign?  He left himself open for that." 
Excuse Me?

This sounded remarkably like the lame "apology" that the mayor of Bainbridge gave as well as the pass that the original writer of the report,R. L. Jamieson, Jr , gave in his follow up report.  And I quote:
I am willing to bet my last shiny penny that if Gilson were marching in a Republican stronghold -- say, Midland, Texas -- and carrying a pro-Kerry sign, he would be barbecued faster than a longhorn steer.
Aside from not being a family value, intolerance is hardly partisan.
It is clear the Bainbridge incident -- from start to aftermath -- extends beyond the island.

Excuse me?

Shortly after that, I saw the follow up article and a reply email from the mother of the young man and from the man himself, thanking everyone for their kind emails of support.  He, nor his mother mention anything political in their "thank you's".  When I saw this, I quickly sent an email to all of my "contacts" and said, "thank you for your support" and told them where they could find the direct "thank you" from these folks. 

Now...I found the follow up report and "thank you's" from the parties involved on Michelle Malkin's Blog.  Admittedly, "right of center" commentator who has also appeared on Fox News and a few other cable network news stations.

One of my "contacts" had originally asked me for a link to this information, so this time, I made sure I included it on the outgoing email, not thinking anything about the disposition of the blog owner.  To which I got a reply, "kat, you know the link you sent me was a 'right leaning' blog?" (paraphrasing now)"Did you know he was carrying a 'Veterans for Bush' sign?  Sorry, but he left himself open for that."

Excuse me?

So I asked my contact, how does that make a difference?  If he was carrying a "Veterans For Kerry" sign, would it make it less ok?  To which the reply said, (paraphrasing again) "No, I don't believe in that.  That is just rude. But...he was booed for carrying the Bush sign, it wasn't personal."
Excuse me?
I quickly pointed out to my contact that they must have missed the "baby killer" and "murderer" remarks from the original article (which I supplied a link to), because that is a personal attack and we should stop splitting hairs that it is "ok" on a political basis.  I also pointed out that I would never "boo" or make other remarks to a veteran with a "veterans for Kerry" sign (and I have seen some).  Never.  In which case, I respectfully disagreed with them on qualifying this behavior.
I haven't received a reply back from my contact on this last post, but I will close by saying....
Is it me?  Or, have we lost our sense of right or wrong?
And my friends wonder why I left the Democrat party.


Robert said...

The first thing a man will do for his ideology is lie.

Sadly, its all too true.

My favorite is the "I am just as anti-terror [insert any other type of thing here] but...."

That type of qualifier drives me nuts. I saw comments by George Orwell to that effect here.
"What I object to is the intellectual cowardice of people who are objectively and to some extent emotionally pro-Fascist, but who don't care to say so and take refuge behind the formula "I am just as anti-Fascist as anyone, but--". The result of that so-called peace propaganda is just as dishonest and intellectually disgusting as war propaganda. Like war propaganda, it concentrates on putting forward a "case", obscuring the opponent's point of view and avoiding awkward questions. The line normally followed is "Those who fight against Fascism go Fascist themselves"..."

Orwell may have been a socialist, but he was a smart man with a keen eye for these types of things.

Its like saying "no offense, but", and the person comes out with the most offensive statement.

2. Minorities can't be racist, don'tchaknow?

3. If anyone supports George Bush, your Demoratic friends seem to think it is appropirate to call them Baby Killer and Murderer. Because what they said was that it 'wasn't personal' and that it was really directed at Bush. Do they call you a Baby Killer and a murderer? No, of course not.

Thats a dodge, and you and I both know it. They shot it at him because he was a soldier. Otherwise they'd be justified in calling any Bush supporter that (I'm sure they think that). In reality, it was because he was a soldier.

This is my favorite saying. "Support the troops. Win the war."

Kat said...

Robert...I so agree with you. I did receive a final reply back from my friend. Said that they had read the original article and it still wasn't personal attacks. They agreed that it was heinous behavior. Then added that Kerry was going to have his group "veterans" for Kerry do a TV ad and said that they would probably be attacked.

To which I replied that somehow, I don't think they will be "personally" attacked so much as Kerry's supposed stand on veterans issues and his post vietnam era behavior. But, we had each others email, so as soon as the ad came out, we would collect all of the responses to it and see if any of them qualified as "personal".

Which, by my friend's definition would be nothing.

I closed by saying, "So..."Baby Killer" and "Murderer" are political statements? hmmm...

I am pretty sure that no one will be tossing those names at Kerry's vetereans. I am also sure that, if they were ever called those names it, was 32 years ago and it was by the people that Kerry was hanging out with.

I think I will have to write something later about how I changed or the Democrats changed or something else changed and how I don't believe in them anymore.

Pat in NC said...

Kat, As usual, you hit the nail on the head. I look forward to your post on why you left the Dems. I have never held a party affiliation because there are good candidates represented in both and I want to choose to whom I give my vote. It definitely will not be the far left Democrats. How people, for whatever reason, can shout such demeaning, inaccurate and hateful things to one of the good men who answered the nation's call is beyond me to comprehend. I am so glad you sent the Email so I could tell Jason how I felt.

Anonymous said...

Man, this blog was incredibly boring...........