Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Degrees of Bigotry

The front page of the times had the arresting photo (see left) of some freak, John Gallano, who I assume is either an artist or a professional clown. It appears that the clown has emitted an anti-Semitic slur. Charlie Sheen, aka Carlos Estevez, has also been fired recently for making anti-Semitic comments. While I applaud any action that destroys bigots and scumbags, I do want to draw a distinction between 2 acts of bigotry.

Sheen, according to the Times, went on a radio show and railed against his boss, Chuck Lorre, all the while calling the boss "Hayim Levine." Yeah, it's odd that someone whose name was changed is mocking another ethnic name changer, but it also evinces anti-Semitism (so I'm told) and so he has been fired. Or something - to be honest, I never wanted to watch his show so I don't follow this too closely.

I'd like to point out, though, that as anti-Semitism goes, this is as mild as you can get. Consider that Sheen already has screamed anti-Black epithets in public, and that wasn't a firing offense. Why should anti-Semitism trump that?

Well, I don't think it did and I'm annoyed that it's being depicted that way. My presumption is that Sheen was fired because he was meant to clean up in rehab and instead he walked out of the 'hab and into a radio booth to insult his boss. Is it his bigotry or his aggressive stupidity at fault? I'd prefer to say it's the latter.

Especially in light of the Galliano clown. Here's what the Times says:
The video, posted on the Web site of the British tabloid The Sun, appears to show Mr. Galliano taunting other patrons at the bar, La Perle, declaring in a slurred voice that “I love Hitler” and that “people like you would be dead,” and “your mothers, your forefathers” would all be “gassed.” It was unclear when the video was recorded.
Do you see the difference? Sheen wasn't as much a bigot as a raving jackass. Galliano actually hates Jews. Because nobody but a true hater would even *think* of calling on Jews to be murdered by Hitler again. Seriously, folks.

This was the same case I made about Michael "Kramer" Richards who didn't *just* say the n-word, but actually talked wistfully about the bygone days when you could lynch blacks. Again, the difference is that using the n-word can be put in the category of using angry-talk (like the f-word, or any other word-words), but actively talking about committing specific murder is another category altogether.

Even though I am happy to continue exposing bigots and penalizing people who use racist slurs (which I have no urge to do myself, so I can comfortably condemn that class of scum), I do want to make a distinction between rage-words and actual bigots.

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