Thursday, October 25, 2012
Racial Profiling in the British Media
In my last blog I contrasted the United States of Europe with the United States of America. Now I will examine how the British media stigmatizes and perpetuates stereotypes.The British thinking classes are uncomfortable within their own skin. They are obsessed by history and its concomitant tales of dishonour and betrayal. The slave trade and the class system were an abomination but we overcame both of them. We have successfully exported the slave trade to the sweat shops of China and Africa and we pretend that the widening social gap has nothing to do with an entrenched class system.
We afflict ourselves with sack-cloth and ash over a past we cannot leave behind. We salve our consciences with liberal values and a mode of speech that has been reviewed and passed by modern day commissars of thought by means of clichéd words and phrases.
We would never question the victimhood of our immigrants or the bigotry of our welfare recipients and we would certainly not judge the ethical failures of our newest British Subjects because to do so would be expressing a moral equivalence with which ‘we’ (as a society) are fundamentally opposed.
Moral relativism is used to describe the differences in moral judgements that are applied across separate cultures. But it is the excuse amongst liberals and the Left everywhere that they make for ethnic cleansing and genocide when it is committed by regimes labelled as either developing nations or left-wing. It is something ugly and immoral that excuses every heinous crime committed by the right kind of regime. We used to call them “The Third World”. We now think this is condescending and prefer to use the term “The Developing World” to set apart and make an excuse for every nation whose crimes against humanity we want to excuse. The Developing World bizarrely matches the wealthiest Muslim nations to the poorest countries on earth and it wholly dismisses all of their behaviour even when it would clearly be unacceptable to our consciences to accept it in our own homes.
But for some inexplicable reason, the British media is largely incapable of taking anything other than an unconscionable polemical stance when dealing with Jewish issues. We may speculate that it takes its cue from those higher up that non-existent class pyramid. There is a split along left / right lines which again, we could consider is based on history. After World War 2 those people classified ‘right of centre’ had to confront their moral failures because, fascism was portrayed as exclusively right wing and therefore, it and it alone was responsible for the twentieth century’s atrocities. The left and its liberal allies never found the necessity to confront the bloodthirsty ideological underpinnings of Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot; they revered the insidious Malaysian racist Mahathir Mohamad and worshipped both Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.
We excused Bin Laden his devotion to a death cult because to describe him and his fellow Muslims as evil was to judge them by our standards and (in our relativistic moral universe) this, we could never contemplate.
In the USA, film has done more to break down barriers than any law enacted by our elected legislators. Without the celluloid media, not even an army of police could have removed the obstructions raised by society to discriminate against black people and, let us not forget them, Jews as well.
The Jewish stereotype has been mostly discarded through sitcoms such as ‘Rhoda’, ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Friends’ which portray overtly Jewish characters within a mainstream American setting without denigrating them as religious oddities or ethnic curiosities. They are All-American schleps, schlemiels and shemozzles – which is why these last three words, have entered American vocabulary.
The barriers within British Society are the blind prejudice that our media celebrate and they do not encourage integration. Some years ago a colleague was talking to me about a program he had viewed the previous night. It starred a famous Anglo-Jewish comedian. By my work associates comments I realised he was unaware of the comedian’s religious antecedents (which had never been a part of his stand-up routine). “A person has no right to hide behind someone else’s identity,” he cried out in disgust. It should not have come as a surprise to me. It is the stereotypical response of an influential section of British society and it has been encouraged over many centuries. From Christopher Marlowe’s Jew of Malta, William Shakespeare’s Shylock and Charles Dickens's Fagan through to Caryl Churchill’s contemporary blood libel ‘Seven Jewish Children’, it is a recurrent theme of British theatre that what applies to Jews applies to no other people; or would not be permitted to apply to any other people.
Perhaps this explains the disproportionate focus on Zionism and Israel that a prejudiced liberal – left coalition conveys through its literature. Jews are not supposed to fight back. They do not defend themselves against the angel of death. Fly on the Wall programs are gratuitously offensive because their entertainment value is shallow and they pit contestants against each other in a self-absorbed and vacuous exercise of cringe-worthy posturing. Seemingly innocuous programs like Channel 4’s current drivel “Jewish Mum of the Year” are one such kind of stereotypical programming offered by the ‘liberal’ British Press to perpetuate a rigid (monolithic) caricature of Judaism.
State Television and Radio remain effective means for teaching values as defined by society. We should use them to discourage prejudice and educate against odium. Once more our British media betrays us.