Borderline antisemitism [follow-up]

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 22 16:27:14 UTC 2010

Let me get this staight. If I understand the Rush-Man correctly:

A. Antisemites sometimes use "bankers" to mean "Jews."
B. Many Wall Street bankers are Jewish.
C. Obama is criticizing general policies of the banking industry
D. His criticism is not based on reality.
E. Therefore his criticism is anti-Semitic.
F. Therefore unidentified voters feel "buyer's remorse" for having supported

1. If the R-M means to imply that a Jewish-dominated banking industry put
Obama in the White House and is now turning on him because he's calling for
reforms - I agree with Viktor: it's beyond borderline. It's outright

2. But, if the R-M means to imply that Obama is an antisemite for using the
code word "bankers" when what he really means is "Jews," and his call for
action against the industry is arbitrary, and liberals now feel remorse for
putting an antisemite in the White House, then the argument is not
antisemitic at all.  It's a warning against antisemitism.

Part of the reason that the R-M's salary is millions and millions and
millions while the President's isn't, is that R-M doesn't even have to try
to make sense.  He just says what pops into his head.


On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 5:11 AM, Tom Zurinskas <truespel at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Borderline antisemitism [follow-up]
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> You say I'm insensitive out of ignorance.  But you must be ignorant as well
> to be insensitivity to me.  Or if you're not ignorant are you just malicious
> and defamatory.
> It appears that you don't know the difference between ignorance and
> stupidity.  Ignorance is not knowing something, and I said I did not know
> that "Negro" and "colored" were offensive words and did not think they were.
>  Stupidity is your view that this is contemptuous of anyone.
> People are ignorant of 99.99999+% of what goes on in this world.  The good
> thing is that they ask questions to clear it up.
> I am also ignorant of how the ADL makes an "official ADL statement".
>  Perhaps someone other than you can clear that up.  I hope the ADL does not
> take the position that "Negro" and "colored" are offensive words.  But if
> there is any research that shows that they are, then I'll abide by that.
> Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL7+
> see phonetic spelling
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> > Sender: American Dialect Society
> > Poster: Victor Steinbok
>  > Subject: Borderline antisemitism [follow-up]
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Politico posted a story reflecting an underlying ADL report slamming
> > Rush Limbaugh for "borderline antisemitism", but the link provided
> > appears to lead to a different page, so the official ADL statement will
> > likely appear later. Still, this is worth bringing into the discussion
> > of the Harry Reid "Negro dialect" comment (not racism) and TZ
> (ignorance).
> >
> > Here's the original Rush Limbaugh quote that was highlighted.
> >
> >
> >> To some people, banker is a code word for Jewish; and guess who Obama
> >> is assaulting? He’s assaulting bankers. He’s assaulting money people.
> >> And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if
> >> there’s – if there’s starting to be some buyer’s remorse there.
> >
> > Abe Foxman's response:
> >> Limbaugh’s references to Jews and money in a discussion of
> >> Massachusetts politics were offensive and inappropriate. While the
> >> age-old stereotype about Jews and money has a long and sordid history,
> >> it also remains one of the main pillars of anti-Semitism and is widely
> >> accepted by many Americans. His notion that Jews vote based on their
> >> religion, rather than on their interests as Americans, plays into the
> >> hands of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.
> >
> > Personally, I don't think there is anything borderline about this--the
> > statement is not based on ignorance or some kind of verbal confusion.
> > The intent is quite clear even if the language does not contain any
> > specifically offensive words or phrases. In contrast, some patently
> > offensive language could be inadvertently used in a benign
> > context--largely out of ignorance. Then there are blends--Harry Reid
> > used somewhat archaic phrasing that caused an interesting overreaction,
> > while TZ risked offense for the sake of expressing his ignorance,
> > contempt and sarcasm all at once.
> >
> > There is no deeper point here--just an observation that there has to be
> one.
> >
> > VS-)
> >
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