Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Are "multiculturalists" the real racists?
August 20, 2002 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Are "multiculturalists" the real racists?
posted by 314/ (74 comments total)

 
Um, no? Or, if you look at it another way, yes.
posted by nicwolff at 11:18 AM on August 20, 2002


From the linked "essay":

Islam For All reported the other day that, at present demographic rates, in 20 years' time the majority of Holland's children (the population under 18) will be Muslim. It will be the first Islamic country in western Europe since the loss of Spain. Europe is the colony now.

Or as Charles Johnson, whose excellent "Little Green Footballs" Web site turns up dozens of fascinating Islamic tidbits every day, suggested: "Maybe we should start a betting pool: Which European country will be the first to institute shari'a?"


Troll.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:20 AM on August 20, 2002


"the real racists"??

Is there only one kind now?
posted by mediareport at 11:23 AM on August 20, 2002


Not an intentional one on my part, I assure you, mr_roboto. But perhaps a troll of a sort was intended by Mr. Steyn (the authour of the piece). After all, Lord Black (owner of the National Post) does want to sell newspapers, and this sort of controversy could do that.
posted by 314/ at 11:26 AM on August 20, 2002


Canadizza dot cizzom in the hizouse!
posted by putzface_dickman at 11:27 AM on August 20, 2002


Which European country will be the first to institute shari'a?"

That's actually a good question, in my opinion. I don't see it happening in the near future, but it could happen in a generation or two, especially with the disparity of birth rates between certain communities.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:27 AM on August 20, 2002


Lord Black doesn't own the post any more. The Aspers do.
posted by saltykmurks at 11:30 AM on August 20, 2002


Or as Charles Johnson, whose excellent "Little Green Footballs" Web site turns up dozens of fascinating Islamic tidbits every day...

muwhahahahahaha. Oh man. I'm supposed to take this editorial seriously with a statement like that?
posted by mathowie at 11:33 AM on August 20, 2002


Of course you're right, saltykmurks. My bad.
posted by 314/ at 11:36 AM on August 20, 2002


another term for multiculturalism, as written in this article, is cultural relativism: the belief that, because a culture does a thing and accepts a thing, then it must be ok for that culture.

relativism is crap, i think. i didn't use to. i know the example's been bandied out before, and it convinced me of the crap that is relativism, so i might as well bandy it out again: female circumcision. it's perfectly ok in many cultures in africa and the middle east (so i've been told -- and to knowledge it was around before islam, so i mean no connection between the two).

female circumcision is also, however, quite a horrible thing. it involves rendering the clitoris non-functional (if not non-existant -- i can't remember). the explanation i'd heard as the justification was that if a woman could not feel pleasure from sex, she would not seek it outside a marriage. i don't really care if some group somewhere thinks this practice is ok; i despise it. (thus is relativism not served by me.)

i don't quite agree with the notion that america, as victimized by the september hijackings, is analagous to the rape victim example in the editorial linked here. in the case of the rape victim, people have migrated into an alien culture and the professor in the editorial asks those of the alien culture to respect the ways of the migrants. that's not right, in my opinion. the migrants either define the culture or adapt to it, and i don't think culture is (or should be) redefined in these cases.

america does a lot of things beyond its borders. you can blame all of the past military conflicts you like; all of the money we send to israel. whatever. i think terrorism was bound to happen because america is a strong economic power, and many of these countries aren't. it's not jealousy. i think extreme conditions breed extreme behavior. that doesn't explain the billionaire osama bin laden being a terrorist leader, but i think it does explain most of his followers and his support.
posted by moz at 11:36 AM on August 20, 2002


I wasn't accusing you of being a troll, 314/, which is why I prefaced my accusation with an outrageous quote from the editorial itself. I would ask you, however, what value you find in the editorial. That is, or course, if you are posting the link for some purpose other than the incitement of cheap and easy controversy (i.e. trollage). (or is it trolldom? trollitude? hmmm.)
posted by mr_roboto at 11:39 AM on August 20, 2002


I was under the impression that there is nothing wrong with Islam. However there are many things wrong some peoples interpretations of Islam.

(Note: substitute Islam for any religion and this comment still works)
posted by Dr_Octavius at 11:42 AM on August 20, 2002


(Note: substitute Islam for any religion and this comment still works)

I don't think so:

I was under the impression that there is nothing wrong with Scientology. However there are many things wrong some people's interpretations of Scientology.

I'm only kidding, Dr_Octavius, I see your point
posted by thewittyname at 11:55 AM on August 20, 2002


On multiculturalism confused with cultural relativism, as mentioned above by moz:

Respecting an immigrant culture in certain ways is fine: their dietary and dress preferences, for example. They shouldn't be surprised if they don't find themselves wholly accepted by their adopted nation, however. Respecting such a culture in other ways, such as their ideas over the cause of rape, is rediculous. There's obviously a moral line here, recently discussed in MeFi here.

Tattoed, pierced Pakistani skinhead gangs swaggering down the streets of Northern England are as much a product of multiculturalism as the turban-wearing Sikh Mountie in the vice-regal escort at Rideau Hall.

Right, that's in good part to racism and non-acceptance by the host nation, like I mentioned in the first paragraph here. If cultural differences are preventing assimilation and/or achievement by immigrants, is it easier to try harder and achieve, or to coalesce with one's own ethnic group and live in poverty and crime? Many do achieve, but many more choose the latter, hence the rape rates discussed in the article. The host nation should work to help the immigrants assimilate, not the other way around.

Dr_Octavius: Look at the problems of our world. I think that statement only works if you substitute "no religion" for Islam.
posted by The Michael The at 11:56 AM on August 20, 2002


Great read. Europe is the colony now. Ha.

The point, mr_roboto, is that Cultural Relativists = SUCKERS, and that several (many?) aspects of theocratic Islamic cultures are wack (or, incompatible with ours) and need to be recognized and addressed, not accepted or shrugged off.

The author's point about multiculturalist being the "real racists" is that many of those who preach diversity and accuse others of racism become so accepting of cultural differences in spite of their consequences (such as the serious rape problem mentioned in the article) that they end up treating members of cultures outside their own like inferior beings incapable of change (growth, progress, etc.). So when a problem arises due to tensions between cultures, there's nothing they can do about it, it's their culture. We just have to chalk it up to diversity and cope, which is bullshit.

The somewhat alarmist reverse-colonization he mentions at the end is the only thing remotely trollish... But it is (or should be) a serious issue. The Promised Land of Western Civilization is a resource that can be abused or consumed too quickly just like any other.
posted by techgnollogic at 12:00 PM on August 20, 2002


muwhahahahahaha. Oh man. I'm supposed to take this editorial seriously with a statement like that?

I looked at Little Green Footballs, and I'm still not sure what mathowie's comment was supposed to mean. Anyone?
posted by dhoyt at 12:14 PM on August 20, 2002


The somewhat alarmist reverse-colonization he mentions at the end is the only thing remotely trollish...

How about the whole Muslims=rapists implication that pervades the piece? The thing is about as balanced and well reasoned as an essay arguing that Christians are racist murders based on the culture of the crusades that has been preserved through colonialism and exists today in Christian organizations like the KKK and the World Church of the Creator. Pointless drivel.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:22 PM on August 20, 2002


The Michael The: I think you should be able to use your religion to stand out in a host nation but that does not mean you cant conform to to social standards set forth by the community. This issue has nothing (well obviously not "nothing") to do with religion and everything to do with ethics.

People of low ethics use religion as a front for their poorly thought-out opinions.

Thewittyname: I said "any religion" not "money-hungry, evil cult". hehe
posted by Dr_Octavius at 12:24 PM on August 20, 2002


I agree entirely; if one wants to be identified by religion, more power to him/her. I was just taking a cut at religion in general as a suppressor of free thought.

For most followers of an organized religion, the religion creates their system of ethics. Gang rape is surely not part of the Islamic code of ethics, but the idea of Islam above all other religions is a part of their code of ethics, just as Christians believe in Christianity above all else, etc etc, and that creates problems of cultural conflict -- hence Israel/Palestine, America/Middle East, etc etc.
posted by The Michael The at 12:37 PM on August 20, 2002


What a load of crap. I don't believe that there are significant number of "multiculturalists" who are gang rape apologists. I think he's full of shit. However, I do believe that there were significant numbers of old-school imperialists in and out of power who believed that Indians and Muslims were genetically inferior and/or morally and/or intellectually incapable of governing themselves.

He explicitly compares multiculturalists to the old imperialists. This is just pathetic. Are the rape-is-OK multiculturalists really as powerful or extant as the old imperialists used to be? No, because they don't even really exist. Have you seen one in person? Is this really all based on the rantings of an occasional tweed-coat-crowd member?

So, look this is just a crappy column like you might hear spewed across talk radio, it's not thought. It's not worthy of this web site. I shouldn't have clicked I guess. I need to start avoiding this whole oped-filter place.
posted by Wood at 12:44 PM on August 20, 2002


I hear ya.

"We shall act in the name of God!!!"
When both sides are screaming this you would think logic would step in and slap the offending parties.
posted by Dr_Octavius at 12:44 PM on August 20, 2002


I think mathowie's post is way over the top.

muwhahahahahaha. [repeat] Is all you need.

Transparent trollery yet again from 'Media & Arts critic' Steyn. ZZZzzz...
posted by i_cola at 12:52 PM on August 20, 2002


Wow, when did Ann Coulter start using the pseudonym "Mark Steyn?"
posted by Ty Webb at 12:53 PM on August 20, 2002


Dr_Octavius: I think Logic is taking an extended vacation in the Maldives...
posted by i_cola at 12:55 PM on August 20, 2002


Er, so was mathowie simply laughing at the article because he didn't agree with it, or is there something about Little Green Football's credibility in the final quote that I should know? Like I said, I saw the site and it didn't seem that polarizing. Maybe I should read it again...
posted by dhoyt at 12:57 PM on August 20, 2002


I need to start avoiding this whole oped-filter place.

you're leaving because of one bad thread? you could always try to turn it into a good one: yah, the rape thing is contrived. so ignore it -- there's better topics to discuss (like the notion that america someone "asked" for the wtc hijackings).
posted by moz at 12:58 PM on August 20, 2002


Maybe Steyn's been reading this article in The Australian.

Still... 20 years of Muslim guys gang-raping enough white girls that the French have a term for it sounds like a pretty serious problem to me.

If you'd like to hit us up with some massive underground KKK lynching epidemic factoids, mr_roboto, then go for it. You see, the difference is in the statistics... not that we have a lot of hard stats to work with, either.
posted by techgnollogic at 1:12 PM on August 20, 2002


I'm still not sure what mathowie's comment was supposed to mean. Anyone?


That if you disagree strongly with another's opinion, then everything that person says must be questionable by default?
posted by HTuttle at 1:18 PM on August 20, 2002


HTuttle, you should question everything that person says. By question I don't mean dismiss out-of-hand, but truly examine their points. Either you'll find rational evidence for or against them, and with that evidence, you can alter your beliefs accordingly, rather than clinging to your pre-notioned beliefs.
posted by The Michael The at 1:29 PM on August 20, 2002


That if you disagree strongly with another's opinion, then everything that person says must be questionable by default?

Yes, I get that, but is there something about Little Green Footballs that Mathowie assumed we all knew? I.e., that it's a very conservative site, or a very liberal site? I've been reading Metafilter since its first month, and I can't say I remember any mentions of it in the past, good or bad. Is it disreputable, is it run by wackos, etc.

(I guess I could just email Mathowie, but i was hoping he would expand his opinion on Little Green Footballs here on the site)
posted by dhoyt at 1:33 PM on August 20, 2002


america does a lot of things beyond its borders. you can blame all of the past military conflicts you like; all of the money we send to israel. whatever. i think terrorism was bound to happen because america is a strong economic power, and many of these countries aren't.

there's better topics to discuss (like the notion that america someone "asked" for the wtc hijackings).


I almost agree with the first comment. America is bound to be a target since we are the biggest boy on the block. This has been a problem for every dominate civilization all through history. Following the historical pattern, America became powerful by trodding on the rights and exploiting the resources of other weaker nations. The weaker nations then resent not only America's power but the means by which America gained power. That is the problem.

i think extreme conditions breed extreme behavior.
The extreme conditions some people live in were arranged for America's economic benefit. That is the problem.

sorry for derailing, but I know nothing of Muslim gang-rapists or Danish multiculturalists. I guess I'm not that worldly after all.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:34 PM on August 20, 2002


little green footballs either.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:36 PM on August 20, 2002


my comment was merely to poke fun at the author of the original article using LGF as a source and describing it in those terms.

I found the description of LGF in such nice terms to be laughable. Personally I find the site grinds an ax harder than free republic on its pet issues, and I wouldn't call it delightful or fascinating.

(more info, see here)
posted by mathowie at 1:58 PM on August 20, 2002


Well gee, I've always been under the impression that multiculturalism had something a bit more to do with recognizing that they're actually is a world of art and literature worth reading outside of Europe and the United States. (In addition to recognizing that much of the Greek philosophy hailed as the origins of Western democracy comes to us filtered through Islamic philosophers.) If anything, I've found the Conservatives tend to play it both ways. If we argue for reading Rumi along with Chaucer or exhibiting Hokusai along with Degas (who was inspired by imported Japanese prints) we are criticized for denying the supremacy of Western culture, but when we argued that the Taliban were a bunch of misogynist thugs, then we are just cultural imperialists. (Prior to 9/11 Islamic fundamentalist regimes were the ultraconservative poster children for asserting religious values in public policy.)

Most true advocates of multiculturalism are quite aware that other cultures have warts. The major difference is that we don't believe that invading and assimilating is the best approach to advancing civil rights in other cultures.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:03 PM on August 20, 2002


Prior to 9/11 Islamic fundamentalist regimes were the ultraconservative poster children for asserting religious values in public policy.

They were? I didn't know that. Could you please point us to an example?
posted by timeistight at 2:23 PM on August 20, 2002


I don't have a link off hand, but just about every other week some "Christian nation" advocate cited the extremely low crime rate in countries such as Saudi Arabia as evidence that the religious public policy enhanced morality.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:28 PM on August 20, 2002


Before September 11th, Little Green Footballs was a mildly political, middle-left personal weblog with frequent links about biking, web design and GWBush foibles. Since September 11th, the site has become what is generally referred to as a 'warblog' or 'neo-con' blog. (the terms annoy me)

Charles Johnson, who runs the site, has a propensity for linking to various anti-American, Zionist conspiracy and generally hateful stories appearing in the Arab press and Islamic Media. While I don't see Charles as particularly racist, many of those who post on his site do cross the line. However, considering that most of the links on the site are to actual articles, often in state-sponsored publications, I think it's dangerous to offhandedly dismiss the site. A lot of what he links to is ugly, but that's the world we're living in.

(disclaimer: I read LGF regularly and have been since mid-2001. I have also posted to the site a few times.)
posted by joemaller at 2:28 PM on August 20, 2002


Joe, I have had the same response as you to the site, except now I no longer read the comments. There is no balance to the site, which is OK, why should a personal weblog have to have a balance, anyway; however the comments section is really over the top and a haven for hate-mongers (really quite ironic, as they share many of the same qualities they purport to rail against). While you may be right about the site's proprieter (he seems to me to be woefully misinformed on some issues, but very clear and bright on others) you do have to wonder what it is about that site that seems to attact the 'lowest of the low' in the comments section. Overall it is a very well designed site and well written, but yes, as Matthowie mentions, there is a huge axe to grind. Take it with a grain of salt and skip the comments section if you want my advice.
posted by cell divide at 2:51 PM on August 20, 2002


Cultural Relativists = SUCKERS

What a ridiculous thing to say.

many of those who preach diversity and accuse others of racism become so accepting of cultural differences in spite of their consequences...that they end up treating members of cultures outside their own like inferior beings incapable of change

Well, that's a little better. But it still feels like a scarecrow argument. It was liberal feminists who raised the alarm about the Taliban in the U.S. before anyone else, remember. I don't recall many folks being a "SUCKER" about the way Wahabist thugs treated women.

Hey, 314/, you didn't answer mr_roboto's question. What value did you find in this article? I'm curious what it was, if not the inflammatory element, that made you think it was worth posting.
posted by mediareport at 3:14 PM on August 20, 2002


I really liked Little Green Footballs before September 11, but I don't visit it that often anymore because I always know what I'm going to get. It's the predictability I'm avoiding more than the political orientation; by contrast, I often read USS Clueless, even though I don't agree with much of the author's politics, because he writes intelligently about a variety of topics I'm interested in.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:16 PM on August 20, 2002


Of course 314/'s post is a troll. The question about whether multiculturalists are "the real racists" places an inflammatory spin on an inflammatory article. This post is part of fifteen years of constant attacks on multiculturalism, and it drags out all of the same battered straw men who have been dragged out in various forms hundreds of times before.

In spite of all of this, multiculturalism remains a viable, enriching approach that most of mainstream America has embraced to some degree. Even President Bush's response to the 9/11 attacks was in many clear ways shaped by multiculturalist views. Absent multiculturalism, he would have demonized Islam as the cause of the attacks. (And, where would that have gotten us?)
posted by smrtsch at 3:48 PM on August 20, 2002


Christ on a bike. Mark Steyn, a hack considered no longer credible enough to write for Conrad Black's British dailies, after being humiliated too many times in Private Eye's 'Hackwatch', cites the rabble-rousing hate-site that is Little Green Fuckwits with glowing praise. All we need now is for the moon to turn red and the seventh seal to be broken.
posted by riviera at 4:04 PM on August 20, 2002


Seventh Seal: *honk*
posted by i_cola at 4:09 PM on August 20, 2002


The concept of the "troll" has to go. If you post something that most people don't agree with, then you are a troll. If you respond to a truly hateful post, then you are the kind of sucker who "feeds the trolls." Real bigotry gets let off the hook, and unpopular opinions get lumped in with it.

This is the only place I've read about these gang rapes in Sydney, and the appalling "what can we do to make them hate us less?" nonsense that followed in the Australian media. To me, that made it worthwhile, even if the writer likes a website where the opinions expressed are different from those here.
posted by transona5 at 4:15 PM on August 20, 2002


Metafilter: Don't Agree With Me? Troll.
posted by owillis at 4:28 PM on August 20, 2002


I have no problem with opinions that are different from mine. I have a problem with completely illogical leaps, insulting strawman arguments and oversimplified, inflammatory formulations of complex questions. Steyner's piece does all three. Trolling.
posted by mediareport at 4:41 PM on August 20, 2002


Yeah, but since the article touches on a piece of news most of us (I think) haven't heard, it's notable for reasons other than the slant of the author. To suggest, as smrtsch did, that 314\'s post (as opposed to the column itself) is a troll is completely baseless.
posted by transona5 at 4:52 PM on August 20, 2002


transona5, Metafilter discussed the news from Australia here.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:10 PM on August 20, 2002


Ah, thanks, mr_roboto. I guess I just missed it the first time. The media reaction part was new, though.
posted by transona5 at 5:18 PM on August 20, 2002


I agree, transona5, that no one knows if the post was a troll on 314/'s part. But since there are obviously better, more honest ways to discuss the issues Steyner raised, why not find and post *those* instead of giving the troll the wider attention s/he so obviously craves? I'd love to hear 314/'s rationale.

The same could be asked of the person who posted that ridiculously inflammatory "nation of monsters" rant from the Canadian, btw.
posted by mediareport at 5:35 PM on August 20, 2002


Well here's some quotes in the linked article from other sources (ie, not Steyn or LGF):
the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that 65% of the country's rapes were committed by "non-Western" immigrants -- a category which, in Norway, is almost wholly Muslim. OK, pinch of salt, it could be an extreme right wing paper, and the reference is too vague to check.

representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an organization which objected, on the grounds of "ethnic and religious stereotyping," to the prosecution of two men in Chicago for the "honour killing" of their female cousin.. googling around finds no corroboration, unless someone else has it. Honour killings and persecution of sexual minorities are common in many countries. However, in some places the death sentence can be expected - for being gay.

For that reason alone, I have illusions about Islam's growth as a force to challenge our recently won, hard fought rights in the UK & other western countries.

I am quite fearful at times: my families, neighbours, colleagues and clients rage is bad enough: state sanctioned lethal punishment for mporal 'crimes' I am not looking forward to with relish.


Theres a relating of cultures for you.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:09 PM on August 20, 2002


What does "tournantes" really mean? Is it a race-specific term? From what I can tell (and if someone from France or who is intimately familiar with French slang can correct me, I'd appreciate it), it literally means "revolving", and as slang, is merely a race-neutral synonym for "viol collectif", or gang-rape.

References:

France5.fr: Une "tournante", c'est un viol collectif. Un "jeune" entraîne sa copine dans une cave et en fait "profiter" toute sa bande. On les appelle "tournantes", mais les jeunes des cités les appellent plus volontiers "plans pétasses". "A 'tournante' is a gang-rape. A 'youth' leads his girlfriend into a cellar and his entire band makes a 'profit'. It is called 'tournantes', but the young people of the cities prefer to call it 'plans pétasses.'" This article also cites several instances of "tournantes" over the last five years, including the mention of "Maghrébins" (people of North African descent) involved in one incident (but does not mention race in any of the other incidents cited).

Le Monde: Dans le vocabulaire des garçons, c'est l'occasion de "tirer un coup" à plusieurs avec une "salope" qui, selon eux, l'avait bien cherché. Pour les filles, c'est un traumatisme qui se vit dans la honte et la solitude... Chez les jeunes des cités, on appelle ça une "tournante". La justice, elle, parle de "viols en réunion". "In the vocabulary of the boys, it is a chance for several of them 'to strike a blow' with a 'bitch' who, according to them, was asking for it. For the girls, it is a trauma which is lived in shame and loneliness... Among the young people of the cities, they call that a 'tournante'. The law speaks of 'viols en réunion'."

I suppose you could liberally translate "faire profiter" and "tirer un coup" as "score" (e.g. "Dude, I got this skank totally plastered and brought her back to the frat, and after she passed out, I totally scored!"), but I really don't know French that well. All I'm working with here is Google and Babelfish.

Here's something... interesting? Frightening? Predictable? Try this Google search - when I did it, at least three of the first ten results were "white-pride" (i.e. separatist/supremacist) sites.

Possibly just as disturbing: one of the top 10 results is for a page about examples of juggling in the movies.

More to the point -- this sort of thinking is not new. Everyone needs a frightening Other, don't they?

(No, not really...)
posted by skoosh at 9:04 PM on August 20, 2002


Got any eights? No? Go fish.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:10 PM on August 20, 2002


I don't understand the eager leaps to trollcusation. If we limited ourselves to persual and discourse only with those who are well-reasoned, profound, and thoughtful, we would miss 98% of what hits the world-at-large's ears. Or eyes. And the 98% --sadly-- drives much of what occurs.

Demagoguery is the pilot light for many of the world's conflagrations. Doesn't hurt to keep an eye on it once in a while. We could all sit around agreeing, that would be fun, huh?
posted by umberto at 9:21 PM on August 20, 2002


Everyone needs a frightening Other, don't they?

Yep. All of us, on some level, want to be gang-raped by men who call us "[whatever your nationality] pigs" so that we can reinforce our stereotypes of other cultures as barbaric.

All right, that was a bit obnoxious, but enough cultural relativists (hate that term, I feel like a Reagan-era pundit spouting about "secular humanists") have made enough remarks about this event to the effect that we need to examine our cultural prejudices, that an opinion like Steyn's has a lot of merit.
posted by transona5 at 10:06 PM on August 20, 2002


For those still playing along, the problem with Little Green Footballs is that Charles thinks entire countries should be held responsible for, and maintain control over, the actions of crazy individuals in their midst while he shouldn't be held responsible for, or be expected to maintain control over, the actions of crazy individuals who visit his site, even though that's at least a few orders of magnitude easier to accomplish.
posted by anildash at 10:57 PM on August 20, 2002


umberto: I guess I'm responsible for the debate on trolls and troll-calling taking place in this thread, so I should try to justify myself. The essay linked to by 314/ is basically a piece of racist vitriol. It implies that Muslim men in general take great joy in raping "our" women (skoosh's link on lynching above is totally appropriate in reference to this) and states outright that Europe is being "colonized" by Muslims. Even if I were to admit that the author made some interesting or insightful points alongside this garbage, the general tone of the essay is such that it can only draw fire: it is no basis for an intelligent discussion, it is simply a magnet for controversy. It fits the description "troll" perfectly, and I made a comment to that effect. That doesn't mean that our discussion has to end--it's not like I called 314/ a Nazi or something--I was just calling a troll a troll.

transona5: "...an opinion like Steyn's has a lot of merit."

How so? Could you link to some of the comments in the Australian press that have disturbed you? Steyn's article has one quote (the context of which he fails to describe or examine) that he blows up into a strawman. Hell, you can see the exaggeration right there on the page: "'Perhaps it's time to take a good hard look at...racism by exclusion...'" becomes "Gang rape as a legitimate expression of the campaign for social justice...." It's not even well executed demagoguery! There ain't nothing there, transona.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:02 PM on August 20, 2002


The example Steyn cites is some crazy letter writer. But there are a number of other responses from allegedly reasonable people that come close to trivializing the attacks.
posted by transona5 at 11:19 PM on August 20, 2002


Although I'm possibly adding little to the thread by doing it, I'd like to join The Michael The and others in noting that this

moz : 'another term for multiculturalism... is cultural relativism'

is patently untrue.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:29 AM on August 21, 2002


I don't understand the eager leaps to trollcusation. If we limited ourselves to persual and discourse only with those who are well-reasoned, profound, and thoughtful, we would miss 98% of what hits the world-at-large's ears. Or eyes. And the 98% --sadly-- drives much of what occurs.

98% of public discourse is shit so let's make Metafilter shit. Good plan!
posted by Summer at 1:42 AM on August 21, 2002


There was a well publicized murder trial here in Sweden a while ago. A Kurdish woman was killed by her father because she wanted to marry a local Swedish man. It was against her family's "honour" to date someone from outside her culture.
ref

I would argue that arranged marriages is one aspect of foreign cultures that have no place in Western society. If you move to a Western country, you should have to understand that not all of your cultural institutions are welcome. The same is true for Westerners moving to foreign countries. I had a friend who was working in Saudi Arabia and was arrested for driving his car with a female passenger (also European) who was not his wife.
posted by alrob at 2:09 AM on August 21, 2002


Arranged marriages are fine. Forcing somebody to marry against their will isn't. The two are not the same.
posted by salmacis at 3:10 AM on August 21, 2002


Western culture gave us the democracy and freedoms that we enjoy, like poking each other in the eye via internet.

Assimilation to a different culture is not only mandatory and respectful, but absolutely necessary for immigrants.

Socialism, multi-culti relative nonsense and other societial diseases should be put in substance abuse centers, because prison time is far too strict. "Treat the disease, don't punish the addict". Right?

Yeah, right.
posted by hama7 at 7:06 AM on August 21, 2002


anildash: the problem with Little Green Footballs is that Charles thinks entire countries should be held responsible for, and maintain control over, the actions of crazy individuals in their midst while he shouldn't be held responsible for, or be expected to maintain control over, the actions of crazy individuals who visit his site, even though that's at least a few orders of magnitude easier to accomplish.

And the Little Green Football goes 'ssssssss...' and becomes flat. Zing!
posted by mediareport at 7:07 AM on August 21, 2002


Newsflash for Dumbfounded Dipshit Socialist countries (US included):

Step 1. Make your immigration policies strict and mandatory, with a focus on knowledge of local language, customs, and culture. Mandatory English proficiency test.

(Case in point: Japan. Case in stricter point: Korea.)

Step 2. Punish visa overstays and illegals frequently and with alacrity, and generous penalty fines and imprisonment.

(Imprison offenders with more than one violation)

Step 3. Fervently screen and profile all applicants, with respect to national security and individual merit.

Step 4. Thank me later.
posted by hama7 at 7:48 AM on August 21, 2002


anildash: the problem with Little Green Footballs is that Charles thinks entire countries should be held responsible for, and maintain control over, the actions of crazy individuals in their midst while he shouldn't be held responsible for, or be expected to maintain control over, the actions of crazy individuals who visit his site, even though that's at least a few orders of magnitude easier to accomplish.

And the Little Green Football goes 'ssssssss...' and becomes flat. Zing!


Crazy Action #1: Flying a loaded plane into a skyscraper

Crazy Action #2: Posting a heated remark at someone's blog

Percentage of people who think it's clever to claim some sort of equivalence between these two acts: Depressingly higher than 0%
posted by boaz at 8:01 AM on August 21, 2002


Mandatory English proficiency test.

(or whatever language applies to the intended country of immigration)
posted by hama7 at 8:11 AM on August 21, 2002


lthough I'm possibly adding little to the thread by doing it, I'd like to join The Michael The and others in noting that this

moz : 'another term for multiculturalism... is cultural relativism'

is patently untrue.


stavros, what i'd actually said was "another term for multiculturalism, as written in this article, is cultural relativism." the definition of multiculturalism is quite clear, but its use in the article connotates something else: beyond interest, the article took the word to imply acceptance of cultural values. for example, Monroe Reimers is quoted as saying "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it." according to the definition of relativism, i think it's fair to say that what reimers has called multicultural was in fact relativistic.
posted by moz at 8:21 AM on August 21, 2002


Socialism, multi-culti relative nonsense and other societial diseases should be put in substance abuse centers, because prison time is far too strict.

Did you fail the 'subtlety' class at Troll School? Or did you just not bother attending, because it sounded too difficult for your feeble capacities?
posted by riviera at 8:23 AM on August 21, 2002


98% of public discourse is shit so let's make Metafilter shit. Good plan!

OK, let's retry that. 98% of almost everything is shit, so naturally, 98% of discourse is completely useless, baseless, stuff that doesn't matter and has no impact on anyone.

But of that remaining 2%, 98% is also shit: but impactful shit. If you choose to ignore it you will wander through life blinking widely and wondering why the hell everyone doesn't have your ivory tower view.

If you want to tallk about how to deal with things public, you have to consider things that affect the public, atrocious to you personally though they may be. If 98 people out of a hundred agree that you are an elitist asswipe and should be thrown onto a large fiery haystack for your presumption, talking only to --and about-- the 2% of the enlightened will not keep you out of the burn unit. Or under the thumb of the type of administration we have now, to more sharply draw the metaphor. Ignore the hoi-polloi at your own risk.

I'm not saying you're an elitist asswipe, by the way. *I* am one, but one who likes to know what the peons are jawing about.
posted by umberto at 12:23 PM on August 21, 2002


Hey, transona5, I read the middle of your "other responses that come close to trivializing the attacks". Nothing in there even comes close to trivializing the attacks. You're just another one of the people attacking the mythical left, your paranoid strawman. I dare you to take a quote from that article that supports your statement that it "trivializes the attacks".

For those of you playing along at home, the article implicitly assumes that the gang-rape of a woman by a gang of men is horrific whatever the ethnicities. It then goes on to discuss how people talk about the race of the rapists. It says a number of things that I'd probably agree with, including the idea that black (or brownish)-on-white rape is perceived to be a larger portion of rapes (each one horrible) than it really is. On the other hand it flirts with the truly stupid idea suggested by a few of my fellow liberals that mentioning the race of wanted criminals is a bad idea.

It no where trivializes the crime in question. Transona, I don't have enough faith in your reading comprehension to bother to follow your other links.
posted by Wood at 12:52 PM on August 21, 2002


If you want to tallk about how to deal with things public, you have to consider things that affect the public, atrocious to you personally though they may be

But Umberto, it's not like Metafilter is the only thing people read. I'm quite aware of articles such as the above and the reason I object to them on Metafilter (especially when they're presented in a trollish way) is because they don't produce any worthwhile discussion, unless they're debated in a "who would write this kind of shit?" kind of way. And even then the conversation doesn't progress beyond "who would write this shit?".
posted by Summer at 1:28 PM on August 21, 2002


By putting some crackpots making death threats more or less on a par with these rapes, as it does in the conclusion, it does indeed trivialize the attacks. It also characterizes any reporting of these incidents as "the classic white racist myth that "their" women will be snatched and despoiled by black men."
posted by transona5 at 2:58 PM on August 21, 2002


From the Guardian article that transona5 cited earlier:

The government's Bureau of Crime Statistics has stated that sexual assaults and other crimes within Sydney's Lebanese community are no higher than in the rest of the city.

Contrary to reports of 50 recent gang rapes mentioned by Commissioner Ryan, police in Bankstown - the multicultural area which has been the focus of most concern - said there had been eight group sexual assaults between August 2000 and February this year, and none since. Bankstown has a lower rate of sexual assault than the Sydney and NSW average. Gang rapes are most common in rural, predominantly white, areas of the state.


This is not to say that gang-rape is no big deal; I'd like to go out on a limb and say that it's really, really bad. Unfortunately, it does happen. It happens even where there are no Lebanese men!

It's not the reporting of these incidents, but the way they are reported and the way that they are received by the public, that is the problem. If it was simply protecting women from gang-rape that was the issue, then where are the calls to keep rural white NSW males out of Sydney? The outrage stems from racism, and specifically from a certain racial paranoia that has been around since at least the 19th century, and perhaps even earlier (cf. Othello, Act I).
posted by skoosh at 3:02 AM on August 22, 2002


« Older Coca-Cola Accused of Using Death Squads to Target ...  |  Nasa plans to read the minds o... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments