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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Differential outrage

"Advice to writers: Sometimes you just have to stop writing. Even before you begin." - Stanislaw J. Lec


The reaction to Everybody Draw Mohammed Day is to label it a "thinly veiled excercises in xenophobia and racism", and to claim that:

By violating objects and ideas that are held sacred by marginalized populations with an eye to upholding your own privileged hegemony you are doing harm. You are doing harm by normalizing and celebrating violence (for the violation of the sacred is a form of violence) against an entire population of people. You are doing harm by courting a negative reaction from this population that will then add to the fire that caricatures Muslims as reactive and unreasonable. You are doing harm by using your position of privilege to publicly deride an already marginalized population.

Since this issue is framed not as being about blasphemy or free speech, but "about privilege, racism and xenophobia", it is no wonder there is a reaction totally blown out of proportion to the imaginary harm caused.

Meanwhile, real examples of real harm (where lives are ruined, or threatened to be ruined) get bland "I'm sorry"-s and "we [should] agree to disagree". Reactions that, if applied to cases where "privilege, racism and xenophobia" are seen to apply (in lieu of the usual frothy tirades), would get a reaction equally (if not more) scathing as the original article cited.

It is indeed appropriate to see this coming from the Barnyard Chorus. Truly, all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

(Going back to the original issue, the irony, as one commenter pointed out?

for an article which disparages the act of perpetuating sterotypes, it is itself also guilty of characterizing Muslims as disenfranchised minorities, and not only that, miniorities who will necessarily react violently in response... criticising the act as a form of western imperialism meant to incite violence from minorities is like saying that women who wear skimpy clothing and are sexually molested are in the wrong for being "incendiary")
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