Thursday, June 2, 2011

Racism Left/Right and Double Standards

I observe the US media a lot. My favourite is Fox News for the entertainment value. If you turn over to watch Fox News you will not be waiting long before you hear a pundit, accuse the Democrats, the left or a fellow American media outlet of showing double standards. For example, Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly never stop saying things like "If Bush had of done that" or "if a Republican had said that" or "could you imagine if a white guy were to hold a banner like that". As there is currently a black man in the Oval Office, the double standard claim inevitable revolves around the issue of race and how when it comes to political commentry, different standard appear to apply. I got to thinking about this and have come to the following conclusions.

There are double standards but the truth is, it is kind of natural. I am Irish. When I have a few pints on me I tend to sing songs about the nasty English and all of that. Maybe I shouldn't but truthfully, I don't intend on stopping any time soon. On the other hand, If a British person were to sing a song which positively portrayed how they occupied the Irish for centuries it would cause an almighty uproar. So what's the difference? Is this not double standards? Perhaps but the difference is the power relationship between the two peoples is different. One is viewed as the oppressed, another as the oppressor therefor it is acceptable for one side to enjoy certain rights to complain or sing songs when it suits. I suppose this is one of the reasons why the Middle East debate is so thorny. Both sides claim to be the victim and nobody is quite sure who holds the moral high ground and the complaining rights that come with it.

The fairly mild and occasional racism of the Tea Party in the US is always likely to draw fire

Another more stark example of the double standards would be as follows. What if a prominent German person were heard to say " I don't like Jews" or a well known Jewish person was believed to have said " I don't like Germans". Both individuals are saying the same thing. But obviously the former statement would be met with much more scorn because of the historical relationship between Jews and Germans. The same is true of Black and White in South Africa and the United States, Bosnian and Serb, Sunni and Shia. There are countless examples from all over the world where this double standard applies. It even applies with gender. Females are perceived as the persecuted gender. If for example a female politician were to make a derogatory remark about the ability of men to focus on certain issues, not much thought would be made of it. But if a male politician claimed that women cannot be trusted with the big decisions for biological reasons, mayhem would follow. That is just the way of things folks. It isn't going to change any time soon and I would suggest that we, and the good people at Fox News just get on with things.

However (there is always a however), one area where the double standards should not be tolerated is within the traditional left right political divide. The boys and girls at Fox News are perfectly correct on this one. It seems to be much more tolerable for a left wing person to make extreme comments than a right winger. Or perhaps the most blatant double standard comes with violence. We see violent left wing riots all the time, usually anti capitalist riots. On the other hand right wing violence is confined to a very small number of hate groups whose actions are universally condemned. But in terms of speech, lefties get away with, "we need a revolution" and the Taoiseach/President "is a F*#king C#*t". If a conservative person were to use similar language they would immediately be dragged away to the right wing nut house.

Why does this double standard exist with right and left. I have a theory, it is because just like the Blacks, Irish, Jews, Bosnians, Shia and every other victim group in the world, those on the far left think that they are the persecuted ones. They think that the left represent the victims of the political spectrum and that therefor a different standard must apply to them. A crucial aspect to this fraud is denial of the horrors of communism. You can go to any demonstration in Dublin, and most European capitals I suspect and it would be perfectly normal to see people waving the hammer and sickle. On the other hand people waving swastikas would rightly be beaten off the streets. The far left have never faced up to the historical fact that Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot all give Hitler a run for his money in terms of blood spilt. The left do not hold any moral high ground and should not get any special treatment. In the US, hard core leftists are confronted when they go on radical rants. In Europe it should be the same.


Paul said...

'The far left have never faced up to the historical fact that Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot all give Hitler a run for his money in terms of blood spilt.'

Vastly incorrect they were about five times deadlier. Difference was Hitler (whose regime was Socialist) was also profoundly racist, hence why they singled out groups such as the Jews and Roma.

On the other hand the communists were seeking to destroy entire societies and re-mould them not just different ethnic and religious groups.

thesystemworks said...

Communism is an equal opportunities killer.

thesystemworks said...

One double standard that always drove me up the wall was in relation to Pinochet and, say, Fidel Castro.

The former became a hate figure on the left and is placed in their history books alongside Hitler and the like. All the while Castro is an icon of coolness and all thats good. This is despite the fact that Castro has killed far more people, and unlike Pinochet he never drew up a democratic constitution and voluntarily stepped down from power.

Ted Leddy said...


I read somewhere that apparently no communist movement has ever been guilty of genocide, because that is a specific crime against an ethnic group where as Mao and Pol Pot committed mass murder against their own (usually aimed at a class) which has to be redifined as a crime against humanity. I believe this has caused difficulty regarding the legal responsabilities of the great powers to intervene in the face of genocide. Although I think you could make a good case for Stalin committing genocide against the Ukranians or Moldovans.

Ted Leddy said...


Excellent example. Pinochet and Castro are both monsters. But the left adore Castro. They are doing what they have been accusing America of for decades. They (the left) are supporting a brutal dictator because they sympathise with his ideology.

Paul said...

There's a reason for all of this Ted, the left are stupid and dogmatic it really is that simple I'm afraid. There's a reason why they often tend to predominate in social science departments at mediocre universities.