Friday, October 15, 2010

Charity (...and compassion, tolerance, etc.) begins and stays at home

Why do we get the sense that these are the same people that stood in line for two hours to see The Laramie Project?

Psychologist Phyllis Chesler recently cited a particularly blatant example of this double standard: Fred Gottheil, a professor of economics at the University of Illinois, tracked down 675 academics who had signed a statement-petition calling for a boycott of Israel as an “apartheid regime.” He asked them also to sign a statement-petition opposing the abuse of women in the Middle East, including “honor-killing, wife-beating, female genital mutilation,” as well as the systematic “discrimination against women, gays and lesbians in the Middle East.” The result of this experiment: Ninety-five percent of those who signed the petition censuring Israel “did not sign a statement concerning discrimination against women and gays and lesbians in the Middle East.”

We'll pick up later on this half-baked theme but it would appear that nativism and xenophobia are alive and well in the much more learned ranks of society in the good ol' US of A.

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