[Marxism] If Charlie is racist, then so am I by Zineb el- Rhazoui

Charles Faulkner lacenaire at comcast.net
Fri Jan 16 14:19:39 MST 2015

> i am quite willing to accept that there is a difference between racist art employed by a racist and racist art employed by an an anti-racist but both are offences if only of different degree.< 

"Sure, but this is affirming the consequent." 

i am confused here. what consequent am i affirming? as i alluded the art can be determined to be racist apart from any adjective you want to employ with the artist. 

"The question is determining 
whether products of an anti-racist magazine, that are deployed to 
anti-racist ends, and which seemingly successfully carry out this 
purpose, can be said to be racist in the first place. Or rather, at this 
point we need a bit of a theory of racist art: is it a formal or a 
material issue? Is it contextual or it inheres to particular features no 
matter how they are utilised? My own view on these matters is 
consequentialist: if something tends to disarticulate and combat racism, 
it is not racist; if it does the opposite, it is racist." 

how would you say that the images in question combat racism? please don't say that it was done by anti-racists because you seem to be saying that if you determined a priori that these guys are a-okay, that they can do no wrong. for me the proof was in the images. 

> religion is simply a fact. it goes well beyond simple accusations of oppression. we atheists on the left need to get over ourselves with our pious superiority. we are the minority. denigrating religion with offensive caricatures of its believers is a doomed project. if we want to claim moral superiority over religious hierarchy, we must demonstrate respect for all people and condemn goofy ethnic images.< 

"Capitalism is simply a fact. [...] We communists on the left need to get 
over ourselves with our pious superiority. We are the minority. 
Denigrating capitalism with offensive caricatures of the bourgeoisie is 
a doomed project. Etc. Religion is a fact, just like capitalism and 
alienation and class society are facts. A fact we must endeavour to get 
rid of." 

yea, that's cute but you conveniently left out my 2nd sentence. capitalism and religion are very different facts. religion is intertwined with how most people see themselves as persons and collectively that is distinct from capitalism. indeed, we recently have seen some cracks in a unity of purpose between capitalists and religious leaders. one can easily imagine a people throwing off capitalism and clinging to their religion. (oops! we don't have to imagine!) 

just as you won't convince people of the efficacy of socialism (or what have you) by mocking and insulting them you won't convince them of the errors in religion ... only more so. 

> i haven't gone back to her text yet but she also uses techniques of distraction. one such, her claim of being married to a black man. it reminds me somewhat of jarheads i knew who married locals, made claims of purity of racial thought with proof in their marriage and then went on to express some of the most unlightened racist garbage i've heard in my life. and i've dealt with klan dialogue! i'm not saying she's being racist herself but maybe, just maybe, her defence of charlie hebdo, at a time that it was being criticized for it's racism, is little more than locating the butter on bread.< 

"Thing is, at this point those people who have made up their mind that 
this is about racism are probably not going to change it. But I don't 
see those things as attempts to distract, I see those things as attempts 
to place matters in context and to try to call attention and explain to 
people that maybe there is something else going on than their default 
assumptions. I get the feeling that for some people making arguments of 
why something isn't racist seems to be taken as a proof of racism 
itself... Let's put it this way: is there any utterance that could be 
made by her in the article that might change your mind? Or is it all 
going to be read as siding with oppression, defending her material 
interest and distracting or obfuscating? The least one can do is assume 
good faith, in my opinion." 

but don't you see that the same open mindedness could be extended to cyran? oh, but he's someone with a grudge. forget him. 

and i am not discounting her at all. she makes a case that shows how complex the problem is. i thought i acknowledged that. and i am grateful to you for sharing it because it addressed my earliest questions to the group. however, could she say anything that would erase the images and time? how could she? she doesn't even address their objectionable content. rather she paints a different picture of the people involved. i don't think that's good enough. as you've said context is important. we can put her comments in context too. 

> who would you say is doing this?< 

"I'd say your paragraph regarding how religion is a fact and we have to 
live with it (like people have said we have to live with rain and taxes 
and slavery and illiteracy) counts as what I'd consider reflexively 
defending religion." 

ah, well. i tried comrade. i'm sorry i can't jump on board the charlie hebdo campaign with you. you know, being a stooge for religion and all. 

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