Discrimination (anybody?)

Continuing the discussion from The Private Citizen 96: Discrimination, Enshrined in Law:

(This topic triggered a lot of internal dialogs in my head, so I’m going ahead and fork the conversation)

Again, I’m trying to understand what you are trying to say, and here’s my attempt, please correct:

  1. The Misconception (to be defined later) serves the cause of the people who want to deny or diminish the holocaust (sorry for the re-phrasing, but this is to help me understand).
  2. “surely that would not happen to me”: the slippery slope you see which will lead people who have The Misconception to become full-fledged Oppressors/Holocaust deniers. Implying here that everyone has his own little Nazi hidden inside, and just needs the correct trigger to manifest. (I will need to return to this topic later, but I will avoid further complicating a complicated topic).

So, what is this Misconception?

In another place, you say that it doesn’t matter what is the reason (or claimed reason) behind, it doesn’t matter for the one suffering it. (I guess to would all agree on that).

But your interjection seems to me exactly to argue about the reason, that it was not due to religion, but something else: race? ethnicity? genetics?

And here comes what I see as un important point: my understanding of what Fab was trying to say, is that: whatever the claimed reason is, it was made up, it’s a justification for an end. And I would tend to agree: it’s a power grab, you need a common enemy, you create one, and then you build “the science” to support it.

Maybe this is not completely correct, maybe there are other factors, and here also comes another important point: Do you believe that this is a “made-up” cause, or do you believe that there’s something else behind? Are somehow of the opinion that Jews are especially different and that’s why they are being specifically targeted? Is there a hidden evil plan to deny them a special role in the scheme of things? Or was it just coincidental that it was them and not some other group?

Now comes my personal point that I want to raise: I sometimes get the feeling that people who are discriminated against, start in someway to buy into the thinking that they are actually different, and by this in a way justify the discrimination!

Again to my reading of what Fab was saying, which I agree with: We are all same, although of some differences, but we are essentially the same, and the discrimination is not justified.

What do you think?

I think that on you point of people buying into their being discriminated is largely based in a method of standing out in a crowd. I’ll bring up an extreme example.

Overly flamboyant gay men/boys (especially young teens). The actions that they take up are not genetic, they aren’t based in a location, those actions are learned and proudly displayed. Mind you I’m not speaking on being a homosexual, but the actions that flamboyant homosexuals display. By standing out, they can lay claim to being different. An easier way to stand out is to be called out by others, regardless of whether they actually are called out. It is easier than doing something worthy of being lifted up.

This is a double edged sword. In small doses, it can get a person what they like and want, attention. But if pushed too far, they can actually start to be the target of true discrimination.

Beyond that overly simplified example of self induced discrimination, I have to agree that there is currently a major political push to create enemies among the weeds. Heck, a person coughing can be the call of the COVID boogie man coming to get you. There is power in fear and people like to discriminate against what they fear.

For me, it is Mac OS developers. I hate them, lol. Those Linux guys are way better.

This is a different aspect, that wasn’t what I had in mind.

To give a different example, for BLM people, to say all lives matter was taken as somehow diminishing any injustice that they feel. Although it might be said not to deny any suffering black people got, but to confirm that all people should be treated equally.

So although asking not be discriminated against, but at the same time insisting on distancing themselves from “all”.

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Thanks for opening this thread, and sorry for disappearing (had personal time constraints. This will probably keep happening, maybe I will try to warn in advance next time).

I will answer some stuff now, but some points require some longer explanations (I will list some and try to continue another day).

More or less…
Not necessarily everyone and not necessarily buying completely into the propoganda, but some people would think:
“But they only killed people who believed in X, which is stupid anyways. That’s not relevant to enlightened people like me - why should I openly oppose this?”

The relevant historical point to emphasize here (because of my point above) is which people were persecuted (what I called on the previous post the “Nature” of the persecution as opposed to the “Reason” for it - maybe that terminology was not clear enough).
And the fact of the matter is that many of the people who were concentrated and killed due to “being a jew”, did NOT believe in the jewish religion at all (more on that later).

Rather, there were laws with specific and detailed criteria for determining who is a jew for the purpose of this persecution. These laws:

  • Involved specific external features (phenotypes).
  • Involved documents of geneology trees.
  • Did not include anything about beliefs.

That was because they were based on the race theory. It does not matter if the concept is ill-defined, or why it was defined like that - either way
it is the shortest way to describe these laws accurately.

An inaccurate analogy: you might not believe that witchcraft exists, but witch-hunters did exist. If you remove the word “witch” from the language,
that would make it harder for history books to accurately describe witch-burning.

I do not think race theory was exactly “made-up”. It grew in Europe in the 19th century, out of attempts to combine the scientific discoveries (proto-indo-european language, genetics) with the philosophical and political ideas of the time (rise of nationalism). Naturally, people tend to favor theories that match their philosophical and political ideas.

Certainly it fitted Hitler’s ideas and goals, and the nazis might have picked and changed some parts, but most likely they actually believed it, and they did not invent the main ideas.
In particular, the Jews were described as one of the races even in Gubineau’s “Inequality of races” essay[1] in 1853, but not as an “enemy race” or inferior one. Maybe that was indeed a Nazi contribution (antisemitism certainly existed before race theory, but I am not sure that race was used as basis for it before the 20th century).
[1]An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races - Wikipedia


What was behind the choice of jews in particular as the main (not only) “enemy race” to persecute? For one thing, it was very useful for gaining support, because it was a particularly hated group already (for historical reasons). Most likely Hitler himself had personal hatred to jews, so it made sense to him to classify this “race” as inferior.

Every person is different and unique: physically, culturally, intellectually, emotionally (that’s a good thing - otherwise the world would be quite boring) :slight_smile:
But really I think all of us are on the same page here: I take “essentially the same” to mean that we are the same in what makes us “human”, which is what grants us “human rights”, so certainly discrimination is not justified.
(To be clear, my definition of “human” above is probably wider than just “homo-sapiens”. We can start with anything that can pass the Turing test, and refine from there…)

Points for later:

These points I will answer briefly, but I fear that my answers would be misinterpreted, or seem to be averting the question. So I would probably go back to them in the future, after I explain other stuff.

[briefly: every group is different than the others. Some differences of some groups might be related to specific historical events. We can only estimate…]

[briefly: maybe true, but maybe not in this case. Some differences existed before the persecution, and the thinking that led to them were differnet than that of the persecutors]

To make these clearer I will first have to explain some other stuff, starting with detailed discussion about “what are jews” (which I knew I will have to do at some point anyways, but I do not have time today).

[briefly: it is complex: “jews” is a collection of several groups. Some of which do not fall neatly (or at all!) in the category of “religion”. The groups that are older than, say, 300 years, may be described as an “ethno-religious-group”. This is something that is not unique to Judeism, but is significantly different from Christianity and Islam in particular.]

to be continued…


Actually - it occurred to me that the term “anti-semitism” itself comes from trying to base hatred of jews (which did exist before, of course) on race…
And it appears from Wikipedia that it was used in the 1860’s.

So the nazis did not even invent that…