Posts Tagged ‘bigotry’

✽ “[There is an] alarming shift in some major Canadian institutions towards even greater complicity in Israeli colonialism, atrocity and mass oppression. Where this is the case, it is often done through a silencing of any criticism of Israel, coupled with the sophisticated weaving of a false and racist narrative that demonizes Arabs and any other victim of Israeli brutality.

During the week of Israeli raids on Gaza earlier last month, CBC radio’s flagship Toronto morning radio show, Metro Morning, participated in that silencing with remarkable consistency. All the segments referenced in the analysis below are available online.”

✽ “…Metro Morning chose to end the interview with a statement from Lia [Trachansky, who grew up in an Israeli settlement] that she is in love with Israel in a “profounder way” now that she sees “its ugly parts.” The show chose to cap off a week of weaving a false narrative by picking out the one statement from her interview that engendered feelings of love for Israel, and in doing so diverting attention away from the desperate need for an inquiry into the mass killings that Israel had just perpetrated.

To be sure, the abhorrence of engendering feelings of love on a morning radio show to cleanse the image of a colonial state, one that only hours before concluded a deliberate massacre of civilians, goes without saying.

Furthermore, the declaration of a “profounder” love for Israel by Lia on a major radio show after a week of intentional mass killing of civilians and the horrifying response from segments of Israeli society and major Israeli institutions during the raids, is not only disgraceful, but is yet a further degradation of Palestinian dignity and life. It is a slap in the face of those Palestinian mothers in deep and yet-fresh mourning over their slain children.”

✽ “In the end, CBC’s Metro Morning actively participated in silencing a truth-based analysis of what was happening in Gaza, removing it from any regional or historical context, and bringing Canadian society into closer complicity and acceptance of oppression, atrocity and apartheid in Palestine and Israel. The result was a narrative that left listeners more confused, or worse, led them to dangerously racist conclusions. For those that already harboured racist viewpoints, it did much to fuel their bigotry.”

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○ “Time and again, we see fans and creators alike defending the primacy of homogeneous – which is to say, overwhelmingly white, straight and male – stories on the grounds that anything else would be intrinsically unrealistic. Contrary to how it might seem at first blush, this is not a wholly ironic complaint: as I’ve recently had cause to explain elsewhere, the plausibility of SFF stories is derived in large part from their ability to make the impossible feel realistic. A fictional city might be powered by magic and the dreams of dead gods, but it still has to read like a viable human space and be populated by viable human characters. In that sense, it’s arguable that SFF stories actually place a greater primacy on realism than straight fiction, because they have to work harder to compensate for the inclusion of obvious falsehoods. Which is why there’s such an integral relationship between history and fantasy: our knowledge of the former frequently underpins our acceptance of the latter. Once upon a time, we know, there really were knights and castles and quests, and maps whose blank spaces warned of dragons and magic.”

○ “…what on Earth makes you think that the classic SWM default is apolitical? If it can reasonably argued that a character’s gender, race and sexual orientation have political implications, then why should that verdict only apply to characters who differ from both yourself and your expectations? Isn’t the assertion that straight white men are narratively neutral itself a political statement, one which seeks to marginalise as exceptional or abnormal the experiences of every other possible type of person on the planet despite the fact that straight white men are themselves a global minority? And even if a particular character was deliberately written to make a political point, why should that threaten you? Why should it matter that people with different beliefs and backgrounds are using fiction to write inspirational wish-fulfillment characters for themselves, but from whose struggle and empowerment you feel personally estranged? That’s not bad writing, and as we’ve established by now, it’s certainly not bad history – and particularly not when you remember (as so many people seem to forget) that fictional cultures are under no obligation whatsoever to conform to historical mores. It just means that someone has managed to write a successful story that doesn’t consider you to be its primary audience – and if the prospect of not being wholly, overwhelmingly catered to is something you find disturbing, threatening, wrong? Then yeah: I’m going to call you a bigot, and I probably won’t be wrong.”

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