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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

"Antination-ism" 

Here is the essay -- Some People Push Back - that caused all the fuss: College Cancels Event Amid Protests on Panelist's 9/11 Essay
Churchill also writes a bit of an apologia, linked on the essay page, which tempers the offensive language and guilt-by-nationality argument in his original essay.
Coming so soon after Orcinus' discussion of hate crimes, linked below, I found this whole story interesting. Did Churchill commit a "hate crime" against the people killed on 9/11? Can they all be tarred with the imperialist-Americans-deserved-it brush -- blaming secretaries and stockbrokers to every American international outrage from the Phoenix project in Vietnam to the deaths of Iraqi children caused by the UN sanctions against Saddam?
Some might say yes; personally, I say no.
It is exactly this kind of thinking that blames all Israelis for Israel's settlement policies, that blames all Palestinians for suicide bombers, that blames all Englishmen for Irish oppression, that blames all Germans for the concentration camps, etc, etc, etc. There is no name for this blame-by-nationality kind of thinking -- its not racism as we usually define it, nor is it some kind of phobia. Perhaps it should be called "antination-ism", for lack of any better term.
Yes, in a democracy, people are generally accountable for the actions of the government they have elected. But to blame every single citizen, individually, for every single military action taken by that government, and, by so doing, give yourself license to discriminate, hate, or kill, any citizen of that nation -- well, it is both ridiculous and intellectually lazy. Patriotism may well be the last refuge of a scoundrel, but so is antination-ism.

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