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Statement of Solidarity with Israel, 1

Last Tuesday, the Transnational Wall Demonstration was put up in Paresky lawn, and an accompanying email was sent out. The wall was meant to show solidarity between those of Palestinian and Mexican identity who struggle with walls and borders in their daily lives, and an accompanying talk was given.

In response to this, a student wrote and circulated a Statement of Solidarity with Israel, and the student gathered signatures and published his document in the Record. It gathered 65+ signatures, which can be viewed in the above link.

Let’s take a few days to talk about the wall and this response.

Discussion after the break.

We, representing a wide range of opinions and speaking as individuals, not as representatives of student groups, faculty departments, ideologies or our wide variety of identities, denounce the growing attempts on campus to delegitimize Israel or compare it to an apartheid state. We stand in solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people and against the way Israel is portrayed that delegitimizes differing points of view and, consequently, the state’s right to exist.

We share a commitment to a two-state solution with a Jewish, democratic Israel living peacefully beside a democratic Palestine. We do not see how anyone who claims to support the two-state solution to bring peace can delegitimize one national movement or another.

We urge supporters and critics of Israeli policy to hold their discussions with the following points in mind:

● The State of Israel fulfills the Jewish people’s national aspirations in their ancestral homeland. This affirmation acknowledges the Jews as a people united by a common past, culture and language rooted in their homeland, the land of Israel.

● Israel is a democratic state that promises to offer all its citizens, including Palestinian and Arab Israelis, “full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions,” as Israel’s Declaration of Independence guarantees.

● Affirming Israel’s and Zionism’s legitimacy and acknowledging Jews’ historic claim to their land does not negate Palestinian claims to that same geographical space. History is complex. A peaceful solution requires compromise from both sides regarding what they consider their legitimate national and territorial rights. 

These first few bullet points attempt to put Israel and Zionism into perspective and explain a little bit of history and background around the conflict. It makes sense to lay the foundation for their argument and what they are saying by contextualizing some of the conflict, for both those who are unaware of its historical complexities or as a sign to the opposition.

Although the statement does not invoke the wall by name, one can assume that the statement is a direct response to accusations by the demonstration.

Questions for readers:

1) Is this a fair history, or is it one-sided reductionism on either side of the issue? How can the campus community discuss the history and complexity of the conflict without hurling names at those who disagree, at this document might do?

2) How much of this document is a response to the wall directly or rather a culmination of sentiment on campus? How does that frame the conversation?

More to come.

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#1 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 4, 2018 @ 10:17 am

What is sad here is that the students who don’t want to see Trump build a strong wall to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs have chosen to ally themselves with the students who want to see Israel diminished and threatened as well.

I do not think these inexperienced protester kids understand optics. It doesn’t help the illegal immigrant cause to have protesters waving Mexican flags. Likewise, it doesn’t help them to align with the historically pro-Nazi, hateful, anti-Semitic Palestinians either.

Who are the faculty members advising these kids? They should be disciplined for encouraging them to sabotage their own cause.

#2 Comment By Fendertweed On May 4, 2018 @ 2:41 pm

I agree with your second paragraph.

#3 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 4, 2018 @ 4:42 pm

I suppose there is no one on campus right now teaching about how the Palestinians worked closely with Hitler during World War II. I’ve written articles for FrontPage Magazine. Here’s a useful article from them which highlights the creepy way even modern Palestinians have wrapped themselves in Hitler’s legacy.

THE MUFTI, HITLER AND THE PALESTINIANS: THE FACTS
The father of the modern Palestinian movement and his role in the Final Solution.

#4 Comment By dcat On May 5, 2018 @ 9:21 pm

If it is relevant that there were Palestinians who supported Hitler in the 1940s it is also relevant that Israel supported apartheid South Africa well into the CODESA negotiations in the early 1990s.

As a liberal supporter of Isreal but opponent of the Netenyahu government, I don’t happen to think that either one must be seen as all that relevant. But I will point out that Israel’s demonstrable support of apartheid South Africa happened half a century later than pre-Israel Palestine’s alleged support for Nazi Germany did. (And of course many of the founders of the apartheid state also supported Nazi Germany.)

#5 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 5, 2018 @ 10:48 pm

How’s that anti-apartheid working out for all those white farmers in South Africa?

Australia Defies ‘Crazy Lefties’, Confirms Promise to Aid White Minority South African Farmers

#6 Comment By sporty fella On May 5, 2018 @ 11:58 pm

It’s working out fine. You just linked to some crazy conspiracy site that literally has nothing to do with South African policy past or present.

White farmers in South Africa have lost no land, even though some will and some should, but the link you provided literally has nothing to do with the current South African land policy. You either posted it out of ignorance or malice, but either way, you have no idea what you are talking about.

#7 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 6, 2018 @ 12:10 am

I’ve been published by Breitbart. They seem credible to me. They were among the first to publish my take on young Obama’s radicalism. Something tells me you didn’t read the article that I linked. See,

Mr. Dutton’s push to help white South African farmers has been supported by the former prime minister Tony Abbott, who has described the situation in South Africa as a “national crisis.”

“There is a very serious situation developing in South Africa. Something like 400 white farmers have been murdered, brutally murdered, over the last 12 months,” Mr Abbott said.

The farmers were being murdered by “squatters intent on driving them off their land”, he added, and it would be a “national crisis” if the same thing were happening to Australian farmers.

“If the boot was on the other foot we would call it racism of the worst sort,” Mr Abbott said.

I don’t think history will be kind to all the folks who are looking the other way, or apologizing for, modern South Africa as it moves steadily in the direction of white genocide.

#8 Comment By sporty fella On May 6, 2018 @ 1:30 am

Your link is wrong. It does not reflect current South Africa.

Your being published by Breitbart gives you zero expertise on the rest of the world, including South Africa. The number of white South African farmers being killed is virtually zero. Your link is a lie, based on misrepresentation.

Sporty guy

#9 Comment By sporty fella On May 6, 2018 @ 1:39 am

By the way — was that not the most perfect JCD post ever?

He says:

“I’ve been published by Breitbart.”

Utterly irrelevant to the discussion.

“They seem credible to me.”

1) They are not

2) Really, you think that way after assessing that you’ve been published by them?

“They were among the first to publish my take on young Obama’s radicalism.”

That has to do with southern Africa what, exactly?

Your assertions on modern South Africa are based on uninformed ignorance. Or what we’ll call the “John Drew Standard.”

You haven’t published anything relevant on AMERICAN politics. Now you’re an expert on South Africa?

You keep being you, JCD.

#10 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 6, 2018 @ 4:29 am

Now you are talking rubbish. You write like Baghdad Bob. I don’t think any normal person would assert that “The number of white South African farmers being killed is virtually zero.”

Inside the ‘most dangerous job in the world’: White farmers in South Africa are FOUR times more likely to be murdered than anyone else – as Peter Dutton vows to ‘fast-track’ them into Australia as refugees

It strikes me as more reasonable that the number of murders of white farmers at the hand of blacks is being under-reported out of fear and helplessness. The fact that many of these victims are tortured indicates to me that anti-white hatred is fueling these atrocities.

This is why we should be careful when we see anti-white hatred expressed here in the U.S. Unfortunately, I think you are probably part of the problem.

#11 Comment By dcat On May 6, 2018 @ 10:57 am

Oh dear God, the white genocide lie. And it is precisely that — a flat-out naked lie.

White South Africans are flourishing. Absolutely flourishing in South Africa. But, God forbid, they have to compete a little bit now.

#12 Comment By dcat On May 6, 2018 @ 11:00 am

Yeah, the number is not “zero.” But it also has not been under-reported. One of the most prominent journalists journalists in South Africa, Johnny Steinberg, wrote a best selling book about this topic. And the killings of South African farmers peaked more than a decade ago.

#13 Comment By dcat On May 6, 2018 @ 11:10 am

If you want to read about the alt-right perpetuated “white genocide” myth in South Africa see:

http://afropunk.com/2018/04/white-genocide-hoax-south-africa-stop-madness/

https://africasacountry.com/2018/02/searching-for-white-genocide-in-south-africa

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/16/peter-duttons-offer-to-white-south-african-farmers-started-on-the-far-right

I could go on. This is a lie, perpetuated by white right wingers who want to justify apartheid and their own racism in their home countries. I have gone to South Africa every year since 2004 and most years since 1997. I have lived and worked there and written extensively about South Africa.. Crime is a problem in South Africa — as it is in a lot of places. But whites are overwhelmingly not the victims of crime, and the white genocide narrative is a hoax designed to gin up controversy and stir racial grievances among the whte alt-right.

#14 Comment By 89’er On May 6, 2018 @ 6:31 pm

If we are going to discredit folks based on ties to the NAZI regime and its atrocities, shall we spend some shedding light on the links of various right wing movements (LePen, Farange and US white nationalists) to this regime and its ideology?

In the interest of fairness (and driving Ephblog’s readership to 3) lets do a 12 part series on the left’s ties to Stalin and Mao. We can use the teachings of McCarthy as a starting point.

I continue to find it amusing that JCD believe that college age Obama’s radicalism provides insight into how once elected, Obama 44 sought to turn the US into a socialist workers paradise. Of course, the fact that he enacted market based healthcare reform based on a Heritage Foundation blueprint that was adopted by Mitt Romney in MA should be ignored as an inconvenient reality based fact.

After all, if Brietbart said it, it must be true.

#15 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 6, 2018 @ 6:56 pm

As an Armenian American, I’m especially sensitive to the warning signs of impending genocide. Setting that aside for a moment, I don’t think anyone can plausibly argue that white South African’s are flourishing. According to population estimates, they have declined, both numerically and proportionately, since 1994.

At any rate, we are seeing the preconditions for white genocide in South Africa. For example, the government has withdrawn the security forces which used to protect whites farmers from brutal, racially motivated torture/murder attacks. Some of the torture/murder attacks have been carried out in a military style using cell phone blocking technology which was formerly only available to the government security forces.

Rhetorically, the political majority routinely scapegoats white South Africans for the nation’s problems. The president, for example, was recently seen on television singing a song with the repellent line, “kill the Boer, kill the farmer.” Take a look at the South African version of Adolf Hitler, Julius Malema, joking with the crowd about white genocide just this year:

‘Whites must be happy we are not calling for genocide’: Malema on land expropriation

The white minority is persecuted financially through discriminatory affirmative action employment legislation that reserves 80% of new jobs for blacks and favors companies owned by blacks.

On top of all this, there are efforts in South Africa to legitimize land ownership by white South Africans even though this land ownership was established hundreds of years ago before Zulu tribe members even set foot in the area.

In this tense, extremely dangerous environment, I don’t think we are doing anyone a favor by underestimating the profound threats faced by the vulnerable, shrinking white minority in South Africa.

#16 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 6, 2018 @ 7:07 pm

– 89’er

Obama did appoint a CIA director, John Brennan, who voted for the Communist Party presidential candidate in 1980. I suspect that had some impact on us. As I told historian Paul Kengor, I voted for Carter.

The Obama Watch: Did Barack Obama Vote Communist in 1980?

#17 Comment By dcat On May 7, 2018 @ 1:04 pm

So much of what you write is so wrong I’m not even going to bother, starting with the empty lands myth that white settlers used to justify taking the land. And it is a myth, a lie that has been repeatedly debunked among scholars across disciplines.

South Africa’s white population continues to flourish and continues to be at far less risk of violence, economic privation, or any other insecurities than black South Africans.

Malema is a loose cannon. He is not any equivalent to Adolf Hitler. And he was thrown out of the ANC, by the way and is nowhere near the threat that the white far right offers. (There are nice people on both sides, I suppose.) As for the “kill the boer” songs, those come from the liberation struggle and have been deeply contested among South Africans black and white and are part of a long cultural debate. You might find them offensive. But I’m not certain you have standing to be a snowflake on someone else’s behalf.

Your being Armenian American literally doesn’t give you any special insight into South African society, culture, history, or politics. It does not make you an expert on genocide, impending or otherwise. Yours is an absurd argument, one grounded in zero facts. So the white population is declining — loads of right wingers have left the country. They have not been killed, they have not been threatened, they have not lost their land. Genocide is a term with meaning. You cheaply throw it around and then hide behind your own identity politics.

#18 Comment By Fendertweed On May 7, 2018 @ 3:13 pm

Citing Breitbart as a credible, if not scholarly source, is like citing TV Guide as a reference of record. How Baghdad Bobbish, indeed.

Wow…. lol.

#19 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 7, 2018 @ 4:41 pm

– dcat

The scientific consensus unquestionable that the Boers were on that land before the Zulus. There is tons of evidence to back this up. This is not a colonial issue because the Boers got there first. The Zulus came down about a hundred years later.

#20 Comment By dcat On May 7, 2018 @ 7:47 pm

Yes, you keep referring to the Zulus, who fomed as a nation in the 19th century, but the Zulus were made up of and preceded by Nguni people (“Bantu” in the common, if flawed usage) who were there for centuries before the “Boers” — a term you are also using improperly, given that the “Boers” did not arrive in what would become the Eastern Cape and Natal until well after the British settlers. There is no “scientific” or historical consensus on your wrong assertion. There were native African pastoralists in what would become South Africa for centuries before van Riebeeck ever landed anywhere near the Cape. The “Boers” did not move to the Transvaal and Free State in any significant numbers until the Great Trek in the period after the late 1830s, or some quarter century after the Zulu nation emerged from the various Nguni groups. You are literally mixing up the British Settlers with the Boers, which is about as rudimentary a misreading of history as one can make.

This historiography is deep, this scientific consensus is clear. You are proferring a white supremacist lie.

https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/empty-land-myth

#21 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 7, 2018 @ 8:38 pm

Oh please. LOL. So now you admit that there were only “native African pastoralists” in South Africa prior to the arrival of the Boers. You just don’t get it.

Those pastoralists were called the Khoikhoi. They didn’t farm. They didn’t own land as individual property. Under them, there was no progress taking place in South Africa. In a hundred years the Zulu would have colonized them anyways.

Well, that is not quite true since the vast majority of Khoikhoi out died due to smallpox which, when you think of it, really isn’t anyone’s fault.

What you are doing is promoting the same sort of anti-white hate that is reflected in the “Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer” song. Whether you realize it or not, this is the sort of callous behavior that dehumanizes people and makes it easier to mass murder them. Your minimization of Malema’s following and influence is almost as ugly as the way anti-farmer torture/murderers have poured boiling water down the throats of their victims. (Trust me, black South Africans are not subject to this sort of horror on an equivalent or worse basis.)

The ANC, by the way, partners with the South African Communist party in order to pull together a powerful, winning electoral majority. As an Armenian American, I’m not only well-versed in the warning signs of genocide, but also the logical mass murder consequences of Communist ideology.

You are completely wrong, by the way, about the significance of the differences between British settlers and the Boers as well as the timing of their interaction with the Khoikhoi. It is so easy to look this stuff up, you should try it.

#22 Comment By abl On May 7, 2018 @ 8:51 pm

JCD —

Are you arguing that the first people to settle South Africa were not, in fact, Africans but were the Dutch? I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about this issue, but that claim doesn’t pass the smell test.

#23 Comment By ZSD On May 7, 2018 @ 9:48 pm

… an interesting read. It is easy, based on our own history, to imagine land with indigenous peoples inhabiting it as open for colonial development since the state of the indigenous society did not match those of the new arrivals.

.https://showme.co.za/facts-about-south-africa/history-of-south-africa/the-history-of-south-africa/

#24 Comment By dcat On May 7, 2018 @ 10:03 pm

No, John, you are constantly, consistently wrong here.

The Nguni were there long before the Boers, and the Nguni were not khoikhoi. This is established, settled history with a wide-depth of scholarship attached to it. I never said there were “only” pastoralists, despite your quotation marks dishonestly indicating otherwise. And many of the Nguni in fact were pastoralists and were not khoikhoi. Basic stuff. Day one of a South African history class stuff. Certainly basic knowledge for an understanding of settlement patterns in South Africa.

The Boers and British were vastly different people — those differences set up the key conflicts in white South African politics from the early 19th century to the present day. The Boers moved into the interior during the Great Trek to escape what they perceived as the dictatorial leadership of the British. If you do not get these differences you have no business weighing in and correcting the people who do know it.

This is all basic stuff. I don’t need to “look it up.” This is all so rudimentary it is not funny, no matter how condescending you are about your ignorance.

There is nothing anti-white about knowing basic tenets of a history you are prepared to try to come in and lecture people about.

As for Malema, there is nothing ugly or racist about pointing out the fact that he was thrown out of the ANC or that his party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, is a distant third behind the ANC and DA. And that the party is more than one man. He is a formidable speaker who is developing a following in no small part out of disenchantment with the ANC. The ANC and SACP, meanwhile, were longstanding allies in the fight against apartheid, alongside the trade unionists, and the condition has always been that the SACP give up its claims for a Marxist or socialist state. I’m not a fan of the SACP, but that history matters, and it literally has nothing to do with lies about white genocide because you believe every crazy example you read from the white right in South Africa.

I’d happily have these discussions with anyone who wants an honest conversation. I have written a lot about South African politics and history. But I’m not prepared to have those discussions with someone who insists that his Armenian-American ancestry gives him special insight into histories he does not know and who, as proof of his expertise, insists there is little difference between Boers and Brits.

You have been wrong on virtually every point you have made here, the wisdom about South Africa that your Armenian American ancestry somehow provides you notwithstanding.

#25 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 8, 2018 @ 2:45 am

– dcat

Now you are just getting silly. You’re trying to save face after I’ve caught you in an embarrassing error, an obvious error which shows how much of your self-described expertise is simply ideological cant.

It makes absolutely no sense to classify, as you have above, the Nguni as “native African pastoralists” who were at the same level as the Khoikhoi. This is just plain wrong. The Nguni were farmers who built large cities and created tools out of iron. The Khoikhoi were nomadic sheep farmers who made their tools out of stone.

The bottom line is that the Boers farmed land that had never been farmed before. Contrary to your supposed expertise, there is no historic evidence – letters, books, newspapers – which indicates that they displaced any Nguni, Bantu or Zulu tribe members when they arrived in South Africa.

Unfortunately, you are repeating false – easily debunked – statements which only serves to motivate those who routinely conduct torture/murder attacks on white SA farmers.

The next time a white farmer is forced to watch his wife and daughters raped by black terrorists singing “kill the Boer, kill the farmer,” let’s have this conversation again. Hopefully, by then, you will have your facts straight.

#26 Comment By Fendertweed On May 8, 2018 @ 8:54 am

JFC (Jesus Fucking Christ)…. JCD is reduced to a pathetic and impotent variation on sounding the alarm “where the white women at…?!?!”

Shark —-> Jump (again).

#27 Comment By Whitney Wilson ’90 On May 8, 2018 @ 11:53 am

I don’t know enough about the history of the various groups in South Africa to have an independent view on who settled where and when, but I do respect that this is an area of DCAT’s professional expertise and would default to believing that factually he knows what he’s talking about.

#28 Comment By dcat On May 8, 2018 @ 12:56 pm

No, John, you are wrong. You are just wrong. And your answers are so obviously Google-deep it is not funny.

When the Boers who did leave what is now the Western Cape in the late 18th century before the Great Trek (and got nowhere near where the Zulus would predominate a generation or so later) they ran into Xhosa pastoralists at the Fish River. “Pastoralists” is how they are described, that is what they were. Your ability to Google differentiations between kinds of pastoralists is just plain silly. like the Zulu, the Xhosa came from the Nguni peoples. And there are clear records of how those Boers clashed with the Xhosas who are already there. Again — this is not high-level historiographical debate. This is basic historical chronology.

Meanwhile later, in the 19th century, the Brits entered into what they would call Natal. They are not Boers. You were caught utterly unaware of basic facts on South African history. Brits and Boers are different people. They fought two wars based largely on those differences. You are using them interchangeably when they were not. At all.

And there are plenty of letters and other documents about various contacts, but you are hiding behind the fact that we don’t have letters from Xhosa pastoralists or Zulus, as if that is the only form of historical evidence — we have a slew of archaeological, linguistic, oral testimony, genetic, and other evidence about just how long we can trace various Bantu peoples to southernmost Africa — more than 1700 years worth. Clifton Crais has written extensively about this, so has Carolyn Hamilton. So have many others.

(Oh, and of course there is also the evidence of forced removals in places where Africans did live throughout the 20th century as well, not to mention apartheid laws forcing some 75% of the population to move or not be recognized as legitimate. For this we have loads of documentation.)

This is getting silly. Whatever rhetorical flourishes you want to throw out there, that there are too many murders period in South Africa is not a sign of genocide. “Genocide” has meaning, and at this point the data is not even clear that of those farmers who have been murdered, all have been white. Those statistics are not kept, are crude, or are based on reducing significantly the number of people we qualify as “farmers” in order to exaggerate the numbers. The most inclusive definition of “farmers,” which includes all who live on farms, including family members, shows that they experience a murder rate considerably lower than the country’s average. The only way the scariest numbers gibe is to only count as farmers those registered as commercial farmers (which does not count family members) but then to count as murdered farmers all who live on farms — including families but also farm workers, the vast majority of whom are black. And in the majority of these cases the motivation seems plain-old robbery, and not aspirations to genocide. This is not good. But it is nothing resembling what your overheated rhetoric indicates.

Twenty-one years of travel in South Africa. I have somehow evaded all of this genocide as I watch white South Africans continue to be over-represented in business, education, property ownership, and material well being, as I watch them enjoy far higher standards of living and far better health conditions, as I watch them continue to benefit from apartheid geographies, as I watch them continue to flourish, and as I watch them continue to not be victims of crime to anywhere near the extent of black and coloured South Africans. You keep using this word, “genocide.” It does not mean what you think it means.

#29 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 8, 2018 @ 2:05 pm

Honestly, you are just getting silly at this point. You keep changing your story like a lying thief with illicit loot in every pocket. Your suggestion that all the letters, documents, and newspapers of the earliest Boer settlers somehow inadvertently left out the fact that a massive number of Nguni cities and blacksmith shops surrounded them is wrong. You don’t know what you are talking about. The scholarship is 100% against your out-of-touch with reality ideological cant.

Regarding Whitney’s point, it makes perfect sense that you don’t have a clue about South Africa. Reading up on your blog posts, I can see you are mainly an expert on sports, not politics. You obviously don’t have a clue about the well known precursors of genocide.

Sincerely, you are basically a sports journalist.

The one blog post you write on the topic of genocide is simply an exercise in which you cut and paste material from another guy’s article. Is this what passes for scholarship in east Texas?

The suggestion that this are huge disparities between the Dutch and the British is also weird. Many of the Dutch considered themselves loyal British subjects and were never part of the Great Trek. The main issue was linguistic. The Dutch preferred to study their Bible in Dutch not English. You’re assumption that I’m not familiar with elementary South African history is again weird. This is not rocket science.

Again and again, you make points where a mere amateur like myself can tear apart in seconds. I can tell you definitely that black farmers have been murdered. It isn’t a puzzle for sports journalists to solve. It is a stone cold fact. The South African government does not collect statistics on the race of those murdered so we are depended on non-government sources for our numbers. The best source for the numbers of white farmers who are the victims of torture/murder attacks is the Transvaal Agricultural Union. This is basically the trade association for South African farmers.

I think I’ll take the word of the South African farmers over the observations of a sports journalist any day. For a good look at the different definitions and the ways of counting the attacks on farmers the BBC did a wonderful, but inconclusive piece.

Your idea that the motivation for these attacks is primarily robbery comes from an early government report which came to this conclusion. This is obviously false because black farmers are generally not subject to the same rape, murder and torture which is routinely given out the increasingly elderly white farmers. Robbers do not make a habit of using power tools to drill holes into their victims. Drilling holes into victims is not robbery at all. That is flat out racial animus and ideological retribution.

Unfortunately, your inaccurate, simple to refute ideas about the Boer settlers only contributes to their marginalization and makes it easier for the Communists (and near Communists) in South Africa to take their land without compensation. Maybe you should go into your garage and drill a whole in your thigh? You might end up with more sympathy for the pain of the white farmers you are so quick to dismiss as a lie.

#30 Comment By ZSD On May 8, 2018 @ 2:43 pm

All Things Eph seems to run a bit rough in content, context, and confrontation.

#31 Comment By sigh On May 8, 2018 @ 3:19 pm

yet another case where this blog would be wildly different (better) with a little moderation…

#32 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On May 8, 2018 @ 3:50 pm

sigh: Honestly curious. You think that I ought to step in and stop this disagreement between dcat and JCD?

1) They both seem to enjoy it.

2) They aren’t hurting anyone else. It would be one thing if this exchange clogged up the main page, but the only people who see it are those who seek it out.

JCD: There is no reason for violent imagery like “go into your garage and drill a whole in your thigh.” Please try to write at a higher level.

#33 Comment By sigh On May 8, 2018 @ 4:12 pm

yes, 1000x times yes. this is, nominally, supposed to be a discussion on williams’ stance on israel/protests from both sides. Not a debate about the history of race in South Africa between a breitbart self-aggrandizer and a historian of *checks notes*

race in South Africa.

they seem to be enjoying it is:
1. Not the point of comments (If I enjoyed just cursing at ZSM and they enjoyed posting cat memes in response, would that be valuable?)

2. An assumption that because dcat engages, he “enjoys it”. I engage (that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m not enjoying it, for the record)t. But when the options are between letting a white supremacist lie (as dcat sees it and I agree, for the little that’s worth here) and engaging it, that’s pretty much the perfect example of a lose-lose choice.

#34 Comment By sigh On May 8, 2018 @ 4:14 pm

also re #3. That’s not true. We don’t know who is “being hurt.” Imagine being a black student from South Africa and reading JCD without knowing his unique….commenting history…

That you can’t see the harm here doesn’t mean it doesn’t/couldn’t exist. I know there are people who read this blog and its comments and get angry/sad/hurt about it but don’t post. They sometimes email or tweet me (some are former regulars who know who I am).

#35 Comment By sigh On May 8, 2018 @ 4:15 pm

arrgh, re #2 not #3. now i’m done. i hate engaging.

#36 Comment By Fendertweed On May 8, 2018 @ 5:38 pm

Thank you, sigh.

#37 Comment By JCD 📌 On May 8, 2018 @ 6:04 pm

“Shut up,” sigh explained.

#38 Comment By Mr. Bean On May 8, 2018 @ 6:04 pm

Well, this certainly got out of hand.

I’m not sure how to close discussions, but I’d like to signal to DDF to close this up.

I agree with you, sigh — and maybe we could get in email contact. Let me know if you’re interested.

#39 Comment By abl On May 8, 2018 @ 6:14 pm

sigh x 2.

If this was my classroom, I would have steered the conversation away from JCD a long time ago (his comments here are off-topic, low-quality, and disrespectful). If this was a town hall, someone would have taken the microphone away from JCD a long time ago. If this was an in-person conversation or really any other non-internet form of debate, there would not still be a platform on which JCD could spout his low-quality, off-topic, and hateful rhetoric. I suppose that in the context of internet trolls, he could be worse: to his credit, he generally shies away from lowest-common-denominator schoolyard insults like “libtards.”

I was definitely of the impression that ephblog aspired to be better than your average Fox News comment section. But JCD’s comments here (1) are not on-topic for this thread; (2) are not on the more general “all things eph” topic; (3) are neither well-informed nor well-thought out; and (4) are just generally nasty. Combine that all with the fact that he is arguing with little support (yet lots of condescension) with a literal expert in the field, all the while repeating white supremacist talking points, and I’m just not seeing much value here.

#40 Comment By dcat On May 8, 2018 @ 8:25 pm

I have not enjoyed this. I have loathed it. But unlike JCD’s usual plausible denial “race realism”on US topics this is a very, very familiar white supremacty playbook that he is mimicking, because he DOES NOT KNOW this history or South African society.

I love this idea that I am a “sports journalist,” and not someone who has been writing about South African and American society and politics for years, or someone with FAR more scholarly publications, on wholly non-sports-related topics, than he has. (Since he made ths about my resume, again, my work is on race and politics in the US and South Africa, including but not limited to or even especially sports.) His condescension is especially annoying — this is one of those situations where I am sure he really does believe that he is winning this debate just like he really did believe that if he had worked with Pete Farwell, he would have been an Olympic-level athlete, a thing he actually once wrote to my post on Farwell’s Hall of Fame announcement, because God forbid John Drew not make a post about John Drew.

#41 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On May 8, 2018 @ 8:59 pm

> I’m not sure how to close discussions

Just uncheck the “Allow comments” box in the post creation panel, which I will do for you now.