The red herring of rank-ordering injustices


The increasing support for the BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) movement targeted at the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands around the world has caused great concern within the Israeli government and they have launched a propaganda effort to try and discredit it, such as retaliating against those who advocate for it by going to the extent of getting sympathetic western governments to even criminalize speech in support of it.

Some critics of BDS argue that the movement is merely a cover for anti-Semitism. StevoR has reprised one version of that argument, saying that the BDS movement is covertly anti-Semitic because it is not accompanied by calls for boycotts of other oppressive nations. I usually skim over his posts because they are drearily repetitive but this is a type an argument that I have heard elsewhere even outside of the BDS issue and is worth addressing. Other commenters have responded as well and I urge readers to read those that come after the above link.

StevoR asks:

Incidentally, why no similar BDS campaigns against say China over Tibet and Xinjiang or Indonesia over West Papua and other islands and places seeking to break away from the Javanese empire or Russia over Chechyna etc .. As the Jewish people have seemingly said throughout their existence – why us? Why is hate speech and hate campaigns like the BDS acceptable here only against Israel and Jewish people and businesses?

I find unpersuasive the suggestion that this issue has a covert agenda simply because it does not also call for the boycott of other nations. Boycotts and embargoes have been conducted against other nations, most notably against South Africa, Rhodesia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Iraq. Many of these boycotts were led by governments. The South African parallel is telling because that too was largely initiated by ordinary people because western nations were unwilling to act, at least initially, against that apartheid regime, the way they are unwilling to act against Israel now.

The argument that “If you really care about A you should also be doing something about B, C, D, at the same time or your sincerity about A can be questioned” is one that can be invoked to shut down action on any issue, since the world is a complex place and there are always other issues that require attention. For example, during the boycott movement against South Africa during that country’s apartheid regime, people could just as easily have suggested that we should not concern themselves with that country’s problems since at that time the treatment of Palestinians by Israel and many other situations were not receiving the same level of attention and their plight was being largely ignored by the focus on moves against South Africa. People who argue this way are similar to those who argue that we should not devote any effort to redress women’s inequality in the west because the situation of women in some other countries is much worse, or that the lives of the poor in the US is better (They have refrigerators! And TVs! And cell phones!) than those of poor people in many countries so what are they complaining about?

The fact is that fighting any injustice anywhere is a good thing and people should be free to choose which struggle they want to focus their efforts on and where they feel they can be most useful without being denigrated for not choosing something else.

People who care about all the other injustices in the world should be encouraged to create greater awareness and garner support for those causes, and all power to them. If StevoR feels that similar boycotts of China or Indonesia are necessary (and we know he feels strongly about those issues since his username at one time was “StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!”), then he should be calling for them and working to increase support for them, not undermining the efforts of BDS. Our goal should be to increase the numbers of fights against injustices, not decrease them. So the only issues in judging the BDS movement is whether the Palestinians are being treated fairly by Israel and whether such boycotts are an effective tactic in redressing the severe injustices perpetrated on them by the Israeli government.

The reasons why some issues rise to the surface at particular times in history while others do not, even though they share many similar features, is something for scholars to discuss and analyze but that this happens all the time is an undeniable fact. Why are people so familiar with the Jewish holocaust but the Armenian genocide is barely mentioned? Why do we remember what happened to Salvador Allende but not so much about Patrice Lumumba? Why is the expulsion of French colonialists from Algeria so well known but a similar action by the people of Cameroon almost totally forgotten?

For whatever reason, attention to the issue of Palestine and Israel has come to the fore now and is growing. And that is the reality that has to be dealt with. To argue that we should weaken the struggle for justice there because we are not devoting equal attention to other situations has to be seen as seriously self-serving. It is StevoR and others who argue like him and not the BDS movement who can be accused of having a hidden agenda, theirs being protecting Israel from the consequences of its appalling behavior.

As Edgar says in Shakespeare’s King Lear (although in another context), “Ripeness is all”. To complain that all the serious issues in the world do not command the same amount of attention at the same time is like complaining that all the fruits on a tree do not ripen at the same time. When a fruit is ripe for plucking, then it should be plucked, rather than waiting for all to ripen.

Comments

  1. sonofrojblake says

    Why are people so familiar with the Jewish holocaust but the Armenian genocide is barely mentioned?

    That one’s easy. Name one Oscar-winning Armenian film director. Name one Oscar-winning Armenian actor. Name one person in power at a major studio or television station who is of Armenian extraction.

  2. Friendly says

    This passage in Francis Hodgson Burnett’s “A Little Princess” has always bothered me for a similar reason. It seems to recommend unconcern or inaction against *any particular* injustice, even if one has the money or power to do so, because there’s no way to address *all* injustice:

    “Carmichael,” [Carrisford] said to the father of the Large Family, after he had heard this description, “I wonder how many of the attics in this square are like that one, and how many wretched little servant girls sleep on such beds, while I toss on my down pillows, loaded and harassed by wealth that is, most of it—not mine.”

    “My dear fellow,” Mr. Carmichael answered cheerily, “the sooner you cease tormenting yourself the better it will be for you. If you possessed all the wealth of all the Indies, you could not set right all the discomforts in the world, and if you began to refurnish all the attics in this square, there would still remain all the attics in all the other squares and streets to put in order. And there you are!”

  3. Dunc says

    Also, there are similar boycott campaigns targeting China and Indonesia, and there have been for decades – they’re just not getting quite as much press right now. Now, we could perhaps have an interesting discussion about why that is… I suspect that it may be at least partly because they’re not as controversial, but there’s also the point that the UK and US governments aren’t giving China and Indonesia as much military and political support. As a citizen of the UK, I bear more responsibility for Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians than I do for China’s treatment of the Tibetans.

    This is similar to the “why aren’t you protesting Russian military intervention in the Middle East?” question that gets thrown around a lot these days… To which the answer is: “because Russia doesn’t give a stuff what I think, and because, as a citizen of a democratic country, I’m more concerned with the actions of my own government than other people’s.”

  4. says

    I find unpersuasive the suggestion that this issue has a covert agenda simply because it does not also call for the boycott of other nations. Boycotts and embargoes have been conducted against other nations, most notably against South Africa, Rhodesia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Iraq.

    Israel’s regime and its atrocities are not just comparable to South Africa, it is comparable to the Kim necrocracy in North Korea. North Korea suffered occupation and atrocities for more than thirty years at the hands of imperial Japan, but that in no way justifies the brutality and crimes against humanity of the North Korean regime.

    In the same way, the fact that jews were mass murdered by the millions over centuries by christians in Europe, culminating in the holocaust, does not excuse Israel perpetrating the same tactics and methods that jews were once the victims of. On the contrary, by committing the same atrocities against others, Israel is worse than European christians and the Nazis. Of all people, they should know better.

    Speaking out against this is a moral imperative. Labelling criticism of Israel as “anti-semitism” is akin to excusing a pedophile because the person was sexually molested as a child. The past actions of others is not a valid excuse for deplorable actions in the present.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    @Tabby Lavalamp, 5:
    Thank you – you have somewhat proved my point.
    Be honest – how many of those people could you have named without access to the internet? How many on that list of 54 can you name RIGHT NOW, without looking back at that list of just 54 people?

    Now make a comparable list of “Jewish Filmmakers in Hollywood” (and beyond, if you think it makes a difference).

  6. says

    One thing that is a big difference in my mind is actually the government support for Israel that other countries just don’t receive. Here, for example, is a piece from the 2014 Linn County, Iowa, Democrats platform: “Peaceful recognition of an independent and secure Palestine, while maintaining our commitment to the independence and security of Isreal (sic), by working with all parties to end the conflict.”

    I am a bit amused that they are so committed, they can’t spell “Israel” correctly, but this, I find, flies in the face of StevoR’s “why us?” point. It’s confirmation bias. Are any parties putting anything about recognizing an independent and secure Tibet while also maintaining a commitment to the independence and security of China in their platforms? Really, for a county platform in Iowa, of all places (because what connections to Israel do we even have here?), to include a commitment to Israel just seems bizarre to me. And if there is a covert agenda to the BDS movement, mustn’t there then be a covert agenda for the supporters of Israel that don’t equally defend the existence of other countries? (I see you, Mano, suggested as much, but I do think the point is worth reiterating.)

  7. sonofrojblake says

    And for the record (and amusingly considering my handle here) my number is seven. Zaillian, Serkis, Bogosian, Aznavour (although I didn’t know he was Armenian), Barbeau(ditto), Khachaturyan, and Cher. Never heard of the rest and would be very surprised if you had heard of most of them either.

  8. Dunc says

    Now make a comparable list of “Jewish Filmmakers in Hollywood”…

    I’ve gotta admit, I’m giving you some serious side-eye here. I don’t make a big habit of keeping track of how many Jews are in Hollywood / banking / etc, and the whole “Jewish control of cultural institutions” thing has some very iffy history.

    We’re more familiar with the Holocaust than we are the Armenian genocide basically because it happened in WWII rather than WWI, and it happened in Europe rather than the Middle East. There are more movies about WWII than WWI because it makes for a better story, it’s easier to tell who the good guys are, and the movie industry was better developed when it happened.

  9. doublereed says

    This incredibly popular argument of “well why aren’t you boycotting that over there?” is laughable on its face, and I’m surprised to hear people against BDS make it over and over again. Hell, imo just the answer of “well I feel like boycotting you more” is valid. It’s obviously not a defense in any way.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that BDS can’t be anti-semetic for other reasons, or that the movement harbors anti-semetic rhetoric and resentment.

    I feel like the Armenian Genocide is not a great example, because it does actually have some prominence (especially online). Like the Nazis are the definitive historical villains in the West, so obviously the Holocaust gets more press than the Khmer Rouge, or Japan’s ravaging of Korea and China, or other genocides throughout history.

  10. sonofrojblake says

    @Dunc, 9: I’m not sure what your contention is here. If an observation has some “iffy history”, does that make it false?
    Are you contending that Jews are NOT statistically over-represented compared to their numbers in the general population in positions of power in the media?
    Or are you contending that, while they are, they exert NO influence from those positions?
    Because if you’re suggesting either of those things, I’m giving you some serious side-eye right back. I know practically nothing about the Rwandan genocide. Why not? It’d make a hell of a story – a million people killed in THREE MONTHS makes the Nazis look inefficient. It’s pretty easy to tell who the good guys are – they’re the ones not wearing police and army uniforms. And how “well developed” was the movie industry in 1994?

  11. sonofrojblake says

    @TabbyLavalamp:

    concern about about what’s coming across as “the Jews control Hollywood”.

    Then relax. It’s not that. Rather, it’s that the Armenians don’t.

    The question was asked “why this genocide, and not that one?”, and part of the answer is demographic. Pop quiz: which two cities outside Israel have the highest Jewish populations? Answer: Los Angeles and New York. The two cities that produce most of the film and television shows. It would be more surprising if the Jewish populations of those towns were NOT represented in those industries out of proportion to their presence in populations elsewhere. It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s just an observation of population and history. Wingnuts can spin it negatively, but pretending it doesn’t happen just makes you look a different kind of stupid.

  12. doublereed says

    @12 sonofrojblake

    Are you contending that Jews are NOT statistically over-represented compared to their numbers in the general population in positions of power in the media?

    What exactly are you suggesting here? That the Jews control Hollywood and have cemented that through nepotism and greed? What does this statistical over-representation signify to you, I wonder?

  13. doublereed says

    Then relax. It’s not that. Rather, it’s that the Armenians don’t.

    How does saying that “Jews are statistically overrepresented in media positions” imply that Armenians are not well known? Makes no sense. I don’t think that’s what you were saying.

    Do you know where the largest amount of Armenian Americans are located? I have no idea, but I would guess LA and New York are up there. Wouldn’t you?

  14. doublereed says

    Do you know if Armenian Americans are over-represented in media positions compared to the general population? Have you checked anywhere?

    It really sounds like you haven’t thought through your argument. If you’re going to make such a comparison between Jews and Armenians (which I find a little pointless and stupid), then you should actually make the comparison, rather than just make vague insinuations about Jews in Hollywood.

  15. Dunc says

    You don’t know much about the Rwandan genocide because (a) Rwanda wasn’t our principle enemy in a globe-spanning war that is fundamental to the self-image of “the West”, and (b) the victims were African rather than European.

  16. brucegee1962 says

    Just a rough guess here — I wonder if one reason the Jewish holocaust is better known is that it was less effective — there were quite a few survivors to tell their stories. And since many of them came to America, they had more access to all sorts of means to tell them and people willing to listen.

    Also, the Nazis documented everything. The Turks, not so much.

  17. says

    That one’s easy. Name one Oscar-winning Armenian film director. Name one Oscar-winning Armenian actor. Name one person in power at a major studio or television station who is of Armenian extraction.

    I think it’s less complicated than that – many of us had ancestors and relatives who fought agains the Germans. And inevitably, “why?” comes up. The Germans seem to be pretty much OK now, so what happened? In order to understand WWII it’s easy to point to the holocaust and the obviously evil things the Germans were doing, and it makes for a nice clean story as to why Germans are pretty much OK now: they stopped doing that crazy nazi shit.

    The holocaust is an important but simplifying narrative that lets us avoid having to explain how the industrial revolution and militarization led to arms races, colonial economic imbalance altered the power-balance of europe, and a family of inbred fucking idiots that ran europe were allowe to have a squabble that killed millions through pointless badly-run military schemes. Confronting the insane stupidity of WWI and WWII is hard, while comprehending the insanity of the holocaust is fairly straightforward.

    The armenian genocide – same thing. The history of the collapse of the ottoman empire is complicated by the role of the british “game of empires” and the actions of the other european great powers. There’s no nice clean good guy/bad guy and no outstanding plutocrats that can be lionized into greatness like that horrible asshole Churchill, the incompetent popinjay Montgomery, the mediocre military bureaucrat Eisenhower, or the psychotic Patton. The establishment wants to be able to promote its scions as GREAT PEOPLE.

    The armenian genocide, from the couple books I’ve read about it, sounds like a sordid affair that made everyone involved look pretty awful. Nobody wants to talk about it because talking about things like that serve only one purpose: to erode claims of ethno-nationalism. The people who control our societies dont’ want ethno-nationalism to be revealed as the bullshit that it is (see SteveOr) because it’s the main lever the state uses to motivate its people (see SteveOr) to obey.

  18. says

    You don’t know much about the Rwandan genocide

    Romeo Dallaire’s book “shake hands with the devil” is soul-searing. It’s worth reading once in your life – it’s not a pleasant experience.

    We collectively don’t know much about the rwanda genocide because – once again – the ethno-nationalist system was revealed in all its monstrous glory as a system that nobody in their right mind should support or tolerate.

  19. says

    PS – by “ethno nationalist system” I am referring to the idea that peoples have “ethnicity” and should have areas of geography devoted to their “ethnicity” specifically. I.e.: the idea that the kurds should have a country, the verizon mobile customers should have a country, the … etc. The whole idea that people should divide themselves into zones prepared for conflict based on vague ideas like ‘ethnicity’ is crazy stupid.

    Occasionally on blogs I encounter people who say stuff about how mankind needs to colonize off earth in order to save ourselves in case there’s a catastrophe. But really, what mankind needs to do is get the fuck over nationalism. In the not too distant future our children will face a catastrophe that will require humanity to act with resolve and generosity – or there will be horrific wars and destruction on top of the destruction that will come from loss of agriculture and the collapse of food supply chains. It won’t matter if we have colonies in space if we can’t get our shit together collectively to respond to these massive challenges as a species rather than a bunch of warring cliques led by sociopathic ultra-nationalists who say “as long as my people are ok everyone else can get fucked” We’ve seen a lot of that kind of crap on this blog lately, in fact.

  20. Holms says

    If StevoR feels that similar boycotts of China or Indonesia are necessary (and we know he feels strongly about those issues since his username at one time was “StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!”), then he should be calling for them and working to increase support for them, not undermining the efforts of BDS.

    You hint here at the root cause of this red herring: if he (and others making this argument) is sincere in this ploy, then he should not undermine the campaign just because it is more popular than others. The obvious answer to this is of course that he isn’t, it is just a ploy to distract from his defensiveness regarding his apologetics for the wrong thing.

  21. sonofrojblake says

    @doublereed, 14:
    I would have thought what I’m suggesting is obvious from my wording: that, compared to their numbers in the general population, Jewish people are statistically over-represented in positions of influence in the media. It doesn’t “signify” anything, it’s just a plainly observable fact. Do you have a problem with it? Do you, perhaps, contend that it is NOT a fact at all? I’m unclear on what the difficulty is that you’re having with it.

    @doublereed, 15 and 16:

    How does saying that “Jews are statistically overrepresented in media positions” imply that Armenians are not well known?

    It doesn’t, which is why I didn’t say that. Try to keep up, do. The two facts are unconnected. I admit I’m baffled why you would think otherwise.
    Jewish over-representation is being offered as one reason why the Holocaust is comparatively better known about than other genocides. People write what they know, commission what interests them, star in what speaks to them as an artist. I don’t see that as sinister. It’s a mundane fact of the industry, isn’t it?
    I have no idea whether Armenians are under-represented or not, because I know almost nothing about their demographics. But I think the “name some famous Armenians in film/television” question, and the response it got (a link to a computer-aided answer with a list of just 54 people – of whom I’d heard of seven and might expect a keen film buff to have heard of perhaps a little fewer than half) says it all. There simply aren’t as many of those people in the business. Not slightly fewer – hardly any, even accounting for how they may be concentrated in NYC and LA.

    I’ve thought through my “argument” just fine, thanks. I’ve made no “vague insinuations”. I assume you think I’m insinuating… what was it? “Jews control Hollywood and have cemented that through nepotism and greed? ” That came out of your head, not mine, and I resent your implication that those are my thoughts.

  22. wereatheist says

    Israel’s regime and its atrocities are not just comparable to South Africa, it is comparable to the Kim necrocracy in North Korea.

    Israel is worse than European christians and the Nazis.

    Hyperbole? Obviously.

  23. says

    If you really care about A you should also be doing something about B, C, D, at the same time or your sincerity about A can be questioned”

    FWIW I tortured my financial advisor (American Express) about making sure I had no investments in South Africa, at all. Several other clients did likewise. A year or so later there were investment houses offering apartheid-free portfolios.

    It took about 20 years for the pressure to build against South Africa – which is really an eyeblink in historical time.

    Anyhow, yeah I cared about South Africa and I care about Palestine. I cared about Rwanda, too but Clinton blocked the US from doing anything.

    I remember when Slc1 was fulminating about this shit and I decided that every time he was going to challenge how much I cared, I’d donate another bunch of money to the local on-campus BDS group.

    And now this makes me wonder if American Express has an “israel free” portfolio. Just asking the question makes a difference, and I’ll bring it up next time I talk to my broker.

  24. dogfightwithdogma says

    Thank you Mano for this very articulate statement of something that needs to be said often, but sadly is said much to infrequently. I have encountered far more often than I care to recount, especially from many of my fellow liberals, arguments that I and/or others should be less concerned about injustice X because injustice Y is far worse and/or more pressing. Every injustice – no matter how large or small – demands action.

  25. doublereed says

    @24 sonofrojblake

    I’ve thought through my “argument” just fine, thanks. I’ve made no “vague insinuations”. I assume you think I’m insinuating… what was it? “Jews control Hollywood and have cemented that through nepotism and greed? ” That came out of your head, not mine, and I resent your implication that those are my thoughts.

    lol right. How could you possibly say this seriously when you say “I have no idea whether Armenians are under-represented or not, because I know almost nothing about their demographics.” It’s not as if being Jewish and Armenian is prominently displayed on people’s foreheads. Just because people can’t name famous Armenian American celebrities doesn’t mean that they don’t know famous Armenian American celebrities.

    If you don’t know anything about Armenian American demographics, then your argument doesn’t make sense. If Armenians are also over-represented, then it doesn’t make sense. Obviously, if you’re going to compare Jewish Americans to Armenian Americans then you have to compare them. You didn’t even bother. You just did a lazy “Well you know: Jews. Hollywood. Media. Enough said!”

    I’m not the only person who raised their eyebrows at you. It also included Dunc and Tabby Lavalamp. Yes, it’s a bizarre explanation to jump to, and reeks of anti-jewish rhetoric. I’m just going to quote @Dunc 19 again, because you didn’t answer him:

    Is the French Resistance so well known because the French control Hollywood too?

  26. sonofrojblake says

    @doublereed, 28:

    Just because people can’t name famous Armenian American celebrities doesn’t mean that they don’t know famous Armenian American celebrities.

    Are you contending that there are dozens or hundreds of Armenian celebrities out there but that in this age of universally-available information we just don’t know that they’re Armenian?

    I consulted the wonderful Armeniapedia.org, and did a search for “Oscar” on their “Famous Armenians” page. One for Cher (whom I’m sure we’ve both heard of), one for Stephen Zaillian, who I’d heard of because (ironically in the light of this conversation) he wrote Schindler’s List for the screen, and one for Atom Egoyan, a director I’ve never heard of. Just three – one actor, one director, one screenwriter. Now: this is from a diaspora population Wikipedia tells me numbers 11 million, of whom there are maybe a million in the US, in a total population of 320 million or so. So they’re a tiny minority, much smaller than the Jewish population, which is still only a little over five million – concentrated, as I said, way disproportionately in just two cities, NYC and LA.

    I also consulted Wikipedia, and was overwhelmed by their “List of Jewish Actors” page. Red Buttons, Luise Rainer (who?), Daniel Day-Lewis, Goldie Hawn, Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Alan Arkin, Martin Landau, Mel Brooks, Lee Grant, Judy Holliday (?), Walter Matthau, Simone Signoret, Shelley Winters, Dustin Hoffman – these 15 are just the actors who’ve WON Oscars. If I listed nominees, we’d be here all day. Life’s too short to try to list the directors, producers and screenwriters who are relevant to this point.

    Among all this less-anti-Semitic-than-thou bullshit, I’m still yet to see a response to this from post 12:

    If an observation has some “iffy history”, does that make it false?
    Are you contending that Jews are NOT statistically over-represented compared to their numbers in the general population in positions of power in the media?
    Or are you contending that, while they are, they exert NO influence from those positions?

    Before you respond to anything else in this post, just deal with those questions. Again, I don’t get exactly what your problem is with what are at root quite dull demographic facts.

  27. doublereed says

    Why are you calling them dull demographic facts when you’re the one bringing this up?

    Demographics are apparently only interesting to you when they’re part of common anti-semetic arguments. Seriously, what is so uninteresting about the demographics of Armenian Americans that you brought up? Do you at least recognize that your argument makes no sense without that information?

    You’re boring me at this point with your willful blindness. You know perfectly well I am not contending your facts but your insinuations and rhetorical JAQing off. Jumping to Jews-Control-Hollywood narrative when you clearly didn’t think that critically about it is not some perfectly innocent thing.

    Goddamn French Hollywood and their viva la revolution.

  28. sonofrojblake says

    I am not contending your facts

    Great. Because I haven’t insinuated anything. You are the one JAQing off – post 14 and 15 are pure JAQ. But since we’re explicitly in agreement on the facts, I’m going to withdraw and leave you to your snide insinuations.

  29. doublereed says

    Well admittedly post #14 obviously is JAQ, but post #15 is not at all. It has genuine questions in it that are in direct response to your claim.

    But I agree the discussion is pretty much over if you still don’t understand why three different people found your comments troubling.

  30. sonofrojblake says

    Back from my holidays…

    @doublereed, 32:

    admittedly post #14 obviously is JAQ

    The thing of which you were accusing me. I forgive your blatant hypocrisy.

    post #15 is not at all. It has genuine questions in it

    Really? Let’s take it bit by bit:
    “How does saying that “Jews are statistically overrepresented in media positions” imply that Armenians are not well known? Makes no sense. I don’t think that’s what you were saying. ”

    As you accurately point out, your straw man fictionalised rephrasing of what I said doesn’t make sense. Which is OK, because I didn’t say it. And you even IMMEDIATELY say that even you don’t think that’s what I’m saying. Which only makes me wonder why you bothered typing it, or whether you have any idea what you think. You’re not coming across very coherently here, since your first “genuine question” is something you immediately admit doesn’t make sense and that you don’t think has anything to do with anything here anyway. Moving on…

    “Do you know where the largest amount of Armenian Americans are located?”

    No. I don’t need to. It’s entirely irrelevant to the point, which you either didn’t understand in the first place, or have forgotten.

    “I have no idea, but I would guess LA and New York are up there. Wouldn’t you?”

    Yes, I would, on the basis that those are two very large cities that probably house lots of people of diverse immigrant extraction. Again, these questions, “genuine” as they may be, are entirely irrelevant the discussion at hand. Mere demographic presence – whatever the absolute numbers are – doesn’t affect the likelihood of the production of media concerning that group. If you want to see more than a minimum of books, documentaries, sitcoms, dramas, soaps and films made about things that have happened to your community, then you’re going to need people from that community in a position to write, produce, direct, pay for and star in those media. Regardless of the absolutel size of your community, if the number of people from it who are in a position of influence in the creative arts is vanishingly small (as I have demonstrated is the case for Armenians in a way it simply isn’t for Jews) then the amount of media produced will similarly be vanishingly small. And since the public gets its distorted picture of the world from those media, the picture they will form will be missing those elements of your culture, regardless of how many of you there are toiling in real jobs.

    the discussion is pretty much over if you still don’t understand why three different people found your comments troubling

    Oh, I understand perfectly well why you all found it “troubling”. It’s a weasel word that gets used when you have the uncomfortable feeling that you want to call someone a racist, or an anti-Semite, or something, but frustratingly find that you can’t because they have inconsiderately not expressed any actual racist or anti-Semitic opinions. I can see why that would be annoying.

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