This will be long and painful, but needs to be said.
Pretty bytes of hypocrisy served up nice and hot
Having watched the Gibson affair for a full week now and the non-stop replay of his drunken diatribe on my heritage, I honestly feel more offended by the public reaction than I do by the racist slur.
Frankly, this nation must seem to outsiders like nothing more than a collection of disingenuous and self-righteous, self-obsessed and vanity driven xenophobes, all eager to point a finger anywhere but at themselves.
I am offended, yes, as a Jew by Gibson and as an American by the Bush administration.
Until his film depicting Jews in a less than historically accurate way, I had never heard any comments by him on Israel in general or Jews in particular. Incidentally, despite Gibson's historical revisionism, the movie was embraced far and wide by the American right who now deny, as the morally dishonest people that they are, ever having supported the Passion of Christ as a true story, despite its historical inaccuracies and anti-Jewish slant. (See here; here; and here).
The "values voter" is and has always been a propaganda concept, sold and bought by the mass media to justify the inexcusable and twisted "compassionate" authoritarian agenda.
As a Jew, I was more offended by the Passion of the Christ, than I am now by a drunken actor, driving under the influence and spewing racial slurs. Honestly, the nation's overreaction to the Passion of Mel's drinking is only equal to the zeal it showed for him as though he were a prophet of God. But he did not then nor does he now deserve this kind of hysteria.
Gibson is now being covered to such an extent and in such a way as to make him seem a monster, a rare creature of hate in a sea of tolerance. But the reality is far more disturbing and Gibson is hardly the monstrosity or the face of evil and hatred when one considers his chosen profession, an actor and his statements on Judaism, which are rare and far between. In fact, he appears to be far more inclined to conceal his views until he has consumed large amounts of liquor.
Compare that with a "crusade" ushered in by the Bush administration against Muslims, the rampant racism against African Americans and the inexcusable and criminal - in my opinion - failure of the federal government to show any concern for New Orleans and the poor, elderly, and ill who were unable to leave.
How much coverage is there of the devastation in New Orleans that continues thanks to the contracts with Halliburton and similar cronies of the Bush/Cheney empire? Where are the black citizens of New Orleans? Where is the money for them? Why are they held at little camps with trailers and not allowed to speak to the media, having each of their visitors screened by military guards?
No, we are indeed a nation of tolerance and Mel Gibson screaming about Jews is just a bad apple.
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml