Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mel Gibson's Statement

Mel Gibson's Statement - AP

A Moment Mel Would Understand - Washington Post

Booze and Bigotry - Washington Post

Only a portion of one sentence of Mel Gibson’s scripted mea culpa is relevant, in response to his Malibu drunken anti-Semitic tirade of recent days. “I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display,…”

People are racists. Actors are people. Therefore actors are racist, or can be – just like everybody else. This racism exists generally behind alert ‘mental bodyguards’, but sometimes circumstances dismiss that guard and the ugly truths come out, as in Mr. Gibson’s case.

As an aside, this is why the ‘one drink’ rule is so important. It says that all interaction should cease after one alcoholic beverage. Nurse that drink, water it down, do whatever you must, but when it is gone, you should be too.

In any event, anti-Semitism is a good place to focus our need for understanding, because it is perhaps the oldest known form of racism. Jewish lineage and travails have made the group noteworthy at the same time as the beginning of recorded history. What we learn about our history of hatred for Jews informs all other hatreds and solutions as well. By all means, let us talk.

Now to be fair, Jews like actors, are also racist. I recall a Jewish co-worker once chiding a White co-worker on how anti-Semitism forced Jews to create their own country clubs. But what was loss on my Jewish colleague was that those same Jews, in turn, excluded Blacks from their club for similar reasons of race and religion. The same applies to Blacks, and so on.

When Whites, Jews, Blacks, Arabs, et al reach the point where they can openly acknowledge that we are all racists, bigots, anti-Semites, anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, and anti-you-name-it as a by-product of our humanity, only then will we be at the point of real examination, and potential progress - that point where Mr. Gibson has so dramatically placed himself.

James C. Collier


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