Racism, anti-Semitism and simultaneous vacations that are two weeks apart

Racism, anti-Semitism and simultaneous vacations seems like one of those which-one-doesn’t-belong questions.  If that were the case, most of us would probably pick simultaneous vacations, because racism and anti-Semitism are similar things and nothing at all like simultaneous vacations.

Racists can be anti-Semites and vice versa, but no one can go on simultaneous vacations two weeks apart.

It reminds me of the joke about Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms being a great name for a convenience store.  Not really, I just like that one.

So what, exactly do racism, anti-Semitism and simultaneous vacations have in common?  I’m glad you asked.

There were some interesting comments about the piece I did this week about black people being racists.  More specifically, it was about Barack Obama being a racist and the people who share that misconception.

One lady from Michigan suggested that I should have put the title, “Black people are the worst racists” in quotation marks, like I just did, quoting that title.

Ms. Michigan said that I was using sensationalism to draw in readers (I can’t argue with that), and that racists could do the same thing.  I’m not sure if she meant that racists would use my un-quotation-marked title to gain followers, but wouldn’t that be a good thing, in a twisted sort of way?

I don’t know how many racists followers I have, but if you’re one, please let me know.

I explained to Ms. Michigan that I was bound by the rules of punctuation, but that I am happy to have readers who search for sensational headlines.  I’m happy to have any readers.

The most succint comment came from a person-don’t know if it’s a man or woman-in Calabasas, California, of all places. He/she said, “What’s your point?”

Oddly enough, I can identify with that comment.

There’s two things, really.  One is the way a certain political party has demonized the President and painted a picture of him as someone whom you should fear.  He’s an un-American, Muslim, racist foreigner.

In the 1995 move, The American President, fictitious President Andrew Shepard said of his opposing party that they aren’t interested in solving America’s problems, only in making you afraid of them and telling you who’s to blame.

John Boehner’s mantra used to be, “Where are the jobs, Mr. President?”

Eventually, even the stupid people figured out that under this administration America went from losing 750,000 jobs a month to adding 200,000 jobs a month.  That’s a swing of almost a million jobs a month to the plus side.

It’s too bad the Democrats were afraid to mention that back in September and October.

Facts don’t mean a lot in our world, but labels stick.  That’s what brought up the subject of my friend, Mr. FOX and his labeling of the President as a racist.

Mr. FOX is a smart guy and, by all measures, successful.  He is a great cook, a gracious host and a good friend.  He just doesn’t like to be inconvenienced by facts.  Or confine himself to conventional definitions.  For people like Mr. FOX, it’s become a convenience to allow someone else to assign labels to all things political and just go with it.

Fortunately for all the Mr. FOXes, there is a cable network happy to accept that job.  They’re more than happy, they’re hard at work discouraging the need for information and shaping the electorate via slogans, bumper stickers and labels.

Which brings us back to the big three; racism, anti-Semitism and simultaneous vactions.

When the subject of anti-Semitism in Europe came up, Mr. Fox nodded and said, “Especially against Jews.”

Scratching my head, I asked, “What do you mean especially against Jews?”

After several minutes of discussion and then googling the term, Mr. FOX admitted that I was right-I’m not bragging here-and that he was amazed that he didn’t know that anti-Semitism referred specifically to the hatred of Jews.

I was a little amazed, myself.

Later in that same week, Mr. FOX, who was skiing at the time and was planning a trip to Mexico two weeks later informed me that he liked the idea of simultaneous vacations, one in a cold climate and one in a warm climate.

I know. I explained the meaning of simultaneous.  He said that I was just like his father-in-law.  I now have a better understanding of what he means when he says that his father-in-law is a know-it-all.

So, when Mr. FOX called the President a racist, my head didn’t explode.  I had, at that point become inured to an altered reality.  Wasn’t it Mitt Romney’s campaign manager who said that they weren’t going to allow their campaign to be shaped by FactCheck?

A wonderful young lady who grew up with one of our children used to talk about college parties where everyone got belligerent.  It turned out that when she said “belligerent”, she meant “drunk”.  Some may have been belligerent, but most were probably not.

We used to talk about England and America being two countries separated by a common language.  It turns out, in this 21st Century of ours, that America is a nation completely divided by our so-called common language.

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