Sunday, 21 July 2013

Misrepresentation - the story continues

Two days on from my covering this in the post Misrepresentation on 19 July, Ms Grant has now responded, by flinging the sentence she doesn't like back at me. This has to be knocked on the head. I have responded with these actual words:

You are certainly determined to make your point. The complete offending paragraph in fact went:

'A cartoon needs to seize on some easily-recognisable feature that its victims must possess. In the case of Jews, that has for centuries been a massive hooked nose and other grotesque exaggerations. That's the convention. But the only Jewess I ever knew (around 1979) had a very pretty face and no hooked nose. It wasn't even large. She was clever and quick-witted, engaging, confident, a good talker, not at all religious (although I think she said her mother was), and very slightly olive-skinned. Those were the only things you might notice about her that made her a bit more exotic - and more interesting - than the average South London girl of the time. She was looking for a stepfather for her son, and faded from my life when she got her man. Anyway, so far as appearance and attitude went, she was not standard Jewish cartoon material. But it seems that enough Jews do resemble the historic standard image well enough to keep it going.'

I was discussing the centuries-old sterotype, for which I am not responsible. I gave an example of someone I actually once knew who did not fit that stereotype. I agree that the final sentence could be read as my own opinion, but it is not my own opinion at all. And the tone of the rest of the post is pro-Jewish, and anti those who are the enemies of what being Jewish might mean. You make too big an assumption; and you are in any case wrong about me.

I'm making a fuss because if you fling accusations of anti-Semitism at anyone (not just me) you will draw the attention of fanatics to them, and harm may follow. I am sure that even if you still consider me crass and insensitive, you wouldn't wish harm to me. Please do ponder this. You have every right to feel offended by someone's Internet posts, but the proper reaction, the best-considered reaction, is quite another thing.


I really hope we will now agree to comment no further. Each exchange makes my original post, and the words published to vilify or defend it, more likely to be picked up by third parties who may then use our spat as propaganda for their own cause. I would not like my words to end up pasted into either a Palestinian or a Zionist website, or into a site inspired by Al-Qa'ida. Nor should Ms Grant.

She doesn't say whether she did check out the rest of my blog output for similar slurs, finding none of course. I feel she didn't bother. Nor would the fanatics.

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Lucy Melford