People, Politicians and Scoundrels, Religion

Karen Hunter, Steven Smith, Debbie Schlussel: CNN’s Pet Bigots

Karen Hunter and Steven Smith are Black. Debbie Schlussel is Jewish. You might think they’d know better than to be bigots. You’d be wrong. The video says it all: Paula Zahn Now.

11 thoughts on “Karen Hunter, Steven Smith, Debbie Schlussel: CNN’s Pet Bigots”

  1. Paul: I am surprised. Did you really think people who claim to be victims of bigotry practise none? Or is it that by belonging to communities, that are regularly victimisation fodder, they somehow owe it to humanity to be ‘better people’? I am a bit confused…


  2. I would have thought that (assuming people who have been through bigotry might have learned from it), too, Paul. But have learned that it’s not true. Seems most of us have/practice some form of bigotry, like it or not, to varying degrees.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if it were otherwise?


  3. I’m miss-understanding the question above… Shefaly, what does it matter if those atheists are terrible people or not. That is not what’s in question. What is in question, is whether or not the atheists were discriminated against? And whether or not the three people on CNN are bigots?

    About the video, it’s rather dis-heartening.


  4. @ Paul: One does not have to practise it, but I have learnt that to know how people can behave helps in day to day living.

    On whether victims of bigotry are bigots or not, may I recommend a film called ‘Mississippi Masala’? It is about an Indian family that migrates from Uganda to deep south in the US. The girl child is naturally keen on people of African descent with whom she grows up and is attracted to an African-American man (that he is played by Denzel Washington and the most bigoted woman will go out with him in a heartbeat, the one she skipped, is beyond the scope of this discussion). What ensues is very instructive.

    And of course, I am sure you have watched Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner where liberal parents find themselves shocked by their daughter’s choice (same things as apply to Mr Washington apply to Mr Poitier too for that generation I imagine).

    Bigotry is a truly unifying universal phenomenon, I have learnt. Amid my educated friends, who claim to be liberal, sometimes I am the only one defending lower castes, Muslims, black people and gay people. In their workplaces, these friends’ views will get them fired. In quiet moments afterwards I realise how much of a hard-wired liberal I am, to be enraged on behalf of all those who cannot defend themselves.

    @ Webs: Not sure I understood your question..


  5. @ Webs: On the atheism thing, I have to say that next to God, believers and religious folk fear atheists the most. 🙂 I wonder why!

    As for Europe’s intolerance as Schlussel (which interestingly means ‘key’ as in lock and key in German) points out, without heed to the silly state laws mentioned in the video: it is true that intolerance in Europe is increasing. But it is mainly driven by the refusal of migrants to integrate and practise common societal values. Nothing to do with religion and religion alone. Those who do integrate also suffer because of a majority that doesnt integrate as I have pointed out on this blog on another post..

    Yes there is some fear of being over-run by Islamists but that also affects other religions – not just Christians. Europe is divided enough in its many forms of Christianity. Islamism may even “unite” them!

    In the UK, we do not refer to terrorism as ‘war’ etc. That is giving too much credence to a minority of Muslims. We deal with them through the criminal justice system thereby using the power of signalling and language to our advantage. But yes, it does help that a large majority of Brits are liberal-thinking on such matters.


  6. @Robin: I wonder why the world so seldom at times seems to work the way we intuitively expect it to work?

    @Shefaly: It saddens me that you’re quite right to point out bigotry is a universal phenomenon. I think it can be rooted out by education — but it sure takes a whole lot of education to root it out. There probably is a genetic predisposition to it, methinks.

    @Meleah: My sentiments exactly!!!


  7. There are always two paths open to groups who have been persecuted: a greater empathy, or else a greater sense of tribalism. If I feel like “we” have been wronged by “them”, that will simply make me want to hurt “them” more.

    The trouble is that once I give into that impulse, I’ve re-created the same situation. Now somebody on the other side feels the same way: “they” (we) have hurt “us” (them)! And so they’ll strike out against us. And so on and so on….


  8. There is utterly nothing surprising anymore about black or Jewish bigots, because the days are gone when blacks (and certainly Jews)were really oppressed in America. Many have become part of the establishment, and often manifest its attitudes.

    Sure, if something egregious happens, like a swastika on a synagogue or a KKK cross-burning, all decent people unite against it. But the year is 2010, not 1950.


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