After I wrote the post Whorin’ and Schnorrin’, I noticed that a British Christian pro-Israel blogger, Adam Holland, unleashed a broadside against it. I’m always prepared for attacks against my work and my views. But I prefer attacks that at least possess a semblance of coherence. Holland’s was beyond asinine. Now before I continue, keep in mind this guy is British and not Jewish. UPDATE: A reader claims Holland is Jewish and American. Since Holland has no About page in his blog I couldn’t verify anything about his background. But he has been on the warpath against Anglican cleric Stephen Sizer for quite some time and written for the British blog, Harry’s Place, which was why I assumed he was British. If he is American, then his sloppiness and ignorance of his own country’s dialects is even more egregious.
My sin apparently, according to Holland, was that by dropping the “g” in “whoring” and “schnorring” I was mimicing the African-American dialect. Huh? First, someone tell me how a Brit knows anything about any American dialect, let alone African-American. Second, how does the Yiddish word “schnorring” become a racist epithet? Third, will someone tell this jackass to read my damn post, where he would discover that I derived the phrase from “If I’m lyin’ I’m cryin’,” which is an American southern-country phrase (not African-American at all). In fact, ALL Americans drop their g’s, not just African-Americans. Does Holland offer any proof that phrases in which g’s are dropped is solely a trait of African-American dialect? Of course not. Why let mere linguist proof or evidence get in the way of a good smear? A commenter at Harry’s Place suitably mocked Holland’s “excess sensitivity:”
Maybe I’m just a dumb limey, but it sounds like a shocking excess of sensitivity to me. We huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ gents find all this fuckin’ incredible.
Finally, note this passage from a story in yesterday’s NY Times about the linguistic similarities between Texans George Bush and Rick Perry:
Mr. Bush and Mr. Perry have more than a few surface-level similarities: the cowboy boots, the swagger…They share a…down-home way of speakin’ that’s heavy on the dropped g’s. (On the campaign trail last week, Mr. Perry frequently warned against “over-taxin’, over-regulatin’ and over-litigatin.’ ”).
So either that makes Rick Perry and George Bush African-Americans or perhaps racists if they’re making fun of Jesse Jackson, which is it Holland?
Fourth, the term “whorin’ and schnorrin'” referred to ALL 81 Congress members who Aipac brought to Israel. Of course, Holland is too lazy to note that I wrote an earlier post attacking the junket in which I criticized all who joined it, not just the African-Americans. And in the Whorin’ and Schnorrin’ post I continued that criticism of all participants. So Holland lies when he writes:
Richard Silverstein has published a racially charged attack on Jesse Jackson, Jr. and several other African-American congressmen currently visiting Israel.
It just so happens that only one, Jesse Jackson, wrote an op ed defending Israel and his “fact finding trip.” Hence my criticism of him in my post.
Holland continues his selective misreading of my post claiming I criticized Jackson for not meeting with Hamas. In truth, I criticized the fact that both Jackson and the 80 other Representatives on the junket would not meet with the leaders of the J14 social justice movement, Israeli Palestinians, and Hamas. He conveniently omits the first two groups since it’s a lot easier to tar someone when you can focus only on Hamas.
I laughed when I read Holland accuse me of saying that the Israeli bombardment of occupied Palestine is worse than Jim Crow. Shall we compare how many African Americans died during the 1950s and 1960s civil rights struggles to how many Palestinian civilians have died during the decades of Occupation?
Holland’s reading of Jackson’s JPost op-ed is equally selective. He writes:
Jackson’s position takes the interests of both sides into consideration…
Not true. In fact, the op-ed falsely criticizes the Palestinians for not embracing non-violence when many have, in places like Naalin and Bilin in Separation Wall protests. Also, Jackson offers not a single criticism of Israel in his piece. So he only takes the interests of ONE side into consideration.
Holland lingers somewhere in Cloud Cuckoo land in making this claim as well:
…He [Jackson] actually elicited an unconditional proposal on their part to discuss those compromises with the Palestinian leadership.
Equally nonsensical. What Jackson elicited was an offer by Netanyahu to travel to Ramallah. That’s it. No mention of what he would do or say in Ramallah. What did Bibi actually offer Jackson? An “unconditional proposal to discuss compromises with the Palestinians?” Nonsense. Anyone with eyes in their head who’s read what Bibi’s offered the Palestinians knows it’s gornisht. Nada, Zip. Zilch. Why would any Palestinian want to see him in Ramallah?
Now, it appears that my ‘good friends’ at Harry’s Place, ever vigilant on behalf of the rights of the Black Man, has joined the charge, republishing Holland’s rant about my supposed racism. It’s one thing when an obscure pro-Israel Brit takes issue with you. But when his friends at Harry’s Place republish this nonsense, a response is necessary.
If you didn’t know much about Harry’s Place, you’d think with their defense of Jesse Jackson Jr’s Aipac-dictated pro-Israel nonsense, that they and Adam Holland were the Black Man’s greatest friend. But I dare anyone to do a little Google research on Harry’s Place or Holland’s blog. How many posts has anyone written there about African-American rights? Now, let’s compare that to the posts and references I’ve made in this blog. Since when do Harry’s Place and Adam Holland, which only defend the Black Man when it’s in Israel’s interests, become the arbiter of African-American rights and interests?