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April 1991


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 9 Apr 91 14:42:56 CDT
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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> I cast my vote, too, for shutting down the anti-Semite slurs--the man's
> dead now, what can he do to defend himself?
Is this the right way to deal with the subject?  Anti-Semitism becomes
trivialized, like an academic position one might take.  Do we refrain from
discussing the racism of D.W. Griffith's _Birth of a Nation_ or the
anti-Semitism of a film like _Der Ewige Jude_ simply because the people
responsible for such texts are no longer living to defend themselves?
As a Jew, I resent _ad hominem_ dismissals of people based on their purported
anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, etc.  In the case of Campbell, I've heard from
a number of different sources of his anti-Semitism, but seen nothing
substantiated.  Perhaps a more constructive approach to this would examine how
this anti-Semitism manifests itself in Campbell's work or interviews, rather
than or in addition to what someone said about him.
In the meantime, let's not use terms like anti-Semitism lightly, either in
accusation or defense, of people dead or living.
Steve Carr
Dept. of Radio-TV-Film