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April 1991


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 13 Apr 91 16:38:42 CDT
text/plain (44 lines)
>    Uh, excuse me, Steve (and Ben) while I leap to Joltin' Jeremy's
> defense here.  The discussion of Campbell's alleged anti-semitism
> >had< wandered into theology, since it was Campbell's hostility to the
> Judaeo-Christian theological and mythological traditions that gave
> rise to the views at issue.  In any case, anti-Semitism and the
> media--your subject, I gather, Steve--is precisely what Jeremy wanted
> to nudge that increasingly sterile discussion toward.  This list is,
> after all, about film and TV, right?  So great, let's go to it; I'd
> like to hear more about your dissertation.  But it is outrageously,
> inexcusably unfair to suggest--as you do--that our faithful list-founder
> "condones" hatred of Jews because he wants to remind us that SCREEN-L
> is here so that we can explore the relationship of this and other
> important subjects to (you guessed it) >film and TV<.  Yes, it is
> necessary to discuss racism and anti-Semitism (and many other things)
> in "a variety of contexts."  This particular context happens to
> be the media, OK?  And if, now and then, in the heat of discussion,
> we ignore or forget that context altogether, it's perfectly proper and
> helpful for Jeremy, or anyone else, to point out that out.
> ***Patrick***
The discussion of anti-Semitism has persisted because of a few postings that
demonstrate a misunderstanding of what anti-Semitism is.  Anti-Semitic
accusations are not to be taken lightly, simply because the accuser is dead.
A discussion of anti-Semitism is not equivalent to a discussion of religious
theology. The representation of Jews in film and television does not encompass
the issue of anti-Semitism and the media.  Patrick, if you want to have a
discussion about anti-Semitism in the context of the media, you have to be
able to understand what anti-Semitism is independent of the media.  Not every
posting has demonstrated that understanding.
I appreciate and understand Jeremy's desire to keep this list on track, and
did not mean to imply that he condones anti-Semitism by doing so.  As a Jew,
however, I must again stress the importance of treating this topic seriously
when it comes up.  For better or worse, much of the discussion on
anti-Semitism has been to explain why sensitivity and understanding of the
issue is necessary.  Perhaps we can ground this discussion more within the
context of the media when I and others do not have to respond to vociferous
postings like the one above.
Media and other institutions tend to trivialize issues of anti-Semitism and
racism by telling people those issues aren't important or appropriate.
I hope this is not the case with SCREEN-L.