Friday, June 04, 2010

Interested Actors

(fm the BC thread "May the Farce Be With You")

The big story in Twitterverse is the antisemitic meltdown of Helen Thomas who said that Jews should go back to Germany. Will the MSM be able to sit on this? Thomas is of Lebanese ancestry. The last name was apparently a popular one to choose when her parents moved to America. For example Danny Thomas, born Amos Alphonsus Muzyad Yakhoob in Deerfield Michigan, also chose his name to blend in. Most are unaware of the practice, which may be innocuous most of the time as it was with the actor who was open about his background and expressed no prejudice that I am aware of, and we assume that people with non-foreign sounding names are not acting from ancestral prejudice. It is important to know if people are acting out of personal animus when they portray themselves as neutral parties in the evaluation or performance of policy. For example I suspect given his name that most people are unaware that former Senator George Mitchell, who is a lead negotiator for the United States on Middle East issues, is of Lebanese ancestry. Can we trust his judgment and assume that he is not acting out of any personal bias?

No comments: