Racism in America: Racial Hypersensitivity Blinds Us from the Truth

Vampire Squids Invade Goldman Sachs?

Image courtesy of Lauren the amazing artist destined for great fame in a few years, you watch.
Image courtesy of Lauren the amazing artist destined for great fame in a few years, you watch.

Which is the most racially, gender biased or sexually discriminating remark?

See results without voting

The Goldman Sachs Vampire Squid

In the wake of recent forum threads HERE and HERE involving feminism and anti-Semitism (or not), and of some recent events I observed personally, I could not help but be annoyed by an offhanded remark made during an interview on NPR (transcript here- and audio). The question was about whether or not the criticism of Goldman Sachs was legitimate or if it was really anti-Semitism picking on a “Jewish” firm.

They advertised the show as I'm driving along, and I think, Hmm, that’s interesting. I wonder if there’s anything to that anti-Semitic claim. That would be jacked up. Seems unlikely, but you never know, let’s hear the evidence. So I tune in figuring this will be good. And almost immediately I was so pissed off I wanted to ram my truck into an animal shelter so I could kill myself and take out some puppies and kittens too. Nothing good or thinking should have to endure a world that is this paranoid.

So here’s the deal. The guy they are interviewing, Michael Kinsley, a columnist for the Atlantic, starts off sounding pretty reasonable (and ends that way too, honestly). He’s talking about how some people think it may be suspicious that it’s Goldman Sachs getting raked over the coals and not like Morgan Stanley and other white-boy firms (all previous convictions for scandal totally ignored). So, no problem, that’s a fair question to consider as the interview starts.

The host ads a comment about how the anti-Semitic suspicion in this case can be compared to how it can be difficult for people NOT of color to criticize Barak Obama without being called racist too. Mr. Kinsley agrees that is a definite reality in our culture, and he doesn’t hesitate to agree that in this Goldman Sachs case, that is the sort of thing that has to be considered: is it anti-Semitic or is it that other thing, that thing where white guys can’t say anything about anyone who isn’t white anymore in our society because of how hypersensitive everyone has gotten?

So fair enough, they’re at least laying out the groundwork for the conversation, acknowledging two major ways of approaching the topic. Now, we just need some facts.


So we progress. The host quotes a line from an article about the Goldman Sachs written by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone. He wrote, The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" [emphasis mine].

At this point, Mr. Kinsley says:

That passage, which has been widely quoted, comes very close to the line, because, you know, it never uses the word Jewish but it invokes a lot of images that are familiar in classic anti-Semitism: the bloodsucking monster, this -the other. And it's smothering the normal life of normal people. All of that has - Jews have been victimized - and I should add - I should mention that I am Jewish - Jews have been victimized by that kind of imagery for centuries.

So, obviously, I, driving in my truck, immediately began looking for an animal shelter and some kittens. Who wouldn’t? Once our society has become this reactive, this absolutely paranoid and absurd, I just have to … I just ... I was filled with frustration and impotent rage. It’s just so unfathomably stupid. God! What has happened to us?

How is a goddamn vampire Jewish? They are from Transylvania. I don’t know what map Mr. Kinsley is using, but I assure you, Transylvania is really not all that close to Israel. In fact, in modern times, apparently vampires come from the state of Washington, which is even farther from the Jewish homeland. He was trying to make a claim that Jewish people are traditionally associated with blood suckers. But I’m telling you, Google it. “Jewish bloodsucker” gets you nothing, one moron in a forum. Jew and mosquito, Jew and vampire, Jew and leech, Jew and tick. Nothing. So I don’t know where he got that “tradition” but it definitely predates Google. You’ll get stuff about Jewish women’s health issues with facial tics. You’ll get a video with mosquito abatement. Stuff like that. Not very convincing on the hate speech front. So, vampire fails as a racial thing common enough, “classic” enough, to garner the assumption that it is “that kind of imagery” and “close to the line.”

Vampire squids...

... would like to be recognized for their own deeds, not the deeds or misdeeds of others.
... would like to be recognized for their own deeds, not the deeds or misdeeds of others.

Regardless of your opinion, I promise if you watch this, you will enjoy it. (It's got 1,300,000 views for a reason)

Furthermore, it’s not just a vampire. It’s a vampire SQUID. Squids are not Jewish themed at all. I Googled the term “Jew” and “squid” together to see if I could get anything, to see if there was some connection I missed somehow, something I hadn’t heard. I found “jewel squid” top of the search, which I admit was really, really close, especially if you ignore the ‘e’ and the ‘l’ on the end of jewel – which is actually in keeping with what we do in this society because ignoring key pieces of information and logic are the nature of our social and political interactions these days. BUT, since I refuse to be an asshole, I’m going to point out that it is actually a jewel squid, a type of squid and not related to Jewish anything despite the three letters at the start. I did find another passage about eating squid, which, apparently is not kosher. The line, “An Observant Jew wouldn’t be caught dead eating Calamari, as it is made out of squid which is utterly forbidden…” suggesting that even if Taibbi wanted to start a new stereotype with this vampire squid thing, he was off to a really bad start. (He was “flabbergasted” by the accusation by the way. Apparently he’s never heard of such things either.)

So, two words into this quote and already we are totally, amazingly far away from an anti-Semitic remark. But, let’s keep going. Surely there’s something in there, because, Kinsley is being presented as an expert and he did point out that, as he even said, “It [the quote] never uses the word Jewish, but it invokes a lot of images that are familiar in classic Anti-Semitism.” Yep, that’s right, never used the word. Hmmm. And I had no idea that the “classic” Jewish persecution included vampire squids. That’s pretty interesting and somehow managed to escape me for all these years - and I've read a lot of social theory, ethnic study, history, anthropology, philosophy, good old fashioned literature AND lots and lots of sci-fi, fantasy and horror. The description of a multi-limbed creature with a funnel proboscis jammed down a throat of a human struck me as more classic science fiction – somewhere between Jules Vern and Aliens the movie – than a standard Jewish hate image, but, I guess I could have missed that popular classic imagery; maybe Google just isn’t a good enough resource either and I need to dig deeper to find the overwhelming trend of vampire squid imagery associated with Jews.

But, I can dig further, just in case I am missing something. He also brings up the idea of “the other.” That the “monster” is the representation of the other. Which is fine. It’s well documented, and pretty much every human faction that ever wanted to dehumanize another human faction used this strategy. It’s been proven over and over in HUMAN history. It’s very hard to do horrible things to other people if you see them as people, so groups seeking to dominate others dehumanize those they wish to dominate, destroy or enslave. So, I’m totally with Mr. Kinsley here. But, this particular vampire squid is being described as “wrapped around the face of humanity.” That’s what the original quote says. “Humanity.” Not some of humanity. Not the part of humanity that meets some definition or another that excludes others. There is no exclusionary language in it at all. “It never uses the word Jewish” and it never says anything to specify that the vampire squid is a picky eater or a particular variety of squid beyond being vampire. It’s a company being called a vampire squid against humanity. A company. And not just sucking the money-blood of non-Jewish people, but all people not associated with it.

Now, unless I am missing something, not all Jewish people are part of Goldman Sachs. Which means, those people are being sucked dry by the vampire squid too. Kinsley even points out that there are Jewish people working for Morgan Stanley too. Turns out, Jews are part of humanity. So, to somehow leap to the conclusion that a vampire squid that sucks the money out of everyone’s economy, Jew and gentile alike, is almost, is "close," to being an anti-Semitic remark is not only ridiculous, it’s why this country is having a train wreck on levels that have nothing to do with the economy.

Why is everyone working so goddamn hard to find ways to be f-ing offended?

We actually teach people how to be offended now. Show them what to look for. How to turn an innocuous remark, or a stupid one, into something to be deeply incensed by. How to take nothing and turn it into evidence of oppression and an active disrespect for you and everything you stand for, the seedlings of oppression. It started as really great literary and philosophical criticism of established power, but it has morphed into a twisted mockery of what it was supposed to be. And worse, it blinds us to REAL discrimination. Every time someone calls a vampire squid anti-Semitic, they are crying wolf and reducing the likelihood that caring citizens are going to run up the hill and deal with a real problem.

Why would a white man put black characters in a novel?

The other night in a graduate level writing class, the conversation went to gender issues and, from there, to racial ones. After a while, a white guy made the comment, “I am afraid to put black characters in my stories because I’m not black, and to use a black character will put me under fire if I ‘do something wrong’ with him.”

A woman in the class replied, “Why would you put a black character in your story anyway? Only a white man would say that a character was black. Only white writers would write ‘the black man bent down to pick up the garbage.’ They would never write ‘the white man bent down to pick up the garbage.’”


And, that may be true in certain instances, perhaps lots of certain instances. I could have pointed out that a black guy might write that a ‘white guy bent down and picked up the garbage’ in a story he was telling where all the other characters were black; I might have pointed out that white guys write about their lives and experiences, which sometimes actually include black guys, and that this is a culture that is abundantly aware of that sort of thing so pretending that no one notices that stuff would be unrealistic and might render the writing flat or affected, but I kept my mouth shut because I’m white and male too, and this was not a room friendly to the race that has portions of it that have been cruel to everyone for so many centuries, unlike all the other peace loving races that have no knowledge of war, rape, greed, kingdoms, empire building or anything else. Only my race did that, so I kept my mouth shut. I also didn’t ask why she had her hypothetical black character picking up garbage and why that was the first thing that popped into her head for him to do.

Manifest Destiny

Pretty sure this was not that poor bastard's idea.
Pretty sure this was not that poor bastard's idea.

So, she and a few others sort of intimidated this white guy to silence. It wasn’t hostile, it was friendly, but there was an underlying tension in the room. He knew there was no chance of surviving a real conversation on the issue, so he made a wise tactical retreat into self-deprecating humor. They were satisfied. White man down. Wounded Knee slightly avenged. Etc. He was under attack, just nicely. I don’t even think he is old enough to have been at Wounded Knee. Don’t think he owns any slaves – he’s certainly never mentioned having any. I know for a fact he didn’t write California’s Prop 8.

There are a few lesbian writers in the group – I suppose I’m already screwed for pointing that out, I’m not supposed to be aware of these things as identifiers (like pointing out a character is black) even though the whole underlying argument that led to his comment was based on how the white man (which we can be aware of as a racial identity – one of evil - the "other" for the other) has caused lots of gender issues and other racial inequities all of which have created the experience of “the other” … the category of persons who are not the white male and how their lives are impacted by being so. So yeah, I’m not supposed to notice that they are lesbian, even if they themselves point it out constantly in conversations.

If you are white and male and get robbed by anyone other than a white, clearly hetero-sexual male, you cannot tell the cops anything.

“Who robbed you?”

“Not a white male.”

“What did he or she look like?”

“I can’t say.”

“You didn’t see anything?”

“Oh no, I saw him or her.”

“What about hair color?”

“It wasn’t blonde or red or a lighter shade of brown.”

“Eye color?”

“Not blue or green or hazel.”


So, hopefully if any of us get robbed, we’ll only be robbed by a white male. Which is possible, as white people represent roughly 12% of the world population, roughly half of them male, so there is a solid chance that almost one time out of every ten times we get robbed, we will be able to tell the cops what our assailant looked like. (As long as it is okay to mention height, weight, baldness, acne, etc. I suspect, however, that all of these are soon to be off limits too.)

Now, that said, I don’t deny the concept of “the other” is a real position that exists in opposition to power, in forced or enforced subordination to power, and therefore it is a position, a relationship to power, influence and access that needs a voice and deserves one. I totally agree. The dominant, the conquerors, the strong typically force their culture on those who can’t do anything to stop it – or on those that don’t care really as long as they can live their lives and be happy and the language of choice isn’t really that important if they can be semi-left alone. “The other” is a class of basically everyone who did not “win” the culture wars of the last two or so millennium or even battles of much smaller milieu, people that feel they have lost and want access to those freedoms and liberties that the dominant group has. “The other” takes place in social circumstances large and small, nations and families, cities and neighborhoods. It’s an orientation based on opposition to “mainstream” or "normal" or "best" as defined by the majority or those aligned with a majority, be it racial, religious or something else underpinned by power of some sort - the influence and the ability to shape the world.

It’s real.

I get it, and I’m not trying to pretend like nothing bad ever happened, and that the world is all fixed now and everything is perfect and equal. But what just bugs the crap out of me is that that whole room was just a flick away from wanting to gut that poor bastard for pointing out that he can’t put black characters into his novel because he’ll get eviscerated … just exactly like what he got. He can’t “criticize Barak Obama or he’ll be called a racist” to make a metaphor out of what the NPR host said.

Hell, he can’t even write a heroic black character into a story or he’ll be accused of pandering, or of exploiting the stereotype of the “virile black male” for his own literary and/or financial gains. His vampire squids will be called racist no matter what he does because he is white. Which is fine. We’re in a social space that requires atonement for the sins of our forefathers if we are white. Or, at least, atonement for the sins of people that had the same skin color as our forefathers regardless of what our actual forefathers were doing. There is a provable white benefit, white male advantage that white males have, at least in very high numbers, gotten from the course of history. However, until we as a society are done lashing out reflexively, communication is going to be stunted, truth slow in coming, and the real bad guys are going to be harder to find while we chase ghosts and vampire squids.

Writing is about communicating. It’s about sharing ideas. Learning about each other. Finding ways to be closer to each other. Sure, maybe it starts out with a little heat as emotions fire up, but the point is supposed to be about finding each other. Improving.

How is putting experts on NPR who actually conclude there isn’t anything anti-Semitic going on when it’s all wrapped up, but who will still say that a freaking vampire squid is “very close to the line” going to do anything but harm? God. It’s not f-ing close to anything. It’s an f-ing vampire squid. That’s all. Stop trying to be offended at every goddamn turn. Everyone. Just stop it.

If I want a black character in one of my stories, I’m going to put him in there. Or her. There are people in my world who have phenotypes that qualify them as “black” just as I am “white.” I didn’t invent these labels, and they don’t define me or my characters. Frankly, I’m not white. I’m more of a pinkish color, sort of yellow pink, with bluish-white undertones on the bottoms of my forearms and on my belly if I haven’t been outside in a long time. I have yet to meet any “black” guys that are actually black either.

The very existence of the tension in that classroom, the very notion that vampire squids are some kind of line-pushing racist suggestion by Mr. Kinsley, PROVE that I am writing in a world where there are in fact blacks, whites and Jews. They DO exist. We all exist with our labels. Which label anyone focuses on when they talk to us, or about us, depends on who that other is, on who THE other is in that given moment and context. And most importantly, the intent.

Total racial, gender and sexually oriented blindness may be a noble ideal to work towards, but for now it still just has a lot of the blindness part in it. Just that. The inability to see. Maybe someday we’ll all be able to notice nothing different about anyone. We may actually end up incapable of describing our assailants to cops when we get robbed some day. That’ll be great. We’ll all just get really great insurance and live happily ever after. But until then, for the love of God, can we all just take a breath and relax.

The tension is bad for kittens and my truck.

More by this Author

  • Is It "Buck Naked" or "Butt Naked?"

    This is a research based examination seeking the correct form or use between the contested terms "buck naked" and "butt naked." Research from the OED, academic debate, and a general academic search....

  • Is it "Bad Rap" or "Bad Wrap?"

    A brief examination of the correct grammatical use and origins of the phrase "bad rap." The purpose being to provide research based confirmation of its standard use and to show the grammatical basis for...

  • Workplace and Office Lighting Standards and Policy

    Examining Office and Workplace lighting, with a particular interest in the belief that brighter light is most conducive to higher productivity. Source material is academic and scientific, with support from industry and...

Comments 82 comments

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Vampire squid, I LOVE it! A new epithet for us to use.

What next? Vampire kittens?

This hub is taking me too long to digest and has thrown off my whole morning routine. Thanks, Shadesbreath!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks

You made some solid points there, Shadesbreath. Let's just hope the Google robots don't decide you've crossed the line!

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Goldman Sachs is a saintly INSTITUTION and NOT a “company”, as you imply in your undoubtedly anti-Semitic way.

Hah! Don’t think that you can get away with this subversive, underhanded way of trying to hide your undoubted general anti-Semitism and specific hatred of a Saintly company renowned for its ethics, sincerity, honesty, philanthropy and Christian business ideals, just because it’s Jewish! We know YOUR game.

And YES there is a connection between the well known and documented great vampire squid and Jewishness! And if you are too ignorant to know historical facts, it is not the fault of Goldman Sachs. In ancient times, there WAS a squid which crawled its way to Jerusalem and ate humans by wrapping itself around the face of whatever available children there were, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything it could find. And THAT my ignorant friend, is why the squid is no longer Kosher! For Christ sake, learn some history.

And Goldman Sachs should note that I am not greedy and whatever their going rate is I will accept half because I am doing this as a BELIEVER, not for base profit. In fact I can wait 30 days for them to send me their cheque and only after this comment is brought to their attention.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Austinstar, thanks for reading it. I know it's kinda long. I was watching the word count as I worked on it and was like, Damn, nobody will read it. Which is true, it will die a sad death like most of my hubs do, but that's okay. A few nice people read them before they float down to the dusty stack with the other long-winded diatribes and silliness I compose.

Thanks Aya. Coming from a deep thinker like you, that means a lot. And, yeah, I hope the bots don't ruin this too. I think the HP powers have the ability to intervene if the bots have completely missed the point (which they can't help but do), but not sure. I hope so. My Gay Proposal one is still up, so, we'll see.

Greek, LAWL. I had missed that important part of history. The Kraken Squid that attacked Jerusalem! That's my bad, and I do apologize for my flimsy hold on history. (I hope you get your cut, too, btw. At least someone should get something from those guys.) Great comment too!

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I hear your rant, but there are actually sources online that verify what this person was saying. (Have you ever noticed that if you are not the one being injured, it is harder to "get it"?)

I had never heard this connection either, but I am a very good researcher and I decided to check it out myself... I googled "Why are vampires associated with Jews" and all sorts of stuff came up.

I figured you being this incensed might like to see for yourself what I learned so I am not quoting them but citing a couple for our information. For whatever good it might do or not do... this is not my argument it is yours. I just like puppies and kitties too much to have you ram them.

I respectfully submit two sites discussing the vampire and Jew connection:

1. http://ejmmm2007.blogspot.com/2006/11/vampires-jew... The earliest reference to a vampiric creature occurs in a text of Late Antiquity, the "Testament of Solomon" (this is also one of the paradigmatic texts for Jewish sorcerers, because it portrays Solomon as a kind of wizard).

2. http://writinghood.com/literature/the-jewish-vampi... Ever thought of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” as anti-Semitic? Casting a new light on the famous vampire novel.

Curiouser and curiouser... I remain your redheaded fan.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Shadesbreath, feel free to erase this, but I must respond to Storytellersrus:

The fact that someone has to go to such lengths to find a connection with something that no one has ever heard of before and by searching on Google actually found just 2 “POSSIBLE” references, should speak volumes to any person of good will.

You can play around with "resarch" to your heart’s content and come up with whatever results suit you best. According to my DNA research, my roots are Scandinavian and if I combine that indisputable information with my name, then I am related to a Norwegian prince/priest by the name of Torstein Hallgrimson Mita. By the same DNA test, I have two Jewish ancestors and I can justifiably claim to be Jewish, though I am a Christian. As a result I feel very favourably towards Jews. But BS is BS and people who are using this strategy are not doing the Jewish cause any good.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Storytellersrus: Thanks for your interesting comment. I went and read both of those. The first is a discussion of vampires "across cultures" and discusses how Jewish lore and storytelling ALSO came up with the concept of vampires just as many others did. I'm not sure I can tie that to the establishment of a "classic imagery" associated with negative stereotyping of Jews however, as I mentioned in the article.

The second link is an article discussing "the other" as covered above, and is examining how the existing critical analysis of Dracula had NOT found it to be anti-Semitic, but rather "the other" of female or homosexual. So, the writer of that piece (not an academic site, btw) has applied the monster figure to Jews as it can be drawn from Dracula. Which is fine. I think I covered dehumanization fairly in my piece, and I think any monster story can be retroactively applied to any subordinate group, regardless of the original intent of the writer. So, I have no problem with that article as an opinion. However, it hardly constitutes evidence in its singularity as a stereotyping of Jewish people as vampires on any scale at all, an certainly not of vampire squids.

Seriously, thank you for that comment though. I totally have no problem looking at possible errors in my reasoning if there turn out to be any. I am a white guy, so if anyone is going to miss something, as you said, "If you aren't the one being injured, it's harder to get it." So, I get that, and I'm grateful for your reply, even if I don't think it puts my position in any jeopardy, and, frankly, actually seems to support it very well.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

De Greek: Of course I wouldn't delete your response. I never delete responses unless they are just so spammy with links and stuff I can't bear it. And yes, I agree that research can be twisted, just like statistics. Although typically, not with much luck if anyone reads the source material. It's usually the analysis that fails. :D

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

The Vampire squid runs rampid indeed. This made me think a wee bit reflecting on Bunicula...Great Read! BTW I'm scottish DNA proven and people constantly rag on me about being frugal. I'm the furthest thing from frugal. Thanks and Peace :)

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

lol @ Bunicula. I never read them but I know the story (stories?) you're talking about. Another absurd vampire. In fact, you made me think, I should link to my vampire hubs too since they are both absurd vampires of sorts. So thanks for that. Don't know how I didn't think of it.

Oh, and I'm DNA English and of Viking stock, and I am constantly ragged on for being a heartless exploiter, and I'm the furthest thing from it. :)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Shadesbreath - absolutely the ONLY way I could even consider commenting on any part of your most thought-provoking hub or the comments it generated was to read every word, though I confess I've not yet read the two other references cited by Storytellersus, though I owe it to myself to do so. Probably.

At first glance, upon a hasty trip on a recommendation during a real-time chat, I'd thought the hub was going to be about the recent newly churned ripples in the halls of government about Goldman Sachs' transgressions which I've seen on the evening news. (I tired of watching such proceedings all day long on the previous go-around, being reasonably convinced that almost every house on Wall Street was, indeed, out to make money & that what they could make occupied a higher priority to each & every one of them than being charitable ever has or probably ever would.) Besides - what 24-hour news channel offers a non-biased report, anyway?

But it never occurred to me that there might be any other "slants", or any kind of them/us involved, except - haves/have-nots;- and it could be a foregone conclusion that the bias from Wall Street's perspective would be upon the haves who lived in their own homes.

Depending on which side of the / one might happen to live, the "other" to him would automatically be - that one opposite the /. Nothing new about that, really.

I'm WASA (more agnostic than protestant), female, senior citizen and so-so on the have & have-not scale. Who cares who's prejudiced on scores of other possible issues? What has it to do with ANYTHING other than a waste of breathing-living for those trying to whip it into a storm made of implications, Google proofs, whispers and all the distractions which generally promote the worst of the have/have-not conditions to continue and to flourish?

I hate to pull "old-fashioned" - but really - getting to work on doing what is necessary to patch up the rifts & to bring together the commonalities out of the polarized end positions seems like a better use of limited life time to me. But I warned -old-fashioned, if old-fashioned means trying to make sense out of nonsense and find direction amid chaos.

What amazes me is that people, as you say - are so hell-bent on polarizing EVERYTHING - even down to this creepy little effort of some journalist to introduce into an already serious situation some kind of - as you say - almost an element of a sci-fi creature by which to - and it gets a little fuzzy here as to whether it's trying TO demonize or just to point out that someone else is trying TO demonize a race of people among us for the purpose of dehumanizing them - and/or to make it a real hit and maybe demonuze those who are seen as the doers-to as well!!

Two birds with one stone for that side!

By the time I get my mind around all those crooks and turns in what may have once been intended to be logical, clear, decent thinking about a real issue, -- I'm so unstrung, I might just jump in with the kittens and puppies to be crashed into the side of the - whatever! And after this tretise - there might be a big hooray!

But seriously - who has time for making problems where there are none, trying to raise a racist issue where there is none - and such stuff? Somebody needs to deal with the gigantic chasm opening up in all directions and not look for psychological equipment to manufacture more! It won't supply more jobs, in case that's what they're thinking.

Three priceless jewels from your article, IMHO:

"It’s very hard to do horrible things to other people if you see them as people, so groups seeking to dominate others dehumanize those they wish to dominate, destroy or enslave."

"...until we as a society are done lashing out reflexively, communication is going to be stunted, truth slow in coming, and the real bad guys are going to be harder to find while we chase ghosts and vampire squids."

"Writing is about communicating. It’s about sharing ideas. Learning about each other. Finding ways to be closer to each other. Sure, maybe it starts out with a little heat as emotions fire up, but the point is supposed to be about finding each other. Improving."

Thank you for a well-done, thought-provoking article, as well as for some excellent comments by those who have added their thoughts. As usual, De Greek's tongue in cheek humor can say more than many another "straight" reply. How on earth would I survive without him!

My appreciation for each of the comments so far and the thought-trails they open up. It’s not a trivial subject!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author


Thank you for taking the time to consider my little rant so carefully and give it such a thoughtful and insightful response. I wish more people would "pull old-fashioned" with you and maybe I would never have to write this sort of thing again. I think people are just going to keep being people and doing that, but I'd at least like to stem the tide before the forces that actually brought the voices of the downtrodden into the light become forces that put other voices down into darkness. What's the point of that? Change out the king of the hill? Start a new cycle? (sigh.) Bad enough that humanity is probably going to do that anyway, since that's what we do, why add to the misery on purpose? (sigh again).

Oh, and I'm totally with you on De Greek. Dude is hilarious. I'm glad he doesn't give straight replies too. It's the difference between walking to the library and getting carried their in the arms of a bikini clad super model on a pogo-stick. I'm not sure what that really means, but one is obviously a lot more fun. :)

salmon 6 years ago

This is amazing. Really. I hardly know what to say other than everything that you have pointed out is truthful. I do wish that one day, race or sexual orientation or all of those other characteristics could just simply be identified and no longer bring odious feelings. But that's like... wishing for world peace. Certainly that will happen some day, right? :)

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oh, Carp, now Nellieanna has destroyed my evening perusal of hub pages. Sheesh, she wrote a whole 'nuther hub!

Can I get carried to the library in the arms of Duane Johnson, the Rock? I'd go bouncy bouncy with him any day. But say, isn't he Polynesian, Black, Jewish, Rastafarian? I have no clue.

I'm still trying to use vampire squid in a decent meaningful sentence.

The only way I can relate this whole diatribe to Goldman-Sachs is - they must be Jewish because they are huge money lenders, but in a slimy squid like way. Because everyone knows money lenders are Jewish and it's obvious that GS is slimy. They suck the victims dry with undying interest rates. Therefore, they are undead corporate types with a slimy reputation and this is obviously Jewish. Ok, now my Vicodin is kicking in, so I can understand it all.

Unfortunately, I am an obese white woman and sort of a blonde (strawberry) at that, so maybe I am unable to understand any of this, in addition to being middle aged and over the hill, I am mildly offended by anything that requires brain power. Please allow others to do my thinking for me, aka ditto heads.

What were we talking about anyway?

Is the whole point of all this why are the collective "we" offended by any kind of racial stereotyping innuendos? Who the hell knows? We just are. Get over it!

MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago

I had a customer in rural Ohio, an area of the country where the Glick's are Amish and my presence increased the local Jewish population from zero to one. This customer seemed to be fascinated to have a Jew in her office, and she used this curiosity to ask questions of me regarding my jewishness. As is often the case when being questioned about my heritage, the conversation was directed to the Holocaust. I shared with her that historically and statistically speaking it is possible for something similar to occur again. Her comment was,"That will never happen, the Jews own and control everything anyway."

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Salmon, uh... yes. It will happen. Just keep waiting. And, uh, don't quit your day job just yet to make plans for the celebration.

Austinstar, you're quite right. And I think pretty much all of us have something that can be counted as qualifying us as "different" from some other group. It's why there is almost no person alive who wasn't bullied during childhood. It's just too easy to find "difference" to the point where it becomes pretty damn obvious that it's not really about difference at all, it's about power and fear.

Mordechai, I don't even know what to say to that. I guess there comes a point where people are so ignorant they deserve pity. I read somewhere a couple years back about a black reporter who went south and interviewed people in the KKK, those that would talk to him anyway, which were surprisingly more than I would have expected. He came back and the one comment I remember most from the interview he gave went something like, "I felt sorry for them, actually."

Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Great Hub, Shades, and certainly strikes to the heart of the point. Nowadays, you seem to spend so long trying not to offend that it creates more offense.

I think that one of the drivers behind this idea of uber-political correctness is the academic world. In many disciplines, especially social sciences, psychology, and anthropology, you have to be very careful to use neutral language.

This is a good thing - if you read anthropology books from the turn of the 20th Century, some of the terms used to describe groups of people are pretty awful, certainly by today's standards of language usage.

The problem is that academics have carried this into areas where it does not belong i.e. The Real World. You cannot legislate tolerance - it has to filter into society, and this over-sensitivity allows the real hatred and intolerance to breed in the darkness, by giving it a veneer of legitimacy.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Yes, Sufi, I agree; academia is a big part of the problem. I think many teach what they read but don't really GET what they read. Also, I totally agree that creating the hypersensitivity does push people who do have racist or other negative feelings towards others into the shadows.

In the "real world" I have a pretty congenial way, and people typically feel comfortable around me (it's the 23 years in sales). What I see a lot is people open up to me sort of randomly and share some "inside joke" that is racist. Sometimes it's so random and out of context with the situation that I think it's a test, sort of a "let's see if he's one of the club" kind of things. I watch them speak to me, watch their eyes narrow, watch their body language. You can tell they know it's wrong by the way they turn, their voices drop, posture of a dog that's peed behind the couch and you don't know it yet.

Some may just be doing it out of habit, the impetus of a dying trend, a racism reflex learned from parents that is washing up the beach like the foamy edge of a spent wave, the energy lost climbing up the slope of modernity leaving only little clumps of empty fluff that hiss quietly and slowly fade away.

Some are just bigots.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Sorry Shades, but I am curious about MordechaiZoltan's comment above. How did the customer and/or store keeper know that he is Jewish? Does he carry a sign? Unless he is an orthodx Jew with all the trimmings. These ones are considered annoying by the Israelis in Israel, because they will not do military service and have all the benefits. Otherwise, my own Jewish friends are indistinquishable from any other human!

mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

Shadesbreath, generally I don't read long articles, but this one caught my interest. People are easily insulted today and it's true some people have to be more careful about what they say than others. I don't know how old you are, but some years ago, Jimmy The Greek made a comment regarding the genetics of black athletes. I don't believe his intent was to be malicious, but it lost him a job. Of course there are many more examples, but this one came to mind for me.

We do have people making outrageously stupid comments on occasion, but a whole race, gender, or religion should not have to be judged or condemned for one person making a dumb comment.

As for describing characters in one's story/novel, I feel there is an absolute need for it. If the author wants you to know a character is black, white, or hispanic he must feel it is important to how and why he is telling his story.

Don't want to get long winded, but one more thing. The news media today, seems to create it's own news. Seems the news programs are there for entertainment value, rather than informing the public. Thanks for this article, too bad it's not required reading for all writers.

I have written a fictional account of some of my experiences in Vietnam and I tell the reader if the character is white, hispanic, native american, or black. I think such descriptions add flavor to our stories.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

De Greek, I wondered that myself, but figured it must have come up somehow. I have a neighbor that mentions his Jewish heritage all the time, so maybe it was like that.

Mquee: Thank you for reading this; it is long and I know hubs are typically about 1/3 the length of this, so I really do appreciate your time to read, and for the thoughtful response too. I do remember the Jimmy the Greek comment, although mostly from the conversations, not from having been watching when he said it. My whole life I've grown up watching and listening and, perhaps the curse of the writer, trying to find the truth in what everyone was saying and looking for the deceivers amongst the collective crowd.

And I couldn't agree with you more about "news." Although, I would argue that they have been entertainment for quite awhile, but have begun more recently to turn more and more into commercials, both for their own stuff (my god if I have to listen to another local f-ing news broadcast direct me to its website every five minutes for another five years...) and for whoever pays them. It's a joke, and it's why the crap that is happening is happening. News is supposed to be the third leg of the stool. Government, Business and the Press... all checking and balancing. Our press has just become Business, and a two legged stool falls over, which is the furniture equivalent of a recession.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Oh, dear. Austinstar - I must plead guilty. And apologize too. Already having your morning routine thrown off by Shades' vampire octupus hub, then I came along destroying the evening's hubpage perusal as well!

Seems this sentence accomplished this: "I'm still trying to use vampire squid in a decent meaningful sentence." ;)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

". . . that is washing up the beach like the foamy edge of a spent wave, the energy lost climbing up the slope of modernity leaving only little clumps of empty fluff that hiss quietly and slowly fade away." What a wonderful simile, Shades!

mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

Shadesbreath, it seems that your article here has given a lot of us food for thought. In a world where people are increasingly "unthinking",that's really an accomplishment. I think one responsibility of a writer is to do, just this.

MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago

I couldn't bear to exist another day with the Greek's curiosity unquenched so it goes like this: "So, Mordechai, are you jewish?". "Yes." I say. Does that explain it?

Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

I would only point out that Enron was a white boy firm. So was Arthur Anderson. So was WordCom...

And I don't know, I'm pretty sure Microsoft is a white boy firm too and they were hit at pretty hard by the government powers that be for a while there.

Racism? It's a word I'm really getting sick of hearing. This guy is a nut.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Nellieanna, thanks. I liked that one too. That's one of those where it comes out and you stop and go, "Hey, that came out kinda cool."

Mquee, yes, the responses that I've gotten here have been very gratifying. The glib, one-line exchanges we all have on many hubs are fun, but it is nice to read careful and thought out responses to something that matters. I wish I was better at SEO and stuff, I'd love to see more. But, alas, I am wayyyy to lazy for that sort of thing.

Mordechai, I can't help but wonder why they even asked. I'm assuming there was a context for the question, or was it just out of the blue?

Springboard, yeah, I totally agree and that was my first thought too. It's like, has that dude even read a newspaper in the last year or two? It's part of what incensed me to write.

NK 6 years ago

Hey, a big congratulations on being featured. I found this hilarious and enlightening at the same time. I really gave me mental fuel for pondering. I almost felt like I was reading a novel. Thank you for this wonderful hub (I hope it doesn't die a slow death!) :)

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Thanks NK. I didn't know it was being featured, so that's nice to hear. I suspect it will die a slow death, but, that's how it goes lol. I go back and visit them from time to time, my moribund vampire and caveman hubs and sigh. lol.

MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago

Hi Shades,

The context was "what kinda last name is that?". It was a long time ago, not sure why I mentioned it, hope it did not distract from your hub.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Nope, not at all. Besides, I could use a distraction.

valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

You have a valid point here. The whole world seems to feel mistreated, so now I guess white males can join the movement too. It's in to be a minority. Hell. I don't care what kind of minority it is, just so you fit into some kind of offended group. I voted for obama, and support our president, I hate to hear him criticized, but could care less what race the person doing it might be. There is too much concern about specific groups, and not nearly enough about humanity as a whole. Good writing. By the way, I am a decendent of the French, and proud of it. (: V

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hi Valerie, and thanks for the comment. You're spot on with that "being in to be a minority" thing. At least in our culture here in the U.S., and seems a good deal of Western Europe too. Everyone is a minority, everyone is a victim, everyone is put upon, everyone knows how to fix it. Nobody, on the other hand, wants to take responsibility, and nobody wants to pay to fix it. All we can do is try to write through it. (And you should be proud to be French. The French have a fascinating history and they sure helped us out gaining our freedom.)

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Pls erase this, but though you might like to see:

"""""If you exclude the truly brilliant geniuses such as Shadesbreath, the inimitable Zsuzsy Bee, the amazing Christoph Reilly and a few others """""

on my last hub...sorry to intrude

profile image

vhwang7 6 years ago

Wow, I never thought of the Goldman case in this way before. Great hub Shadesbreath. VAMPIRE SQUIDS! XD...

Aya_Hajime profile image

Aya_Hajime 6 years ago

Very interesting hub Shades.

On GS I personally think we should just focus on the crimes committed, and how to keep them from happening again. Perhaps they should return some of the money taken and help rebuild what they helped to break.

In terms of hypersensitivity - I agree with you that especially in recent times, it sometimes gets taken too far. However, if a person has had to go through many instances of discrimination in his life, it will be natural for him to be more sensitive over those issues. It really is no fun experiencing discrimination and feeling like you are powerless to stop it.

As a result, later on in life, when you are perhaps less powerless - you may sometimes leap before looking. Not saying it is good, but just that it is so.

It is a difficult issue and the media is making it worse - but ultimately we the people must take responsibility for it, do our own thinking, and perhaps try to be more understanding of the other side.

Sadly, outrage is popular and empathy is not.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Thanks Vhwang7. Honestly, I hadn't thought of it like this until that guy mentioned it either. I had it grouped with all the other Wallstreet and other firms being prosecuted for fraud over the last several months/year or so. I was totally shocked to see one company on the long list suddenly being hinted at as a martyr or something. That's what irked me so.

Aya-Hajima; always nice to have a visit from you. Thank you for your thoughtful response. And you're right, people who haven't been discriminated against can't possibly know what it is like. And, "outrage is popular and empathy is not" is a deep truism. That outrage is become reflexive. I suppose the upside is that if everyone finds reasons to be outraged by something, everyone will know what it's like to be a victim because we'll all be victimizing each other. Equality takes on a perverse new light. Empathy from everyone would definitely be the better course. Hope we get there.

Sab Oh profile image

Sab Oh 6 years ago

It seems that you don't grasp the 'vampire' thing because you are not Jewish. Were you aware of one of the most popular conspiracy/myths about Jews among Muslims of a certain hysterical bent? It is that there is a secret Jewish ceremony that requires the killing of young Muslim boys and the drinking of their blood. You can find this on one of the bagajiliziwillian Muslim websites that cater to conspiracy nonsense.

I didn't see where the person you quoted said anything about squid.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Sab Oh: Well, like I said in the article, I understand the Kinsley's point was that there was "blood sucker" subtext to the "vampire squid" comment made by the Rolling Stone guy. But, as I also pointed out, if it's such an overpowering racial stereotyping metaphor, it should be more visible than having to find some "bagajiliziwillian Muslim website that cater to conspiracy nonsense." I did put a link to a site that found an octopus political cartoon made by the Nazi's but even those researches concluded that there wasn't anything to it relating to the Rolling Stone article. And, what do you mean you don't see where the person said anything about squid? I linked it and quoted it. You lost me on that last part.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Some grew up in an environment where Jews were portrayed as blood-suckers and "the other" and worse. This portrayal came out of fear and envy going back thousands of years into family, religious, and national traditions.

For many, the Jew was the monster in the night, the robber of young children, the devil to whom the soul was sold for the sake of a paltry loan. These conscious or unconscious visions coming out of fear and envy bred and still breed hatred.

The subconscious harbors more than the rational mind can understand without a great deal of personal work.

To deny the existence of this prejudice which may be overt or subliminal is to hoodwink oneself.

I found your Hub because of your comment in the forum thread "Is race really a big deal in the US?"

Yes it is. It is alive among blacks and whites, Jews and gentiles, Latinos and Asians, among everyone who is different from anyone else.

Speaking about NPR, there was a spot on today...


...asking whether immigrants should be held to the same standard of racial tolerance as we US citizens are expected to. What a joke.

Racism is alive in every culture around the globe. We Americans are not supposed to acknowledge our racial prejudices, or even to acknowledge that they exist, whether they exist in conscious thought or in unconscious fears.

Yours was a rant. And a good one. Most provocative.

Although there may be no contemporary "literary" reference to "squid", it's the subconscious mind that can make a monster into any form it likes.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Sally, that's an interesting article. I like how the author didn't get bogged down in the part everyone already knows. Racism is a human issue, just like you said. We all have them. Some of them we know we have, some of them we don't even know is "prejudice" in the eyes of someone else. If somehow we could get everyone to just calm down and talk, if we'd STOP focusing on "diversity" and start focusing on how we all want the same thing... respect and freedom, we could probably make some headway. I think we are, actually. I hope we are. The Arizona thing notwithstanding. (I'm resisting piping in anything on that, because that's not the point of this article.)

As for the history of the vampire squid and Jewish people, I hear what you are saying, I acknowledge the obvious nature of the comparison to a vampire in the mindset of someone hating "the other" given the stereotypes so associated with them. However, my point was that A) that was not the Rolling Stone person's intent, and B) you sure can't find any documentation on that "classic imagery" by searching it on Google. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and I of all people know that Google is a horrible way to do academic research, but you'd think something that "close to the line" would have SOMETHING search-able given the assertion that is is "classic" and the suggestion that the statement was recognizable. I risk going long here, but I was at a Dinner Theater once (one of those mystery things where the audience are all suspects). And a black actor called out this one diner as a suspect in the "murder." The diner stood up, embarrassed, blushing. "So, where were you when such and such happened?" asked the actor. The guy sort of stammered out, "Boy, I uh, don't remember." The place fell deathly silent as the whole room held their breath, the actor guy was taken aback, but he recovered and the play resumed a moment later. But it was awful and left the audience all feeling out of sorts. That guest did NOT mean the racial epithet of "boy" he meant, just "Oh, boy, I'm not sure." (sigh) There's a prejudice of expecting people to be prejudice as much as there is actual prejudice.

MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago

Being a neurotic, overemotional, easily offended Jew,I must say that I find nothing even remotely anti-semitic about the blood sucking squid comment. I do recall at some point seeing vintage Nazi propaganda depicting hook nosed bearded Jews drinking the blood of Aryan babies, but nothing with regard to vengeful shellfish intent on draining the bank accounts of the masses. Lets face it though, when high profile people of an ethnic group act out the stereotype they are labelled with, it does not help the rest of us normal folks just trudging down the path to eternal bliss. In my view, the real danger in fanning the flames of global antisemitism is not from cleverly worded phrases written by inconsequential journalists, but rather from the actions of high profile members of society acting in stereotypical ways, in effect becoming custom made symbols to be used by hate mongers to perpetuate their agendas of fear, hate and intolerance. I can only hope that our society is educated enough to realize that horrific behavior by a small percentage of one group does not translate to across the board condemnation of the whole.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Any time anyone does anything wrong, the folks that hate the group that wrong-doer belongs to will turn that individual's action into "evidence" for the entire group. It's too much power/responsibility to put on any one person to have to be the representive of an entire race or culture or ethnicity or gender or faith or physical reality or any other singularity. People may have many singularities but they can't be reduced down to one. That sounds like platitude, maybe it is, but, sadly, it's so obvious and yet we keep missing it as a species.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

"There's a prejudice of expecting people to be prejudice as much as there is actual prejudice." Agreed. Maybe there's a prejudice gene we all share and thus will never get rid of the thing, unless by genetic modification. Or maybe it's an organic disease for which the cure has not been found.

Personally, I do feel that this friction and angst are all part of a god's plan. It's a necessary thing to be gotten through as a species. I don't think dogs do this.

mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

Hi Shades, I find it odd, that as a young child I never heard my parents or grandparents complaining about race. I am not saying that they didn't have prejudices, but I believe that they were trying to teach us, as children, that you judge each person on his/her own merit.

I find it disturbing that so many people are complaining now about race and racial issues. My grandparents grew up in Alabama in the 1930's and I know they saw and may even have experienced some bad things.

Things are better than they once were, but some people don't acknowledge that.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Sally, maybe there is a gene. I bet there is. Some old resource guarding primate leftover that makes us get all tense and ready to protect our wimmins and our stash of coconuts and mammoth jerky. (Sigh)

Mquee: I think some of it is because there's money to be made. Lawsuits to wage, textbooks to sell, political careers to be had. Noise distracting from the real racial skirmishes still being fought and seeding the hypersensitive stuff. Just a thought.

Pandoras Box profile image

Pandoras Box 6 years ago from A Seemingly Chaotic World

Good hub, Shades. Well thought out, as usual. Now please don't hurt the kitty cats!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

The kitties got a reprieve. I vented my energies here, thus saving their fluffy little hides.

Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Excellent hub! It is true, you can't swing a stick anymore, without someone being offended. When I was in college, at the ultra liberal University of Colorado, at Boulder, I got into a debate with a professor who wanted to give me a B instead of an A because I didn't agree with the class view of socialism. I did not win that argument. You are correct, people are toooooo sensitive, and always looking to be offended.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hi Deborah. You are right about the stick swinging thing. Although, if you swing a stick at me, I will probably be offended too. LOL. As for college, well, that's how it goes. There's a mixed bag of professors out there. There are the ones that want you to think and make good arguments, those that want you to repeat back what they say by rote, and those that have an agenda. The first is awesome, the second probably doesn't hurt you, and third should be a crime. It's like mind rape, because kids in college trust these people, they believe that someone with a Ph.D KNOWS stuff, has FACTS. Anyway, I risk a diatribe. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Raven1001 profile image

Raven1001 6 years ago from Washington

For the bloodsucking comment:

while doing research on WWII I did come across this reference. But while studing the history of christianity I also came across the same reference for them, along with rumors that they had wild orgies and sacraficed children. Read enough history and we're all bastards.

For the vampire squid:

I also had never heard this story, and I did a pole of a few people (32 but only 6 were jewish) and not one of them knew what they hell a squid had to do with any race . This may not be overly surprising since there are people walking on the street who don't know how many states we have or who fought in the civil war ( I kid you not, look for those youtube clips "why people think americans are stupid")

If I had not read these comments I would have been in complete agreement with article, whoever compared Jews to squids are freaking nuts , and I would not have given credence to anything they said. But since it's been pointed out in these comments that they did have a historical basis for their remarks, racist as they may be, I can't just write them off as crazy people. I had actually stopped listening to them but thanks to de greek I realize I should have paid more attention to what they were saying, and I'll go back and read these articles with a new perspective.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Raven, yes, De Greek was spot on with the history of the squid that crawled onto land and wreaked havoc on Jerusalem and ate their children. I too am glad he revealed the clear link to vampire squids and am considering rethinking my entire position.

platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 6 years ago

Your article raises an enormous amount of questions. The First and most important one is this: Why is it that people who consider themselves Jews are always singled out, when it comes to what appears to be a financial monopoly. Just a question!There are many historical examples that may lead people to this conclusion whether it's right or wrong. While were are on the subject, what make you a Jew, is it because you practice Judaism? The reason I ask that question is because are a variety of people who practice Judaism and they are never mentioned.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Well, for one, there is a stereotype associated with Jewish people and banking and usury etc. So, if you're asking why a financial issue could end up having anti-Semitic undertones or overtones, that is a long-standing stereotype (one far more recognizable as a stereotype than a vampire squid, that's for sure.) The problem with it historically is that, while I'm sure you can find many examples of Jewish bankers that were greedy, to single them out ignores all the NON Jewish greed that has taken place. I'm not going to write a whole article here on the nature of money lending and religion in early times, but the bottom line is, GREED is manifest in every race and ethnicity. It just becomes "fashionable" or easy to point to particular instances and claim that they define "all." Which is what stereotypes are. It's like saying white people can't dance or Asians are good at math. I can find you lots of white people who can't dance and "prove" the stereo type, and I can find you lots of white people who CAN dance and disprove it. Same goes for all stereotypes. It becomes a matter of what you want to see, and of seeing what you want.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago

Very thought provoking hub. Our differences have helped make this country great. Dwelling on the differences diminishes us. Blaming these differences for our troubles divides us.

I happen to agree with Raven1001 -"Read enough history and we're all bastards."

I'll go one further as well, go back far enough in history and we are all slaves and slave masters, serfs and lords, vanquished and conquerors.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I agree, Joni. Just so long as we don't leap to far and say, "Problem solved," either. We're hardly a truly egalitarian society yet, but we've set the stage to become one I think. Have to find the balance now between weeding out the remaining racism and allowing people to be genuine, if they are annoying or offensive. I'd rather see the spider in the room than discover it crawling on my neck.

platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 6 years ago

I am curious, How are the Falasha Jews treated it Israel.These Ethiopians can trace their lineage back into biblical times. That being the case Are you from a family that converted Many generation ago or can you trace back similar to the Falasha. I Just trying to find a person who classifies himself as a Jew to answer that an one more question. The other question is complicated and I have read many books and there is not a hint as to Why of all the people in Europe The people who Classify themselves as Jews are stigmatized in this manner. I am not making any accusations just trying to get a clear picture in my mind.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

First, I'm not Jewish, so not only can I not speak for all Jews (and I don't think anyone can), I can't speak for any of them, at least not "as a Jew." I can only speak for people as people, which I try to do. The answer you are seeking is too complicated to be given in the comments field of this article. If you are truly curious, do some reading, log some time in a library and look into academic sources involving differing religions (Jewish, Islamic, Christian), then into how banking works in different societies/cultures, particularly as they relate to religion. Read up on power and distribution of wealth, maybe some Adam Smith and even Marx. Then read up on the concept of "the other" of which you will find tons. Then do some history of Europe, particularly the decades leading up to WWI and II (make sure you read up on British involvement in the Middle East as part of that - and as a necessary digression, the history of the Middle East itself). That will get you started - if you are truly trying to get a clear picture in your mind, anyway. If you're looking for a simple answer (or an argument), you won't find one here.

profile image

cosette 6 years ago

dude............that vampire squid is magnificent!!!

platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 6 years ago

My error I thought I read in your article that you were a Jew. Now, that is clear. I can commence reading in the areas you suggest. That is what I was looking for a person who can make intelligent suggestion. Hope we become followers of each other. As I said and I knew the question was extremely complicated. Thanks again.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Cosette: I know. My daughter is an artistic ninja. You should see her manga stuff. Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

PlatinumOwl: It is complicated. But, there's a lot of great material out there for the curious. As a fellow student of history, I appreciate your interest too. I'll have a peak at your stuff.

platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 6 years ago

President Abraham Lincoln once said, " a good friend is a person who give you a good book you have not read" From the time that I read that I started to use this as a guide to friendship.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

I think that's especially true if, after I read the book, I discover I like it as much as the person who gave it to me, even if for different reasons.

sunflowerbucky profile image

sunflowerbucky 6 years ago from Small Town, USA

I must be extremely naïve as it never even occurred to me to associate Goldman Sachs with the jewish religion. However, being in the real estate business, I will admit to "profiling" them as money hungry bankers. Well written hub Shadesbreath, as always!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Well, maybe naïve, or maybe just not the kind of thing you spend much time thinking about, assigning ethnic designations to companies. I know I don't. lol. As for the rest, it's easy to fall into patterns that we are given for such things, but typically if we look around, we can find examples that disprove the myth. At the very least, examples that prove it's never "all" of anyone that does anything.

spryte profile image

spryte 6 years ago from Arizona, USA

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh the voice of sanity in an insane world. I had not heard about the whole vampiric Jewish squid thing, but I do agree that is sounds more like an "Alien". Now...whether or not it's a legal or illegal "Alien" remains to be seen and fortunately, living in AZ as I do, I'm pleased that local law enforcement will be asking for identification (i.e. Racial Profiling for those too ignorant to comprehend the difference between Legal and Illegal) to at least rid this country of those face-slurping illegal Aliens. This should increase the odds that I will not become the unwilling egg incubator for an Alien baby.

You and I are friends...probably the dearest of hub-friends...so I hope that you survive the current invasion of face-slurping Aliens (legal, illegal, Jewish or not). Unfortunately, since you are from Sacramento, I've been told that along with Starbucks, you must be boycotted.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Hah! That's right, I imagine my city in particular is not viewed with much favor down in your parts. There was actually a pretty interesting forum thread that was having a look at that "current events" topic. I'm not sure if it's just because I'm getting older that everything seems so political now and it really always was but I'm only finally paying attention, or if everything really is really political now. Nothing like ten years of war, an oil spill, health care reform a pooping economy and a bunch racial disharmony to stir up a political shitstorm, eh?

spryte profile image

spryte 6 years ago from Arizona, USA

No kidding! I moved to AZ from NH to get away from all this political crap and ended up smack in the middle of it. Actually, I'm very proud of my adopted state and the stance it has taken...so much so that I'm willing to give up Starbucks and threaten to turn off the power and water to LA (all in good fun of course). However, I could never boycott you. :) Uhhh...isn't hubpages based in San Francisco though? RYAN!!!! We NEED to talk!!!

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

Distorting reality and reading into things that are not there is easy (and profitable) when it serves a purpose. The way I read the comment (that never mentions anything about the Jews being at fault for the financial disaster) is directed at Greed and the symbol used is a Vampire. So WHO made the connection and WHY? When did the Jewish fault enter the equation?

If anyone wants to read more into the straight forward message that equates Greed with Monsters, and has a need to identify a specific ethnic group with the vampire, that IS nothing more than a personal interpretation and has little to do with anything else other than “accusing others is the best defense”. WHY would anyone immediately make the assumption that Jews were to blame and WHY did some Jews felt the need to defend themselves when no direct or implied accusation was ever made?

The minute anyone brings race or creed into any discussion we know already who will win the argument. Our extreme caution and carefully manipulated fear to “offend” or God forbid to be called anti this and anti that makes us less than willing to express an opinion that may be controversial.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Petra Vlah, I totally agree with you. I think the real danger is in avoiding the truth for fear of offense. If some ethnicity or gender other than yours is doing something untoward, and you say nothing because you don't want to be racist, or worse, you don't even allow yourself to THINK it because the PC campaign has actually made you so jumpy you don't even trust your own perceptions of right or wrong... then bad things get worse. Every race and gender and etc., is made up of humans and humans do bad things. We have to have the ability, the FREEDOM to say, "Dude, you are a crook," no matter who that "dude" is.

I think this is an issue that's simmering pretty hotly right now, so maybe we're on the cusp of getting to something approaching reason soon.

Thanks again for reading and commenting on my stuff. I appreciate it a lot. :)

BumptiousQ profile image

BumptiousQ 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Hey, Shades, thanks a billion for reminding me why my life is so very much better without it involving the likes of that loopy writing group you mentioned above -- life is good!!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Well, everyone gets an opinion, I suppose. Just some of them seem to defy common sense. I guess if you have decided you are going to always be a victim, always, or, I think more to the point in this day and age, have been convinced that you are a victim and going to be one always, then it makes sense. We do go out of our way to make sure everyone is abundantly aware of offense: how to find offense and how to make sure you feel offended. Bring in the lawyers.

BumptiousQ profile image

BumptiousQ 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Shades, I got a kick out of your response to my comment. I had a feeling you would come through.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Yes. I try not to wax bitter, but sometimes I get close. :D

Karanda profile image

Karanda 6 years ago from Australia

It is a most confusing world we live in and by saying that I certainly would not want to go back to the days before political correctness and knowing without doubt who should be sitting at the back of the bus.

I understand what you have tried to bring out in the open and I encourage you to continue with the telling of the truth. As long as this is not biased by race, colour or gender then it can only be beneficial.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California Author

Political correctness, in my opinion, prevents us from talking about problems. PC keeps people from saying things that they think and feel. If people don't say what they think and feel, then nobody will know. Nobody can point out flaws in their reasoning either. So PC just hides the things we should want most to know. Least that's how I see it. Bias is bias; it is anti-truth. I agree with you there for sure.

a curious soul 4 years ago

This is way off the beaten path of postings, but read one toward the beginning and felt the need to step in. Here goes, if you have had Jewish ancestors in your family tree this does not make you Jewish. If you disagree ask yourself this, do i practice the teachings of this religion. Sorry to interupt just thought i should clarify.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

I'm glad you piped in, A Curious Soul. And I agree with you. There is definite complexity in the whole idea of "identity." It's a monstrously big idea when looked at very closely in this massively integrated (sort of) world. The Jewish people are right up there near the top when it comes to that kind of complexity, perhaps AT the top.

Phillip Roth wrote a really awesome book in the 80's called _The Counterlife_ that's pretty amazing and digs wonderfully into the meat of the ideas that underpin your comment, at least as I read into it. If you haven't read it and are genuinely interested in this idea, I highly recommend it.

B-Dawg 4 years ago

The thing to be nowadays is a black male. I think the white man should find a way to turn his skin black forever. The white man should cut all his hair off and get a wig to imitate the black man hair or just go bald. The white man would not have to deal w/ all the crap he has to deal with if he gets a racial transformation. Once the white man goes black he will not want to go back! Please give me some feedback peace.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

I think that if they suddenly came up with a "turn yourself into a black man permanently today" machine, there wouldn't be anyone in that line.

Even the white guys who get dreadlocks, sag their pants or just wear their hats sidewayz and talk about dawgz and boyz and all that stuff have the ability to "go back to being white" at the drop of that same sideways hat.

Racism might not be as in your face today as it was forty years ago, but there is still a white bias at work that, no matter how egalitarian any of us might want to be, we all know its there and none of us that don't have to endure it would do so willingly. Anyone who says otherwise, in my opinion, is either a liar or entirely ignorant about how the legacy of slavery ripples through our culture still to this day.

Maybe in another fifty years, maybe a hundred, it will be totally all washed away and race wont' matter, at least in America, but it's not equal yet. The fact you asked that question proves it.

brian 3 years ago

I think that if they disguised some white men as black men they could get more productivity out of black employees. Reduce black crime. Get more black votes. A black voice can change the game.

Sanxuary 2 years ago

The greatest con is to believe in a problem of huge magnitude when the problem is not your problem. I believe racism exist, I also believe that condoning it also gives others the permission to do the same to you. Equality does not exist if one does not allow a secular society. In other words you can not be granted freedom and demand that others can no longer have there freedom. For example I could careless if same sex marriage exist. Despite the fact that I do not know one person who is in a same sex relationship, it does not mean it does not exist. In fact I think its a topic of privacy no different then my own private life and probably why I know no one. Listening to the media you would almost believe that you our a racist because you know nothing, after all it must be my problem and who are they accusing? So obviously this must be everyone's problem. We are uninformed and a private racist if you do not agree. Then again shouldn't everyone's rights be protected. If your church or faith is condemned because it refuses to change its beliefs and marry same sex couples, should they not be entitled to their beliefs. Is this about sexual beliefs or our we creating a new race status based on sexual preference? You generally hear people who do not believe in certain things based on bad ideas. Still you can believe in certain things for other reasons other then hate or discrimination. You can for instance believe in individual rights and a right to practice what you believe and still not violate the rights of others. I have always believed that the Christian community must demand choice instead of condemnation. The goal is spiritual maturity in a very short life time to attain salvation. There is no way a World could attain complete salvation based on a forced belief system, the idea defeats the very idea of free will. We have to find a way to protect our believes and that can only be done by protecting everyone from discrimination. Faith does not require discrimination to up hold your beliefs. Often times we never ask the question why we must believe in something. The simple answer is that it takes a man and a woman to procreate and after saving yourself the next step in maturity is to create a family.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article