Anti-Semitist Rehab

The world of culture was rocked today after a drunken designer I’ve never heard of (I’m not really all that well-versed in fashion) named John Galliano was found to make drunken anti-Semitic rants on at least two separate occasions.  Many commentators are surprised that, despite the international controversy, that Christian Dior decided to fire him instead of sending him to rehab [1].

I’m not familiar with any kind of anti-Semitist rehab in existence, though I have long been concerned about the phenomenon of anti-Semitism myself [2], in part because I come from a part-Jewish background myself, and am very sympathetic to one-house Messianic Jewish congregations.  Given the popularity of rehab in our current celebrity culture, let us examine some of the influences and interconnections between a few of the more prominent celebrity rehab moments that might apply to this particular type of offensive behavior.

One of the more consistent connections is the tie between public anti-Semitic behavior on the part of celebrities and drunkenness.  Being “in one’s cups” is one factor that appears to lead to public and shameful anti-Semitic speech, whether that is Prince Harry of England dressing in an SS uniform at a party, or Mel Gibson or John Galliano making drunken anti-Jewish rants.  As someone who believes strongly that in vino vetiras (in wine there is truth), it is my belief that what these people say drunkenly is what they truly believe when they are sober but are wise enough to suppress.

And that is the true concern to have about these incidents.  The fact that such hateful and savage things can be said while people are drunk and out of control means that such people, who in their normal lives have to deal quite often with honorable and respectable Jews (such as directors and screenwriters or political figures or businessmen like deli caterers), harbor hatred in their hearts that they cover under normal circumstances for their own gain but seethe with bitterness towards deep inside.  This combination of forced interaction for personal gain and personal loathing (maybe even including self-loathing for their own collaboration with the Jews they hate so virulently) is the same sort of deadly cocktail that reminds me of the horrors of World War II and the Holocost/Shoah.

The fact that in all three of these cases (and no doubt many others from less famous people) there is a cultural and/or familial proclivity to such a hatred makes the problem even more severe.  Prince Harry, for example, springs from a family where one of his royal predecessors, the abdicated King Edward VIII, engaged in pro-fascist politics after his abdication [3].  Mel Gibson comes from a renegade Catholic group opposed to the reforms of Vatican II (including, presumably, the efforts of the Catholic Church to make amends for its long history of official support of anti-Semitisim).  John Galliano comes from Gibraltar (he is of mixed heritage, his father is from Gibraltar and his mother from Andalucia [4], the Southern part of Spain where Jewish and Moorish influence was long the greatest).  It is perhaps from that ancestral ground that Galliano’s own favor of fascism and anti-Semitism spring.

So, what would anti-Semitist rehab look like?  For one, it would have to deal with the abuse of substances (usually alcohol) that leads to the ranting in the first place.  Nonetheless, that is merely a first step of treating the symptoms, rather than reaching the heart of the matter.  Extensive therapy would be necessary to reach the source of the anti-Semitism (perhaps it comes from family history–nurture would be a powerful support of such hatreds), as well as the personal responsibility felt for the complicity in working with those they hate, which paradoxically would only lead them to hate even more violently in order to expiate the sense of guilt.  How successful would such rehab be?  I do not know, but the price of ignoring it would appear to be a very wicked harvest.  The last time such long-held hatreds percolated to the surface millions of people died in the horrors of World War II.  Let us not repeat the error today of ignoring and excusing away such hatred as being the result of being drunk, but let us examine and pull out the nasty root from wish the hatred springs.





About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Christianity, History, Military History, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Anti-Semitist Rehab

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