Thursday, November 17, 2022

Not Dealing With It

"But crushing truths perish from being acknowledged," wrote the legendary Albert Camus. That is not Jon Stewart's favorite quotation. The sleight of hand he demonstrates, however, is quite impressive. Stewart tells Stephen Colbert

If the point of all this, then, is to heal people, the only way to healing a wound is to open it up and cleanse it and that stings. And I'm afraid that the general tenor of conversation of this country is cover it up, bury it, put it to the outskirts and don't deal with it.

That was the opportunity for Stewart to thank Colbert for having him on, smiling and waving to the audience, and walking off, having made a lot of sense. Instead, Stewart proceeded to contradict himself by cleverly demonstrating the disturbing- or what should be disturbing- impulse to subordinate truth to the desire to cause no discomfort. He states

And what I would say is, you know, look at it from a black perspective. It's a culture that feels that its wealth has been extracted by different groups- whites, Jews. Whether it's true or not isn't the issue.

Evidently, to Jon Stewart and others who whose allegiance to facts is narrow and qualified, whether something is true "isn't the issue." It should be.  Now that we know that what is real and what isn't real is barely inconsequential to Stewart, we are reminded that he can be as patronizing as he is indifferent to the truth. Fresh off advising us that "whether (something is) true or not isn't the issue," he continues

That's the feeling in that community. And if you don't understand that that's where it's coming from, then you can't deal with it, and you can't sit down with them and explain that being in an industry isn't the same as having a nefarious and controlling interest in that industry and intention, right?

Most of us "understand that that's where it's coming from." However, as Stewart addresses anti-Semitism, he argues that that blacks believe "wealth has been extracted by different groups," including Jews. Although Jews are among the individuals who have at times harmed the black community, he doesn't explain why blacks (allegedly) believe wealth is extracted from their community by Jews acting as Jews. Protestants per se aren't being blamed for extracting wealth. Catholics per se aren't being blamed for extracting wealth. (Nor should either be.)

If Jews are, that's a problem, yet not one of failing to understand the sentiment. The problem is the belief itself.  If Stewart accurately understands the perspective of the black community, the obstacle isn't in not being "understood." It's the mistaken impression. Feelings may be understandable and wrong, and need to be rebuked if wrong.

Stewart, who reminds us that he himself is Jewish, is presumably not anti-Semitic, as he claims he is accused of being. Nor is he necessarily hypocritical, at least not nearly as much as the jackals chanting USA! USA! at rallies celebrating an ex-President who has referred to the USA as "evil." 

So I'll maintain perspective. However, here we have a celebrity who recognizes the growing national  tendency when there is a problem to "cover it up, bury it, put it to the outskirts and don't deal with it."  Then practically in the same breath, he contends that the "black perspective" (as he sees it) must be condoned "whether it's true or not."  Stewart should have stuck with the first thought.


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