Friday, November 05, 2004

Surrounded by fear

I reached another milestone in my life as a journalist today: I received the first piece of e-mail from a reader that I could honestly describe as hate-mail.

I'll spare you all the gory details. But suffice to say that this individual wasted a lot of poor electrons, drive space and bandwidth explaining the Jewish conspiracy that lurks behind the entire media-entertainment complex. If you didn't already know, we're totally bent on world domination. And we'll start with the media and work our way out from there. (This is where all of you start laughing because you realize I'm being completely sarcastic. My correspondent, on the other hand, would probably stare blankly at his black-and-white screen and nod his head, mouth hanging half-open, in agreement.)

Sorry, I'm ticked. I have no patience for intolerance. And when someone whose cousins have promised to shove me and every last person like me into the sea so thoroughly misses the intent of my column because he can't see through the haze of hatred that envelopes his very soul, I feel the need to vent.

I see no reason to repeat his bile-soaked words. But this passage pretty much sums up much of the racist diatribe that drove me to write the column in the first place:
"I would bet that you were appointed to your position as a weekly columnist because of who you are (An Extremist Jewish writer who supports Israeli crimes)"
If anything, this individual merely served to validate why my column needed to be written. And to clarify his assessment of my journalistic employment, I was hired because I can write.

After misspelling my name and the names of a whole bunch of other famous people who he vilifies because of their religion (why am I not surprised by this?) he ended his rant by inviting me to tea so we can "unite to advance peace and justice and harmony in our community."

Um, not quite. I would instead suggest that he try to express his right to free speech in his ancestral homeland - a place that not only lacks this freedom, but lacks a basic understanding of what the concept means.

And, no, I have no intention of putting my pen down. How could I when there's obviously so much opportunity to educate the unenlightened among us?

10 comments:

Terry said...

Keep it up Carmi, you've got a lot of fans! I tried to write a good piece here for you but I'm not as good with the words as you are. Just keep on truckin and do what you do best. Kudos for being you!

Danya said...

Just because you are Jewish, doesn't necessarily mean that you're an Isreali and vise versa. Just because my friend is Indian, doesn't mean he's a Hindu. Just because you're from the UAE, doesn't mean that you're Muslim. Assume nothing.

Judaism is a religion. Isreali is a nationality. You can be both, or one or the other. I mention this for the obviously oblivious (our orthographically challenged friend, for example, for whom I feel only pity) among Carmi's readers who are unaware that the owners of the Free Press, the Blackburns, were actually British. If you are going to be accusitory, at least have your facts straight. I hope he didn't think himself into a coma...poor guy!

Joan said...

Oh my goodness! That excerpt you included is so off base and out of whack, that's it's almost comical! "Almost" because you can tell he sincerely feels the way that he wrote.

It never fails to amaze me what people think in this day and age when we are allegedly an advanced society.

Carmi, you so totally rock! Keeping wielding that pen!

cleolove said...

We share a similar passionate hate for intolerance. I often have to just rant to release the negative energy that others are throwing all over me.

Please don't beat yourself up for reacting, you are doing it the mature way, by venting it, releasing it, not using it to fuel or as an excuse to express your own hatred.

I am sorry this happened, and if I were close, I'd bake you cookies and hug you and your whole family! (and bring my consitutionally protected firearm to shoot them all! -- ok, maybe not, but fantasy is fun! hah)

Bravo! for not letting it shut you up, for using the anger to motivate you to write more. You are of a rare breed, indeed, Carmi.

*hugs*

opinionatedguy said...

Your post once again provides proof, as if any was needed, that there are still many wackos out in the world. I admire you for posting and writting your article in the paper. It was brave of you.

A Woman Changed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A Woman Changed said...

In the early '90s, I dated a dentist. He was from a wealthy, influential Italian family. His mother was a descendant from "royalty" in Italy. He was extremely clean-cut, family oriented and involved heavily in the community. One night, while watching a movie on tv, he began to read outloud the names of the producers, director, etc listed on the credits, pointing out that they were all Jewish. Then, he picked up a bunch of newspapers and read outloud the named of the Editors and writers. My blood began to run cold. This guy spewed the same words of world domination through entertainment & the media. He then invited me downstairs to a storage unit in his garage. There, he displayed 5 semi-automatic guns and photos of him dressed up in fatigues. "I'm ready for when they come to town to take control," is pretty much what he said. That night was the end of the relationship and I was angry with myself for years for spending 2 months with him without realizing the inner hate sooner. You have every right to feel the fear Carmi because the hate is out there and it's covert. I saw it myself in all of its ugliness...hidden from the public eye because of a respectable job and envied social reputation. I was shocked back then and continue to feel scared and disgusted.

Tara said...

Carmi,
There will always be someone who doesn't agree and feels like they should share... You handle yourself with grace and dignity, though, something the negatives types don't.
Good for you.

Carmi said...

Thanks, everyone. Your words of support are very comforting through an experience that, because it is so new to me, seems a little unsettling.

I'm sure it'll all work out in the end, and I'll be a better writer because of it. But for now, your help with navigating this new environment is an absolute blessing.

Someday, the truth of words will hopefully prevail against those who use our freedoms to spread fear and hatred. Until then, I hope none of us is cowed into giving up the good fight.

L said...

There's quite a bit of this where I live in Florida, although the hatred of blacks seems more noticeable...

keep up the good work