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26-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoninahAliza View Post
and have self hate about it.
Addiction + hate speech? it's a given that self-hate is involved here.

I think this incident is much more complex (on psychological/sociological grounds) and that's why it's become a bit frustrating reading such basic explanations of what happened and how it should be dealt with. A legal system is merely a structure for self-preservation, why we're together in society in the first place, but humans and their complexity unfortunately cannot be reduced to law, their labor power or the opportunities their own capital provides to get through emotions triggered by life in society (background, work, culture, etc).

There's also this.. phenomenon on how to deal with people that are either going through an addiction or recovering from it. People talk a lot about stigma caused by race, by income, gender, sexual orientation, there's an effort (at least by a minority) to move past that, but you see very little effort in generating empathy towards people whose behavior offends society to its core, and absolutely no intention of even bothering to wonder why it happened, understanding, detecting the responsibility of a system that most of us get along with just okay. When someone screws it up big time, they face exclusion in some form (locking them up somewhere out of our sight, blacklisting them.. death penalty in some countries). They cut out the rotten parts but never work on why they went bad in the first place..

I don't think society as a whole is to blame but I do think there is a big problem in society by thinking justice is something along the lines of tooth by tooth, please suffer for the rest of your life for what you said, etc. Anyone who's lived with someone that's gone through an addiction knows it is not that simple, not even when carried out into actions that usually start by breaking up their own family (and others', later). As much as some things are irreversible and impossible to forget, you realise that the brain can be quite the monster given the right atmosphere/ingredient and go to great lengths (which thankfully Galliano doesn't seem to have gone to). Provide nutrients and you might have it back.

These addictions are as dangerous as ignorance (which Galliano combined), even for those around people actively engaging in parties that promote/fund discrimination and living in states with governments that justify it as a mean for self-preservation too. Do we think they should all be deprived of working in society or just be put away so they cannot damage anyone? that would be easy and those of us who do not mind whether someone has enough papers to work in a country, a skin color, orientation, religious practice, etc., would be happily ever after but you'd be still abandoning a group of people perfectly capable of functioning positively in society if only they received enough understanding to be treated properly (education, rehab programs, voluntary work, policies that allow interaction and mutual understanding, etc). In a way I'm pleased to see the legal system of France giving him a punishment proper of a person with a brain human enough to acknowledge mistakes and develop some self-love. Whether Galliano has the willingness or was in a stage of his addiction to follow through is another story, but perhaps it's time, for those of us addiction-free and sober, to quit the circus made out of a person (regardless of his profession/wealth) and re-focus on integrating our Gallianos next door.

This is quite long and I guess all over the place but it isn't even half of what I could say on this, and no, I'm not a fan of Galliano's work nor have my views 'warped' by his position.. I think it's important not to get too Galliano by being arrogant enough to proclaim how superior some standards are in comparison to others and just begin to acknowledge the fact that addiction + ignorance is a combination that is everywhere, with a solution nowhere in sight as it's assumed that acknowledgement alone means jumping down from our podium of moral superiority.

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26-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoninahAliza View Post
I have to say I really hate when people resort to the "he's of Jewish linage" as the main reason why he shouldn't be punished. Because, trust me, you can still be from a certain ethnic group and have self hate about it. Check out the film Everything is Illuminated and you'll see what I mean. Clearly anyone who experiences self hate like this has a lot of issues they need to work through. Also, from my understanding he was raised as a Roman Catholic, right (I know religion might be an iffy topic to bring up but I haven't gotten a clear answer from the internet search I did about this and I'm curious about it)? It's not like he was being brought up in a Jewish household. And even if he was it still wouldn't make what he said right. Like someone else said on this thread, when people are under the influence of alcohol/drugs they are less inhibited and might say what truly think. Maybe John Galliano is a very nice guy- I don't know- but what I do know is that what he said was caught on tape and it's very clear he said it. And that it's something which was deemed awful enough to be punishable by law. Just because someone is good, talented, or famous does not make it okay to let them bypass the laws or to not have to deal with a fallout like this.
But don't you think it's unfair that he's not even offered the benefit of the doubt? There's no proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that he meant what came out of his mouth or that he's harboring any kind of deep-seated hatred/self loathing in regards to Judaism and Jewish people, so why is it that people, not all but some, are viewing this entire situation from the perspective that he is in fact deeply prejudiced? Oddly enough that's something of it's own kind of prejudice is it not?

Personally I think the fact that people have become so certain that he's truly antisemetic says more about them than it does about Galliano. Let's not lose sight of the fact that not a single one of us knows for sure what goes on in his head.

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Last edited by Spike413; 26-08-2012 at 11:27 PM.
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27-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike413 View Post
But don't you think it's unfair that he's not even offered the benefit of the doubt? There's no proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that he meant what came out of his mouth or that he's harboring any kind of deep-seated hatred/self loathing in regards to Judaism and Jewish people, so why is it that people, not all but some, are viewing this entire situation from the perspective that he is in fact deeply prejudiced? Oddly enough that's something of it's own kind of prejudice is it not?

Personally I think the fact that people have become so certain that he's truly antisemetic says more about them than it does about Galliano. Let's not lose sight of the fact that not a single one of us knows for sure what goes on in his head.
Look, perhaps I would feel differently if his actions hadn't been caught on tape because then I might feel like people are just trying to slander his name without any definitive proof. But the fact is, what he said is on record, and everyone's seen it. Maybe he doesn't truly believe these things but he did say it. And that still matters. Words have power. And unfortunately the words that Galliano spoke have very hurtful connotations associated with them. And thus, it makes sense that people are upset by this whole thing, and it also makes sense that people are reacting the way that they have been. It might actually have been worse if society just pat John on the head and said something like, "that was rude but I'm sure you didn't mean it because you are a good designer." Instead he has been forced to deal with whatever issues he's grappling with rather then letting them continue to simmer under the surface.

I know I can be a bit touchy about people saying anti-semetic things but that's because it's a big part of my people's history. And perhaps some people think that we are overly sensitive about people saying things like, "I love Hitler," but you know what, we have a pretty good reason to be sensitive about it. But I would also hope that people would be just as outraged at what he said if he was saying nasty remarks about another ethnic/religious group too. Hypothetically, if Galliano had said something terrible about another group which was also illegal under French law, he still would've been punished for it.

Also, I think that there is a big difference between being prejudice and thinking that someone is prejudice. If a person is prejudice they would have an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics. And I think I've tried to make it clear that I really want Galliano to figure things out, I don't believe I'm projecting any sort of irrational hate towards him, I'm just very upset with what he said.

Do you mind elaborating more on the part which I bolded, I'm not sure I totally get what your saying.

I hope what I've written makes a bit more sense, but it's really late where I am, so let me know if somethings don't make sense.

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27-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike413 View Post
^ Well frankly Les Sucettes, I think whether or not it's considered excusable behavior isn't for any one person or small group of people to decide, because unlike a crime like cold-blooded murder, there's no black or white, he's a saint/he's a monster conclusion to be reached in a situation like this. Some people clearly find what he said and did offensive, some people find it relatively minor considering the amount of punishment he's been dealt from all ends, some people are willing to look at the big picture and take into account all of the details, some people are stuck simply on what he said. I'm not saying I'm right, but I certainly don't think you are either.
What he did is a crime under french law and he was convicted for it. It doesn't get much clearer who's right or wrong. It goes beyond a simple opinion.

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27-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike413 View Post
But don't you think it's unfair that he's not even offered the benefit of the doubt? There's no proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that he meant what came out of his mouth or that he's harboring any kind of deep-seated hatred/self loathing in regards to Judaism and Jewish people, so why is it that people, not all but some, are viewing this entire situation from the perspective that he is in fact deeply prejudiced? Oddly enough that's something of it's own kind of prejudice is it not?

Personally I think the fact that people have become so certain that he's truly antisemetic says more about them than it does about Galliano. Let's not lose sight of the fact that not a single one of us knows for sure what goes on in his head.
We are responsible for what comes out of our mouths. I agree that I don't know what's going on in his head, but I'm also sure that what he said didn't come out of nowhere. And what, anyway, is 'truly anti-Semitic'? We can never know for sure what anyone is thinking, and in a sense it doesn't matter--all we have to go on is what they do and say. Which is exactly what's happening in this case.

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27-08-2012
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going to the topic at hand,sure it could be political.....they have a new government,socialist mind you,whose policies are much different than their previous administration. but i would really like to know,given the nature of this award--and despite others protests that its frivolous,it still carries a certain prestige--do you honestly think france wants to be associated with having a person like that with the level of unsavoury publicity it got representing this honour? of course they don't. look at who they've given this to in the past....it's quite a hefty list,a list that includes war heroes like harry patch.

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27-08-2012
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And Arnold Schwarzenegger, presumably for services in the art of groping, and having three successful careers in America.

I can't speak for countries outside of the UK, but now that admirable people involved in serious world events are a dying breed, they seem to hand out these awards to any old entertainer that manages to stick around for a couple of decades, on the basis that they gave away some of their fortune to charity (an amount that they would never miss) or spent the same amount of time doing community work as ordinary people who don't have the benefit of a celebrity name. It's another round of applause for a famous person.

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28-08-2012
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All I was trying to say Yoninah was that yes, he did say the words but that words spoken aloud (while drunk OR sober) aren't necessarily a true indication of how a person feels. Maybe it's reflective of how they feel in that moment, but holding him accountable for the action at hand is, I feel, entirely different from judging him a racist, anti-semetic bigot.

I guess I just feel that looking at the entire situation from the perspective that Galliano is simply a racist bigot and therefore says racist/bigoted things, that judging him as opposed to his actions/behavior, is a very black or white way of seeing it. It leaves no room for "well he's a good person who, due to this or that, did/said something bad". It's not as though there's anything besides this situation to go on, and I suppose I don't feel like it's enough evidence to support the theory that he's truly harboring deep-seated prejudices.

Hope that clears up what I was trying to say.

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28-08-2012
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Though I don't disagree with his punishments, I do wonder if he had insulted another group would the repercussions be as intense.

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28-08-2012
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^ Given recent European history, I don't know how one would go about replicating the intensity of what he said using another ethnic or racial minority. If he'd been in a different place, it might be possible, but in the location where this happened, I don't know how.

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28-08-2012
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How about Arabs? The history of France's relationship with that particular group is not what I would call ideal or pleasant. He could've easily directed his diatribe at Arabs or Africans and with France's history of colonialism, it would've been just as bad to me. But would he have been punished as intensely or would people have reacted with as much outrage? I honestly don't know. Actually, I kind of doubt it.

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28-08-2012
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"...Never forget that this has happened.
Remember these words.
Engrave them in your hearts,
When at home or in the street,
When lying down, when getting up.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your houses be destroyed,
May illness strike you down,
May your offspring turn their faces from you.”
― Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz"

Harsh words those are, but they came at an incredibly high price.
So did Galliano's.
Prejudice should be dealt with justly.
Of course it's not, always, but it should be.
Thus, this "stripping" is, to my mind anyhow, appropriate.
All steps towards tolerance are good ones.
Yes, it may be a token gesture, maybe even political,
but it also says it's not okay to forget history.

Spike, you make valid points - about the action as opposed to the person. But perhaps this stripping of the LoH is simply a comment on his words as opposed to the person himself?

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Last edited by Not Plain Jane; 28-08-2012 at 09:01 PM.
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28-08-2012
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How about Arabs? The history of France's relationship with that particular group is not what I would call ideal or pleasant. He could've easily directed his diatribe at Arabs or Africans and with France's history of colonialism, it would've been just as bad to me. But would he have been punished as intensely or would people have reacted with as much outrage? I honestly don't know. Actually, I kind of doubt it.
Galliano invoked the name and actions of someone who attempted with some success to wipe an entire ethnicity from the face of the earth. There is no French/Arab or French/African equivalent to that, as far as I know. Colonialism (as bad as it was) is a far cry from genocide.

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28-08-2012
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^I don't know, I think it's possible to argue that a lot of colonialism was a form of genocide. Imperialists weren't alway's trying to wipe out a population but they were at least trying wipeout a set of ideas or culture. Genocide is a crime of intent and many imperialists did not necessarily intend to harm those they colonized but obviously they did. So perhaps it's a grey area of sorts. However, I suppose my point is that since the Holocaust is perhaps the most well known and documented genocide, it is also the one people are most easily able to understand or relate too. So when someone like Galliano make's remarks about the leader who orchestrated this awful event, people are more likely to be outraged. But if Galliano had made comments about Arabs (or any other group) it might not have received the same amount of outrage. People often respond to what they personally can relate to or understand and if something is foreign to them, it might not have as big of a response. It also, as other's on this thread have pointed out, has to do with the country in which he made these statements since France has a complex relationship with the Jewish people. Anyways, I think this whole "scandal," "event," whatever you want to call it, has many layers and complexities and it's hard to understand everything about it.

Also, NPJ, I really appreciated your comment and the quote you shared with us. I've read that quote before, it's always stuck with me, and as odd as it is to say, I think event's like this one with Galliano can serve as a reminder that it's important to talk about these things. And it's important to continue to work through these issues.

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29-08-2012
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To me, this just seems so unnecessary. When the news of Galliano's arrest first came out, I never thought it would all turn out like this. We get it, he did something wrong. But making a drunken comment about the holocaust is not the same thing as causing the holocaust.

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