Monday, November 06, 2023

6: Socratic Dialogue

 “Andrew—why have you put that toy on display in your front room?

“Because I was fond of it for the first dozen years of my life; and because, in a weird way, I still think of it as a friend, or at least the mortal remains of a friend, and I cannot quite bring myself to destroy it. It’s silly, I know, but I am a little sentimental about these things.”

“Yes; but surely you can see that as a Jewish person, the whole idea of a rag-doll with a cute felt skull-cap and a cute hook nose and little pigtails plaited out of black wool, and a cute little bag containing thirty tiny little coins—can’t you see that is insulting and upsetting to me?”

If you want Andrew to reply:

“I am sorry; the dolls were so common in my childhood that it had never occurred to me that it was connected with hurtful stereotypes, but now you have pointed them out, naturally I will not display it any more”

select Option 1.

If you want Andrew to reply:

“I think you are being hypersensitive; I think the doll is harmless and I didn’t mean anything by it. But given your heritage and your history, you have a perfect right to be hypersensitive, and out of basic human decency I will take the toy down.”

select Option 2.

If you want Andrew to reply:

“Yes, I acknowledge that, in origin if not in intention, the toy is a racist caricature. But in return, will you acknowledge that Sid The Yid was my imaginary friend when I was a child; and that my right to display symbols of my childhood trump your right not to see caricatures of your racial and religious identity?”

select Option 3.

If you want Andrew to reply:

“The figure is not remotely racist; only someone engaged in manufactured grievance could possibly find it so. It’s a stretch to see the thirty silver coins as being somehow connected with Judas; and anyway, in my childhood games, Sid the Yid used to share them with Horace the Heaffalump”

select Option 4.

If you want Andrew to reply:

“But I didn’t hate Sid the Yid: the whole reason for wanting to display him is that I loved him. You can’t call me antisemitic. Some of my favourite toys are Jewish.”

select Option 5.

If you want Andrew to reply

“You can’t imagine that I was anti-semitic when I was young enough to be playing with stuffed toys. Stop imposing adult political sensibilities on kids.”

select Option 6.

If you want Andrew to reply:

“The term Yid isn’t remotely racist. It’s an acronym for Youthful Incomer from the Diaspora.”

select Option 7.

If you think that Andrew is making heavy weather of a very obvious point, 

select Option 8.

This post forms part of an extended essay. 
If you would like to read the complete saga in one place, please join my Patreon.
If you do not wish to join my Patreon, you can purchase a PDF with guaranteed no additional material, for $10/£8.
Thank you for your interest. 

No comments: