I think what’s going on is early infancy to childhood social rule formulation tied to language uptake. Anti-Semitic remarks within the family or close cultural quarters (church) may be met a) without filters because b) curiosity to create the rules for filtering data and generating speech have to be formed first. That learning may be congruent with what has been heard (by the very young human) or formulated for entertainment (we’re a really bright species and boredom is an existential problem addressed partially by art and artifice).
Feedback to the child’s rule-making and subsequent adventure in language may take place in a welcoming environment suffused with bigotry or otherwise just continue stubbornly on its anti-social course until the adult’s behavior finds its reflection in a larger cultural environment. That is our contemporary politics, of which this thread is a part. My suggestion that some portion of anti-Semitism — and other bigotry — is acquired as part of language learning and rule-based may help account for the difficulty encountered in argument with bigots who cannot access the origins of their earliest formed attitudes and beliefs.
I know I often hit the same keys — with this note, i.e., anti-Semitism and other prejudice may have anchors in language uptake and the discovery by deduction or invention of essential cultural language-shaping rules.
The source for inspiration was an article about Hollywood’s latest collection of celebrities who have taken anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist positions in the political facet of their careers: » Hollywood’s War On Israel – 12/28/2013.
From Walt Disney to Mel Gibson, attitudes toward the Jews inevitably surface in “The Business”. Whether it’s good to harp and harass along this axis — there’s a lot of finger pointing and mud slinging involving a behavior I believe inseparable from persons from an early age — I don’t know, but as I suggest that the behavior is rule-based and acquired with language uptake, public opprobrium cannot get to it — nor, as I have been seasoned in this elsewhere, does adult argument or persuasion.
What airing in the media may do, however, is influence a part of a generation of mothers, fathers, and teachers to adopt and promote a greater tolerance of others and through the timbre of the environments known to infancy change the instructions imparted accordingly — and exactly that would seem implicit in the American and other open democracy stories.
# # #