Origins Game Fair Drops Larry Correia as Guest

Larry Correia won’t be one of the guests when the Origins Game Fair takes place June 13-17 in Columbus, OH. Shortly after publicizing that Correia had been added to the lineup, John Ward, the event’s Executive Director, received so many negative social media comments (on Twitter, particularly) that he announced Correia’s invitation has been rescinded.

Ward wrote on Facebook:

I want to discuss our invitation to Larry Correia a guest at Origins. By all counts he is a very talented author.

Unfortunately, when he was recommended I was unaware of some personal views that are specifically unaligned with the philosophy of our show and the organization.

I want to thank those of you that brought this error to our attention. Origins is an inclusive and family friendly event. We focus on fun and gaming, not discourse and controversy.

I felt it necessary to recend [sic] his invitation to participate in the show. I apologize again to those of you that were looking forward to seeing him at Origins.

John Ward, Executive Director

Many of the critical tweets mentioned Correia’s history with Sad Puppies.

Correia subsequently responded on Facebook with a statement that begins:

So I’m no longer the writer guest of honor at origins. My invitation has been revoked. It was the usual nonsense. Right after I was announced as a guest some people started throwing a temper tantrum about my alleged racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever (of course, with zero proof or actual examples), and the guy in charge (John Ward) immediately folded. He didn’t even talk to me first. He just accepted the slander and gave me the boot in an email that talked about how “inclusive” they are….

His statement also says “none of these people can ever find any actual examples of me being sexist, racist, or homophobic.”


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795 thoughts on “Origins Game Fair Drops Larry Correia as Guest

  1. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

    Yeah, I remembered you’re an EU citizen/UK resident, hence the “I’m sure you know”. Two of my best friends are Polish and half-Asian respectively and I’ve been worrying about them constantly since Brexit. 🙁 At least my Bahrain friend is back in his own country. He dealt with some really awful treatment while he was studying here, including from one of his teachers, and that was before Brexit made every tuppenny racist confident in their resistance to social censure.

  2. @Ctein Admittedly, there are ice cream places in the Twin Cities I have not yet tried. I need to work on that…

    (oddly, I also like the vanilla ice cream they serve at Pizzeria Lola, with the chocolate cacao nibs)

  3. @ctein:

    **(except… The rhetoric around anti-Muslim bigotry is all about fear, how they are a direct threat to their persons. Unlike homophobes, who are usually arguing social or moral policy, not a personal fear. Without being able to read people’s minds, I’m thinking that maybe Islamophobe is exactly the right word. But “bigot” lets us avoid the potential derail entirely.)

    One of the most enduringly insightful books I ever read was Bob Altemeyer’s free to download The Authoritarians, which explains a lot about the authoritarian mindset and psychology. And one of the central engines of authoritarian worldview is fear: a generalised sense of anxiety and threat, the feeling that outside a closed, small familiar world, everything is corruption, threat and danger. The reason authoritarianism decreases with education is not that people learn new things and get smarter: it’s simply that they have to go outside in the big bad world and discover it’s not so frightening.

    In this sense all bigotry is at its root caused by fear: what is different, be it color, sexual orientation, political affiliation, accent, is dangerous and threatening, just by virtue of been other. It doesn’t matter how irrational the fear is. There are always ways of imagining the Other as immensely powerful – see the global Jewish conspiracy and the dreaded Gay Agenda. And in a sense the threat is real: the authoritarian mindset is rigid and fragile and exposure to anything that isn’t the very familiar can easily uncover how incoherent and silly the orthodoxy it preaches is.

  4. @Anna Feruglio

    I was about to say that I don’t think authoritarian bigotry against disabled people is rooted in fear, since most of that is rooted in dismissal (of our needs, of our bodies, of our minds, of our humanity), but actually I think there’s a reasonable argument that what they fear is becoming like us, that there isn’t really a magical set of right things to do which makes you immune to genetic abnormality, injury, illness or ageing. And perhaps they fear that our monstrous bodies will take up more resources than we’re “entitled” to have.

  5. There’s also a good argument that bigotry against disabled people has an additional fear element – for authoritarians, the disability is a violation of the normal order, and is therefore presumptively corrupting.

  6. Dear Robin,

    Well, personally, I do agree with you. I operate in two spheres. There is what I call the “postgraduate” sphere, which is where I have the most fun and learn the most (which is in part why it’s the most fun), conventions like Wiscon and 4th Street Fantasy. In that sphere, I think the only way you make progress is to develop an advanced and sophisticated vocabulary. Otherwise your mental tools are too blunt and primitive.

    Then there is what I think of as the “lay” sphere, which is more where most of the conversations here fall and where my professional writing career lives. Up until five years ago, all of that was popular nonfiction writing, explaining things that I knew to an audience that didn’t, in fields where I knew vastly more than they did. What I learned there is that it takes a lot of work to explain advanced concepts to a lay audience at a level at which they will understand it, and it is very difficult to introduce postgraduate vocabulary. Trying to do both at the same time without losing them is an almost insurmountable task.

    I am broadly in pragmatic agreement with John A on this. It is difficult enough to get people to climb the cognitive hill to a new understanding. Expecting them to absorb novel vocabulary along the way is unrealistic. By and large, no, they won’t go to the dictionary to look up terms they don’t understand. They’ll just stop. Even if they understand the need for an advanced vocabulary, and most don’t, they will still just stop. The work becomes too hard.

    This is even more so when you are arguing with someone. They already don’t have a strong inclination to accept or understand your point of view. Expecting them to work really hard to do so is not realistic.

    Still, it gripes me when people use terms of art wrong, and I cannot always resist correcting them. It often doesn’t work. I got into an argument some weeks back with one of the people here who referred to a legal case in New York as being relevant to one in California. “Relevant” has a particular meaning in the realm of law which is not “this is kind of similarly interesting,” which is the way they meant it. Except, when you’re talking about legal cases, that’s not the way a whole lot of people will read it. I never got through to them that they really shouldn’t be using that word in that context.

    I know that sometimes we do need to be careful about correct terms of art and introduce postgraduate vocabulary, even if it’s more work for the lay audience. Otherwise, it’s like trying to explain sophisticated points of quantum mechanics to somebody who doesn’t know more than high school algebra… or worse yet needs it to be explained in English. But when I can, I avoid taking the language above the lay level. I know that my explanation will be blunt and crude and not entirely accurate… But it will be one they will understand.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  7. I remember that decades ago people sometimes used to react to cancer as if it were catching, which I found incredible. People still blame the victim, though. You’re supposed to be able to avoid/cure cancer/disability with positive thinking, or yoga, or shark cartilage. Or perhaps we are just lazy. I’ve heard many people with disabilities talk about this.

  8. Dear Anna,

    I strongly suspect that fear does underlie a lot of it, but it’s not explicitly expressed in those terms, and trying to argue with a bigot about their inner psychology is not usually a fruitful approach. Especially since I don’t actually know what’s going on in their heads, no matter what I may strongly suspect. So I go with the superficialities, and while homophobia is expressed mostly in terms of hatred, Islamophobia is expressed mostly in terms of being directly attacked in some fashion. Ditto, transphobia.

    But… Bigotry. So much easier to say and it doesn’t mess up my voice dictation program. Which knows homophobia, but not transphobia or Islamophobia — it is in need of enlightenment. [g]

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  9. Ctein:

    ice cream (because it is more important than anything else)

    Perhaps aside from coffee.

  10. Dear Ferret,

    Tea drinker, myself.

    But, yeah, if I were forced to give one up, it would be ice cream [sob].

    pax / Ctein

  11. Ah, fun times.

    The Origins/Correia flap finally made its way to my Facebook feed. Turns out some people are really good at using pretzel logic to convince themselves that a short, straight line is really full of hairpin turns.

    Brief summary:

    Me: “Origins should’ve done their research and ought to compensate him for sunk costs, but every con has the right to uninvite a guest if they deem it necessary.”
    Him: “I don’t see how that applies.”
    M: “Vendors objected.”
    H: “Source. Show me a source. I know you don’t like him and you sling mud, so show me.”
    M: (links to the letter posted on Reddit, quotes the paragraph mentioning that vendors contacted the con after the announcement)
    H: “Doesn’t sound like they objected.” (quotes same paragraph back to me)
    M: “So you’re saying they made contact to say they liked the decision?”
    H: “Maybe they just said, ‘You know who he is, right?'”
    M: “And that wouldn’t be objecting?”
    H: “The GAMA letter said ‘insight,’ which is a different word than ‘object.’ Show me an email from one of those vendors saying they object and will pull out over the issue.”

    Sheesh.

    Con announces guest, vendors email the con, con retracts invitation and apologizes to vendors. I honestly don’t see how that can possibly mean that the vendor emails were either positive or neutral about the presence of that guest. That interpretation doesn’t make a lick of sense to me.

  12. “I don’t think Moon’s 2010 essay was Islamophobic either, but it conflated Osama bin Laden with Islam, which in her eyes made the proposal for the mosque near Ground Zero disrepectful by association. That wasn’t fair.”

    That was islamophobic by all definitions of the word. And it doesn’t surprise me that Dann defends islamophobua. After all, he continuously defends racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry, constantly disappearing from the discussion every time people bring up what the peoole he defends has said.

  13. Hampus, I don’t agree with Dann on the definition of Islamophobia, but I will point out that he is not otherwise defending Moon’s words. He said what she said was not fair. I don’t know what he thinks Islamophobia is, but at least he is not approving of Moon’s remarks.

  14. @Steven desJardins:

    I can relate. The bulk of my responsibilities at LibertyCon amounted to running the tabletop game room, but once it turned into PuppyFest SE*, attending was more stress than fun. I was committed to my final year due to involvement with a particular guest – it would have been bad karma for me to back out, and possibly bad for my job – but once that was resolved, I made my exit. I didn’t drop ’em cold, owing to my responsibilities as head of gaming, but I left as gracefully and quickly as I could.

    * It had always had conservative tendencies, but backing the Puppies was a new step that crossed a line for me.

  15. JJ and robinareid, Thanks! I appreciate the comments. They mean a lot to me.

    Ctein, I understand where you’re coming from in regards to Moon’s comments. They’re not pleasant.

    I wanted to briefly make a comment about the use of sociological terms in relationship to the huge racefail debate. I read a bit of the material when it was going on, but I suspect that I only saw a small percentage of the debate. My impression was that it was an emotionally charged debate and that a lot of people crossed lines from a multiplicity of standpoints, but I didn’t really see a lot of really esoteric language in the debate. Instead, the sociological material tended to be introduced to try to give the debate a more structurally sound framework of discussion, something that is often difficult to more likely impossible to do without recourse to that material. Whatever misunderstandings and conflicts that I saw had far less to do with misunderstandings over esoteric terminology than it had to do with the intense nature of the dispute.

  16. Dear Robert,

    Again, thank you for your link to your old column. It’s already proven helpful when a correspondent asked for some more information about the Wiscon business. I could point them to your quoted material as a definitive starting point.

    No, I don’t think you want to wade your way through all the racefail archives. It was such a massive clusterfuck.

    (“Clusterfuck” is one of those postgraduate words that may need explaining to a lay audience [TiC].)

    I don’t think I argued for never introducing high-level concepts into a broad-based conversation, only that it be done very carefully and with great trepidation. My experience has been that most people think most people absorb unfamiliar concepts (and vocabulary) far more easily than they actually do. That includes themselves.

    There are good reputation-management lessons for authors in racefail:

    1) Do not get into an argument with a reader. Most definitely not over a matter of opinion, but usually not even over a matter of fact. It is unlikely to work well for you.

    (I’ve read over 2000 reviews and comments on Saturn Run. I only felt compelled to write a response once, and that was when a one-star reviewer attributed the book to another author entirely (for some reason they thought my name was a pseudonym for someone I’d never heard of). I posted a correction, apologizing for interjecting myself, saying that while I’d rather readers were happy with my book, they were entirely entitled to their opinion about it. I followed that with the factual correction and I was out. My correction got promoted above their review, at which point they complained about how they had been treated unfairly. Really, you can’t win.)

    2) Do not get drawn into (and never start!) a game of “Let’s You and Him Fight.”

    3) When your “friends” decide to “help” you in a disagreement with a reader (whether or not you are following Rule 1), tell them ever so politely to butt the fuck out, make it stick, and make sure that your reader knows that you did this. By virtue of being an author, you are already in the bully pulpit. You don’t need a gang backing you up, and it won’t look good.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  17. Ctein, that was my takeaway too. I learned a lot during Racefail, not all of it was pleasant, but all of it was useful.

  18. “Hampus, I don’t agree with Dann on the definition of Islamophobia, but I will point out that he is not otherwise defending Moon’s words. He said what she said was not fair. I don’t know what he thinks Islamophobia is, but at least he is not approving of Moon’s remarks.”

    Buy there is always an excuse. “No, this person isn’t a racist. No, this person isn’t a bigot. No, this isn’t islamophobia.” And always droppng out of the discussion when confronted with facts about the opposite.

    I’m getting tired of this. There was a time I though Dann was arguing in good faith. I can’t believe that anymore.

  19. Hampus Eckerman: There was a time I though Dann was arguing in good faith. I can’t believe that anymore.

    Same here. My impression is that that was done at first so that a lot of us would feel that way and be willing to give the benefit of the doubt; then, once we did, the dishonesty kicked in, in earnest. The point where it became apparent to me that it was all a ruse was at least a year ago. 🙁

  20. Dear Hampus,

    Regretfully, I am coming to a similar conclusion. I noticed a pattern when people don’t agree with him. Instead of trying to argue with why they are not agreeing with him, which would be a constructive engagement, he reiterates his original talking points or doubles down on them. He’s not really listening. It looks like a conversation but it’s a monologue, him issuing a position paper.

    Too often for comfort, when it goes more than a few rounds, he degenerates into some generalized rant against the horrible left, not having anything to do with the specific argument.

    When he first showed up in Scalzispace, I had high hopes for him. An intelligent and well-mannered right wing conversationalist. Great! I am sadly concluding otherwise

    I’d be very uncomfortable calling it bad faith, I am not inside his head. But I don’t think it’s a ruse nor any kind of intentional dishonesty. It;’s that he isn’t interested in conversation. He’s not engaged in an exchange of ideas, he is just standing on a soapbox.

    pax / Ctein

  21. I like Dann. I enjoy talking to him about books. I’ve also told him before that I think the way he goes about debates doesn’t help him communicate with people. I don’t think he’s trying to argue in bad faith, though, although given how long I kept trying with BrianZ after most people had given up that might not mean much.

  22. @Ctein: “I noticed a pattern when people don’t agree with him. Instead of trying to argue with why they are not agreeing with him, which would be a constructive engagement, he reiterates his original talking points or doubles down on them. He’s not really listening. It looks like a conversation but it’s a monologue, him issuing a position paper.”

    Not quite, or at least not as his only tactic. He also likes to ignore messages that box him in, and doing that on a selective basis requires paying some attention to his opponents. (I experienced this a few months back when he asserted that “Hollywood” doesn’t make movies for conservatives. I challenged him to look at what was playing at the local metroplex of his choice, I would do the same at mine, and we’d compare notes. I found a majority to be either conservative or neutral – the three “American heroes versus terrorists” movies certainly didn’t hurt – and he never responded at all.)

    @Meredith: “I enjoy talking to him about books. I’ve also told him before that I think the way he goes about debates doesn’t help him communicate with people. I don’t think he’s trying to argue in bad faith, though, although given how long I kept trying with BrianZ after most people had given up that might not mean much.”

    Yeah, he’s generally okay on the subject of books. It’s when he gets into political matters that the shady tactics come out.

    Speaking of shady discussion tactics, referring to the Facebook exchange I mentioned a few comments above… I finally got sick of the guy’s games and blocked him. It’s one thing to ask for evidence. It is quite another to (a) deny that it shows what it plainly does and ask me for MORE evidence while (b) accepting without question or criticism a completely evidence-free third-party video on the subject which happens to align with his chosen narrative.

    It occurred to me as I was making my last-ditch efforts with that guy that what happened with him paralleled what happened with me and Correia. We got along fine right up until I disagreed with him, at which point he showed his unsavory and dishonest side. In both cases, I attempted appeals to reason because I still thought he might actually be a decent guy who had had a bad day or something, and in both cases those attempts failed. I’m sure there are some people who know both of us (in each case) and would swear that he really IS a good guy… but good people don’t behave like that.

  23. I absolutely like to talk about books with Dann. Our tastes seem to align a bit, so I take thr recommendations seruously.

  24. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: 5-20-2018 - Amazing Stories

  25. We Filers can be an acerbic bunch when it comes to politics. I do not believe Dann is here to troll. I frequently disagree with Dann’s take on events, and don’t like that he ignores or spins some facts he to make his “both sides are equally culpable” arguments. This is not a sin of which Filers are innocent. The first example that pops to mind is the insistence by some that Gerrold was SWATTed by LA, which irks me particularly because it mirrors so many exaggerated puppy claims that eg. non-puppies have claimed that all puppies are white, male, mormon, neo-Nazi, homophobic racists. I value dissenting voices – I am well aware that I am prone to confirmation bias. When I read MGC’s comment section, a veritable echo chamber (aside from Greg Hullender and the occasional drive-by trolling) it’s obvious how poorly they are served by their requirement that comments must stick to the party line.

  26. Dear Kathodus,

    I agree with you about Dann. From my exchanges with him at Whatever, when he hasn’t gone off the rails, he sounds like someone I’d be very comfortable sitting down with over lunch. I don’t think he’s disingenuous and I don’t think he is a troll.

    But he does exhibit the same “I’m not actually listening, just making pronouncements, and if you don’t agree I’m going to double down” behavior over there as here. It’s not limited to File 770 culture.

    I have very strong feelings about the SWAT misrepresentation. My (perhaps unfair) feeling about the people who were saying it is that they had no idea what a state of imminent and immediate lethal danger a SWAT situation is. It is not about having a police presence, it’s not even a heightened alert police presence. It is not about what might come down, it is about what is coming down, right now, that constitutes an immediate threat to human life.

    It happened! 30-40 years ago at an LA con. Some young jackboot fans were playing a game that spilled out into public space. My hazy recollection is that it was even outside the convention hall and it was at night, but I could be wrong on those details. Regardless, a complete stranger, an ordinary LA citizen, saw a bunch of people in military garb running around brandishing weapons, ducking for cover, playing the usual reindeer games. They called the LAPD, which was the right thing to do, and the LAPD rightly mobilized a SWAT team.

    If the commander of that team hadn’t been really good at his job, some fans would’ve been shot that night.

    That’s what a SWAT is about — guns drawn, and fully prepared to use them, against an imminent threat.

    There is, unfortunately, a good reason why sane conventions tightened way up on their look-like-weapons policies.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  27. @Ctein

    It happened! 30-40 years ago at an LA con.

    Yikes! Glad that LA con situation ended with no deaths. My objection to using the term so broadly is that, in an attempt to up the charges against the offending party, the meaning of the verb SWATT is diluted. Antonelli’s histrionic call could definitely have ended in tragedy, but the chances were much lower than if he’d actually SWATTed someone or the convention. Not that I have any feelings of sympathy or forgiveness for anyone who calls the police on another person, given the potential for murder and mayhem that entails.

    But he does exhibit the same “I’m not actually listening, just making pronouncements, and if you don’t agree I’m going to double down” behavior over there as here. It’s not limited to File 770 culture.

    I hate that lack of discussion. As grumpy as we are, most people on File770 engage and reply to people’s arguments.

  28. Had I bought tickets to Origins because Larry was going to be there and used a major credit card I would have contacted their fraud dept to return the charges for “Failure to Deliver” I am pretty certain either Chase or Amex would have responded to my request

  29. Daniel W. Kauffman Jr: You mean, they would have answered the phone? Yes, I’m sure they would have.

  30. Daniel W Kauffman Jr: Had I bought tickets to Origins because Larry was going to be there and used a major credit card I would have contacted their fraud dept to return the charges for “Failure to Deliver” I am pretty certain either Chase or Amex would have responded to my request

    Had you bought a badge to attend Origins, you would have agreed to the following terms and conditions:
    Cancellation or refund requests for pre-registered badges and/or event tickets for the Origins Game Fair must be submitted by May 30th. Send requests to gamasupport@eventready.com. All requests must be submitted from the same email address used to create the original registration. All refunds will be credited to the original card used for purchase and are subject to a $10 administrative fee.

    So you would have gotten a refund of what you paid, less $10.

    But since you weren’t going to Origins anyway, I’m not sure why you felt compelled to comment on this.

  31. Dear JJ,

    Because there was this high dudgeon that he felt an uncontrollable need to plant a flag on top thereof?

    pax / Ctein

  32. I had what I thought was a clear-cut case of obviously-fraudulent activity once, so I chatted to the fraud departments of the relevant businesses and… hey, it turns out thanks to a weird little loophole, somebody who was provably not me, using my money to buy things I neither wanted nor received, wasn’t fraud! I got my money back but through other mechanisms, and it took a long-ass time.

    So yeah, if that happened to you, Daniel, I’d wish you the best of luck but I wouldn’t count on it getting you any satisfaction.

  33. Oneiros: it turns out thanks to a weird little loophole, somebody who was provably not me, using my money to buy things I neither wanted nor received, wasn’t fraud!

    If they accessed your money through stealing your Visa or MasterCard (companies which put the burden of ensuring that the person using the card is indeed the rightful owner onto the business), all you have to do is report the fraud to the business(es), then make a report to Visa/MC. The business has a set amount of time to respond by refunding your money or proving that you really were the recipient and providing proof of that to Visa/MC. If the business does neither within the deadline (60 or 90 days, I think?), then Visa/MC will issue a chargeback to the business and credit your account. Chargebacks involve a financial penalty for the business (as well as a black mark with Visa/MC, too many of which get a business barred from accepting their credit cards), so it’s in their best interest to voluntarily provide a refund.

    If it’s done with a debit card or other malfeasance, it’s a lot harder. Some years ago, someone took out store credit with 5 U.S. department stores (JCPenney, Sears, Kohl’s, KMart, Target) for a total of ~$20,000 in my name. In the U.S., if you have someone’s name, SSN, and birthdate (which can be easily purchased from data brokers online for around $50, though I have reason to believe that mine was poached by an HR employee from a previous employer) and they have a good credit rating, a lot of companies will do a cursory credit check and give $3,000 to $5,000 credit on the spot without validating address, employment, or any of the other information on the application.

    It took me 3 months of constant phone calls to try to get that debt wiped — much of it spent on hold, or talking to 20-year-old CSRs who just kept repeating mindlessly “You have to pay what you owe”. It was a pretty dire situation, because in the U.S., a bunch of unpaid debt on your credit report can prevent you from being able to rent an apartment, buy a house, or get hired for a job. So I can certainly empathize with your pain.

  34. “I don’t think Moon’s 2010 essay was Islamophobic either, but it conflated Osama bin Laden with Islam, which in her eyes made the proposal for the mosque near Ground Zero disrepectful by association. That wasn’t fair.”

    That was islamophobic by all definitions of the word. And it doesn’t surprise me that Dann defends islamophobua. After all, he continuously defends racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry, constantly disappearing from the discussion every time people bring up what the peoole he defends has said.

    For the record, it wasn’t Dann who wrote what you quoted, but me. FWIW, I’m not planning on disappearing anytime soon. Regarding the term Islamophobia, it’s not just a term of art, but also a convenient label to paint someone with a very broad brush. I’m not a big fan of that sort of thing. Moon’s statement about whether Islam can co-exist with the concept of national citizenship does touch on a pretty fraught subject, as many in France and England could tell you. The objections Moon raised can’t be easily dismissed with labeling her an Islamophobe, but do have to be addressed. WisCon decided to pass on that, which was probably for the best given the passion that resulted. It’s still a discussion worth having.

  35. @David W.

    Moon’s statement about whether Islam can co-exist with the concept of national citizenship does touch on a pretty fraught subject, as many in France and England could tell you.

    That discussion is so reminiscent of similar discussions scattered down history about Catholics and Jews or any scary “other”. Whether sincerely believed or dishonest manipulation, it’s an attempt to provide an intellectual framework for bigotry.

  36. It’s about the assimilation of a new group with an older one, which is something that does go both ways and really has to for the assimilation to take. Though considering Belgium and how it is still split linguistically, it’s not a requirement for the existence of a nation state. This recent NYRB essay on three new books about Islam and how it is impacting Europe is something worth reading.

    The New Europeans by Christopher de Bellaigue

  37. @David W.–

    Moon’s statement about whether Islam can co-exist with the concept of national citizenship does touch on a pretty fraught subject, as many in France and England could tell you.

    Previous generations of American nativists said exactly the same thing about Catholics. We couldn’t be patriotic American citizens because of our religion and allegiance to a foreign potentate. (The Pope, for any who missed out on a good high school history class.)

    It goes back to colonial days and British anti-Catholicism.

    It was a major problem for my immigrant Sicilian grandparents.

    It was still a live issue when my parents were young parents and John Kennedy was running for President.

    As an adult, nice, intelligent people have told me that being Catholic ought to be disqualifying for a Supreme Court appointment–and have been shocked when I point out that that would be a religious test for holding office, specifically barred by the Constitution.

    It seriously hadn’t occurred to them.

    So when I hear the same shit about Muslims, I’m not inclined to have much patience with what is, yes, straight up bigotry.

    I hope our British Filers will comment on Britain.

    France, like most “blood and soil” countries, the countries that have the illusion that they’re all of a common national descent, have long had a harder time and less success assimilating new groups.

    How successful have we been?

    My immigrant grandparents, despite the illusions of young persons today, weren’t regarded as white. I heard cracks about Sicilians and Italians well into my thirties, from people who looked at my pale skin and my last name and assumed I had no reason to be offended. (I enjoyed stomping on that smug confidence when I could.)

    Now? Go to any busy spot, and stop ten random people under thirty. Ask them what Nancy Pelosi and Rudy Giuliani have in common. Bet you get mostly blank stares, or “they’re both politicians.”

    Pelosi and Giuliani both know, and it mattered a lot when they were starting out.

  38. David W:

    “Regarding the term Islamophobia, it’s not just a term of art, but also a convenient label to paint someone with a very broad brush.”

    Are you against the words “racism”, “sexism”, “antisemitism” and “homophobia” too? I.e, all words used to name different types of bigotry?

    “Moon’s statement about whether Islam can co-exist with the concept of national citizenship does touch on a pretty fraught subject, as many in France and England could tell you. “

    Do you think it is a fraught subject if judaism can co-exist with the concept of national citizenship too?

  39. Liz Carey:

    Previous generations of American nativists said exactly the same thing about Catholics.

    Yes. Every group of immigrants has had to deal with rejection based on perceived differences. (Blacks who were brought to the U.S. as slaves still get rejected and don’t get to pass as ‘white’ though.) Catholics were at least still nominally Christian, so it wasn’t such a drastic thing for their faith to be accepted once it was clear they weren’t a threat to the nativist way of life. Right now however, Islam is considered a threat, and that does have a basis in the terrorism from the likes of Osama bin Laden, ISIS, and others who claim to act as jihadis. It’s a deliberate strategy on the terrorists part to drive a wedge between Muslims and infidels. I don’t think you do much to convince anyone who harbors suspicions about Muslims and Islam by calling them Islamophobes and leaving it at that.

  40. Hampus Eckerman:

    Do you think it is a fraught subject if judaism can co-exist with the concept of national citizenship too?

    Sometimes. The flap over women being required to ride in the back of the NYC bus so Hasidic Jews could be separated from their baleful influence comes to mind.

  41. “I don’t think you do much to convince anyone who harbors suspicions about Muslims and Islam by calling them Islamophobes and leaving it at that.”

    So the terrorism campaigns from Jewish Defense League should make us suspicious about jews and that wouldn’t be antisemitism at all? And because people harboring suspicions about jews don’t like to be called antisemites, we should just stop using that word?

  42. “Sometimes. The flap over women being required to ride in the back of the NYC bus so Hasidic Jews could be separated from their baleful influence comes to mind.”

    Moving goalposts. We are talking about all jews here. Just as you were talking about all muslims if you didn’t add any qualifiers.

  43. @Lis

    I hope our British Filers will comment on Britain.

    I feel that anyone who starts by referring to my nation as “England”, as David did, is already on shaky ground. Anyway, my comment is that anyone – British or otherwise – who tries to question whether the “concept” of being a Muslim can “co-exist with the concept of” being a British citizen is a) wrong and b) an Islamophobe.

  44. We couldn’t be patriotic American citizens because of our religion and allegiance to a foreign potentate. (The Pope, for any who missed out on a good high school history class.)

    I was hearing rumors like this in 1960. I was hearing anti-Catholic stories in the mid-70s, from someone who should have known better, as they would certainly have known Catholics – despite what they were told at their church.

  45. @David W.

    I don’t think you do much to convince anyone who harbors suspicions about Muslims and Islam by calling them Islamophobes and leaving it at that.

    This is the cynical part of me speaking but short of a road to Damascus moment I don’t think there is a lot that will convince confirmed bigots of the error of their way. At least that accords with my experience. What do you believe is this better method of discourse that will sway Saul to become an apostle?

  46. @Mark

    I feel that anyone who starts by referring to my nation as “England”, as David did, is already on shaky ground.

    There is that pesky Brexit vote to consider though, wrt said shaky ground. The ghost of Enoch Powell may have the last laugh.

  47. @Hampus

    Moving goalposts. We are talking about all jews here. Just as you were talking about all muslims if you didn’t add any qualifiers.

    You don’t have to talk about all Jews for people to make generalizations based on a particular observation.

  48. “You don’t have to talk about all Jews for people to make generalizations based on a particular observation.”

    Was that sentence supposed to mean something? To be relevant for the discussion?

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