Thursday, June 4, 2009

GAP and Me : A lesson in argument

So for the past two days the "Genocide Awareness Project" people have been outside in the quad with their giant anti-abortion display.

Today it finally made me snap. Now I am not strictly pro-choice, in fact I lean more toward pro-life, but given our political climate and the way both women and children are treated in society, I currently vote pro-choice... but that's another tale.

My real problem with the GAP is not their politics vis a vis the abortion issue, but rather the way they mix their anti-abortion message with totally unrelated things.

Next to their images of aborted fetuses (which make sense given their argument) they have:

1. Images of the Holocaust
2. Images of African Americans being lynched
3. Images of animal testing
4. The word Genocide

Now, the word Genocide applies correctly to 2 out of the four things portrayed. The Holocaust and the treatment of blacks in the us could aptly be called "Genocide"

Genocide means the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

I pointed this out to them, but they mostly seemed confused. Furthermore I expressed my concern over the fact that they were conflating issues that have no relationship.

Their response? All these things are bad... lol

Um well, ok yes I see that I suppose, but really does this make for a sound argument?

I further pointed out that as white non-Jews their use of racial/ethnic oppression and genocides as a tool for furthering their cause is offensive to those who are actually concerned with racial equality.

Their response? "A black woman showed us support earlier"

Um ok. But one African American showing support doesn't debunk my claim at all. Furthermore this sort of "Token" woman sounds like the old "I'm not racist I have a black friend" argument.

I then inquired about the animal rights issue.

Are you guys pro-Animal rights? Are you vegetarian? (No) Do you work to avoid buying products tested on animals (No). Well then your use of this image is not only totally unrelated to "Genocide" but is also an obvious emotional ploy. You are -- by using this image with no real opposition to what it portrays-- merely exploiting the pain of these animals for your own ends. Making you just as bad as those who test on animals in my mind.

Similarly you are exploiting the suffering of Jews and Af. Am. people with out any real concern about the conditions --present or historical-- of minority peoples.

I also wanted to ask if they found it problematic that dominant white christian ideologies played a fair role in both the Holocaust and the persecution of African Americans. But I refrained on this point.


hobbit said...

they were indeed unreal!

Masud Khan said...

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