-17

I had a remark on my profile that "Goyim Lives Matter". This was deleted, presumably by one of the moderators.

I will preemptively refute the accusation that this is antisemetic. Oxford Dictionary defines the word "antisemitism" as "hostility to or prejudice against Jews".

My comment that "Goyim Lives Matter" did not express hostility to or prejudice against anyone. Rather, I am simply expressing my strongly held view that "goyim" (i.e., non-Jews), like all human beings, have an inalienable right to life, liberty and happiness. I do not see what is wrong with this, or why it is inappropriate.

I would kindly request that I am allowed to re-include that comment.

  • 12
    Wow... The audacity of putting that on your profile and then making a meta post about it... It really boggles the mind. – user11249 Jan 26 '18 at 13:31
  • 2
    This is really hard to believe that you only have good intentions when most people doing the same haven't. Maybe you should have added this explanation here right after the catchy phrase. That would have put it in perspective. But just as it is, everyone assumes that you share the common convictions of people usually expressing this opinion. That's just how society works. You cannot run around screaming Nazi and then hoping that people will not judge you by exactly this. Everything else would be naive. Anyway, what about "Lives Matter"? That should perfectly reflect your opinion. – Trilarion Feb 6 '18 at 9:26
11

I was the one who flagged this users profile. I have no interest in discussing this with the user in question, but want to explain my reasoning to others who are reading this.

Why "Goyim Lives Matter" is antisemitic

When you google the phrase in question, this is the first result:

The slogan "Goyim lives matter" above a black line in a white circle over a red flag, which closely resembles a swastika

And yes, that's a modified swastika, and no, that's obviously not a coincidence.

Just as "white lives matter" is not a simple statement about the value of white lives, but a nazi slogan, so is "Goyim Lives Matter" not a simple statement about the value of non-Jewish lives.

The implication here is that someone - the Jews in this case - believes that non-Jewish lives don't matter. Otherwise, the slogan would not make sense. The idea that Jews are out to get non-Jews is classic antisemitism.

Antisemitic history of the user in question

The user in question has a long history of antisemitic outbursts and personal attacks. It should be obvious that someone with an antisemitic world view is not using the slogan "Goyim Lives Matter" - or "OpenBordersForIsrael" for that matter - neutrally. It is obviously a violation of the "no bigotry" part of the Be nice policy.

Personally, I also flagged the users profile because of their profile image - a hate symbol in some contexts - as well as "OpenBordersForIsrael" which used by people who are not antisemites might be acceptable, but where the implication is clear if used by people who have a history of antisemitism.

This user is an obvious troll, and is currently testing out the borders of what is acceptable behavior here - likely encouraged by unreasonably weak reactions in the past.

Going forward

I appreciate the moderator intervention in this case and hope that moderators will stand by their decision to remove an antisemitic slogan. I also hope that they will keep a close eye on this user and take appropriate measures once the user does cross the border into unacceptable territory.

  • 5
    Adding to this, while "goy" and "goyim" are legitimate Yiddish words, I've found that most of the time when encountered "in the wild" it's used in a thinly veiled anti-Semitic insult and/or dog whistle (...these people think they're so clever with their dog whistles...) – user11249 Jan 26 '18 at 14:10
  • 4
    Also, I am frankly slightly surprised that this isn't a ban-worthy offence. Clearly they're not interested in participating in good faith. – user11249 Jan 26 '18 at 14:12
  • 1
    @Carpetsmoker That's also been my experience with the use by non-Jews. Regarding a ban: The mod who processed my flag noted that they cannot know when the profile was changed (might have been before the last ban). I think the user should have been banned a long long time ago, but it seems that that will only happen if - or more likely when - the user very clearly violates policy once again. – tim Jan 26 '18 at 15:39
  • 2
    First, the "this is what you get by Google" argument is weak, since that is guilt by association. Hitler was a vegetarian, but vegetarianism isn't bad. Similarly, Nazis believe that Goyim Lives Matter, but that doesn't mean that non-Nazis cannot hold the same view. The Washington post article is an opinion piece, hence irrelevant non-evidence. The NYPost article is unconvincing given the fact that the media has a propensity to label all far-righters as "Nazis" in a rather unnuanced manner. – user5904 Jan 26 '18 at 16:21
  • 3
    @tim If I were you, I'd get rid of the part about the first thing that comes up when you google it. It makes it so that the most attention-grabbing part of your answer is also the least logically sound. Judging whether or not something is offensive based on that the first google result is is not a reliable criteria. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Jan 26 '18 at 17:22
  • 3
    @SamIam If the first results on google for "puppies and kittens" where all full of Swastikas and other Nazi stuff - and if you wouldn't find anything else related to it (say videos of cats and dogs) - , that wouldn't give you pause? I think that it is a strong first sign that something might possibly be related to ... Nazis. If I eg google vegetarianism, I don't see Swastikas. But I think that we can (hopefully) agree that this is antisemitic either way, so it doesn't seem to matter that much. – tim Jan 26 '18 at 18:41
  • 5
    I think it's important to show the context in which words and phrases like this are used @SamIam. Nothing about the word "Goyim" – or any other racial slur – is intrinsically offensive, as such. It's always the context in which it's used that makes it offensive. – user11249 Jan 26 '18 at 18:44
  • 3
    @Carpetsmoker Note that goyim isn't actually a slur (racial or otherwise). As you said before, it's just a hebrew and yiddish term sometimes used by Jews for non-Jews. But Nazis and other antisemites like to use it to suggest that Jews use it as a slur and look down on gentiles (see eg here (warning: pretty heavy antisemitism)). But otherwise I agree, context matters. – tim Jan 26 '18 at 19:39
  • 6
    Might be worth adding: "white lives matter" and "goyim lives matter" are cases of dog whistling (Wikipedia; Merriam-Webster). They're phrases which have one ostensible meaning to most people, but another "in" crowd recognises what someone truly means by them: in this case anti-semitic sentiments. You can defend saying it by suggesting it just means the (usually harmless) surface meaning and that anyone reading anything else into it is jumping at shadows. – doppelgreener Jan 26 '18 at 20:29
5

There are a couple elements to this:

  1. Whenever you make a statement of that nature, there is an implication that it is contested by someone. I.E. Someone doesn't think that non-Jewish lives matter. The most natural assumption is that it's the Jews who don't think non-Jewish lives matter.

  2. "Goyim" is a Hebrew word, and its use further suggests that the slogan primarily about the Jews.

Those two factors together make the phrase a bit antagonistic toward the Jews, and therefore antisemitic, and therefore inappropriate for this site.

  • 3
    It's not a huge deal. I can tolerate your opinion on this matter. But this is certainly a worthwhile discussion nonetheless. We say black lives matter, and yet that does not imply animosity towards all white people. It is a criticism of supposed police injustice/brutality. Similarly, when I say "goyim lives matter", that does not imply dislike of all Jews --- only some Jews who pose a threat to the lives of goyim (e.g., extremist Jewish settlers in Palestine, for instance). – user5904 Jan 27 '18 at 8:52
  • @MathematicsStudent1122 - That's because, when innocent black lives are taken, and there is no form of punishment or consequence for it, then it sends a message that it must be because those lives don't matter. "Black Lives Matter" is not an assertion that others don't, or that theirs matter more, but a call-out to remind people that they should ALSO matter as much as others. Your co-opting the concept to attack a traditionally disparaged group does not align with your claims of equivalence or justification. – PoloHoleSet Sep 5 '18 at 20:31

You must log in to answer this question.