Thursday, May 8, 2008

Long Beach professor justifies anti-Semitism

I do not think Jews are living in 1938 Germany. But it really has seemed lately liked I've transitioned to the anti-Semitism beat. Besides posting several items on the topic during the past few days, I spent last night at UC Irvine, listening to a speech from Norman Finkelstein, who has certainly been called an anti-Semite, and that followed two weeks of researching and writing a profile of Kevin MacDonald, a psychology professor at Cal State Long Beach whose books have been compared to "Mein Kampf."

In the above video, which is 41 minutes long, MacDonald appears on the TV program "Current Issues," hosted by Palestinian American Hesham Tillawi. The focus of their conversation is the negative influence and clannish behavior of Jews. At the 17-minute mark, MacDonald describes his opinions, detailed in a three-volume series and subsequent essays that can be found at, as "rational" anti-Semitism.

MacDonald once served as an expert witness for Holocaust-denier David Irving, and many of his theories of Judaism as a "group evolutionary strategy" are controversial. The least palatable are that Judaism has a built in eugenics program -- the study of Talmud, which, he claims, stemmed the reproduction of dumber members of the Tribe -- and that anti-Semitism, even Nazism, were gentile responses to Jewish success.

He's been on the faculty of Cal State Long Beach 23 years now, having achieved full tenure in 1994. But the university is under increasing pressure from some of MacDonald's colleagues and outside organizations to denounce his writings, which, obviously, have very little to do with child psychology and, to his credit, have been kept out of the classroom.

Under the headline, "The Professor Anti-Semites Love," MacDonald carries this week's cover for The Jewish Journal. It's a long profile -- from his childhood in Oshkosh to the origins of his research to the contents of his books and the battle against him -- so I'll just mention now the biggest problem MacDonald has had: his anti-Semitic admirers.

As a warning, there will be some very vulgar language from someone who would like to see the fulfillment of the Final Solution:
In the second of two recent interviews, MacDonald said he is not a fan of anti-Semitism. But he also described his opinions on a Palestinian American TV news program in 2005 as "rational anti-Semitism" and has joked that being branded a Jew hater was a "badge of honor," the knee-jerk reaction of a scared Jewish establishment.

The chief concern over MacDonald's writings about Jews is directed at his fan base: white supremacists like and Vanguard News Network -- whose motto is "No Jews. Just Right." The members of these online communities have become his loudest defenders, often in language that is as offensive as possible.

"So the goddam Kikes are getting their way yet again, putting the thumbscrews to a White scholar whose ass they are not worthy to lick.... At least this oppression proves that Prof. MacDonald's great work is hitting the scum hard," a Vanguard commenter wrote in February below a republished story about MacDonald from CSULB's student paper.

"How much more of this humiliation is our race going to take? How long before this motherf---ing plague of repulsive, hook-snouted ticks is given a real Zyklon fumigation, as opposed to the fairy tale one?"

MacDonald repudiated such rhetoric as "crazy stuff" but said he supports the ideology behind it.

"White people have legitimate ethnic interests. To the extent that that is all they believe, then we are on the same page," he said. "I don't like to use words like white supremacists. You could say that Koreans in Korea are Korean supremacists if they want to maintain their culture. It is kind of a loaded word; it is a politically charged word of the left, basically, to pathologize any sense of having an ethnicity and culture by people like me. I reject that."

"I certainly reject the tactics and the rhetoric of these people. It's very crude," MacDonald added. "But to the extent that David Duke is trying to advance a white ethnic interest and so on, I don't have any problem with that."
I'll post later about the basis for MacDonald's research, which rests on an assumption of "Jewish Genius."


shoded yam said...

Nu, so where is Daphna Ziman when you need her? I guess too busy cynically manipulating the emotions of the Jewish community for Hillary while getting her nails done and making appointments for more botox injections.

David said...

Readers interested in a reasonably detailed assessment of the fraudulent scholarship that informs MacDonald's research may be interested in this:

David Lieberman

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rabbi Yonah said...

It is so amazing the interviewer cannot deal with the fact that McDonald views us as an ethnic group. He wants to compare Jews to Islam, Christianity and Boodyism - his words not mine.

So McD is not as good for Palestinian/Muslim antisemites as he is for white supremacists.

What is your take Brad?

Brad A. Greenberg said...

I think that is an accurate assessment, Rabbi Yonah.

As for how MacDonald sees individual Jews, I'm not sure.

I didn't feel like he was sizing me up, or that he had judged me before I met him (though he later told me he feared the article would be a hatchet job and was glad it wasn't). MacDonald told me his criticisms were of organizational Jewry, not of individual Jews. In fact, he said, he still had some Jewish friends, though increasingly less.

When I mentioned this to a gentile friend, he was skeptical:

"Seems like his critics tend to think his work just repackages long held prejudices toward Jews. Leads one to think he reached his conclusion long before he checked the results of his research -- i.e. he held beliefs about Jews and set out to find evidence to prove those beliefs correct, often (according to his critics) ignoring evidence to the contrary. Could he have held beliefs about Jewish establishment without having related beliefs about individual Jews? Possible, I suppose, but I tend to doubt it. That would take some serious compartmentalizing."