Thursday, June 14, 2012

Blood purity apparently still something to brag about in Hungary

Our prestigious blog award for rant of the week, if not the month, goes to Lindy from Jezebel for her outstanding take-down of some middling Hungarian bureaucrat who found it imperative to announce that he has been certified by science to be 100% free of all Jewish and Roma heritage. Phew. I mean close call, right? Think of what might have happened to Hungary had one of its top mid-level anonymous bureaucrats discovered even a drop of Jew blood running through his veins. It would have been a disaster, I tell you.

Anyway, read Lindy's far superior blog mockery, reproduced in all its glory, after the jump.

** Fun Fact to know and tell: Guess who we have to thank for this sick idea of blood purity. No, not Hitler. Hardly any of his disgusting ideas were his own. The source of this stupidity (Surprise!)  is the Catholic Church.

In ye old days of Spain, Jews converted to Catholicism by the boat load. Many of these Jews were, alas, sincere converts, but some only went half way. They went to Mass, but kept shabbos. They snacked on Sacramental bread, aka the body of Christ, but also avoided pork. Some were pretending to be Catholic, while remaining secretly Jewish; others were sincerely trying to both have their cake and eat it. The result was a huge Spanish community of New Catholics who, despite having been baptized, just could not seem to fully get with the Catholic program. This was a theological dilemma for the Church which had always taught that baptism was a magical cure for Jewishness. Why wasn't it working? Why were we Jews like "dogs returning to their vomit," to quote one particularly charming grand inquisitor. Over time, the Church developed a theological solution: Jewish blood is tainted, that is there is something about us, something in our blood, which blocks the saving magic of baptism.

For a time, the Vatican attempted to block this new understanding of the Jews, over the objection of Spanish Catholics who had begun banning the Catholic descendants of Jews from holding community positions. But in time, the Pope came around, and the idea caught on. The Jesuits, for example, expressly barred candidates of Jewish descent until 1946, and in the 19th century expecially, the Church actively promoted racial antisemitism in their newspapers.

Ok, enough yawn-inducing history. On to Lindy....

If the entire planet isn't throwing the galaxy's stankiest collective side-eye at Hungary right now, we've got some fucked-up priorities. It seems that in the midst of ongoing ethnic violence and anti-Semitic tensions, and in the lead-up to local elections, an unnamed Hungarian far-right parliament minister hired a diagnostic research company to certify that he is 100% free of all Jewish and Roma heritage. And right-wing nutjobs are puuuuumped!!! Human rights advocates, ethical chemists, and normal-thinking human beings everywhere, not so much.
Nature reports:
The ETT's secretary, József Mandl, chair of medical chemistry at the Semmelweis University in Budapest, says that the certificate is "professionally wrong, ethically unacceptable - and illegal". The council discussed the issue on 7 June and concluded that the genetic test violates the 2008 Law on Genetics, which allows such testing only for health purposes.
"The council's stand is important," says Lydia Gall, an Eastern Europe and Balkans researcher at civil-rights group Human Rights Watch, who is based in Amsterdam. In Hungary, "there have been many violent crimes against Roma and acts of anti-Semitism in the past few years", she says. Politicians who try to use genetic tests to prove they are ‘pure' Hungarian fan the flames of racial hatred, she adds.
Whaaaaaaaaaaat. How old-timey and delusional—to wake up every morning and be like, "Yyyyyyyyep!!! My blood! My blood's the best blood. So glad I have this blood and not that gross JEW BLOOD. It makes me a way better mid-level Hungarian bureaucrat!" I mean, really? You hate "Jews and gypsies"? You believe in a "master race"? What a hacky premise. Haven't you heard that modern racist white people have learned to cloak their prejudices behind creative language about crime statistics and "values"? Catch up. What I'm saying is that this whole thing would be quaint if it didn't seem like a terrifying baby-step toward genocide. If these people weren't being elected to public office.
A part of me feels uncomfortable being so light-hearted about something so dangerous—these are clearly bad guys who should be stopped—but it's hard to escape the absurdity that attitudes like this still exist at all. This is some old-timey nonsense shit. Believing in "racial purity" essentially invalidates you as a legitimate member of society. Because in terms of being a happy, productive, respectable human being, I would say "Don't genocide people" is like #2 on the To-Do list, after, like, "Don't be a horse" (centaur is a grey area).
Also, quit wasting science's time. Science is busy. Using cutting-edge modern technology to try and "prove" the world's most calcified, antiquated garbage ideas is about as backwards as it gets. It's like, "Oh, I'm so glad NASA built that new satellite so we can finally investigate whether or not the earth is flat!" No. Not necessary. You don't get to talk anymore. It's like buying an iPhone app that makes it so that your iPhone can send telegrams. Except, no, it's not even that, because even a telegraph machine was useful at one time. This is more like getting an app that turns your iPhone into a Speak-and-Spell. Good work, champ.
And let's just get this completely straight. You hate certain groups of people because you believe that they have an intrinsic inferiority that is damaging to society. But your understanding of thatthing that you hate is so vague that you need A TEAM OF SCIENTISTS to figure out who those people are??? And on top of that, you need those same scientists to verify that you are, in fact, not one of those people yourself? THAT IS THE JANKIEST, MOST HALF-ASSED RACISM EVER. At that point, what is it that you hate, exactly? Besides introspection and reading, I mean.
Sigh. This has been Lindy Attempts to Reason with Genocidal Hungarian Racists Via the Internet. I haven't checked the site analytics lately, but I'm betting Jezebel has a pretty bigfollowing in that demo. So, you're welcome, globe.

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