“Barack and I have been in the public eye for many years now, and we’ve developed a thick skin along the way. When you’re out campaigning, there will always be criticism. I just take it in stride, and at the end of the day, I know that it comes with the territory.”
I have argued elsewhere that this is silly and counter-productive, but my impression is that Rev. Sizer and his fan club are not particularly good listeners or interested in the views of others.
In his latest post, Rev. Sizer makes much of the fact that he removed the offending link to the Ugly Truth web site. However, Rev. Sizer only removed it after the racist nature of the site was pointed out to him, several times.
Astonishingly, before it was pointed out to him, Rev. Sizer didn’t investigate the antisemitic content of Ugly Truth as the CCJ points out:
“We are conscious that The Revd Stephen Sizer’s contributions have caused widespread disquiet and hurt in both communities and led to confusion and polarization of views. We have paid particular attention to a link posted by Mr Sizer on his Facebook page to ‘The Ugly Truth’, an antisemitic website.
We consider this to be wholly unacceptable.
We cannot accept it was an accident, because Mr Sizer was alerted to the antisemitic nature of the website in November and again in December, but only removed the link in January when contacted by the Jewish Chronicle. “
If, this unfortunate episode had been a one off, then Rev. Sizer would have had a stronger case, but he has made this same mistake at least three times, by my reckoning.
That is a lot for a highly intelligent man, an academic and community leader. Surprisingly, I can not find any apology from Rev. Sizer on his previous poor choice of material and certainly no embarrassment.
Still, as he reminds us about his “Jewish friends” I can’t help thinking that they might not have known of the extent of Rev. Sizer’s blunders?
Whilst I seriously doubt that Rev. Sizer or his supporters harbour any antisemitic feeling, there is not much evidence of them understanding the issues, or the need for a certain sensitivity.
It all speaks of a very poor sense of judgement in these matters.
Overall, what I see in these instances from Rev. Sizer and his supporters is a lack of insight, a desire to hit back and above all wounded pride.
It might be time, as Michelle Obama recommends, for Rev. Sizer to develop a thicker skin. Or for him not to link to racist material in the first place?