I say, stupid because it is probably better to assume ignorance than malice in most situations.
However, it is getting harder and harder to understand how anyone with access to the Internet could be ignorant of Atzmon’s racism.
Firstly, Atzmon’s work is peppered with conspiracy theories, a key componant of anti-Jewish racism.
Next, Atzmon constantly denigrates Jews and Jewish history.
Further, his “criticism” such as they comprise, are aimed squarely at Jews.
In short, any considered review of his work would have to conclude that he is a racist towards Jews.
Now the trite response is that “he is a Jew too, therefore can’t be racist against Jews.”
This line of argument conveniently forgets that it is what you do that confirms the charge of racism or not. Not who you are.
A person’s own ethnicity is a quinary consideration at best.
Rather what is most important is the content of what they say, its relationship to traditional racist imagery and myths, and how its fits in the wider scheme of racist thinking.
If you think a Jew can’t invoke racism against other Jews then ask yourself, can Chris Rock/Eddie Murphy invoke racial imagery when they use old stereotypes of African-Americans? Of course they can.
It it what people do, not their own ethnicity, that defines if their actions are racist or not
Or look at it another way, suppose a woman pushed sexism and sexist imagery, the retort “she can’t be sexist, she’s a woman” would probably be ignored by those keen to absolve Atzmon of racism as nonsense, and rightly so. Anyone can be racist, anyone can be sexist.
Any thoughtful person would have to conclude that such a line of argumentation is woefully inadequate as it does not engage with the content of Atzmon’s racism, which is the real point.
So we are back to those stupid people in Bradford at Raise Your Banner.
I think they should read this great piece by Nick Lowles at HOPE not hate.
Update 1: Over at Lancaster Unity, Atzmon Quotes From BNP Website To Attack Hope Not Hate. I wonder what his defenders at Raise Your Banner think of that?