C'est nous qui brisons les barreaux des prisons, pour nos frères, La haine à nos trousses, et la faim qui nous pousse, la misère. Il y a des pays où les gens aux creux des lits font des rêves, Ici, nous, vois-tu, nous on marche et nous on tue nous on crève.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

John Ray Redux

Back in October 2007, I wrote this post on AWH blogger John Ray (among others). My contention was primarily that Ray used a range of means to piggyback blatant racism onto more acceptable discourses (such as 'science', mainstream conservatism, libertarianism, 'anarcho-capitalism', and whatever else the guy hides behind).

In addition to this argument, there were, on my part, some ad hom attacks. These occurred in the context of Ray using mostly slurs to prop up his otherwise sloppy reasoning and impoverished arguments. They also occurred in the context of AWH being one of the most personally abusive sites on the Oz blogosphere, a site whose muppets call for violence against any who dare to disagree with their outlandish views.

I was therefore surprised, therefore, to find our sensitive soul, poor old Ray, engaged in special pleading. He makes virtually no attempt to refute any substantive points about his racism, preferring instead to focus solely on the ad hom remarks, as if they disqualified the broader thesis. Let us have a look at his pathetic attempts at rebuttal.

Within the last couple of days, I have been attacked by TWO Leftist bloggers! And note that they attacked ME, not any of the facts and arguments that I have put forward...They hate the truths that I have highlighted but they were so unable to refute those truths that all they could manage was an attempt to shoot the messenger.

Ray is not in possession of facts, much less 'truths'. As we shall see, he is hardly averse to 'shooting the messenger' himself.

And it is therefore MOST amusing that one of my recent Leftist critics had obviously trawled at great length through my autobiographical data looking for "dirt" and was able to come up with? Can you guess? Can you guess what he found to criticize? He criticized my POETRY!! What a good laugh I had about that! I doubt that any of my readers here would have been aware that in my long-lost teens I did write a bit of poetry. I put the poetry concerned online with the note that "I don't think much of it now" so criticisms of it leave me supremely unmoved.

If the poetry was trivial, and merely a byproduct of adolescent indulgence, why publish it in the first place? In any case, criticism of the poetry was not conducted on the basis of Ray's literary technique (which, incidentally, is poor), but rather, on his flabby and pompous self-importance, on the one hand, and his preoccupation with (ahem) racial purity on the other.

Ray then attempts to critique my original post. He commences inauspiciously, confining himself to picking up a spelling error. He goes on:

He then goes on to talk about my "hilariously unpublishable articles"! Wow! So how come over 200 of them did get published in mainstream academic journals? He is however not short of mental "agility". He then goes on to QUOTE from some of my published academic journal articles!

Frankly, I am surprised that anyone, anywhere, would publish Ray's rubbish. In any case, Ray is trying here to use the corollary of the ad hom argument, namely, the argument form authority. Furthermore, Ray's posts are hilariously unpublishable - his screeds on the 'psychopathy' of leftists, for instance, would not be admitted into scientific literature, and not, as Ray claims, because of some global communist conspiracy.

Ray, like a fat asthmatic boy trying to outrun a doberman, subsequently attempts to refute the charge of racism:

I DO quite happily make statements about race and racism that are of a kind that would have been regarded as perfectly normal thoughout all of human history -- but which have just in the last few decades become furiously excoriated.

Lot's of things in the 'last few decades' have become 'furiously excoriated'. Smallpox is one. Racism is another. That Ray assures us that his comments would have been perfectly acceptable in 19th Century Alabama, or 18th Century England, does not, in fact, mean that they are not racist.

The only reasonable definition of racism that I can see is something along the lines of "harming a person solely because of his race" but to a modern-day Leftist, just discussing race is "racism".

Constructing arguments along the lines of racial purity, condemning whole swathes of people for the supposedly 'racial' basis of their purported inferiority, and calling for violence against other races all look like 'harming a person' to me. Plenty of people discuss 'race' and 'racism', as well as genetics - few object to this. If anything, it is Ray's fellow-travellers who deride attempts to discuss race and racism. We have long seen how the rightist media attack the humanities departments in which these topics are given scholarly consideration. Obviously, Ray's ludicrous generalisations here are not substantiated.

And in the simple-minded theology of the Left, a racist would definitely have to be an antisemite so how to explain my unwavering support for Israel? Most of my blogs actually display an Israeli flag -- yet I am not Jewish.

I can't think of any 'leftist' who equates racism solely with anti-Semitism. Ray's retort here is of almost unbelievable stupidity. It is entirely possible to be pro-Israel, and nonetheless violently oppose the emancipation of other racial, religious and national groups. It is obvious that many members of the radical right have, ostensibly, a pro-Jewish, pro-Israel attitude - this in no way diminishes their contempt for Muslims, Africans, inter alia. If anything, the radical rightists and lunatic Christian Zionists like Ray are bigots precisely in their attitude to Israel, insofar as Jews as a category escape vilification only when they can be instrumentalised to the rightist's cause. This is a topic I shall expand upon at some later date.

Ray continues to ramble, as he slides into senescence, about how Hitler and fascism were 'leftist'. He is not alone in this folly - see the 'Hillary is fascist' crowd - but this proves only that imbecility is often practised in company.

Most amusingly, Ray claims to have 'comprehensively' refuted all allegations of racism, and he links to a rebuttal of an article cited in my original post, be a chap named Mehler. The article rightly points to Ray's love of enjoining others to embrace racism, and notes his obsession with racial categories, his contempt for various racial and religious groups, and his history of joining neo-Nazi groups. Ray attempts to respond:

To a Leftist, just mentioning the word "race" makes you immediately suspect. And I have never hesitated to say that I believe that race is real and that it does make a difference. And that is one reason why I have never bothered to reply to that specific article until now.

Has anybody seriously denied that race is real, or that it makes a difference? And is this what Ray has actually argued, given his posts include praise for Apartheid (based on the latter's 'benefits' for blacks) and endorsements of racism as 'normal' and 'beneficial'?

Ray spends a paragraph trying to use the word 'leftist' as a term of ad hom abuse. The Mehler article noted, correctly, that when radical rightists such as Ray invoke names such as 'Adorno', or the Frankfurt School, this is actually a mere codeword for 'Jewish'. Ray himself draws explicit attention to this. When called on his own racial obsessions, Ray attempts to wriggle free of the net by way of his own laughably inept ad homs:

[Mehler] also seems to find some awful significance in the fact that I referred to the Adorno group as "Jewish". He is perfectly right that one would not normally refer to the ethnicity of an academic author unless it was particularly relevant in some way. But in this case it IS relevant.

Ah, I see. Adorno = Jewish, therefore Adorno, in Ray's words, cannot 'be objective about Nazism'. Nice. Wonderful supporter of Jews.

[Mehler] also says that I write "approvingly" of people who use mocking names for Jews. That tends to suggest that I approve of such names. I do not. But I do find that many of the people who use such names are normal and non-psychopathological.

Ray here employs typical rightist tactics - diversion, obfuscation, and impugning of motives. The 'psychopathology' of those who employ racial slurs was never at issue, at least, not in this discussion. The racism of these epithets, apparently endorsed by Ray, stands, irrespective of where such phenomena sit in the DSM-IV. This is yet another distinction that our great scholar fails to grasp.

Rather charmingly, Ray responds to claims that he joined Nazi groups by conceding them, but adding, 'It was only for research!'. I suspect that Hugh Grant must once have used the same excuse to Liz Hurley, when caught with Divine Brown.

Finally, in his attempted defence of himself, Ray once again reiterates his delusional position on leftism and fascism, and concludes with a series of addenda, almost all of which are mere personal attacks on others:

It will be apparent from what I have written above that I regard Billig's criticisms of me as being no more than cheap shots. I am amused therefore to note that "Billig" is an Ashkenazi name which in fact means "cheap".

And this cretin has the audacity to cry - 'But they pick on me!'.

Ray and many (though not all) of his cronies are thorough-going racists, and they continue to peddle hatred on ethnic and religious grounds. Just the other day, his comrade was linking to a well-known white supremacist site, claiming it as authoritative on the topic of Muslims. Furthermore, Ray and his sycophants continue to sockpuppet me, attributing to me comments on their site that I have not written. I have written to them about this, and have suggested that use my ISP to verify my identity, but they refuse to respond in any way, other than to continue the sockpuppeting.

How sad, for one's arguments to be so woefully inept that you need to create opponents simple enough to leave them unscathed. And for ad hom king Ray to bitch and moan about his opponents at all merely ensures that he can add the title of hypocrite to his well-earned moniker of half-wit.

UPDATE: I see that another blogger has come up with a response to Ray, very similar to mine. It's hilarious that Ray and his fellow defenders of Der Vaterland allege, with a straight face, that it is the 'liberals' who are fascist. In addition, I've seen that the AWH bigots continue to call explicitly for genocide against Muslims, and continue to employ the sockpuppet. I guess there's little more than one can expect from these freaks - after all, there are no 'moderate' fascists.