Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Republican Foot in the Mouth Disease

A South Carolina Republican official, James Ulmer, chairman of the Orangeburg County GOP, is now apologizing for co-writing a newspaper op-ed, which ran Sunday in the Orangeburg Times & Democrat. The piece was meant to defend South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's position against congressional earmarks. Ulmer said he made a "great error." Jews were described as penny-pinchers in the op-ed, which he penned along with Bamberg County GOP chairman Edwin Merwin.

It's so easy to "apologize" for statements made that turn out to be politically unwise, and yet because these were comments written in an op ed piece, they were carefully thought out and certainly reviewed and then edited. Hardly off the cuff. They are also prejudicial and vile, illuminating deeply seated negative feelings toward a group of people these writers obviously consider "different" from themselves.

It's true. Jews are different from these two characters who wrote the op ed piece. In fact, stupid stereotypes aside, the Jews in this country give more to charity than any other single group, and Jewish charitable organizations are known to spend more of each donated dollar directly for charity than for organizational expenses. In other words, donors' dollars are used more to help others than for operating expenses or salaries. Penny -pinching indeed, but hardly in the spirit of greed or for the purpose of anyone becoming enriched by such penny-pinching.

No group can be characterized by a few members. It would take a preponderance of members of any group to behave in a particular way in order to attach any sort of label. However, from many years of observation, I would venture to say that Jews, for the most part—and not the occasional aberration—tend to look out for others and demonstrate kindness and what is often called, ironically enough, “Christian” kindness, a trait no doubt taken from the laws of ancient Judaism, along with the Ten Commandments. http://barbaraspen.blogspot.com/

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