The Friend Argument
February 22, 2017
Silly me, I thought we settled this whole bullshit tactic back in the sixties or, maybe, the seventies – you know, back when Trump was draft dodging. Nevertheless, the supposition that if a person has friends in a population group that person can’t possibly feel prejudice towards that group, the Friend Argument, has made a bigly comeback.
Way back during the last Civil Rights Era, we heard this argument all the time, typically phrased as, “I’m not racist, I have back (or the historically correct negro) friends.”
The declaration presents a slippery non-sequitur in that the first clause, “I’m not…”, has nothing at all to do with the last clause, “I have friends…”. The two seem connected since both contain references to race, but nothing in that second phrase supports the truth of the first.
Yeah, I know, my logical analysis is always so dry (yawn) – perhaps, some simple substitutions instead:
The truism, “I’m not misogynistic, I’m married to a woman,”, of course, doesn’t ring true. Frankly, most the misogynists I know are married to women.
Reaching out to the absurd with, ”I’m not a murderer; some of my best friends are alive.”, presents a logical disconnect so stark it becomes too stupid to consider.
And finally, “Trump can’t be anti-Semitic, his daughter is Jewish.” brings us to up to date.
The word anti-Semitic describes an attitude, as does not mentioning Jews on Holocaust day, as does responding to questions about anti-Semitic crimes by yelling at the questioner and reciting election statics as an answer. Retaining a known anti-Semitic ass as senior adviser doesn’t help.
Given that, since the election one-hundred-six days ago, hate-crimes against Jewish communities have spiked, specific condemnation seems more appropriate than the usual “tough on crime” jargon. When the Donald responds with talking-point generalizations the words rings of complicit silence.
None of this has anything to do with the Donald’s feelings about is daughter, regardless of her religion. Fathers love their daughters, regardless of everything – even, I imagine, the Donald.
The republic objects to the media and the Donald conflating anti-Semitic silence with fatherly love. We have no desire to watch a man hide behind his children.
In Peace and Justice,