Sunday, 6 January 2013
Erika Menendez says she hates "Hindus and Muslims", which means she hates brown-skinned people who look as if they might be Indian or Pakistani and might even be Muslim or Hindu (or Christian). This strange combination of racial and religious prejudice seems especially to afflict Christians of European origin and particularly Protestants. I think this must be because for centuries Christian Europe was ethnically and religiously remarkably uniform, so that anybody dark-skinned was probably a 'Saracen' or 'Turk' or 'Blackamoor'. When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem they slaughtered Christians and Jews as well as Muslims; to them all looked the same. Later on they met 'Indians' - in the Americas as well as in South Asia. After the Reformation, Protestants from Northern Europe assumed that darker skinned Europeans and their mixed-race offspring were 'Hispanics' with their dreaded 'Popish' religion. Anyway the old habits die hard, especially in America, where religion is still so influential. Ironically Erika Menendez, with a Germanic first name and a Hispanic surname may herself be subject to religio-racial prejudice. PS My blog 'Israel Again' has at latest count received 27 visits, more than all the others put together. There is a vigilant[e] community out there. I bet if I use the title 'Arabs again' I shan't get half as many hits. I'll try it next time.