Jack Kelly writes a weekly column at the Post-Gazette. His views are conservative and contribute to the diversity of opinion featured in our newspaper. We have liberal columnists, too, who, like Jack, are provocative and can stir up reaction by readers. Obviously, readers need to keep in mind that our signed columnists, liberal or conservative, speak for themselves and their own views — not for the Post-Gazette. The views of the newspaper, of course, are expressed in its daily editorials.
This statement was released by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial page editor Tom Waseleski last week as a response to the negative feedback generated by “Remnants of Slavery“ — a shockingly and unapologetically racist column penned by the Post-Gazette's Jack Kelly. Waseleski's statement is concise, clear, sober, and objective. It is the very definition of editorspeak.
It is also bullshit.
As I read it, I wondered if Waseleski — a man I've exchanged professional emails with several times — believes what he's saying, or if he's attempting to protect an employee and the P-G's brand. I do not know. I do know, however, that the optimist in me wants to believe it's the latter. That he knows it's bullshit, but he's obligated to stand up for his writers. He would not be the first and will not be last editor to do that.
But just in case Waseleski and anyone else on the Post-Gazette's editorial team believes Kelly's impressively terrible piece had any shred of historical merit or journalistic integrity, I want to play a little game. Let's read Kelly's piece again — word for word — but this time let's replace every reference to slavery with a reference to the Holocaust. And then, after every 100 words or so, let's check back and see exactly how fired Kelly and Waseleski and anyone else on the Post-Gazette's editorial staff would have been if they dared publish something that trivialized and minimized the pain and the suffering of tens of millions of Jewish people the same way they trivialized and minimized the pain and suffering of tens of millions of Black Americans.
I’m glad I live in a time of automobiles, air conditioning, indoor plumbing, the Internet and great medical advances.
But if I had to live in an earlier period, I’d want to be an Allied soldier in the second World War. I can think of no greater cause than to fight to eradicate the Nazis.
Genocide wasn't Germany's original sin because it was unique, or uniquely horrible there. If prostitution is “the world’s oldest profession,” the capture, torture, and murder of millions of innocent people is second. Since the dawn of recorded history, mass murder has been practiced in nearly every society known to man.
At this point, Kelly is super fired. No notice, no heads up, no nothing. Just all his shit off his desk and on the street.
The words “Holocaust” and “benign” ought never to appear in the same sentence, but Jews in Germany (usually) were treated less harshly than in most other places where genocide has been practiced — especially in ancient times.
Kelly is so fired that they might literally set him on fire while they're firing him. Waseleski is also updating his resume and checking to see how many PTO days he has left this year.
Our word “Holocaust” is from Old French holocauste, via late Latin from Greek holokauston, fromholos ‘whole’ + kaustos ‘burned’ (from kaiein ‘burn’). Throughout history, only a relatively few genocide victims have been Jewish. And for every Jew shipped to concentration camps on (mostly German) trains, dozens and possibly hundreds more were taken somewhere else.
What made the Holocaust so bad was its violent conflict with Germany's sense of togetherness. How could they promote unity and purity while murdering tens of millions of people?
Anti-semitism is as ancient and ubiquitous as genocide. The word some Chinese use for “foreigner” can be translated as “foreign devil.” Russian slang for Jewish translates to “?yd.” Chinese, Koreans and Filipinos can attest that until recently Japan was among the most racist nations on Earth.
But it wasn’t until after Hitler ruled Germany that anti-Semitism and genocide became widely and inextricably linked. Before then, not many thought men were created equal or that God-given rights took precedence over the whims of kings and emperors.
And before publication of John Locke’s “Second Treatise on Civil Government” (1689) and the Declaration of Independence (1776), not many believed the people were sovereign and that government was supposed to serve them, not the other way around.
Genocide was considered mostly a matter of bad luck. It was common practice for survivors to be tortured, starved, and killed when a tribe lost a war. Wealthy Romans bragged about how many Jews they murdered. That’s why they bought them to tutor their children.
“If God wills that … until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword … the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether,” said Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address.
Kelly is so fired now that they hire him back just to fire him again. Also definitely fired is Tom Waseleski, Post-Gazette executive editor and vice-president David M. Shribman, and Post-Gazette managing editor Susan Smith. Oh, and no one else at the P-G can get to work because the Anti-Defamation League has walled off and barricaded the P-G's entire building. President Obama even weighs in, calling it a "senseless and inexplicable example of insensitivity and bad judgement."
Two million American soldiers died to free the Jews. That blood debt was paid long ago. Franklin Roosevelt was white. So were those who voted for him. About 90 percent of American soldiers were white.
It says something good about today’s white Americans that so many feel guilty for a sin neither they nor most of their ancestors ever committed. But white guilt has a pernicious effect on our politics.
The assertion that only people of certain ethnic groups can be racist is pure racism. Jewish racism is as vile and prevalent as any other kind.
The Holocaust was horrible, but no Jew living today has suffered from it. Most are better off than if their ancestors had remained alive in Poland.
The Jewish community is uniquely troubled, in large part because anti-Semitism is blamed for social dysfunction that has other causes. To address those causes, white Americans must abandon an undeserved guilt, and Jewish racists who blame all their problems on anti-Semitism must stop preying upon it.
Kelly — and every single editor on the P-G's staff — is fired quicker and harder than anyone has ever been fired. They're also thrown in prison for inciting a riot, and the prison is promptly burned down. As is the entire city of Pittsburgh. Everyone reading this would be dead. President Obama is impeached for allowing a major newspaper in a prominent American city publish this. And the aliens who've been circling Earth for a millennia sense a fracture in America and finally invade.