Thread about ultra-Orthodox Jews given an inaccurate title change

There’s nothing “anti-Semitic” about condemning a benighted, bigoted, anti-modernity religious sect. Was the Hulu series Orthodox “anti-Semitic”? The people depicted in it would like to argue that it is, just as many people argue that the Israel divestment movement (or any opposition to that country’s oppressive, right wing, apartheid government) is anti-Semitic. Both claims are horseshit.

Yes, some people lose their shit about any criticism of religion. But religion is an ideology, not an immutable inborn characteristic. It should be as fair a target for criticism as any other ideology.

ETA: Do you realize the absurdity of saying people were upset by a thread title in the Pit? Don’t go to the Pit if you have such delicate sensibilities!

I was being polite and just because it is the pit doesn’t mean the thread title can be any hateful thing you want. You could have focused your complaint in the title. Also after all these years, you know people don’t gp forum by forum, but check all posts. It is not like your hateful title was not visible to people not going to the pit regularly.

I’m not a pit mod for damn good reason. I would have shut it down and warned you for trolling day 1. Not my place, not my call. Be happy.

I did not know that until you said it just now. I have never done that in my life. I don’t even know how to do it (nor would I want to: I am mostly interested in threads I start or ones about TV shows I watch). And frankly, the Pit should not be on that feed.

You go here: https://boards.straightdope.com/ the main page and you see all the threads either most recently changed or newest depending on some settings. As far as not having the pit show on said feed, I don’t think that would be a good feature.

The number of people who rioted against masks is a tiny percentage of the ultra-orthodox/Hasids in those neighborhoods, but you are ascribing this idea to the entire group. Is this based on your deep familiarity with this group (do you know what the position of community leaders or rabbis is?), or simply because you think you can get away with stereotyping this group in ways that are verboten for others? (More below.)

And as I understand it, over in Israel they are not required to work for a living or join the military, but they are happy to be the spearfront of the settler movement and thereby gin up military oppression of Palesti… "

This displays ignorance. The groups who do not work for a living or join the military and the groups who are the “spearfront of the settler movement” are completely distinct groups, who are vehemently opposed to each other ideologically.

Bottom line is that you don’t like these ultra-orthodox/Hasids so anything goes. You try this type of ignorance-based broad-brush tarring with any other group you would probably be suspended on the spot and subsequently banned.

There is something bigoted about implying that a particular minority of people owe it to the majority to “contribute”, however. And that was how you chose to phrase your thread title.

My comment in the mod loop was that I thought we should distinguish between “group X does bad things and is bad” and “group X never did anything good for the rest of us”. The former can arguably be allowed in the pit, and the latter should not be allowed anywhere – it basically says that a minority group needs to justify its very existence.

I wrote the new title, by the way. And I apologize for it not being fully accurate. I was too offended by your original title to completely engage in the thread. Offended isn’t exactly the right word. I am a Reform Jew, and I have been watching some of the antisocial things that certain ultra-orthodox groups have done over the years (including the “killing the public schools” incident as well as the measles vaccine debacle) but every time your thread title popped up I felt threatened. I was not the only Jew who felt threatened. That thread got a LOT of reports.

So, the new title might not be completely accurate for your topic, but it’s a lot less anti-semitic and a lot less threatening to the Jews you claim you didn’t mean to paint with your broad brush than the title you picked.

I would be absolutely fine with “Ultra-Orthodox Jews do bad things and are bad”. Could you please correct the title as per your suggestion? Thanks!

It’s certainly valid to criticize the chosen ideology held by self-identifying groups of people, but great care is required when there’s not always a clear distinction between chosen ideology and cultural/ethnic identity. The most prominent example of this problem in modern times is obviously with Islam. We have real broad-brush racism against the Muslim ethnic identity; we also have some extremist Muslims with toxic and downright evil manifestations of Islamic ideology. We have the racists failing to make the critical distinction between ethnic identity and the bad ideas held by some Muslims; and we have some Islamists deliberately trying to muddy the waters in the same way, by mischaracterizing bona fide criticism of their bad ideas as Islamophobic racism.

So, I have no problem with having the conversation about the terrible ideas held by many ultra-Orthodox sects that we’re having in that thread. But it’s critical to make this distinction extremely clear: that you’re criticizing bad ideas, rather than any kind of broad-brush diatribe against an ethnic identity. I accept that OP did not intend to do the latter, but it was an unnecessarily inflammatory original thread title that could easily have been misinterpreted. The issue is so fraught that I don’t think the fact that it was in the Pit excuses a failure to make this distinction abundantly clear.

The title is gross because the thread is gross because the poster [redacted because this is not the pit].

The original title was perfectly descriptive of the contents therein. If the title was discomfiting enough to change, the thread is gross enough to modded as a whole. Let’s not slam the door and say, “out of sight, out of mind!” on shit like this.

And if the OP is perfectly fine? Then y’all should change the title back to what it was originally. Because they’re one and the same.

This is no better, still a broad brush showing a lot of prejudice.

I guess in your defense you’ve said similarly bigoted things about black people and Muslims in the past and gotten away with it, so you had every expectation you’d get away with it this time.

Mods, he’s letting you know what he intended. Please believe him.

This is my opinion, too. (assuming the original title was “Ultra-Orthodox Jews spreading COVID and other problems”)

Could someone clarify what the original thread title read as, though?

~Max

According to this article in The Atlantic, the Ultra-Orthodox Jews who were protesting against masks are Trump supporters, and their protests have nothing to do with religion.

Over the past week, ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn have engaged in anti-mask, anti-shutdown protests. It may be tempting to see these protests as the product of communities that are at odds with the dominant culture, adamantly refusing to comply with American behavioral and social norms, but that gets the story precisely backwards. …

Moreover, the iconography and language of the protests—crowds dotted with American flags and KEEP AMERICA GREAT signs, the protest leader Heshy Tischler telling reporters that “blue lives matter” [i.e. police] and that the crackdown reflects an attempt to suppress a pro-Trump vote in an otherwise solidly Democratic state—were revealing. Instead of positioning themselves orthogonally to state power, the protesters demonstrated that their grievance was avowedly partisan.

I wonder if @SlackerInc still thinks they are such bad people? :grinning:

I would oppose that. The title is already painting with a pretty broad brush, and I have no stomach for making it even broader. If you want to start threats on the edge of forbidden bigotry, you can put some thought up-front into how you want to post.

I’ve heard of two types of protests. The protests against masks are purely political, and have nothing to do with religion. Judaism doesn’t have anything to say about wearing masks. (And in fact, it has a strong tradition that saving a life trumps most other concerns, so if you believe that masks reduce the spread of a deadly disease, Judiasm is pro-mask. My synagogue has certainly been extremely cautious around covid prevention.)

There are also protests against restrictions on in-person gatherings, and those have some basis in religion. Jews have a religious requirement to pray in groups of at least 10, and for the orthodox, that means 10 adult men. That’s a gathering, and may be restricted under some covid lockdowns.

I can’t remember exactly, but since nobody with more accurate knowledge has answered yet, it was something like -
“What good have ultra-Orthodox Jews ever done the world?”

Long ago I proposed a moderation philosophy in the Pit, that we evaluate overall whether posters are improving the boards. If mods conclude that someone is wanting to start threads on the edge of forbidden bigotry, doesn’t that indicate whether their presence is making the board better?

I don’t see eye to eye with @SlackerInc on a lot of things, but implying that he’s pro-Trump or something is way off base.

Yep, it was anti-semitic and thus racist.