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"The Gibsonians"

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We find ourselves in the rather dubious, and uncomfortable, position of defending someone who n a drunken stupor expressed an opinion, and world view, that is customarily aired behind closed doors of luxury apartments, Hollywood board rooms, and executive suites, across America, and the globe. But, make no mistake, while there may be only one Mel Gibson, there are thousands of Gibsonians, those who hold Jews responsible for carnage abound across the land; the stereotype of Shylock is alive and well in this country, and throughout the world.

What's more, anyone naive enough to believe that the rancor, and heinous anti-Semitic sentiments Mel Gibson made on the night of his arrest were original, and unique to him, has never roamed even 15 miles outside of a major metropolitan area, or ventured into red state territory. One has only to go to most of the South to hear the same folks opine that the Jews are behind all the wars in the world. The only difference, of course, is that by virtue of being a public figure, we expect an actor, with his own production company, no less, as well as a pending television series on the Holocaust, to be smarter than to pontificate on subjects near and dear to the hearts of 99% of America's skinheads. That said, just because someone, publicly or privately, chooses to climb up on a cross doesn't mean we have to crucify him.

Oh, if only by decimating one man, and his career, we can make the contempt for Jews in Hollywood, and thoughout the land, disappear, but alas it isn't that simple. Disney's response of pulling Gibson's miniseries, as reported by the Wall Street Journal today, as well as statements by pundits across the land that Gibson's career is over proves, to my mind anyway, that this country is no less Puritanical today than it was when it was founded 200 years ago.

Should we expect mea culpas from the fallen movie star? You know it. Should we expect very public apologia? That, too. But consider the hypocrisy of those who think a new crop of human being will evolve, sans prejudice, if we scapegoat this public figure, and call for his banishment, and professional exile. On the other hand, for Mel Gibson to blame his tirade on tequila, and not take full responsibility for his mistake deserves condemnation, but not crucifixion.

Were we, as a society, to ostracize and professionally castrate, and eviscerate anyone for the crime of venting a "despicable" viewpoint, (Gibson's word), and subject them to exile, we wouldn't have to worry about overpopulation. Maybe it would be better if we, as a society, would take a closer look at an atmosphere of divisiveness, and hate, as well as our own prejudices instead of thinking that we, ourselves, are exempt from racism of one kind or another.
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http://ladyjaynestahl.blogspot.com

Widely published, poet, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter; member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA. Jayne Lyn Stahl is a Huffington Post blogger.

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Gibson, the man from downunder, might be said to r... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Aug 1, 2006 at 4:57:45 PM
The ludicrous side is that whilst there is a war o... by Hamish on Tuesday, Aug 1, 2006 at 10:39:51 PM