Black as Evil

Dr Y. Vassilkov iiasguest10 at RULLET.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Mon Dec 11 12:22:52 UTC 2000

    I am not in a position to ban anything on this list, and I did not speak
about any ban.
I addressed the participants of the discussion themselves in the belief that
they could imagine all its possible conscequences.
    The thread "Black as Evil" would not be dangerous if it is discussed on
the lines of  semiotics of colours, etc. But not all of us are
anthropologists and specialists in semiotics, and as a result the discussion
from time to time turns into a list of bad qualities which one ethnic
/racial group have ever ascribed to the people of another ethnic /racial
group. I do not see what good such "quotations" could do.
     Being a resident of East Europe, I am probably more aware than you of
all ethnic conflicts of recent years: several of them in Yugoslavia, many in
the former Soviet Union: Moldova, Abhazia, Southern Ossetia, North Ossetia,
Karabakh, Chechya etc. In so many instances it all started from a "public
discussion" of ethnic / racial problems. That is why we have now in Russia a
law banning "propaganda of ethnic hatred". Unfortunately, it is almost never
used in juridicial practice. But we have a moral taboo for public discussion
of such topics as concepts of mental or moral inferiority of Africans
/Asians / Westerners / foreigners in general, or of the concept of
world-wide Jewish / Masonic conspiracy. Because there would always appear
some people to use such discussion just as a pretext for putting in a
"quotation"or two...
    Mayby in the country you live in it is different. As for me, racism is
always a poison, even in "quotations".
    The "Black as Evil" thread seems to go on, so we shall know soon who of
us was right. Let us see what will come out of it.
    Best regards

Yaroslav Vassilkov
P.S. In my previous posting the date of St.Nicolas' Day (SinterClaas) in the
Netherlands was given as "5th Sept.". Surely it must be "5th Dec.". Many
thanks to Lynken Ghose who kindly attracted my attention to the mistake.


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Salmon" <dsalmon at SALMON.ORG>
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2000 9:33 PM
Subject: Re: Black as Evil

> >     That is why I agree with several list-members who have already said
> > before: the topic designated "Black as Evil" is harmful and dangerous.
> > should better drop it for good.
 Yaroslav Vassilkov

> I take exception to any suggestion that ideas such be banned because they
> are "dangerous."  We are free men and women and may speak as we choose.
> actual, genuine "danger" from these ideas has been identified.  An
> that the subject is not appropriate to the subject of Indology might have
> standing, but an objection that an idea should be banned because it is
> "harmful and dangerous" has none whatever.
> Nor is discussion of this idea harmful or dangerous even in concept.
> Civilization advances when ideas are freely discussed.  There may be
> occasions when discussion of a particular idea in a particular place and
> time may be sufficiently dangerous that speech  may be banned (the classic
> example is crying "Fire!" in a crowded theater), but this certainly is not
> one.  The discussion has been carried on in fairly good humor, and none of
> us, I trust, are racists.
> David

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