Antisemitism is now a side-effect of drunkedness?

03.01.11

Warning to those of you who like a few glasses of wine with your meal: Apparently, virulent antisemitic ranting is now a side-effect of alcohol consumption.

First, Mel Gibson. Now John Galliano:

The French fashion house Christian Dior said Tuesday that it had started procedures to dismiss its chief designer, John Galliano, following accusations that Mr. Galliano made anti-Semitic outbursts at a Paris bar.

[ . . . ]

The video, posted on the Web site of the British tabloid The Sun, appears to show Mr. Galliano taunting other patrons at the bar, La Perle, declaring in a slurred voice that “I love Hitler” and that “people like you would be dead,” and “your mothers, your forefathers” would all be “gassed.” It was unclear when the video was recorded.

Of course, the notion that these outbursts were caused by drunkedness is laughable. Being drunk makes you lose your filters; it doesn’t turn you into a racist.

I’m uncomfortable with hate speech laws in general, and even though Galliano was clearly off his rocker on the offensive scale, the criminal charges against him make me squirm. But Dior firing him seems like an eminently sensible decision from a business standpoint, especially with spokesperson and Oscar-winner Natalie Portman speaking out against him. And such opinions are sadly all-too-common in France, which does has these laws on the books for a reason. I highly doubt that “I was drunk” will hold up as an excuse in court.

Then again, maybe he should speak to Mel Gibson’s lawyer for some coaching.

(HT: Marco).

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