What happens when people don’t know their place

I was standing in a vestibule in an outbound train from N.Y. I was standing because I had a bicycle. Two women got on the train, and they acted as if they recognized me. They started talking about me, and my bicycle, loud enough for me to hear. After sounding fairly normal, one of them said emphatically “he must be kept down!”

Naturally I disagreed with that sentiment, but it got me interested in the topic of people who need to know their place, and who must be kept down.

There were a few categories that occurred to me immediately. One was the status of unbelievers (Dhimmis) under the rule of Islam. There are various rules, some of them in the Koran, for how these people must be treated. Then there also was the status of blacks under segregation in the South, and the rules that applied to them.

So lets look at some of these rules, and what they show us.

Starting with Islam, “Humiliating the Dhimmi was a practice regarded as a good deed or religious duty.” “Shi’ite populations regarded dhimmis as so impure they were forbidden to go out in the rain or handle foodstuffs or indeed contact them in any way even indirectly for fear of transmitting their impurity.”

“Dhimmis had to have a humble appearance, lowered eyes, hurried pace, silent. They had to give way to Muslims and stand in their presence.

“Travellers from Europe noted the humility, terror, distress and panic of dhimmis under Islam into the 20th century.

“The Qadi, Ahmad b. Talib (9th century) compelled the dhimmis to wear upon their shoulder a patch of white cloth that bore the image of an ape (for Jews) and a pig (for Christians) and to nail onto their doors a board bearing the sign of a monkey

“Dhimmis could not ride horses as this would elevate them above Muslims – in some cases camels and even donkeys were forbidden. Only pack saddles with wood stirrups could be used and dhimmis had to sit with both legs on one side only and dismount when a Muslim approached and often could not ride in the town.”

One pious Moslem wrote a manual in the year 1200 for the Moslem civil servants in Spain (town of Seville) which said “You must not allow any tax collector, policeman, Jew or Christian to wear the attire of great men, doctors of law, or the wealthy. On the contrary they must be objects of contempt and disgust: they are not entitled to a greeting of peace.”

So what happens if the Dhimmis don’t stay in the proper place?

“In 1840-1860, Christians in Lebanon/Syria who ‘rose above their station’ and Christian peasants who were sick of servitude felt the combined wrath of Druze, Muslim Turks (Ottomans) and Sunni and Shiite groups resulting in the massacre of 7000-11000, some say over 20,000 with the destruction of over 300 villages, hundreds of churches and monasteries with rape, pillage, enslavement and ‘refugee’ status for over 100,000. Witnesses write of the “systematic cruelty, ‘ unparalleled barbarity,’ and ‘blood rose to the ankles…and gurgled through streets”

This attitude continues today in some areas. Even the president of Egypt (until he was assassinated), Anwar Sadat, who made peace with Israel (though it was a very dubious peace), said the following:

In the El-Hussein Mosque in Cairo on April 25, 1972, Sadat … promised that he would “crush Israel’s arrogance and return them to the humiliation and wretchedness established in the Koran.” The Jews, he added, “are a nation of liars and traitors, contrivers of plots, a people born for deeds of treachery.”

In other words, this man wanted another people to be in a perpetual state of humiliation and wretchedness.

Like those two women in the good old USA in the year 2011, he felt that some people had to be kept DOWN.

Now lets look at a few rules of Jim Crow segregation in Kentucky.

1866: Miscegenation
This law prohibited whites from marrying any African American who is more than 12% African American (meaning having a blood relation up to the third generation to an African American). Penalty of not following this law was a felony that was punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary up to five years.

1892: Railroads
Railroads were to provide separate coaches for white and colored passengers. Signs stating the race for each car must be posted. Penalty to do so was railway companies that failed could be fined from between $500 to $1,500. Any conductors who failed to enforce the law were to be fined from $50 to $100.

1942: Health Care
There were to be separate but equal accommodations for whites and African Americans provided in nursing homes.

Now what do we make of this? It seems to me that there are several possibilities of which two are:
1. Blacks were considered inherently bad for whites and had to be kept apart from white people in every possible way.
2. Blacks were considered unclean, so they needed separate bathrooms for instance. They could not intermarry which would dilute the white race.
These may not be correct, they are just a guess.

In my case, I think the women who wanted me to be “kept down” felt that I was popular, handsome, and on the way up, and that this was unjust and morally wrong. The reason it was unjust was because I had been nasty to a woman who had made an emotional commitment to me. Her whose life took a nosedive afterward. Perhaps these women thought it was unjust that I could go on with my life without paying a price. (I ended up paying a gigantic price. Also, I claim that my nastiness in the affair was not deliberate.)
If I’m right then, a sense of justice is one of the motives that makes some people want to keep others down. Another example is in this blog’s post on Laura Schlessinger. She is a talk show host (her topic is usually relationships) who in her book describes a type of jealousy she has encountered from some of her callers which makes them want to keep others down.
It may well have felt to the segregationists in the south, that they were doing good by keeping blacks away from whites, just as the Moslems may have felt it was a good deed to keep the dhimmi in his (or her) place. Jealous people may feel virtuous when they mete out “justice” to fellow citizens who they feel do not deserve success, or popularity, or just being left alone.
Sources:
The legacy of islamic antisemitism – Edited by Andrew Bostom – chapter 38
http://islammonitor.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2456&Itemid=96
The Dhimmi (published by Associated University Presses, 440 Forsgate Drive, Cranbury, New Jersey 08512.)

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