Thursday, January 12, 2012

Akin Gump: Anti-Semitic Stereotyping -- The Jew as Moral Hypocrite

The view of the Jew as a moral hypocrite is a venerable and widespread stereotype.  A Google search of the phrase "Jews are hypocrites" yields 14,900 hits.

Bela Grunberger's analysis of anti-Semitism suggests a reason or motive behind the stereotype.  Grunberger writes: "The Jew represents the father, and from that perspective we can understand the various aspects of the anti-Semite's behaviour.  We understand, for example, why the Jew excites so much attention, why his conduct must be perfect, and why his slightest moral weakness is exaggerated by the anti-Semite who would remain utterly indifferent, even approving or amused before the most shameful actions and moral turpitudes perpetrated by non-Jews.  He reminds us of the adolescent at the climax of his Oedipus conflict, forgiving nothing in his parents and on the look-out for the slightest fault in their moral conduct, and particularly in respect to the father, as though he would say: 'Look at yourself, you who preach morals to me and wish to criticize me at every  moment.'  "The Anti-Semite and the Oedipal Conflict," The International Journal of Psycho-analysis, 45: 380-385, 383 (1964).

An appreciation of the stereotype of "Jew as hypocrite" has led me to re-examine a series of incidents that occurred in March 1991 during my employment at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.

The incidents are described elsewhere on this blog as follows:
  •  34.  In mid-March 1991 two apparently related incidents, perpetrated anonymously, occurred on successive days.  One morning, probably during the week of March 11, 1991, upon arriving at my desk on the ninth floor, I noticed that someone had taken a dagger shaped letter opener from a drawer in my desk and had positioned it with the blade inserted between the pages and had positioned it with of a bound volume of documents and with the handle protruding from the bound volume.  The letter opener, positioned as it was, gave the impression of a symbolic stabbing.  The next morning, upon arriving at the office, I observed that someone had strewn my desk with pieces of a paper napkin, which  had been shredded into tiny bits.  Also, on a piece of 8.5” x 11” paper placed on my desk, someone had written in bold, upper case letters the phrase, “WHITE TRASH.”

    [The above incidents may be evidence of a form of harassment known as gaslighting.  See paragraph 16, above.]

    (The bound volume of documents in which the letter opener had been placed was a compilation of exhibits for litigation concerning a client, LL&E.  The 8.5” x 11” piece of paper on which the phrase “WHITE TRASH” had been written was the reverse side of a computer printout relating to the client LL&E.  At that time I was working on LL&E under the direction of Ms. Lutheria Harrison, a black employee assigned to the litigation support group.  It is possible that some third party perpetrated the acts described above in an attempt to prompt me to complain to a supervisory employee or member of management, with the ultimate intent to make it appear that I harbored a racial animus against black employees.  Such contrived “evidence” of a putative racial animus could then be used to counteract any allegations I might make that other employees’ harassing acts were motivated by anti-Semitism.  That is, other employees could argue that my allegations of anti-Semitism were simply a projection of my own unacknowledged racial bias.)
My theory is that the actor's motive in carrying out these deeds was to prompt me to lodge a harassment complaint against a black employee, to make me appear to be a hypocrite, as if the actor were saying: 'Look at yourself, you who preach the immoral nature of anti-Semitism to us and wish to criticize us at every  moment, you yourself are a racist who suspects the worst of African-Americans.  You are a hypocrite!'

The incidents can be seen as an instance of projective identification: an attempt to prompt me to behave in a certain way that could then be "interpreted" to third parties, such as firm management.  In projective identification "projection is combined with the manipulation of reality selected for the purpose of verifying the projection."

The job harassment that I experienced at Akin Gump betrays a remarkable simplicity -- a single root cause -- in that it involved projective identification, the spreading of false rumors that I was homosexual, interpersonal exploitation, jealousy, and rationalization (pretext): all recognized symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.


Gary Freedman said...

See pages 6-11 of Social Security Document submission about Akin Gump supervisors' possible use of rationalization:

Gary Freedman said...

Compare the Arab accusation against Israelis:

They complain about the Nazis, but they act like Nazis themselves. They are hypocrites!