In previous posts I pointed out that the group relations I experienced at my workplace several years ago could be seen as an expression of a disturbed group dynamic or it could be seen as an expression of anti-Semitism. I observed that both anti-Semitism and the scapegoating that can take place in flight-flight basic assumptions groups are driven by the same paranoid dynamics: a Jewish victim of scapegoating in a paranoid regressed group and a victim of anti-Semitism in a paranoid regressed group may be hard-pressed to say precisely what motivates the animus of others. Is it anti-Semitism or is it simply paranoid regressed dynamics?
Let us take a look at the following incident which was clearly harassment or at least an office prank.
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 construction of the incident is based on the assumption that coworkers were trying to make me look like a hypcrite: “He complains about anti-Semitism, but he makes unwarranted and wild accusations against black people.”
The view of Jews as hypocrites is a classic anti-Semitic stereotype. Thus we find statements such as “You God-damned murderous brood! Don’t you dare to shake your moral finger ever again at us Germans!”
Grunberger states the following: “We understand for example why the Jews excite 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 Oedipal 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.’
See Grunberger at 383:
Were the Gumpers saying: “Look at yourself, Freedman, you who preach about anti-Semitism, you yourself are a racist — you hypocrite!”
I believe the Gumpers were trying to manipulate me to accuse a black employee of harassing me with the ultimate goal of making me look like a hypocrite.