I am not a crocophobe -- and that's no croc!

Glenn Reynolds linked a thought experiment that intrigues me:

let's do a thought experiment. We won't use the word "Muslim." Instead, let's use the word "crocodile." OK? So the question is, do you qualify as a lunatic if you say, "You know, it's certainly not completely rational, but when I see a crocodile on the plane with me, it makes me jumpy and nervous. I don't have anything against crocodiles, but on airplanes, they sort of freak me out."
I'm the wrong person to be doing this thought experiment, as I like crocodilians. For years I had a pet alligator, and I have always defended them against unwarranted MSM attacks (such as the unproven "alligations" that they were eating people in New Orleans).

But if I saw a crocodile walking about an airplane -- especially the one described in the news piece as being small enough to fit in a gym bag -- I would not hesitate to pick it up, especially if I thought that would avert a panic.

That's just me, though. What I think killed the passengers was not the crocodile (which was too small to kill anyone), but crocodile-phobia. It is analogous to ophidiophobia -- the fear of snakes, which I have discussed in at least a couple of posts.

There is no question that a number of people are afraid of these sorts of beasties. Just because I do not feel that fear does not mean I don't acknowledge that people have it. People tell me that they're afraid of pit bulls a lot, and I have to respect that fear even if I don't share it. What I cannot understand is the idea that being afraid of something and admitting your fear is somehow evil. Which it must be, or else why would Juan Williams have been fired for it?

Would he have been fired had he admitted to a fear of snakes or crocs*?

Of course not. So what's up here?

If you're afraid of something and you honestly admit it, should a moral judgment be inflicted on you for that? I don't see why. If Williams honestly suffered from Islamophobia, why is he "worse" than if he suffered from claustrophobia? If these things are diseases, then isn't he being discriminated against for his illness? So where are the ADA bureaucrats?

And what if you're genuinely afraid to have a stranger pat down your genitals? I have to say that I would have a serious problem with that, and if the comments to my post are any indication, so do a lot of people.

Which means that as a practical matter, if you can't get past whatever the fear of unwanted genital touching is called, you won't have to worry about Islamophobia or crocodile-phobia.

It's a nutty world out there, and getting nuttier by the minute.

* NO, NO, NO! I don't mean those kind of crocs, of which I am deathly afraid, and for which I need help to cope. These things are relative.

posted by Eric on 10.22.10 at 10:46 PM










Comments

Huh.

Guess you are.

salvage   ·  October 23, 2010 11:54 AM

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