Friday, September 30, 2011

Janeane Garofalo Waxes Stupid About Racism... Again

Forgive me, but I must indulge.  One school of thought is that addressing Janeane Garofalo's stupidity empowers her.  That the mere mention of it gives her words the power of sensationalism, thereby lending some sort of credence to her wild and senseless rhetoric.

I do not subscribe to that school of thought. 

True, only the zaniest of the zany liberals even take notice of Garofalo.  The rest of us generally do ignore her, as we would ignore the crackhead that we encounter on the street corner, pacing about as he incoherently babbles on about God knows what.  But the sheer inanity of Keith Olbermann and Janeane Garofalo's recent little pow-wow sends this conversation to an other-worldly level.  Stupidity the likes of which can only be cultivated by the prevailing pseudo-intellectualism of modern progressives.

According to Garofalo, conservatives have a good reason to back Herman Cain.  She says that conservatives support a black presidential candidate because they are trying to hide their racism against black people.

"People like Karl Rove liked to keep the racism very covert," she says. "And so Herman Cain provides this great opportunity say you can say 'Look, this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look we have a black man.'"

Let it be known- this is not the first stupid thing Janeane Garofalo has said regarding racism in America.  I once heard her vehemently deny that the Democratic Party offered the staunchest opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  In her mind, Republicans are invariably the bad ones, not Democrats.  Always have been, always will be, "truth" and "history" be damned.  Lousy God and gun clingers.  Fostering equal rights for minorities, how dare they!

But, to be sure, this rant is even more ridiculous.  The meat of her argument is that racist conservatives don't like Barack Obama because is a black man, but they love Herman Cain because he is a black man.

If you're scratching your head at that, don't.  All you need to know, Garofalo says, is that our country is more racist now than ever before- now that we have a black president, "how could it not be?"  Of course, this black president won a popular election at a national level, signifying "less racism," but don't get hung up on that- such cohesion only mucks up Garofalo's logic.  So you probably also don't want to consider that for the first time in history, significant swathes of diametrically opposing political parties in America are both considering a black man for leadership. 

But hey, I guess she figures with eyeglass frames and an elitist tenor that thick, Americans would just believe any damn thing she says without such considerations.

So what are we to make of Garofalo, really?  It's not hard.  She's just following Spencer Ackerman's formula that came to light in the Journolist scandal, where he suggested that calling Republicans racist is the best way to discredit them: 

Take one of them [on the right] — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country?


What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear.
Beyond this, she proves herself to be something of a racist.  So focused is she on the fact that Herman Cain is black that she finds it impossible that conservatives could support him based upon his ideas, or the substance of his achievements, or the character he exhibits.  No, they must be just looking at him as a "black guy to be supported so they can hide white guilt."

And perhaps the funniest thing of all?  She derides FoxNews and others as having "zero credibility"- in the very moment that she mounted the edifice of relevance and took a 10-story swan dive right into the pavement. 

And I loved every second of it too much to not comment.

William Sullivan

Video found here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mr. EBT (H-man) Waxes Hip-Hop About Welfare Culture

This video hit Drudge Report this morning, showing a young rapper named Mr. EBT talking about "swipin' his EBT," (welfare card) and what he can and can't buy with it.  Drudge linked the video as "Song Celbrates Welfare Card!"

The onslaught of conservative commenters from Drudge's link generally relayed criticism of the welfare state and for the video itself, which they certainly found to be celebrating welfare culture.  Leftist commenters on the video, however, find it to be critical of welfare culture rather than a celebration of it. And like clockwork, they elicit the progressive's modus operandi by suggesting that anyone who criticizes the video is obviously an ignorant, right-wing racist. It's a simple matter of one thing invariably meaning another in the thought process of those with a leftist tilt.  These progressives assume that conservatives are uneducated and uncultured, so they can't critically process the tongue-in-cheekery of the song and video.  They assume that because conservatives don't like an expansive welfare state, they must be racists.  And they assume that since these conservatives are readers of Drudge, they must therefore all be hatemongers like those nuts in the Tea Party.

But since some among the left have decided they know everything about me because I read the Drudge Report and I am against a welfare state, I feel the need for a disclaimer- I like rap music.  I grew up with it.  I listened to it avidly in high school in the mid-late 1990's when rap hit its stride.  When the lines were drawn between East and West with Death Row and Bad Boy records, Too Short had set the rules for pimpin' with "Born to Mack," and Dre and Snoop had laid down the legendary "Chronic" album.

But something happened since then.  What exactly that "something" was is a matter of perspective.  I like to think it was the music that changed.  That Jay-Z and Nelly ripping off beats from an '80s song and making up ridiculous lyrics to accompany the unoriginal score just didn't have the unique flavor of the gangsta rap of yesteryear.  Or, maybe I just got older.  Maybe a little of both.

So I guess that's why I think Drudgers could be forgiven for being unsure whether or not this video is satire lampooning welfare culture or it is a video celebrating it.  Ever since Nelly hit it big singing about needing "two purr" of "Air Force Ones," it's a little hard to draw the distinction between what hip hop culture finds to be nonsense and what it accepts into its artistic canon.  That song, about sneakers, could have just as easily been a joke, but it turns out it was not.  Mr. EBT's song could just as easily be celebrating his lifestyle on welfare or making a joke about those who live that lifestyle on welfare.  Without knowing Mr. EBT, his intention is obscure, despite those among the elitist left claiming that their preferred interpretation is undoubtedly the right one.

But that is not why conservatives get riled in seeing this video. What makes conservatives riled is that the video is a reminder, parody or not,  that this problem with entitlement could not be more real. 

I've seen it firsthand.  For a couple of years, I lived in the Third Ward in downtown Houston, directly adjacent to Clayton Homes, which is a public housing community.  Of course, it wasn't the squalor that some might envision of public housing.  Every window had a satellite dish, the apartments were relatively new, and  the grounds were fairly well-kept on a daily basis.  But once while living there, I witnessed something that will be etched in my mind forever when addressing entitlement.  And interestingly enough, the very first thing I thought about when I saw this video.

I had come to be on friendly terms with the Korean-American who owned a convenience store in the area.  When I walked in one evening, I stood in line with six other people who were in front of me.  These six people were apparently doing some grocery shopping, as I saw in their hands many food items, such as Cheetos, donuts, Dr. Pepper, etc.  There were two clerks working the one register, hurriedly scanning and sacking the various items, one of which was the owner.  He saw me, and knew that I always paid in cash, and saw that I only had one item.  After helping the immediate customer, he slid to the right and opened another register and asked me to come ahead and quickly pay so I could be on my way.  A woman that remained in line became furious, so she said, "Why he get to go on up there?"  He looked at her familiarly, and said "Because he's paying in cash and he's only got one item."

To this, she flipped and waved her Lonestar (welfare) card in the air, and said, "His money ain't no better than my money.  I'm paying wit' my Visa."  She smiled at me satisfactorily.

I looked at her, and all I could do was smile.  I could do no more than stand there dumbly and wonder if she truly believed that she was spending her own money, and if she did, how far we had fallen as a society.  Mr. EBT did much more than that- he wrote a song about her.  Whether or not his song about her was a joke or a celebration that she gets to live this way doesn't matter.  The fact is that she exists, with millions like her, offering nothing to society- only taking what she is given and feeling that she deserves that and so much more for having done nothing but simply exist.

So maybe Mr. EBT is suggesting that this society of dependency is a problem.  If so, it's an interesting way to convey that truth.  If not, he is simply part of that very serious problem.

William Sullivan

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mark Steyn Deconstructs Our Remembrance of 9/11

Brilliant as ever, Mark Steyn deconstructs our remembrance of 9/11:

"And so we commemorate an act of war as a “tragic event,” and we retreat to equivocation, cultural self-loathing, and utterly fraudulent misrepresentation about the events of the day."

This is a must read. May God bless those that perished on that day, and may we never forget why they were shuffled off this mortal coil. And may God bless the United States of America!


Let's Roll Over
by Mark Steyn

Waiting to be interviewed on the radio the other day, I found myself on hold listening to a public-service message exhorting listeners to go to and tell their fellow citizens how they would be observing the tenth anniversary of the, ah, “tragic events.” There followed a sound bite of a lady explaining that she would be paying tribute by going and cleaning up an area of the beach.

Great! Who could object to that? Anything else? Well, another lady pledged that she “will continue to discuss anti-bullying tactics with my grandson.”

Marvelous. Because studies show that many middle-school bullies graduate to hijacking passenger jets and flying them into tall buildings?

Whoa, ease up on the old judgmentalism there, pal. In New Jersey, many of whose residents were among the dead, middle-schoolers will mark the anniversary with a special 9/11 curriculum that will “analyze diversity and prejudice in U.S. history.” And, if the “9/11 Peace Story Quilt” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art teaches us anything, it’s that the “tragic events” only underline the “importance of respect.” And “understanding.” As one of the quilt panels puts it:

You should never feel left out

You are a piece of a puzzle

And without you

The whole picture can’t be seen.

And if that message of “healing and unity” doesn’t sum up what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, what does? A painting of a plane flying into a building? A sculpture of bodies falling from a skyscraper? Oh, don’t be so drearily literal. “It is still too soon,” says Midori Yashimoto, director of the New Jersey City University Visual Arts Gallery, whose exhibition “Afterwards & Forward” is intended to “promote dialogue, deeper reflection, meditation, and contextualization.” So, instead of planes and skyscrapers, it has Yoko Ono’s “Wish Tree,” on which you can hang little tags with your ideas for world peace.

What’s missing from these commemorations?


Oh, please. There are some pieces of the puzzle we have to leave out. As Mayor Bloomberg’s office has patiently explained, there’s “not enough room” at the official Ground Zero commemoration to accommodate any firemen. “Which is kind of weird,” wrote the Canadian blogger Kathy Shaidle, “since 343 of them managed to fit into the exact same space ten years ago.” On a day when all the fancypants money-no-object federal acronyms comprehensively failed — CIA, FBI, FAA, INS — the only bit of government that worked was the low-level unglamorous municipal government represented by the Fire Department of New York. When they arrived at the World Trade Center the air was thick with falling bodies — ordinary men and women trapped on high floors above where the planes had hit, who chose to spend their last seconds in one last gulp of open air rather than die in an inferno of jet fuel. Far “too soon” for any of that at New Jersey City University, but perhaps you could reenact the moment by filling out a peace tag for Yoko Ono’s “Wish Tree” and then letting it flutter to the ground.

Upon arrival at the foot of the towers, two firemen were hit by falling bodies. “There is no other way to put it,” one of their colleagues explained. “They exploded.”

Any room for that on the Metropolitan Museum’s “Peace Quilt”? Sadly not. We’re all out of squares.

What else is missing from these commemorations?

“Let’s Roll”?

What’s that — a quilting technique?

No, what’s missing from these commemorations is more Muslims. The other day I bumped into an old BBC pal who’s flying in for the anniversary to file a dispatch on why you see fewer women on the streets of New York wearing niqabs and burqas than you do on the streets of London. She thought this was a telling indictment of the post-9/11 climate of “Islamophobia.” I pointed out that, due to basic differences in immigration sources, there are far fewer Muslims in New York than in London. It would be like me flying into Stratford-on-Avon and reporting on the lack of Hispanics. But the suits had already approved the trip, so she was in no mood to call it off.

How are America’s allies remembering the real victims of 9/11? “Muslim Canucks Deal with Stereotypes Ten Years After 9/11,” reports CTV in Canada. And it’s a short step from stereotyping to criminalizing. “How the Fear of Being Criminalized Has Forced Muslims into Silence,” reports the Guardian in Britain. In Australia, a Muslim terrorism suspect was so fearful of being criminalized and stereotyped in the post-9/11 epidemic of paranoia that he pulled a Browning pistol out of his pants and hit Sgt. Adam Wolsey of the Sydney constabulary. Fortunately, Judge Leonie Flannery acquitted him of shooting with intent to harm on the grounds that “‘anti-Muslim sentiment’ made him fear for his safety,” as Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported on Friday. That’s such a heartwarming story for this 9/11 anniversary they should add an extra panel to the peace quilt, perhaps showing a terror suspect opening fire on a judge as she’s pronouncing him not guilty and then shrugging off the light shoulder wound as a useful exercise in healing and unity.

What of the 23rd Psalm? It was recited by Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer and the telephone operator Lisa Jefferson in the final moments of his life before he cried, “Let’s roll!” and rushed the hijackers.

No, sorry. Aside from firemen, Mayor Bloomberg’s official commemoration hasn’t got any room for clergy, either, what with all the Executive Deputy Assistant Directors of Healing and Outreach who’ll be there. One reason why there’s so little room at Ground Zero is because it’s still a building site. As I write in my new book, 9/11 was something America’s enemies did to us; the ten-year hole is something we did to ourselves — and in its way, the interminable bureaucratic sloth is surely as eloquent as anything Nanny Bloomberg will say in his remarks.

In Shanksville, Pa., the zoning and permitting processes are presumably less arthritic than in Lower Manhattan, but the Flight 93 memorial has still not been completed. There were objections to the proposed “Crescent of Embrace” on the grounds that it looked like an Islamic crescent pointing towards Mecca. The defense of its designers was that, au contraire, it’s just the usual touchy-feely huggy-weepy pansy-wimpy multiculti effete healing diversity mush. It doesn’t really matter which of these interpretations is correct, since neither of them has anything to do with what the passengers of Flight 93 actually did a decade ago. 9/11 was both Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle Raid rolled into one, and the fourth flight was the only good news of the day, when citizen volunteers formed themselves into an ad hoc militia and denied Osama bin Laden what might have been his most spectacular victory. A few brave individuals figured out what was going on and pushed back within half an hour. But we can’t memorialize their sacrifice within a decade. And when the architect gets the memorial brief, he naturally assumes that there’s been a typing error and that “Let’s roll!” should really be “Let’s roll over!”

And so we commemorate an act of war as a “tragic event,” and we retreat to equivocation, cultural self-loathing, and utterly fraudulent misrepresentation about the events of the day. In the weeks after 9/11, Americans were enjoined to ask, “Why do they hate us?” A better question is: “Why do they despise us?” And the quickest way to figure out the answer is to visit the Peace Quilt and the Wish Tree, the Crescent of Embrace and the Hole of Bureaucratic Inertia.

Mark Steyn, as first published in National Review Online.

Friday, September 2, 2011

If the Shoe Fits, It Must Be Islamophobia

Really Big Coloring Books has issued a new book that may introduce children to the events of 9/11.  In this book, called "We Shall Never Forget 9/11," children will learn the horrors, heroism, and national pride that resulted from the vicious attacks of 9/11.

In the honest telling of that story, some people tend to have strange reactions.  Some people (affectionately self-proclaimed yet derogatorily known as Truthers) get all worked up and ask that Americans venture into some illogical rabbit hole of zany and needlessly elaborate conspiracy theories.  But thankfully, these people are isolated in the leftist or anarchist fringe, so no one really bothers with what they think. 

But there is another group of people, however, with mountains of political clout and billions in funding that wish to rewrite the history of this event and its aftermath. And they take particular exception with this coloring book and it's conveyance of the facts to impressionable children.  Heaven, forbid.
Wayne Bell, the Publisher of Really Big Coloring Books, Inc., says there’s been a negative backlash against the book “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom.”

“These are people from Al-Jazeera that have called in here numerous times, people from Iranian TV, people from Palestinian Hamas TV,” Bell said, “A lot of people from the Islamic community have called in here and said increasingly negative things prior to the book being made and then after we made the book too, about the book itself.”

The book features images of Osama Bin Laden and Islamic terrorists. It also shows American citizens upset by the attacks, including a woman with a cross around her neck. But it shows no Muslim Americans mourning the attacks.

The Council on American Islamic Relations has criticized the book as one-sided, only portraying Muslims as either “extremists” or “terrorists. ”
No portrayal of Muslims grieving? If I want my child to read fairy tales, I'll pick up a copy of the Brothers Grimm. But as far as reality, I don't remember any massive effort of the Muslim community to denounce armed jihad in the wake of 9/11. And if they had, believe me, the media would let every man, woman, and child know about it, and Americans would be a little less unsettled. I have no doubt that there were Muslims that grieved, but certainly not prevalently enough to warrant inclusion into a short coloring book meant to explain the events surrounding 9/11.

And as far as the "why" of 9/11, it's really rather simple. Self-proclaimed soldiers of Allah flew planes into building killing thousands of innocent people because they subscribed to a doctrine of hate known as fundamentalist Islam. Short and sweet, no need to muck it up with references to the statistically marginal grieving of domestic Muslims, thank you.

Telling our children that fundamentalist Muslims are responsible for the worst attack ever committed on US soil and that they carried it out in the name of their god is not indoctrinating them.  In fact, to tell them anything otherwise would be lying to them!  It is important to convey to our children that being a Muslim does not make one evil or malicious, but it's doubly important that they are told the truth.

And it's hard to deny what that truth is.  All signs point to the publisher receiving threats for having published this coloring book that simply tells the truth about 9/11- threats from the Islamic fundamentalists that are upset because they are portrayed as violent extremists.  This is some way to overcome that perception.  "We are a peaceful religion, dammit!  Portray us that way, or we'll kill you."

The book can be purchased here.

William Sullivan

Thanks to Robert Spencer and JihadWatch for story.