Wednesday, July 30, 2008

BFD: Belated Apologies Make Congress Sound Like The Southern Baptist Convention

The Bigotry Lingers On...And On...And On...

From characterzinging a scarf as "terrorist" to deriding a middle name, America's prejudice population always seems to crop up - or, more definitively, crawl out of the woodwork - when you least expect it. anytime. And as ridiculous as their rants seem, the ideologies behind them will stay and stay and stay.

Michelle Malkin in a rant about Rachel Ray's scarf on a Dunkin' Donuts commercial:

“The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,” Malkin wrote in her syndicated column. “Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and not-so-ignorant fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.”

Of course, Malkin is insinuating that some of her readers ARE clueless because she makes a point of defining a keffiyeh in a way as only they would understand. Suffer the little children...

Twelve percent of the U.S. public still believe that Barack Obama is a practicing Muslim. He is not. But they will think so until their dying day. "And Hussein is his middle name." They will scream that out loud and post it online, print it on placards and bumper stickers. They will photoshop turbans atop his head, and say that Michelle wears a burka whenever she is at home. Remember the flack about the fist-bump? They'll make it into a secret code of some sort, more ominous and obscure than Da Vinci's mirror writing.

These people have l--o--n--g memories for hate and, unfortunately, not much else. Many of them are the same people who will pick a verse out of the Bible to use as a weapon but can't recite the Ten Commandments in order and without help. Just ask the next "The Bible says..." placard bearer. The most virulent are usually the most clueless when it comes to their own religion.

They are also a VERY long time coming with apologies. It took the Vatican over 400 years to apologize to Galileo, and the Southern Baptists over 150 years to apologize for slavery. And, apparently, there were still some Southern Baptists in Congress who still lingered on that abusive policy, making Congress even slower:

By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer Tue Jul 29, 7:05 PM ET

WASHINGTON - The House on Tuesday issued an unprecedented apology to black Americans for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow segregation laws.

The resolution, passed by voice vote, was the work of Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen, the only white lawmaker to represent a majority black district. Cohen faces a formidable black challenger in a primary face-off next week.

Congress has issued apologies before — to Japanese-Americans for their internment during World War II and to native Hawaiians for the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893. In 2005, the Senate apologized for failing to pass anti-lynching laws.

Of course, according to people like Malkin, America has nothing to apologize for (I think she's currently trying to rebuild Manzanar internment camp into a resort for Japanese tourists.)

What good are belated apologies? Who cares if a pope cries real tears at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall for 1700 years of anti-Semitism? Is Congress acting nobly or just reiterating the fact that we've still got racists ion this country? They're not only apologizing for the ones we had, they're apologizing for the ones we've still got!

Slavery - forced internment - extreme anti-Semitism - overthrow of sovereign governments. Congress and the Religious Right can apologize now. Will they apologize for other acts of discrimination? I doubt it. At least not within the next 50-100 years.

And when they DO apologize, will there be anyone to accept those apologies?

Just a thought.

The photographer entitled
this photo:
Michelle Malkin's Dream

A Victim of Mysogeny: "The Other Mozart"

Maria Anna Mozart

When she was seven years old, her father started teaching her to play the clavier, and initially she seemed a potential child prodigy. Leopold took her and her brother on tours of many cities, such as Vienna and Paris, to exploit their talents. In the early days she sometimes received top billing and she was noted as an excellent harpsichord player and pianist. But from 1769 onwards she was no longer permitted to show her artistic talent on travels with her brother, as she had reached a marriageable age. (wikipedia)

Anna Maria Mozart was a gifted musician eventually shadowed by her brother, Wolfgang Amadeus. In his youth, he adored his older sister, but their father Leopold encouraged young Wolfgang only. Even for the times, however, Anna seemed unduly complacent: giving up the man she loved to a marriage of her father's choosing. She even allowed her father to rear her only son in deference to him. While Wolfgang constantly quarreled with his father, Anna acquiesced.

She married only once: to a wealthy magistrate named Johann Baptist Franz von Berchtold zu Sonnenburg. He was a widower with five children and Anna Maria bore him three more.

After the death of her husband she became (what else?) a music teacher. From all accounts she became blind and poor of health. She died on October 29, 1829. She was (for the time) the advanced age of 78.

Question: if her father and society had not forced this timid little girl to stay home until she was married to the right man, how far could she have gone in the music world? Mozart wrote some piano compositions for her. References in his letters to her show us that she composed music as well. None of her compositions, however, have survived.

How dim of a life she led compared to what she could have been we will never know.

The Face and Voice of the Working Man

Jimmy Hoffa, 1959
Originally uploaded by PopCollector
When Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, did the voice of the working man disappear as well? Today we hear a lot about the middle class family, but who does it consist of? Do the teamsters still exist? Of course they do, (with Jimmy's son as president)but their clout has been reduced to a meager lobby in Washington, a lobby that trails far behind pharmaceuticals and the NRA.

Hoffa was one of the few men whose disappearance was as sensational as his life: after 33 years, his remains have never been found. Stories and brags about his demise raged for years. They haven't really stopped. Only several things support the fact that he is now dead: today he would be 95-years-old and his connections to the mob as well as the people he crossed, well, what do you think the odds are?