Silence of the Kurds

A politician stirred the debate about minority rights in Turkey when he spoke Kurdish in Parliament on Tuesday, violating laws that bar the language in official settings.

Learn more about the oppression of the Kurdish language and legislator Ahmet Turk’s brave stand here.


Murdoch Personally Apologizes for Racist Cartoon



Last updated: 3:16 AM February 24, 2009

As the Chairman of the New York Post, I am ultimately responsible for what is printed in its pages. The buck stops with me.

Last week, we made a mistake. We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted.

Over the past couple of days, I have spoken to a number of people and I now better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused. At the same time, I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you – without a doubt – that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such.

We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community.

When Has “I Will Pray for You” NOT Meant “You Are F’ed”?

Especially when it’s South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

CALLER: I hope you all are not playing politics with this. People in South Carolina are hurting. You know how unemployment rates are high right now and going up higher. We are running out of money in the unemployment bank — we need money for that, the people that need help. And I’m one of them, I can’t get no help. […]

SANFORD: Well I’d say hello to Charleston because its home and I’d say hello to this fellow this morning and say that my prayers are going to be with him and his family because it sounds like he is in an awfully tough spot.

Old Hand, New Wave

Resounding electoral loss by choice of the American people has had hilarious effects upon Conservatives. The most laughable one is the apparent consensus that instead of doing anything different, they should just call old ideas by new names.

We’ve all heard about Michael Steele’s aspiration to bring conservatism to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings.”

And we’re not supposed to say “religious right” anymore, because mysteriously that phrase has “become synonymous with extremism“. It’s “socially conservative evangelicals” from now on.

Here’s another one: economic patriotism. I’m not sure, but I think that’s supposed to mean “fiscal conservatism.” Or “be generous with your neighbors,” but that just doesn’t make sense in the context.

How about “Anti-Species Syndrome”? Well, according to wack-o organization America Forever, anti-species syndrome is the preferred term for “homosexual.” I know, I know, it doesn’t make sense. DO NOT ask me to explain it.

For good measure, “social justice” is now “anti-Americanism” and “community organizer” is “socialist propagandist”. It’s amazing to me that conservatives have found a way to vilify a profession that is dedicated to improving the lives of the least fortunate Americans, and the general concept motivating such work. So they don’t sound as freakishly heartless as all that, rebranding was necessary.

If you know of any rebranded Conservative terms, please leave them in the comments!

Poor POC to Blame for Economic Crisis

The February 20th edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe was particularly hard to watch. (See below)

Look what Horrible Person Pat Buchanan had to say about lending to “minority communities” causing the financial collapse:

BUCHANAN: The feds, Joe, the feds leaned on banks and threatened some of these banks, “You’ve got to make more loans,” so the banks — and pushed them out — you gotta help, frankly, in minority communities. And they pushed them out and the guys put nothing down and stuff, and then the banks sell the loans off to Fannie and Freddie.

SCARBOROUGH: And that’s what happened. Banks made bad loans. They sold it to Fannie and Freddie. Fannie and Freddie sold it to Wall Street.

DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN: That’s right.

SCARBOROUGH: They turned it into securities, chopped it up, sent it around the world, and here we are with the Dow Jones at its lowest rate since 1632.

I knew this was the fault of the poor all along! It’s a big conspiracy hatched by the children of Welfare Queens to find a new way to get the government to give them free $money$! They never intended to pay their mortgages, heck, they never even intended to live in their houses… they’re more comfortable sleeping out on the streets anyhow.

Screw the Poor

When did it become part of our culture to try and screw our neighbors and to openly despise the poor?

I cannot remember a time in my life during which contempt for the less fortunate was as celebrated as it is now. It’s practically a badge of dignified self-respect to publicly castigate anyone having a rough time. At least on the MSM.

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe on the 20th, the talking heads discussed the stimulus package. Of particular contention were the funds intended to prevent foreclosures. As I have heard several times recently, everyone on the show seemed to fret that the money would go to unworthy recipients who are poor due to some personal fault, or greedy people who should never have dreamed of owning a home in the first place. They played a clip of Rick Santelli’s antics, whose recent rant struck a chord with poor-shamers. His “raise your hand if you want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage” got a chorus of boos from the floor of the stock exchange. The guys around him were livid at the thought.

Mary Kate Cary wrote an approving opinion piece in US News as a reaction. Basically, her point is that those lucky enough not to be touched by the recession- those who have kept their jobs and houses- are upset that the tax revenue from their good fortune will be used to help those less fortunate. They are angry that part of their tax dollars will help the poor and/or those facing loss of their home moreso now that we are facing an economic crisis as a nation.

For me, that draws a huge HUH?

What the hell is wrong with people? This “I’ve got mine- screw you” attitude is a national shame.

The Republican party seems to relish shaming the poor during the recession. The mass vote against the stimulus. The various governors talking like they don’t need and won’t take the money. It seems like they are happy to leave people in poverty in order to prove an ideological point.

The gloating, the schadenfreude, the utter lack of compassion… I think this is a really ugly way to react to those Americans suffering most during a national crisis, and it is not reserved to any party.

Why are we unwilling to help a neighbor? Why do we assume we deserve our home and our amenities, but call those facing foreclosure “greedy”? What better use for our tax dollars than to help those hit worst by a national crisis? Why has the thought of helping out the less fortunate become so viscerally repugnant to so many Americans?

When worst comes to worst, would Americans rather leave their compatriots out in the cold as punishment for their poverty because helping them out is too similar to the scary scary S-word: Socialism?

I haven’t seen a single TV discussion of the stimulus that included commentary from a person facing unemployment, foreclosure, or poverty. While they are being mocked in newspapers and on television screens around the country, they have not even been invited to speak on their own behalf. Their many voices apparently do not deserve the amplification accorded to the small circle of comfortable, employed and adequately housed pundits and politicians who bash them. Hardly a fair fight.

I guess I’m hoping that all of these writers, pundits and politicians simply do not speak for the majority of Americans. It’s just hard to believe that because somebody is reading their columns, listening to their radio shows and watching them on television.