Sunday, November 26, 2006

Black comedian Paul Mooney Makes Anti-Semitic Remark about Michael Richards on CNN

Any mention of racial stereotypes is routinely denounced by the Left as "racist", so let us follow that rule here:

On the November 21st morning edition of Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips interviewed Paul Mooney,a popular black comedian and activist, and Roland Martin, a Chicago radio personality, about Michael Richards' ("Kramer's") now notorious racist outburst. During the interview Paul Mooney referenced Kramer's appearance as "Jewish" and was not challenged.

CNN publishes transcripts, but removed this version after two hours and edited the remark out of the original interview when they re-ran it. CNN also removed the link to this original transcript on the official CNN Transcript page. They did not delete the actual page, and it remained available through the Google cache. So all references to this racist remark by a known black activist and comedian who specializes in racial humor were removed. I find it hard to believe that CNN would actually care enough to monkey-around with the transcripts but stranger things have happened. Below is given the relevant segment from the original transcript in case Google also loses it.

PHILLIPS: Roland, your reaction?

MARTIN: Kyra, Paul is correct when he says it was a weak apology. First and foremost, the "Letterman" show was the wrong forum for that kind of apology. He was not going to get the kind of questioning that he needed. If you heard the audience, they were laughing. They weren't quite sure whether to laugh at what he was saying, to be serious. And it was Seinfeld who had to say, hey, guys this isn't funny.

Not only that. Another piece is when you really examine what he said, he not only said 50 years ago we'd have you hanging upside down from a tree. Well, guess what, 50 years ago, Michael Richards would have been in some oven in Germany being baked because he's also Jewish. He also said that in his comments, that I'm a white man. I can go get the cops and have you arrested. And so, his comments went beyond that.

But Kyra, we're also making a very big mistake. He has said -- he said, he was heckled. In fact, the people who were there say he was not heckled. There was a large group that was talking. He was angered by them talking. Then after he addressed them, then a couple of the guys said, hey, my boy doesn't think you're funny. Darryl Pitts, who is from Chicago, who was on CNN on Sunday, he gave an eye- witness account. And so, trying to say, well he was being heckled when in fact he wasn't. He was angered because they were talking.

PHILLIPS: All right. Just to step aside for a second, I want to ask you about the 'N' word for a minute. Paul, I remember ...

(CROSSTALK)

MOONEY: Can I say something before you say this. Excuse me. He's not a Jew. He's not a Jew.

MARTIN: OK.

He's either Catholic or atheist or something. He's not that. And as far as blacks and Jews are concerned, I don't think that two men in a burning house have time to argue. That's my point.

MARTIN: I agree.

MOONEY: So he's not a Jew. So people make that mistake. He may look it, but looks are deceiving. Bush looks like he's sane, but anyway go ahead, ask what ...

PHILLIPS All right. I knew Paul had to get something in there. I was waiting for the ...

MOONEY: Of course.


Whether or not Richards is in fact Jewish, there is of course a history of bigoted remarks about "Jewish features" and "looking Jewish" (big noses etc.). The Nazis used such ideas frequently.

There was no chastising Mooney for his racist remark and no one seemed horrified, as they would if it were said about "black features." If Mooney were white, by now an intern would be reviewing hours of his old comedy shows to find inappropriate remarks that support the view that he is an anti-Semite. An American Republican or white man would have ended up with his own CNN segment the next day trying to explain what he meant and promising that he really isn't bigoted.

The "revised" interview transcript is here

Thursday, November 09, 2006

BOOK REVIEW of Conservative comebacks to Liberal Lies -- by Gregg Jackson

Review by "Ken", an Australian middle of the road reader

I could not find a more concise description of what you will find in this book than the one written on the cover…“Issue by issue responses to the most common claims of the left…”

Unfortunately, the title sets the general tone of the work. Mr Jackson is very fond of emotive language and uses it liberally when his passion gets the better of his analytical processes. To assume that the Liberal point of view is necessarily “lies”, is to visit an unjustified assumption on many well-meaning and honest Liberals. I can accept that Liberal views may be misguided or ill informed but, really Mr Jackson, lies? This implies some conspiratorial agenda on the part of Liberals or paranoia on the part of Mr Jackson. The abortion issue, for instance, is deeply emotional, but is it really necessary to substitute the word “abortion” with the phrase “…stick surgical scissors in a baby’s skull, suck out her brains with a vacuum, dismember her and throw her away in a garbage can…” unless you are resorting to emotional coercion rather than calm rational argument.

I am also unsure of Mr Jackson’s right to hijack the term “conservative” to encompass his own beliefs. I don’t believe that all conservatives are gun-toting, Christian zealots, intent on enforcing their wish to interfere with people’s lives through legislation.

Despite these and similar lapses that tend to provoke the reader rather than enlighten him, this book is invaluable in pulling together information and statistics to support Mr Jackson’s point of view. The conscientious reader, who likes to confirm what he reads, will be led into a bewildering realm of lies, damned lies and statistics when he attempts to verify the information offered as fact. In pursuing the truth, the researcher will be inundated with claims and counterclaims from academic, empirical and self-serving sources until his head spins.

To take one example: I tried to verify the stated statistics on gun laws (that violent crime increases as gun laws become more draconian) only to find that the definitions of violent crime were far from uniform, and murder numbers were confusing because accidental deaths were not included in some statistics and underreporting and deliberate manipulation was rife even from official police reports.

The following extract from -- Recorded Crime, Australia, 1998. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Jun 1999, is typical of refutations of “the gun lobby” point of view.
Assault and Robbery
Those who claim that Australia suffered a "crime wave" as a result of new gun laws often cite as evidence unrelated figures for common assault or sexual assault (no weapon) and armed robbery (any weapon). In fact less than one in five Australian armed robberies involve a firearm.
"Although armed robberies increased by nearly 20%, the number of armed robberies involving a firearm decreased to a six-year low."

Firearm-Related Homicide
"There was a decrease of almost 30% in the number of homicides by firearms from 1997 to 1998."
-- Australian Crime - Facts and Figures 1999. Australian Institute of Criminology. Canberra, Oct 1999
This report shows that as gun ownership has been progressively restricted since 1915, Australia's firearm homicide rate per 100,000 population has declined to almost half its 85-year average.
Homicide by Any Method
The overall rate of homicide in Australia has also dropped to its lowest point since 1989 (National Homicide Monitoring Program, 1997-98 data). It remains one-fourth the homicide rate in the USA.
The Institute of Criminology report Australian Crime - Facts and Figures 1999 includes 1998 homicide data showing "a 9% decrease from the rate in 1997." This is the period in which most of the country's new gun laws came into force.
Gun-Related Death by Any Cause
The Australian Bureau of Statistics counts all injury deaths, whether or not they are crime-related. The most recently available ABS figures show a total of 437 firearm-related deaths (homicide, suicide and unintentional) for 1997. This is the lowest number for 18 years.
The Australian rate of gun death per 100,000 population remains one-fifth that of the United States.
"We have observed a decline in firearm-related death rates (essentially in firearm-related suicides) in most jurisdictions in Australia. We have also seen a declining trend in the percentage of robberies involving the use of firearms in Australia."
-- Mouzos, J. Firearm-related Violence: The Impact of the Nationwide Agreement on Firearms. Trends & Issues in Crime & Criminal Justice No. 116. Australian Institute of Criminology. Canberra, May 1999; 6


Enough has already been written with regard to the pros and cons of this subject so it is probably prudent to leave further comment to your own research. I strongly suggest that you do the same for most of the arguments in the loosely alphabetically categorised “Lies” listed under ‘table of contents’

To be fair, solutions are outside the scope of the book which merely purports to respond to commonly held beliefs, which it does admirably by invoking statistics, information and reasoned argument. In itself this is an honourable undertaking, but when the author takes as his points of reference The Bible, The American Constitution, The Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Independence, the arguments lose some relevance if these documents are not sacrosanct to the reader.

While I enjoyed the reasoned arguments throughout this book (and some had me thinking very hard) I found myself being worried by the thought of a society run by ideas which sometimes appeared to fly in the face of common sense. What it did highlight for me, however, was just how difficult it is in this information age to gather valid, unbiased data on which to base a decision or an opinion.

This book succeeds in being very thought-provoking. It is well organised and the information is easily accessed through well laid out and self-explanatory chapters. It is by no means a comprehensive conservative philosophy but neither does it claim to be. It is exactly what the cover says it is.