Monday Reads: Charlie Hebdo and Fashionable Faux and Haute OutragePosted: January 12, 2015
It’s one of those days where I feel that there is absolutely no news out there I want to share. I’m more than a bit irritated by the way the Charlie Hebdo attacks are being blithely used by some to try to score faux outrage points. I’m also equally mad that it now appears to be an attention-grabbing gimmick for the rich and banal.
The first thing to piss me off is that wingnuts are griping about our President not dropping everything to attend a French rally. I am really getting tired of every single thing being turned into an opportunity for racists to attack Obama.
France is in the EuroZone. This means the level of cooperation between European states is akin to New York’s relationship with Louisiana on many many levels. Some of its former colonies were also in attendance at the rally as was Bibi since the second attack killed and injured Israelis. The colonial nations are connected by language and much more. A rally isn’t a normal thing for any of head of state to attend unless a leader or head of state is part of the entity. I’d like to think it’s just about stupid Americans not having much of a clue about European Unification and the Colonial Age, but really it seems just another crazed meme from the pissed off red state hicks still longing for white hegemony. For example, CNN has really gone down the crapper to join in on this.
The heads of Great Britain, Germany and Israel were there.
But President Barack Obama didn’t attend a unity march in Paris on Sunday, days after the deadly attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Nor did his secretary of state, John Kerry, who has deep ties to France.
Kerry was in India, attending an entrepreneurship summit with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi — with whom the United States is hoping to develop much closer trade ties.
Instead, the United States was represented by U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.
Attorney General Eric Holder was also in Paris, attending a security summit on combating terrorism. He recorded interviews that appeared on several U.S. news outlets Sunday, but was not spotted at the unity march.
No one from the administration would speak on record about the U.S. representation at the march.
“Attorney General Holder — a Cabinet level official — is representing the United States at the security meetings in Paris today. He is joined by the DHS Deputy Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas. The United States is represented at the march by Ambassador Hartley,” a senior Obama administration official said.
An administration official added: “As far as public signs of French solidarity from the U.S. — don’t forget several public statements from the President, his call to [French President Francois] Hollande and a condolence stop to the French embassy.”
Beyond that, the official said “all relevant components” of the U.S. government have been aiding their French counterparts, in some cases on “essentially a minute-by-minute basis to support their efforts.”
On Sunday night, a White House official who also asked not to be named added: “It is worth noting that the security requirements for both the President and (Vice President) can be distracting from events like this – for once this event is not about us!” The official did not address how other prominent world leaders were able to work around the security requirements.
How on earth would France even prepare for a presidential visit on such short notice? Well, anyway, most of the leaders were within an hour plane hop of Paris with the exception of a few middle eastern and African countries and they don’t require massive security.
On that note, I’m particularly pissed that we can still get all in a hissy about religious extremists practicing Islam that go on killing sprees when we ignore white Christian extremists. Then, we give Israel repeated passes on its war crimes against the Palestinian territories which should be a Palestinian state by now. It’s selective Faux Outrage. Did the entire world come over to us and rally when our home grown terrorists created horrific killing events? Or, did everyone just write it off as the usual few crazed Americans. Why do right wing christian terrorists get labeled crazed loners?
The deal is that any kind of mass killing is rare in France because France doesn’t allow its citizenry to run about the place with semiautomatic weapons as a general rule. Over here, white men go on killing sprees all the time and we’re lucky if any one notices. France also treats its transplants rather well instead, of continually telling them they don’t want them. Here’s three of the top ten Homegrown Terrorist Attacks in the US from a list of 10.
When white males of the far right carry out violent attacks, neocons and Republicans typically describe them as lone-wolf extremists rather than people who are part of terrorist networks or well-organized terrorist movements. Yet many of the terrorist attacks in the United States have been carried out by people who had long histories of networking with other terrorists. In fact, most of the terrorist activity occurring in the United States in recent years has not come from Muslims, but from a combination of radical Christianists, white supremacists and far-right militia groups.
Below are 10 of the worst examples of non-Islamic terrorism that have occurred in the United States in the last 30 years.
1. Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre, Aug. 5, 2012. The virulent, neocon-fueled Islamophobia that has plagued post-9/11 America has not only posed a threat to Muslims, it has had deadly consequences for people of other faiths, including Sikhs. Sikhs are not Muslims; the traditional Sikh attire, including their turbans, is different from traditional Sunni, Shiite or Sufi attire. But to a racist, a bearded Sikh looks like a Muslim. Only four days after 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh immigrant from India who owned a gas station in Mesa, Arizona, was murdered by Frank Silva Roque, a racist who obviously mistook him for a Muslim.
But Sodhi’s murder was not the last example of anti-Sikh violence in post-9/11 America. On Aug. 5, 2012, white supremacist Wade Michael Page used a semiautomatic weapon to murder six people during an attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Page’s connection to the white supremacist movement was well-documented: he had been a member of the neo-Nazi rock bands End Empathy and Definite Hate. Attorney General Eric Holder described the attack as “an act of terrorism, an act of hatred.” It was good to see the nation’s top cop acknowledge that terrorist acts can, in fact, involve white males murdering people of color.
2. The murder of Dr. George Tiller, May 31, 2009. Imagine that a physician had been the victim of an attempted assassination by an Islamic jihadist in 1993, and received numerous death threats from al-Qaeda after that, before being murdered by an al-Qaeda member. Neocons, Fox News and the Christian Right would have had a field day. A physician was the victim of a terrorist killing that day, but neither the terrorist nor the people who inflamed the terrorist were Muslims. Dr. George Tiller, who was shot and killed by anti-abortion terrorist Scott Roeder on May 31, 2009, was a victim of Christian Right terrorism, not al-Qaeda.
Tiller had a long history of being targeted for violence by Christian Right terrorists. In 1986, his clinic was firebombed. Then, in 1993, Tiller was shot five times by female Christian Right terrorist Shelly Shannon (now serving time in a federal prison) but survived that attack. Given that Tiller had been the victim of an attempted murder and received countless death threats after that, Fox News would have done well to avoid fanning the flames of unrest. Instead, Bill O’Reilly repeatedly referred to him as “Tiller the baby killer.” When Roeder murdered Tiller, O’Reilly condemned the attack but did so in a way that was lukewarm at best.
Keith Olbermann called O’Reilly out and denounced him as a “facilitator for domestic terrorism” and a “blindly irresponsible man.” And Crazy for God author Frank Schaffer, who was formerly a figure on the Christian Right but has since become critical of that movement, asserted that the Christian Right’s extreme anti-abortion rhetoric “helped create the climate that made this murder likely to happen.” Neocon Ann Coulter, meanwhile, viewed Tiller’s murder as a source of comic relief, telling O’Reilly, “I don’t really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester.” The Republican/neocon double standard when it comes to terrorism is obvious. At Fox News and AM neocon talk radio, Islamic terrorism is a source of nonstop fear-mongering, while Christian Right terrorism gets a pass.
3. Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church shooting, July 27, 2008. On July 27, 2008, Christian Right sympathizer Jim David Adkisson walked into the Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee during a children’s play and began shooting people at random. Two were killed, while seven others were injured but survived. Adkisson said he was motivated by a hatred of liberals, Democrats and gays, and he considered neocon Bernard Goldberg’s book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, his political manifesto. Adkisson (who pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and is now serving life in prison without parole) was vehemently anti-abortion, but apparently committing an act of terrorism during a children’s play was good ol’ Republican family values. While Adkisson’s act of terrorism was reported on Fox News, it didn’t get the round-the-clock coverage an act of Islamic terrorism would have garnered.
Go to the link to read the rest.
I’m just getting tired of Faux news and Faux outrage and selective attention. But, I’m not the only one. Here’s a Dutch Cartoonist that works at Charlie Hebdo.
A prominent Dutch cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo heaped scorn on the French satirical weekly’s “new friends” since the massacre at its Paris offices on Wednesday.
“We have a lot of new friends, like the pope, Queen Elizabeth and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. It really makes me laugh,” Bernard Holtrop, whose pen name is Willem, told the Dutch centre-left daily Volkskrant in an interview published Saturday.
France’s far-right National Front leader “Marine Le Pen is delighted when the Islamists start shooting all over the place,” said Willem, 73, a longtime Paris resident who also draws for the French leftist daily Liberation.
He added: “We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends.”
Commenting on the global outpouring of support for the weekly, Willem scoffed: “They’ve never seen Charlie Hebdo.”
“A few years ago, thousands of people took to the streets in Pakistan to demonstrate against Charlie Hebdo. They didn’t know what it was. Now it’s the opposite, but if people are protesting to defend freedom of speech, naturally that’s a good thing.”
Exactly. No more was this “fashionable” side of protest noticeable than at the Golden Globes where “Je Suis Charlie” signs were as rampant on the red carpet as haute couture. Call it Haute Outage. Nothing says poseur like holding a protest sign at an event designed to make Big Hollywood feel like they’re relevant to anything but the bread and circuses that entertain Fox Nation when they’re not glued to ESPN.
George Clooney led the Hollywood charge at Sunday’s Golden Globes lending public support to Charlie Hebdo, the satirical Parisian newspaper attacked last week by armed gunmen. The Cecil B. DeMille Award winner walked the red carpet with a black and white “Je Suis Charlie” button on his tux, while wife Amal Alamuddin wore a Charlie Hebdo tribute on her purse.
Clooney tonight receives the Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” In an open letter penned today, Harvey Weinstein called for tonight’s Globes attendees to remember those killed in the January 7 attack: “Charlie Hebdo is a reminder of the beauty of art and the beauty of language. No one can ever defeat the ability of great artists to show us our world.”
More updates on Hollywood’s solidarity with Charlie Hebdo as they come…
Raise your hand if you think any of these folks even knew what Charlie Hebdo was prior to this.
It’s one thing to be in solidarity with humanity suffering but it’s a completely different thing to do this only at one instance of slaughter while not noticing that a day later THIS HAPPENED:
At least 19 people are reported to have been killed when militants strapped a bomb to a girl estimated to have been about 10 years old and sent her into a crowded poultry market in Maiduguri in Borno State.
Read that and ask yourselves why I had to pull that story off of an African news site. Boko Harum insurgents most likely killed 2000 people in a small village in Nigeria filled with old people and children. The only mainstream site that I’ve found reporting these massive terror attacks is MSNBC and Melissa Harris Perry. Where the fuck is the outrage on that?
Believe me, I find the Charlie Hebdo killings horrible. And, so do most Muslims, which is another freaking faux meme that keeps floating around when these things happen. So, Benjamin Netanyahu goes to a rally to bring attention to the shootings. But what about this? And so I also say fuck off to all those racists that say that no Muslims of any stature condemn religious extremism.
Islamic extremists following a ‘takfiri’ ideology are more offensive to the Prophet Mohammed than Western satirical cartoons, chief of the Lebanese military faction Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah, said following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.
“The behavior of the takfiri groups that claim to follow Islam have distorted Islam, the Koran and the Muslim nation more than Islam’s enemies … who insulted the prophet in films… or drew cartoons of the prophet,” the Hezbollah leader said in a televised speech to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.
Militant Islam practices a ‘takfiri’ doctrine that allows it to brand other Muslims apostates for allegedly going against the faith’s true teachings.
A tragic attack on Wednesday took the lives of 12 people, when armed gunmen stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, prompting a citywide manhunt. The magazine had printed cartoons that mocked the Prophet.
Nasrallah went on to say that “Takfiris are the biggest threat to Islam, as a religion [and] as a message.”
I hate it when the mainstream media and the popstars of the world get selective on us when it comes to loss of life and to the definition of terror. Not one child that died in Nigeria of the thousands last week deserves any less media attention and less fashion statements at a televised Hollywood onanist event. Really.
I don’t care if my President attends a rally. I want him to find a way to stop Boko Harum. I don’t want my Secretary of State at a Rally. I want him finding a way to an independent Palestinian state that’s safe from invasion and not treated like a personal gulag. Joe Biden, well, meh. Send him. But frankly, I think it was far more personal for the President to go the French Consul and express condolences to the French Ambassador and to the People of French in the pages of their book. I don’t want Faux and Haute Outrage. I want effective national policy to control our home grown terrorists in the same way the French will be searching for their policies.
There I go getting radical again. But, today, I am not Charlie.
Today, I am that 10 year old girl that was used as a human bomb to kill others that no one noticed. She was probably one of the girls stolen from her school that every one’s now forgotten. If not, she is still one of “our girls”. There should be no lack of outrage or coverage on this but there is only lack of coverage and and silence.
I also will be waiting for the list of christian leaders expressing outrage at the extremist event to be held in Baton Rouge that’s hosted by our Governor on the January 24th. On that day, I will be every GLBT person that’s died simply because they were born that way. Now if I could just find a red carpet and some paparazzi.