Category Archives: Intolerance

Headline of the day III: America’s petro pals

From Mint Press News:

At UN Human Rights Council, Saudi Arabia Supports Right To Torture & Execute LGBT People

The Gulf kingdom, where homosexuality is punishable by beheading, objected to a report by the special rapporteur on torture because extending human rights protections to LGBT people “lacked any ground in international law.”

A curious case of corporate schizophrenia

When it comes to all that umbrage from the multinational corporations about North Carolina’s growing sexual bathroom hysteria, widely published Charlotte journalist Pul Blest notes a certain hypocrisy, as he notes in an essay for Jacobin:

Over 120 “leading business leaders and CEOs” signed an open letter by the Human Rights Campaign, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and Apple CEO Tim Cook. Google Ventures CEO Bill Maris, another signatory to the letter, said the company would no longer invest in the state, telling his firm’s partners, “I am not comfortable deploying dollars into startups there until the voters there fix this.” And PayPal withdrew plans to build a $3.6 million “global operations center” in Charlotte that would have employed over four hundred people.

Yet however decisive, these corporations deserve little praise for their supposed benevolence.

Some of the very companies that signed onto the Human Rights Campaign’s open letter are partially to blame for HB 2 passing in the first place. According to the Institute for Southern Studies, thirty-six of the companies donated to the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) and the Republican Governors Association (RGA), contributing over $4.3 million to the RSLC and nearly $6.5 million to the RGA since the 2010 election. The companies include Pfizer ($2.4 million combined to the two groups), Citigroup ($1.5 million), Hewlett-Packard ($1 million), Microsoft ($724,000), Google ($447,000), and Yahoo ($300,000).

Chart of the day: Breathing while black in Chicago

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From Recommendations for Reform: Restoring Trust between the Chicago Police and the Communities they Serve [PDF], the report of the Police Accountability Task Force, which notes:

For perspective, citywide, Chicago is almost evenly split by race among whites (31.7%), blacks (32.9%) and Hispanics (28.9%).

Quote of the day: Making Trump seem moderate

Leave it to Bigoted Bilious O’Reilly, the constipated curmudgeon who serves as the mainstay of Fox News, to make The Donald seem like a moderate.

He accomplished this miraculous feat in an interview of Trump when he questioned the Republican about his claims that he could create jobs for minority youth.

Here’s the money quote from Monday Night’s O’Reilly Factor, referring to African American youths he saw in Harlem whilst en route to Yankee Stadium:

How are you going to get jobs for them? Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it but it’s true, if you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren’t qualified for jobs?

But then what else should we expect from a network that features fired Los Angeles racist cop and king of the N-word Mark Fuhrman as their distinguished forensic consultant? You know, they guy almost singlehandedly responsible for getting O.J. off?

Disturbing parallels and censorship on campus

Israel is marching down a road well-trodden in Europe, the notion of a state composed of an elite destined to create a Greater State by driving out or eliminating the Other, those defined in terms that increasingly echo those uttered decades earlier in Europe.

But to accomplish this, the State of Israel needs to define those who oppose its policies as not anti-Israel but as racist.

Now certainly there are a fair number of folks who oppose the Israeli government who are racists, some of them with murderous intent.

But there are also a goodly number of Jews, especially in the United States, who don’t share the eliminationist sentiments of many in the Israel government.

One of the most effective measures used in recent decades to oppose oppressive governments has been the creation of boycotts and movements calling for divestment of investments in that state, along with official governmental sanctions.

A white minority government in South Africa brutally repressing black South Africans was brought to heel by similar movements after actions by Africans, some of them violent, failed to end the Apartheid regime.

Most nations of the world oppose the brutal repression and occasional open and overwhelming warfare used by the Israeli state to continue to suppress the people from whom that land that comprises the Israel state was seized by force of arms.

But Ziocons, the conservative Zionists who have come to dominate the argument in the United States, in part because of their influence with both major parties, have sought to criminalize and otherwise sanction legitimate actions of opposition to Israeli policies by American citizens and non-citizen residents.

Their goal is nothing less than creating a statutory equivalence between active, nonviolent opposition to the Israeli government and the loathesome antisemitism of the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.

The most recent convert to this form of extremism is the Board of Regents of the University of California., voting last month to declare anti-Zionism unacceptable on college campuses.

But support for the measure had been dwarfed by opposition before the measure was enacted, as the Los Angeles Times reported a weak earlier:

One letter signed by more than 130 UC faculty members supported naming anti-Zionism as an expression of anti-Semitism, saying students need guidance on “when healthy political debate crosses the line into anti-Jewish hatred, bigotry and discrimination, and when legitimate criticism of Israel devolves into denying Israel’s right to exist.”

But another letter from more than 250 UC professors expressed fear that the proposed statement would restrict free speech and academic freedom to teach, debate and research about the complex and tumultuous history of Israel and the Zionist movement.

In a 23 March post for the Intercept, Robert Mackey described the rationale for adoption voiced by one of the Regents:

Before the vote on Wednesday, Bonnie Reiss, the vice chairwoman of the Board of Regents, argued that students opposed to Israeli policies, and those questioning the state’s unequal treatment of non-Jews, had fostered a dangerous environment for Jewish students by supporting the effort to pressure Israel to change its policies through a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, known as BDS.

It was necessary for the university to address anti-Semitism, Resiss said, because “members of the Muslim Student Association or Palestinians for Justice groups… that are anti-Israel have brought BDS resolutions” which have “created emotional debates.”

“Anti-Semitic acts against many in our Jewish community have resulted from the emotions over the debates over the BDS-Israel resolutions,” she insisted, without citing evidence of the linkage.

That the backlash against Israel on college campuses might be caused not by unreasoning hatred but by Israeli actions — like the ongoing blockade of Gaza, punctuated by three rounds of punishing airstrikes in the past seven years, the building of illegal, Jewish-only settlements across the occupied West Bank, or the refusal to recognize the rights of Palestinians driven from their homes in 1948 to ever return — seems not to have occurred to students, faculty or politicians whose support for the Jewish state is unquestioning.

But not all Jews agree with the equivalence, as with journalist and author Max Blumenthal, interviewed here by Nadia Kanji for The Real News Network:

The Israel Lobby’s Growing Assault on Free Speech

From the transcript:

KANJI: So I wanted to ask you about this, because in the US, First Amendment free speech rights are one of the strongest in the world. In Canada there are hate speech laws which make it a sort of different ball game. So is there precedent for how they could go about attacking BDS by calling it hate speech, sort of like they’re trying to do in Canada right now?

BLUMENTHAL: Well, the precedent lies in other countries that have less protection for free speech, which really reveals the pro-Israel lobby as the greatest threat to free speech in the West. They’ve already triumphed in France through the Alliot memorandum, named after the former French justice minister, which is still enforced and has resulted in scores of pro-BDS organizers being brought to trial for their speech, for organizing in support of Palestinian equal rights. In the UK you’re seeing the conservative Cameron government attempt to pressure local town counsels, actually to forbid local town counsels from exercising their democratic right to divest from companies who do business in occupied Palestinian territory, and weapons companies. They’re basically attempting to prevent them from enacting other progressive measures.And you can see the smears of Jeremy Corbyn, and how Israel is being instrumentalized to break down progressive social movements across the West. In Canada, where you mentioned that there are hate speech laws, the government of Liberal Justin Trudeau has joined with the Conservatives to condemn BDS in an official resolution, condemning it as a form of anti-Semitic hate speech. [crosstalk] And so–

KANJI: [interceding]–Yeah, well he actually called it the new form of anti-semitism.

BLUMENTHAL: Yeah. Which is just, as I’ve said before, it’s absolutely disgusting, because they’re actually setting parameters on who can be a Jew. Now, what they’re doing in the US to limit speech and to create a free speech exception around Palestine is to force, attempt to force universities and even state houses to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that does away with traditional definitions of anti-Semitism which define it as discrimination against Jews as Jews, and re-orient it into discrimination against Israel, which is held up as the sole representative of world Jewry, according to this definition. It’s been conceived by an Israeli politician of the Likud party who’s a supporter of the settlement enterprise named Natan Sharansky, and he calls it the three-Ds definition, which is delegitimization and demonization of Israel. If you criticize Israel you’re an anti-Semite, according to this definition, and the pro-Israel lobby in the US has already forced the State Department to adopt this definition, and the University of California’s regents have just adopted the same definition, defining anti-Semitism as, defining anti-Zionism, a political perspective which is gaining in popularity among many Jews, I’m an anti-Zionist, as a form of anti-Semitism.So if an anti-Zionist is an anti-Semite, then who is a Jew? According to this definition a Jew is necessarily a supporter of Israel, and anyone who stands outside those narrow ideological confines is not a Jew. So Gentile authorities, under pressure from the pro-Israel lobby, are defining what it means to be a Jew. That’s how dangerous it is. Beyond the free speech implications it has implications for the future of Jewish political organizing, and I think we’re going to see this division among Jews in the US grow much more stark, in a much more stark direction.

Mark Fuhrman: More institutional racism at Fox

Back when the O.J. Simpson case was unfolding, we were working in television and film in Los Angeles, and we came  across a file on one of the cops involved in the initial investigation, a man who would lose his job because he lied under oath during the Simpson trial when he denied ever using the N-word.

In the file we saw, Fuhrman had sought to establish a job stress claim and used racist language repeatedly. We marveled at the time that he had been able to keep his job on a police force that had been responsible for the worst rioting since the days following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

We have to admit that we don’t watch Fox News, in part because of personal loathing for Bill O’Reilly, who once unloaded a vicious temper tantrum on a friend back when Bilious Bill worked for Inside Edition.

So I was surprised to learn from this video from The Young Turks that Fuhrman now works for Fox, and spouts the same racist bilge he spewed while a cop. Sure, he learned enough to avoid the N-Word, but the racist stereotypes he spews haven’t changed in the least.

We could say more, but we’ll leave it to Cenk Uygur.

From The Young Turks:

Who’s More Racist: Mark Fuhrman Or Fox News?

Program notes:

Mark Fuhrman was the racist cop that was an substantial part of the OJ Simpson investigation and trial. Fox News really liked the racism part, and made him an analyst/contributor. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

“Not only did the tapes prove he had lied under oath in an earlier deposition when he claimed not to have used the N-word in the last 10 years, but fearful of further perjuring himself, Fuhrman asserted his right to remain silent when asked if he planted or manufactured any evidence in the Simpson investigation.

“It’s hard to look at that testimony — a nationally broadcast justification of the suspicions many people had about corrupt police officers violating the rights of African-American suspects with impunity — and not draw a line to the Black Lives Matter protest movement, which burst on the national scene, and into American politics, when Michael Brown was killed by Police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. Nineteen years earlier, Americans justly skeptical of law enforcement didn’t have phone cameras and Twitter, but they did have Fuhrman, under oath, declining to answer whether or not he screwed with evidence in a murder case.”

Headline of the day II: Cruzin’ for a bruzin’

From The Contributor:

Ted Cruz Adviser Thinks Minneapolis is Under Islamic law

Clare Lopez, the vice president of the Center for Security Policy and a national security adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, told a Minnesota radio program yesterday that parts of Minneapolis have become “no-go zones” where the police “don’t go” and are letting Sharia law take hold.