Sandhya SomethingOrAnother is a “social change” reporter for the Washington Post. (Yes, the WaPo has such a beat.) Ms. Somashekhar (her surname copied and pasted) implied that WND columnist Pamela Geller ought to repent for staging a Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas, an event that was briefly attended by two, uninvited ISIS-Americans. Sandhya must have been angry because she called Geller, in error, “a housewife from Long Island.” Progressives don’t much like housewives.
Like most Geller haters, Somashekhar (her name copied and pasted) cited the Southern Poverty Law Center as her “scholarly” source for Geller’s hatefulness. The SPLC is a “leftist vigilante group,” explained Paul Gottfried, a real scholar. It is “unmistakably totalitarian in the drive to suppress and destroy deviationists from the party line on race, gender, and ‘discrimination.’” The “$PLC” is as dodgy in its financial dealings as it is in its strong-arming tactics. (Read “Is The Southern Poverty Law Center ($PLC) The Next Financial Bubble?”)
“Stupid,” ruled a less obscure enforcer of political correctness, Bill O’Reilly, on Geller’s event. Also at Fox News, host Martha MacCallum suggested Geller ought to have explored kinder, gentler ways of protesting Islam-imposed restrictions on expression.
The left-liberal Jon Stewart took the safe route. The idiotic urge to kill over any annoyance was the object of the satirist’s spoof. Stewart’s Thou Shall Not Kill skit was hardly cutting-edge comedy. So he livened up the tired shtick with a curtsy in the direction of the prophet’s avengers. Geller’s group, The American Freedom Defense Initiative, was about hate speech, warned Stewart.
The biggest clown in the media circus, however, was TV anchor Chris Cuomo. While Geller staged her vital challenge in private, Cuomo, a lawyer, flaunted his “smarts” in public. He tweeted that “hate speech” was unprotected by the Constitution. Not everyone was speechless. Another of CNN’s cretins, Alisyn Camerota, stood squarely in the corner of the victims: those poor ISIS-Americans whose descent into hell was hastened by a guard at Geller’s Garland cartoon contest.
It was difficult to tell what it was about Pamela Geller’s position on impolite and impolitic speech – echoed in the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights – that so puzzled Camerota. Brow furrowed, she battled to score points against Geller, in an exchange that was more amusing than the Mayweather-Pacquiao match (as ranked by National Review). Camerota came short.
ISIS and its local, low-IQ Abduls have since vowed to kill Pamela and anyone who shields her. Duly, Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren worried about the welfare of … law enforcement. Greta accused Geller of jeopardizing her security detail’s safety. How’s that for ridiculous? First, it is not Geller who is endangering the police; it’s those who would kill her for the words she mouths. Second, protection of an innocent citizen’s life, liberty and property is the one legitimate function of government. Besides which, Geller’s organization paid thousands out-of-pocket for protection.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION
Easily the most contemptible of Geller’s critics was a fellow called Jean-Baptiste Thoret, a film critic for the Charlie Hebdo magazine.
When Islamists hit Charlie Hebdo’s Paris headquarters, slaughtering a dozen of its cartoonists, the world, left and right, came out in support. When two ISIS-Americans stormed the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland this month, Jean-Baptiste, however, came out post-haste to distance the Hebdo from the Geller cartoons.
From his affectatious conversation with broadcaster Charlie Rose – Jean-Baptiste is French and has little to no English – one gleaned that he believed the sexualized, infantile, witless depictions of the prophet produced by the Hebdo crowd were clever. Conversely, Geller’s exhibit was unintelligent. Or so this fool implied.
Anyone who’s been made to watch a French film, serious or satirical, knows that the French have no sense of humor or irony. The last truly funny comedian to have made merry in France lived in the 17th century. He, too, was Jean-Baptiste: Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, aka Molière. To get a feel for what has since become of French comedy, watch Louis de Funès, whom the French consider a comedic giant. Even your typically humorless Hebdo cartoon – take the one in which the contours of Muhammad’s turban resemble his bare buns, accompanied by the caption, “And my butt, you like my butt?” – is wittier than Louis de Funès’ oeuvre.
Alluding to the intelligence with which Hebdo does commentary, Jean-Baptiste and pal Gerard Biard rejected any parallels between Charlie Hebdo’s defiance of Islamic blasphemy laws and Geller’s defiance of the same laws.
French cerebral agility is clearly as keen as French humor.
THE RED CONNECTION
During the communist era, certain, ever-accreting categories of people were deemed unworthy of personhood.
True right-wingers – members of the ancien régime, the clergy, the aristocracy, the bourgeois, the business and professional communities – they were “taken out of circulation” early on in the Bolshevik Revolution. Once the right had been eliminated, during the Great Terror (1936-38), “right-winger” became synonymous with Communists who harbored too great an affinity for the peasantry (in other words, were insufficiently enthusiastic about collectivization) and might have overseen the recrudescence of capitalistic practices (namely, making a living).
Maoist society, as “The Black Book of Communism” illustrates, promoted the “binary division between ‘red’ categories, such as workers, poor peasants, medium peasants, party cadres … martyrs of the revolution; and ‘black’ categories, such as landowners, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries, ‘evil elements,’ and right-wingers. … The labels stuck no matter what one did later. Even after an official rehabilitation, a right-winger would remain a target for mass campaigns and would never have the right to return to the city. …” (p. 486)
Broadly speaking, American civil and political society privileges radical left-liberalism. To be of the left is to be in the cool kids’ corner. Distilled, the double standard toward what is perceived as rightist speech (Geller’s) and left-wing freedom of expression (Hebdo’s) is, in my opinion, a holdover construct of communism.