Friday, November 17, 2006

CNN's Offensive Pig

White people campaigning for Keith Ellison

I finally had a chance today to watch this clip on Media Matters. It has provided another point for the long list of reasons why I hate CNN.

The clip is CNN’s Glenn Beck interviewing Keith Ellison, the first Muslim ever to be elected to Congress.

Actually, it is not an interview at all – perhaps that came later. The clip is mostly Beck’s disclaimer, in which he prefaces his ridiculous ‘non-accusation’ with statements along the lines of, “I have Muslim friends, I have been to mosques, I love Muslims.” All stupid declarations that warn you that he is about to say something exceptionally idiotic. And then he did.

“I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’…I’m not accusing you of being an enemy, but that’s the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.”

Very much to his credit, Ellison handled the ‘non-accusation’ well, responding in an intelligent and controlled manner, and without becoming defensive. Perhaps he was seething on the inside. I would have been.

Glenn “Offensive Pig” Beck may as well have said, “Sir, you are not white and you are not Christian. What gives you a right to sit in the House of Representatives?”

And Beck obviously had not done his homework. Ellison has been open and forthcoming about his religion and what it means for him in a political context. A quick google search turned up these quotes from May 2006:

“I think it’s time for the United States to see a moderate Muslim voice, to see a face of Islam that is just like everybody else’s face. Perhaps it would be good for somebody who is Muslim to be in Congress, so that Muslims would feel like they are part of the body politic and that other Americans would know that we’re here to make a contribution to this country.”

“My faith informs me. My faith helps me to remember to be gentle, kind, considerate, fair, respectful. But I don’t make my faith something that other people have to deal with.”

Beck also made the statement that Ellison’s district was “heavily immigrant with Somalians”, and went on to imply that Ellison had only won his seat in Congress because his district is Muslim. I did not find information as to how many Somalians live in Minnesota’s 5th district, but I did find here that the population of the district is only 23% minority. What this means to me, is that some of the people that voted for Ellison must have been white and non-Muslim.

Beck made a complete arse of himself. His comments were nothing more than a blatant and shameful display of racism and ignorance. Not really surprising on CNN.

* Keith Ellison quotes from The Hill.


Anonymous A-Hole said...

Keith Ellison is the former spokesman for the Nation of Islam, hardly a "moderate" voice (please see any number of Louis Farakhan speeches/lectures/rants).

I have no problem stating directly what Mr. CNN implied; Keith Ellison is not a "moderate" voice, he only plays one on television.

I rue the day that this country turns into France, Germany, or Spain by continually appeasing radicals dressed as "moderates." It's bullshit.

Only the most idealistic and altruistic among us believe that Islam itself is a "religion of peace." The wool is officially over the eyes of his consitutents.

And before we go lauding Minnesota voters for their tolerance or what have you, let's remember that this is the same state that elected Jesse "The Body" Ventura as governor.

Enough said.

Monkey's Max said...

Asshole, I understand your concerns. But I have not been able to find anywhere that Ellison was a spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

From Minnesota Public Radio, June 30, 2006:

"Ellison says he favored Louis Farrakhan's teachings on certain subjects, like black self sufficiency and personal responsibility. He says his law-school writings and other activities were independent of any outside groups. Ellison says his only interaction with the Nation of Islam was for 18 months during the mid-1990s when he worked with the group to organize Minnesotans to attend the Million Man March. Ellison says he hasn't had any involvement with the group since that time and has never been a member of the organization.

"He says he was wrong to dismiss concerns about the group's anti-Semitic views and has learned to scrutinize the groups with which he works."

Anonymous A-Hole said...

BTW, Keith Ellison received significant campaign contributions from CAIR (an entire organization claiming to be "moderate" but actually having been proven to be funding radical Islam.)

Yeah, don't worry, the real problem lies with anyone doubting Keith Ellison. It could never be the case that radical Islamists would be intelligent or cunning enough to entrench themselves within our political system in the hope of affecting change. No, it coudn't possibly happen that way. And, I mean, even if they did, it wouldn't be like they'd pretend to be "moderate" or anything. I'm sure they'd just say "Allahu Akbar, infidel scum, vote for me or be beheaded."

Mr. Ellison's ties to the Nation of Islam and to CAIR are, quite obviously, proof of the fact that he's "moderate."

Yay Minnesota!

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Actually, as it turns out, they do scream "Allahu Akbar." It's just that they wait until after the election.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Well, you see, Mr. Ellison has backed away from his "one-time affiliation" with the Nation of Islam as quickly as he has backpedaled from CAIR, a group that has constantly referred to itself as "moderate" (a truly laughable and dishonest claim disproven repeatedly).

Here is an interesting look at "Keith X."

Monkey's Max said...

Asshole, I'm not going to argue with you. There is no way to win against your obsession with the evils of Islam.

However, the point I was making in my post is that Beck's question came from racism and ignorance, which is the problem that I have. As evidence, I emphasise that he prefaced his accusation with (paraphrasing), "Some of my best friends are Muslims, but...", rather than with a list of Ellison's alleged infractions - which would have been a more intelligent way to frame the accusation.

Beck has a problem with Ellison's politics and his religion. Fine. But ours is a pluralistic society, and we are supposed to have divergent views and beliefs represented in our government. And I don't believe the Muslims have sent Ellison in to take down the government from the inside.

I believe that George Bush is an enemy of the American people, but if I were going to accuse him of that on tv, I would have a list of reasons why I think so. I would not just say, "Some of my best friends are from Texas and some of my best friends are fascists, but..."

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Despite the obvious and peaceful indicators, I'm still having trouble determining what might constitute "moderate Islam."

"normal Muslim practices..."