Thursday, April 30, 2015
Movies must not make jokes involving Native Americans
IT LOOKS like Adam Sandler’s Netflix projects are already brewing up controversy. About a dozen Native American actors and actresses walked off the set of Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six, according to the Indian Country Today Media Network.
Per reports, the actors took offence to racially charged jokes and inaccuracies during the filming of the movie, which Sandler is developing for Netflix.
The streaming service, however, downplayed the controversy in a statement issued Thursday.
“The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous,” said a Netflix spokesperson. “It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularised, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of — but in on — the joke.”
According to ICTMN, some female Native American characters were given names Beaver’s Breath and No Bra.
“They just treated us as if we should just be on the side,” Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked off the set, told ICTMN. “When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy.”
The Ridiculous Six, a spoof of Western The Magnificent Seven, is the first in a four-movie deal between Sandler and Netflix that was announced last October. Will Forte, Steve Buscemi, Taylor Lautner, Terry Crews and Vanilla Ice will star, with Frank Coraci directing from a script by Sandler and Tim Herlihy.
The film is expected to hit Netflix next year.
Homosexuals must not talk to conservatives
Homosexual businessman Ian Reisner met with Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz. The two sat down last week in New York City to talk politics, specifically, their mutual views on the nation of Israel, but the conversation strayed into the issue of same-sex marriage — a topic where the two share opposite beliefs.
In response, homosexual activists announced boycotts on Reisner and his business partner’s establishments that cater to New York’s LGBT community. Reisner quickly issued an apology after the blowback: “I am shaken to my bones by the emails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake.” Reisner continued, “I was ignorant, naïve and much too quick in accepting a request to co-host a dinner with Cruz at my home without taking the time to completely understand all of his positions on gay rights.”
For Cruz — who explained to Reisner that he believes the states should decide the same-sex marriage debate — the meeting was a matter of engaging with people who might disagree with his views.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Katie Hopkins is criticised by the UNITED NATIONS after calling illegal immigrants 'cockroaches'
Being criticized by the hate-filled United Nations is a great honor
The UN's rights chief has urged Britain to crack down on tabloid newspapers inciting racial hatred after a columnist for The Sun called migrants 'cockroaches'.
In a hard-hitting statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Husein said Katie Hopkins had used language similar to that employed by some Rwandan media outlets in the run-up to the 1994 genocide, and by the Nazis in the 1930s.
He said the April 17 article in the newspaper was reflective of a 'nasty underbelly of racism that is characterising the migration debate in an increasing number of EU countries'.
This was also 'sapping compassion for the thousands of people fleeing conflict, human rights violations and economic deprivation who are drowning in the Mediterranean,' he said.
Zeid asked British authorities, media, and regulatory bodies to take immediate steps to stop racial and inflammatory articles.
The high commissioner said the Hopkins piece was 'simply one of the more extreme examples of thousands of anti-foreigner articles that have appeared in UK tabloids over the past two decades.'
Australian public broadcaster presenter fired over obnoxious Anzac tweets
SBS is the smaller of Australia's two taxpayer-funded broadcasters. That a far-Leftist had a job at SBS says much about SBS. ANZAC day is the day Australia remembers its war dead
An SBS presenter has been sacked over a vicious public attack on Australian Diggers ["digger" is a generally honorific term for a soldier in Australia] in which he implied that Anzacs [WWI Australian soldiers] were rapists and terrorists.
SBS managing director Michael Ebeid labelled the remarks inappropriate and disrespectful, saying they breached the broadcaster’s code of conduct and social media policy. “It’s not tenable to remain on air if your audience doesn’t respect or trust you,” he said.
Soccer reporter Scott McIntyre, who has a Twitter following of 30,000 people, shocked followers with a post which implied that Australians commemorating Anzac Day were “poorly-read ... drinkers and gamblers”.
He began his tirade about 5pm, calling Australia’s involvement in the World Wars an “imperialist invasion of a foreign nation”.
Later tweets read: “Wonder if the poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers pause today to consider the horror that all mankind suffered.”
“Remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by these ‘brave’ Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan,” said another post.
Followed by: “Not forgetting that the largest single-day terrorist attacks in history were committed by this nation & their allies in Hiroshima & Nagasaki.”
The tweets sparked outrage from Australian leaders, including Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull who labelled his comments “despicable”. “Difficult to think of more offensive or inappropriate comments,” Mr Turnbull tweeted. “Despicable remarks which deserve to be condemned.”
SBS issued a statement today from its managing director Mr Ebeid and its sport director Ken Shipp that McIntyre had been sacked.
“Late on Anzac Day, sports presenter Scott McIntyre made highly inappropriate and disrespectful comments via his twitter account which have caused his on-air position at SBS to become untenable,” the statement read.
“Mr McIntyre’s actions have breached the SBS Code of Conduct and social media policy and as a result, SBS has taken decisive action to terminate Mr McIntyre’s position at SBS, with immediate effect.
There is an extensive coverage of the free speech issues involved here but it seems to me that any business is entitled to fire employees who insult its customers -- and in this case the Australian public who pay the broadcaster's bills were very insulted. ANZAC day is Australia's remembrance day for its war dead and is Australia's most solemn day of the year. Leftists are always trying to disparage it but it goes from strength to strength despite them. The anti-Anzac play "The One Day of the Year" by Alan Seymour was written way back in 1958. It was at times set as reading in Australian High Schools -- but with no apparent effect
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Australian TV host causes outrage as she congratulates girl on her 'fair skin'
A petition has been launched asking for Sunrise's Samantha Armytage to apologise for comments she made on-air last month, dubbed by some viewers as 'racist'.
The cause of controversy came when the 37-year-old interviewed non-identical twins from the UK, Lucy and Maria Aylmer, who have become a sensation around the world due to their opposite skin tones.
Introducing the 18-year-old's, Armytage congratulated ginger-haired Lucy on getting 'her dad's fair skin,' saying 'good on her.'
'The Aylmer twins come from a mixed race family in the UK,' the Seven presenter's introduction began. 'Maria has taken after her half Jamaican mum with dark skin and brown eyes and curly dark hair, but Lucy got her dad's fair skin, good on her, along with straight red hair and blue eyes.'
Still, the comment wasn't received well by many viewers, who took to social media to express their displeasure and to accuse her of making a 'racist' remark.
In an interview with Seven's Hamish McLachlan, Samantha said she can be 'fragile at times' thanks to her grueling schedule, which she described as torturous. 'Remember I get up at 3:40 every morning - and sleep deprivation is a form of torture they used at Guantánamo Bay, so I can be fragile at times.'
I gather that the comment was directed at the problems of fair skin -- sunburn etc. It's only commenters who saw it as racial. The TV presenter was in fact trying to console the fair girl but did not choose her words with the precision that is required of public figures these days.
UPDATE: We also read: "Mixed race twins Lucy and Maria Aylmer have defended Samantha Armytage's comments about their skin colour on Sunrise last month, which were dubbed 'racist' by some viewers. On Tuesday Lucy, 18, released a statement on Facebook on behalf of her sister and mother, saying, 'we believe she did not meant this as a racial comment and we have taken no personal offence to it (sic)... Lucy and her family believe Armytage's comments were misinterpreted by viewers and what was made as a remark of solidarity has been perceived as racially offensive."
Feminist hatred of attractive women again
The yellow Protein World ad, currently plastered all over billboards around the London Underground, features a bikini-clad Renee next to text reading 'ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY?'
The sight of the 24-year-old's toned figure towering above train platforms has caused a stir among some feminists and body image campaigners, with a change.org petition started, general social media outrage and defacing of the posters by bloggers, angry at the perceived insinuation that only women who look like Renee are ready to go to the beach.
Online fitness store Protein World, who claim that the image is entirely unPhotoshopped, have been actively engaging in the furore on social media, strongly defending their campaign with some biting responses to aggrieved Tweeters.
'We are a nation of sympathisers for fatties,' a spokesperson for Protein World tweeted to one user after she signed the change.org petition calling for the removal of the advert. 'Why make your insecurities our problem?'
One critic of the ad has inspired her own hashtag - #growupharriet - as the company responded to her request about whether she, as a normal woman, was allowed on the beach with a collage of fitness magazine covers and the cheeky hashtag.
And now the blonde at the centre of the summer body storm has responded to the 'contradictory' drama, with a very level-headed argument citing the irony of people getting angry about body shaming, whilst body shaming her.
The vegan fitness fanatic told Huffington Post: 'I think nearly every ad campaign you have ever seen is open to interpretation. But saying the ad is body shaming by body shaming the image is very contradictory. Two wrongs don't make a right.'
Monday, April 27, 2015
Robert Downey Jr is accused of making a racist remark about Oscar-winning Mexican
Downey did a good job of mocking a nut with faint praise but mentioning that the nut was Mexican was a big offense
The actor, who is promoting his new film Avengers: Age of Ultron, was asked what he thought of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's claim that superhero movies were 'cultural genocide'.
The Hollywood star told The Guardian: 'Look I respect the heck out of him. I think for a man whose native tongue is Spanish to be able to put together a phrase like 'cultural genocide' just speaks to how bright he is.'
Mr Inarritu, who took home the Academy Award for best director for Birdman at this year's ceremony, slammed action films in an interview with Deadline in 2014.
He said: 'I sometimes enjoy them because they are basic and simple and go well with popcorn. The problem is that sometimes they purport to be profound, based on some Greek mythological kind of thing. And they are honestly very right wing.
He added: 'Superheroes…just the word hero bothers me. What the f*** does that mean?
'This is tasteless and kind of disgusting': Australian anti-vaccination group slammed after they compare immunisation of children to rape
A controversial anti-vaccination organisation has come under fire for comparing compulsory vaccination to rape in a social media post.
The Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network, an anti-vaccinations lobby group, posted an image to their Facebook page on Thursday which shows a man holding a woman with his hand over her mouth in an aggressive silencing gesture.
The tag line on the image read, 'Forced penetration. Really- no big deal, if it's just a vaccination needle and he's a doctor. Do you really "need" control over over your own choices?'.
The image was posted in response to tough new laws announced by Social Services Minister Scott Morrison earlier in April, which means that parents will no longer be able to access childcare benefits simply by signing a form that says they object to immunisation based on 'personal, philosophical or religious' reasons.
The new federal law, which was in part prompted by the death of one-month-old Riley Hughes from complications arising from whooping cough, means that parents who refuse to immunise their children are set to lose up to $15,000 a year for every child when the changes come into force from January 1, 2016.
The post, which has since been removed, caused an instant outcry from followers and opponents of the group alike, with social media users labelling the post 'tasteless', 'disgusting', and a possible trigger for those who had suffered sexual assault.
Fiona McCormack, the CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria said the comparison was 'so irresponsible and inappropriate'. 'To compare a doctor injecting a child against something like the measles to rape … it's obscene,' Ms McCormack told The Age.
Antivaxxers are paranoid and it burns them up that few people share their foolish fears -- so they resort to shock tactics -- which probably marginalizes them even further
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Controversial 'Killing Jews is Worship' posters will soon appear on New York City subways and buses
A controversial pro-Israel advocacy group known for publicly criticizing Islam can display its political advertisement containing the phrase 'Killing Jews is Worship' on New York City's buses, a judge ruled this week.
Judge John Koeltl said in a decision made public Tuesday that the incendiary ad is speech protected under the First Amendment.
He said he was sensitive to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's claim that the poster could incite violence and appreciates the efforts necessary to prevent violent attacks targeting Jewish people.
But he noted that substantially the same advertisement ran in San Francisco and Chicago in 2013 without incident. He added that examples of violent attacks cited by the MTA show that individuals may commit heinous acts without warning.
Koeltl also noted that the MTA and Chairman Thomas Prendergast 'underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements.'
'Under the First Amendment, the fear of such spontaneous attacks, without more, cannot override individuals' rights to freedom of expression,' Koeltl said in a ruling dated Monday.
MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said the agency is disappointed in the ruling and is preparing a response.
It came in a lawsuit filed last year by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization headed by firebrand blogger Pamela Geller that's behind the advertisement.
David Yerushalmi, a lawyer for the organization, said the decision 'sends a strong message both to government bureaucrats who would restrict our freedom of speech based upon what they perceive to be a global jihadist threat, and it also sends a telling message to our enemies abroad and at home: Their threats of violence will not prevent the courts from upholding the First Amendment.'
The lawsuit said Geller's group buys the advertisements to express its message on current events and public issues 'including issues such as Islam's hatred of Jews.'
In the ad, a man's menacing face wrapped with a checkered scarf is shown next to the quote, which is attributed to "Hamas MTV." It is followed by the words: 'That's his Jihad. What's yours?'
It also includes a disclaimer that the ad's display does not imply the MTA's endorsement of its views. The MTA, whose buses and subways have been forums for policy debates, has accepted other ads from the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
Monica Klein, a spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, noted in a statement that the mayor has said 'these anti-Islamic ads are outrageous, inflammatory and wrong, and have no place in New York City, or anywhere.'
Australia: Conservative organization uses Leftist tactics -- threats of disruption -- against the Left
There should be more of this. If there were, the Left might pull their horns in
The University of Sydney has refused to play host to an anti-war talk on Anzac Day, after members of nationalist group Reclaim Australia threatened to disrupt it.
The meeting, originally planned for Sunday April 26 and entitled ‘Anzac Day, the glorification of militarism and the drive to World War III’, was organised by the Socialist Equality Party (SEP).
‘The Great Aussie Patriot’, a Facebook page run by Sherman Burgess—the national events organiser of extreme right-wing group Reclaim Australia—was quick to pick up on the event, posting an image of a flyer for the debate (which was originally to take place in Burwood) and calling the party "pure Left Wing filth”. Followers were then encouraged to "gatecrash the meeting” in a post that was shared 187 times, which included demands for "traitors to be deported”.
SEP national secretary James Cogan told Honi that, "You can’t expect us to accept that a so called bastion of intellectual freedom will prevent us from doing what we’ve done numerous times and hold a public lecture in their facilities because of claims that there is going to be some sort of disturbance”.
However, the university told Cogan that the "potential for disruption to activities” was the reason for the cancellation.
"To turn around and refuse our hire request amounts to them joining with Burwood Council [who originally cancelled SEP’s event at Burwood Library Auditorium] in political censorship and it accommodates the demands of Reclaim Australia”
Friday, April 24, 2015
UK: Clever crack was disrespectful
A Ukip candidate was forced to apology after he appeared to mock the victims of the Mediterranean refugee crisis – just days after hundreds drowned.
Peter Endean, who is standing for Nigel Farage's party in council elections, re-tweeted an image with a caption that said: 'Labour's new floating voters. Coming to a country near you soon'.
Around 1,300 people are believed to have drowned in the past two weeks while trying to reach Europe in make-shift boats launched by people smugglers from Libya – with up to 950 perishing off the Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend alone.
Mr Endean, who is seeking election in Plymouth, Devon, and is also UKIP's communications manager for the city, has apologised and claims he re-tweeted it by mistake.
He said: 'I retweeted it by accident. It was not intentional and clearly a mistake. I apologise unreservedly.'
Earlier, Ukip's deputy chair Suzanne Evans described the situation as a 'devastating tragedy', but insisted Britain needed to be careful not to 'encourage' fleeing refugees from moving to the UK.
In Florida, Term ‘Climate Change’ is banned
Department of Environmental Protection officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
The policy goes beyond semantics and has affected reports, educational efforts and public policy in a department that has about 3,200 employees and $1.4 billion budget.
“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’ ” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”
Kristina Trotta, another former DEP employee who worked in Miami, said her supervisor told her not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in a 2014 staff meeting. “We were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact,” she said.
This matter is from a little while back but I have not mentioned it before so I thought I should say something about it at this juncture -- as Mr Obama has just been in Florida mocking it.
The instruction does appear to come from Governor Scott and he is within his rights in ordering it. It applies only to language used by government officials speaking on behalf of the government. As the head of the government, Scott is entitled to specify how his employees must behave while representing the government.
And presenting a shaky theory as fact is certainly well within the ambit of inappropriate behavior.
How employees behave in a private capacity is unrestricted, however.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Again: Must not use American Indian names
Even if you are one!
"A Native American woman has accused Facebook of being discriminatory after she was prevented from continuing to use her unusual name on the social media platform. Brenna Happy Cloud of Salem, Oregon, found herself locked out of her Facebook account last week.
With no access to her contacts, photos and messages, Happy Cloud admits it was a difficult time as she typically posts five or six times a day and has a large network of more than one thousand online friends.
Facebook's helpdesk eventually contacted Happy Cloud and asked for proof of identity and even a copy of her social security card. In order to get her account back online, Happy Cloud has had to change her screen name to her married name, Rojas, even though she is no longer with her husband.
Happy Cloud also said that she believes her Native American heritage has been undermined by Facebook's discriminatory policies.
UK: Must not disrespect fat
Loose Women panellist Jamelia has sparked controversy after insisting that shops should not stock clothes for obese women.
In a discussion about overweight teenagers, the 34-year-old mother-of-two said that obese women 'should feel uncomfortable' about their unhealthy size, and that high street stores should not be catering for them.
She said: 'I do not think it's right to facilitate people living an unhealthy lifestyle, in the same way I don't believe that a size zero should be available - it's not a healthy size for an average woman to be.'
Jamelia, who also claimed she was 'all for celebrating people as they are', added: 'I don't believe they [high street stores] should be providing clothes for below that range or above that range.
'Yes, have specialist shops, but you should feel uncomfortable if you are unhealthy... to be available in every High Street store, I don't think that's right.'
Viewers were quick to criticise the former singer's comments on Twitter, with many declaring she should be 'sacked' from the show, and not a single user taking her side.
Jamelia appeared to respond to today's Twitter backlash with a quote this afternoon. 'Never waste your time trying to explain, to people committed to misunderstanding you,' she tweeted to her 34,000 followers.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Horrors! TV host posts picture of herself in 'black face'
Fox Sports Australia will not take action against a freelance presenter who posted an Instagram picture of herself and a friend in blackface make-up.
Briony Ingerson posted the image from an 'African-themed party' almost three months ago, writing that the costume was as a light-hearted tribute to a friend who was working on Network Ten program 'I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!'.
I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! aired on Network Ten and involved more than a dozen identities camping under the stars in South Africa's Kruger National Park.
She used the hashtag #IHopeThisComesOff alongside the photo of herself painted in black, seemingly oblivious that people would take offence from her costume.
Must not joke about women
I am by no means a hardcore feminist, but I came across a status while browsing the homepage of my Facebook the other day that really bothered me: “Dating a woman with a child is like playing on someone else’s saved file.” [of a computer game]
Whereas it is obviously meant to be a joke, this statement is disturbing on a number of levels.
First off, comparing a single mother to a video game demonstrates a depersonalization of women. It seems to be saying that women are only there for men’s entertainment- to be played with and ultimately discarded as men please.
Second, it classifies single mothers as both used and undesirable.
Third, it expresses a total disregard for the child. This joke seems to be saying that because the child is not your own “achievement,” it is somehow meaningless.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Must not say women are different
Nigel Short, 49, said women were not suited to playing chess because it required logical thinking.
The chess commentator and writer said women should accept they were ‘hard-wired very differently’ and weren’t as adept at playing chess as men.
Mr Short, who was the first English player to play a World Chess Championship match, made the comments when explaining why there were so few women in competitive chess.
He told New in Chess magazine: ‘Why should [men and women] function in the same way? ‘One is not better than the other, we just have different skills. It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact.’
His comments mirror those of his rival Garry Kasparov, who infamously said: ‘Women, by their nature, are not exceptional chess players: they are not great fighters.’
Female chess players reacted angrily to Mr Short’s statements last night. Amanda Ross, the leader of the Casual Chess club in London, told The Daily Telegraph the comments were ‘incredibly damaging when someone so respected basically endorses sexism’.
Mr Short responded to Miss Ross’s comments on Twitter, writing: You seem to suffer from incomprehension. ‘Men and women do have different brains. This is a biological fact. ‘Furthermore, I never said women have inferior brains. That is your crude and false attempt to caricature me.’
Less than two per cent of grandmasters are female, but Hungarian Miss Polgar broke into the upper echelons of the game when she became one of the youngest grandmasters of all time at the age of 15.
Some things that may not be said
Conservative NY Jewish journalist Myron Magnet reminisces
Over the course of a year or two as the 1970s turned into the 1980s, I lost all my friends, for saying what I had recently come to believe. I was teaching at Columbia, and my friends were my English department colleagues, along with some of what used to be called the New York Intellectuals. But I was moving rightward politically, pushed by the reality I saw all around me in emphatically ungentrified Morningside Heights.
Maybe the criminal isn’t a victim, I hazarded at one dinner party. Maybe he’s to blame for his actions, not “society.” Maybe the real victim is, well, the victim. Shocked silence, as if I had flatulated. “That’s racist,” one guest muttered to her plate, tacitly admitting the not-to-be-mentioned truth that criminals were disproportionally minority.
Then conversation resumed on another topic, as if no noxious disturbance had occurred—certainly not one that polite society would acknowledge. In those days, every right-thinking person knew that crime had its “root causes” in poverty and racism
Later, I opined to another friend, a music professor, that rent control was an injustice to the landlord, confiscating what was rightfully his—and this in my friend’s rent-controlled apartment. “Do you want me to be homeless?” he spluttered incredulously. “Do you want to evict me from New York?” However tactless—one doesn’t speak about the Fifth Amendment takings clause in the house of the rent-controlled—I really wasn’t being personal. But alas, so ended another long and cherished friendship.
Later still, at Diana Trilling’s dinner table, I committed yet another of my irrepressible faux pas. Turning to Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, then the august daily book reviewer of the then-august New York Times, I asked, in all seriousness, “Don’t you think the whole effort of modernism—in architecture, in literature, in music, in painting—might have been a huge dead end, from which Western culture will painfully have to extricate itself?”
Shocked silence again, though all these decades later, the question still seems inexhaustibly interesting to me. But again, conversation resumed as if I hadn’t spoken and wasn’t there. As soon enough I wasn’t, for the invitations stopped.
Monday, April 20, 2015
College Serves Mexican Food at Intergalactic Night. Guess Why that Was Racist…
A University of California at Santa Clara official has apologized for a monthly college theme dinner, which has been deemed racist and culturally insensitive.
Stevenson College, part of the UCSC campus, chose ‘Intergalactic’ as its theme for the dinner. A photo of the preparations for the event were sent out on Twitter by a school official, Carolyn Golz:
But some took issue with the event. Why? Mexican food was served.
The unintended connection between space aliens and illegal aliens was later deemed inappropriate. As an official told Fox News Latino:
For (the sci-fi) event, students landed on Mexican food because they weren’t sure what food would work with the intergalactic theme. It sounds like an honest mistake – choosing a food for college night without thinking about how it could be perceived by others.
Incorrectness at Hollywood
The following article called "The Year Of Ethnic Castings" on Hollywood publication Deadline is causing great heartburn. See if you can guess why
There was a noticeable shift toward minority castings last season, with more parts opening up to ethnic actors, a casting term used for non-Caucasian thesps. It was a concerted effort, with more than one instance where a family member role was rewritten as adopted to make them ethnic. Then, following the success of freshman series How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Fresh Off The Boat, Jane the Virgin and especially Empire, which launched to huge ratings at the kickoff of pilot casting season, ethnic castings exploded this season.
The change is welcomed by talent agents who no longer have to call casting directors and ask them if they would possibly consider an ethnic actor for a part, knowing they would most likely be rejected. “I feel that the tide has turned,” one agent said. “I can pitch any actor for any role, and I think that’s good.”
Because of the sudden flood of roles for ethnic actors after years of suppressed opportunities for them, the talent pool of experienced minority performers — especially in the younger range — is pretty limited. That has led to a feeding frenzy, with a number of straight offers locking in ethnic talent before they could be snatched by another pilot.
This is not to say that there weren’t other hot commodities this pilot season; star names were in demand as usual, as were hot young guys and girls and occasional foreigners with that “sparkle.” But the big trend this pilot casting season was the huge spike in the number and prominence of roles that went to minority actors.
Some of it has been organic. Last year, the leads in Extant and How To Get Away With Murder, originally not written as black, became ethnic once stars of the caliber of Halle Berry and Viola Davis became interested. Such was the case with Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria, who both commanded on-air episodic orders from NBC when they committed to star in drama Shades Of Blue and comedy Telenovela, respectively, as well as Paula Patton, who lifted the cast-contingency off the ABC drama pilot Runner. (ABC and 20th TV cast Patten, who is black, knowing already that the male lead had been conceived as Hispanic. The role went to Adam Rodriguez.) That also was the case with meaty supporting roles on Fox’s Gotham last year, which went for Jada Pinkett Smith, and NBC drama pilot Endgame this time, landing Wesley Snipes.
Some of the outrage here. Must not even MENTION race in Hollywood, let alone question affirmative action.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Has the Bublé bubble burst?"
I have been waiting for ages to write that headline
Michael Bublé has been accused of body-shaming a woman while on holiday with his wife and 19-month-old son Noah, in Miami, Florida.
The 39-year-old singer left many fans unhappy after he posted a photograph which features an unidentified woman's backside in the background, with the singer noting: '#myhumps #babygotback #hungryshorts #onlyinmiami'
The photo shows a close shot of Michael in the foreground, with his arms crossed as he sports a form-fitting blue, V-neck T-shirt. Behind him, a woman at the counter sporting a pair of revealing booty shorts.
'There was something about this photo lu took ,that seemed worthy of instagram,' Michael noted of the shot, taken by his wife, Luisana Lopilato, 27.
The father-of-one followed that remark with a series of hashtags, in case it hadn't been clear what he was talking about: '#myhumps #babygotback #hungryshorts #onlyinmiami #picoftheday #beautifulbum'
But while the Haven't Met You Yet singer thought it was a harmless joke, plenty of followers on Instagram and Twitter took quite the offense to the photo.
Michael was bombarded with angry messages, such as one Twitter user who wrote: 'That's someone's daughter, dude.'
He has since responded to the controversy in a statement to UsWeekly, saying: 'I do not court controversy, but I realize that a photo that was meant to be complimentary and lighthearted has turned into a questionable issue.'
Friday, April 17, 2015
Political incorrectness in Saudi Arabia
Must not mention poverty, apparently
Despite offering several apologies, a Saudi man has found himself at the center of an unending furor of social media anger after Snapchatting an offensive selfie with a African immigrant girl who was rummaging through a dumpster in the kingdom.
While walking, Faisal Hafez noticed a young girl rummaging through the garbage, apparently looking for items that her family could resell or use. As the child was wearing an Al-Ittihad football jersey, Hafez said he found it humorous to see the jersey in the trash as he is a fan of rival football team Al-Ahli.
Hafez snapped the selfie and included a caption reading, “Look at where al-Ittihad is, in the bin.” Sharing the image via SnapChat, Hafez probably never realized the storm of anger the image would bring via Twitter.
The message quickly went viral at the beginning of last week, and tweeters within Saudi Arabia viewed the actions of Hafez not only as highly insensitive to the plight of the poor girl but also racist, as she is an African immigrant.
The storm on Twitter has already led Hafez to apologize publicly through several videos. He also brought presents to the girl and took more selfies with her and the gifts. He videoed himself handing her the presents, apologizing and kissing her head.
Still, social media hasn’t been satisfied with what they saw as a fake apology to downplay the controversy. Users shared the new selfie and continued to criticize the man and his “fake smiles.”
Young Hispanic responsible for hate daubs
A suburban Washington teenager reportedly has confessed to police that he vandalized a local synagogue.
Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza, 18, told detectives this week in Gaithersburg, Maryland, that he carried out the April 7 attack on the Shaare Torah Synagogue because he disliked the Jewish people who worshipped there, the WTOP radio station reported.
Espinoza-Carranza painted swastikas and other racist graffiti on the walls of the Conservative synagogue, according to WTOP, which cited law enforcement sources familiar with the case. He was charged under the state’s hate crimes law.
The teen was identified from a surveillance video taken at a 7-Eleven near the synagogue in which he appeared before and after the vandalism, according to the report.
He was apparently part of an Hispanic gang in the action. Subsequently denied being racist. No apparent KKK or political connections. I'm guessing that he will be voting Democrat, though -- like most Hispanics.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Store withdraws offensive 'blokey' joke book
"Bloke" is the British equivalent for "guy" but always refers to males
A 'blokey' joke book on sale at River Island containing an offensive joke about domestic violence has caused a Twitter storm prompting the high street brand to withdraw it from shelves.
The 'Very Blokey Joke Book' by Jake Harris, which was displayed in the high street brand's menswear department and is also available on Amazon, contains a quip about a man watching his wife being beaten up by friends.
'A man is watching his wife get beaten up by five men when the police arrive,' reads the joke.
'"Why didn't you help?"' asks one stunned cop. "Five seemed enough," the man replied,' in the offensive punchline.
Shocked Twitter users branded the joke 'horrific' and 'staggeringly offensive' and demanded action from the clothing brand.
A picture of the offensive joke was first tweeted by media commentator Tim Doble via @BetterThanToday who was shocked when he noticed the joke in the publication.
'Despicable!' was users response to the post, while another simply posted 'Wow!'
A joke is not meant to be a literal report but the humorless Left cannot be expected to understand that, I guess. The fact that it was labelled "blokey" was a warning that it might not be "correct"
Australia: Companies must not post tributes to war heroes
Woolworths still exists in Australia as the nation's biggest supermarket chain. "Anzac" (Australian and New Zealand Army corps) refers to the involvement of Australian and New Zealand troops in WWI, where many died due to bungles by British generals. Incompetence seems to be compulsory for British generals
The Minister of Veteran Affairs has lashed out at supermarket giant Woolworths for insulting the Anzac memory with a controversial social media campaign.
The grocery giant is grappling with a marketing disaster of monumental proportions after its Anzac commemoration website caused social media outrage by inviting users to share war tributes under the slogan "fresh in our memories".
Michael Ronaldson said the supermarket did not seek permission to use the word 'Anzac' and that its campaign was an insult to the memory of Australian diggers.
Under law, permission is needed for the use of the word Anzac in any such material and it must be granted by the Australian Government.
Companies that fail to obtain this permission are liable for fines of up to $50,000.
Ronaldson said he rang Woolworths on Tuesday night and demanded the company remove its campaign.
“The Australian community quite rightly expects that the word ‘Anzac’ is not trivialised or used inappropriately and as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, I am responsible for ensuring that any use of the word ‘Anzac’ does not provide commercial benefit to an organisation.
The campaign was pulled down shortly afterwards.
As a former member of both the reserves and the regular Australian army, I would have seen the campaign as a bit impertinent but not offensive
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
British bookmakers provoke outrage with 'joke' about African-American police beatings
Controversial bookmakers Paddy Power have provoked outrage with a 'joke' about the African-American police beatings.
In a tweet published ahead of Liverpool's clash against Newcastle tonight, the bookmakers appeared to make light of the issue in the wake of a succession of stories in the US regarding police shootings on African-Americans.
On the Paddy Power Offers page, a tweet was published that read: 'Newcastle have suffered more Kop beatings over the last 20 years than an unarmed African-American male'.
It was accompanied by a smirking picture of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and has resulted in a furious backlash on social media.
One said: 'This is the most disgusting tweet I've read in probably my entire time on Twitter.' She added: 'How dare you make the execution of Black men in America the butt of your jokes'.
Others lined up to condemn the bookmakers describing the tweet as 'deplorable', 'unbelievable', 'horrible' and 'disgusting'.
The following is said to be the most politically incorrect joke of all time
A sadist, a masochist, a murderer, a necrophiliac, a zoophiliac and a pyromaniac are all sitting on a bench in a mental institution.
"Let's have sex with a cat?" asked the zoophiliac.
"Let's have sex with the cat and then torture it?" says the sadist.
"Let's have sex with the cat, torture it and then kill it?" shouted the murderer.
"Let's have sex with the cat, torture it, kill it and then have sex with it again?" said the necrophiliac.
"Let's have sex with the cat, torture it, kill it, have sex with it again and then burn it?" said the pyromaniac.
There was silence, and then the masochist said: "Meow."
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Companies must not show sympathy
A company has copped a spray after making the 'tasteless decision' to link its product to the tragic murder of school teacher Stephanie Scott.
Pest control company Mortein posted a picture to the account of its mascot, Louie the Fly, along with '#putyourdressout', which was a widely shared hashtag in support of Ms Scott.
The post was accompanied by the caption: 'Even a nasty bug like me can sense it's been a sad week for our great country.I'm putting my vest out to support #putyourdressout. Enjoy this Sunday with your family. It's precious.'
The post was quickly attacked by people who dubbed it insensitive.
'There's a time and a place for everything, and Mortein had no place in posting an ad tying into Stephanie Scott,' one user tweeted.
'Tasteless decision by the social marketing team,' another said.
A very poor joke
The current climate of fear surrounding women has been done no favours by the insensitive fashion choice of one festival goer at Coachella.
A photo of the man wearing a shirt that says ‘eat, sleep, rape, repeat’ was tweeted by magazine editor Jemayel Khawaja and has people furious, with good reason.
Khawaja said it best in his tweet with the line “I’m not easy to offend, but this is shitty”.
Pushing boundaries has become a norm in the fashion industry, with many scrambling to grab the attention of others with their fashion choices. The shirt was spotted by another festival goer who also took to twitter to voice her anger.
He looks like a loser anyway
Monday, April 13, 2015
Must not mention bleach
Clorox has apologized for a seemingly harmless tweet about emojis that sparked outrage on Twitter. The tweet, which Clorox (CLX) since deleted, showed a Clorox bottle made up of the new emojis released by Apple (AAPL, Tech30) as part of this week's iOS 8.3 update. Clorox tweeted, "New emojis are alright but where's the bleach."
Apple's new iOS 8.3 release consists of 300 new emojis, including kissing lips, googly eyes and a smiling poop (we wish we were making that up). But they also include racially diverse emojis, including cartoon faces with brown and black skin.
In its tweet, Clorox seemed to be commenting on why bleach wasn't included among the hundreds of other household items that Apple had added to its list of emojis. But on social media, offense was taken.
"You need to clean up your PR person. Put some bleach on your distasteful marketing ideas," tweeted @DriNicole. "Black emojis were added today. Saying this implies you'd rather the emojis be only white, by adding bleach."
Even Muslims can't disrespect homosexuals now
A New York taxi driver has been ordered to pay a lesbian couple $10,000 in damages after he told them to stop kissing in the back of his cab.
Mohammed Dahbi discriminated against actress Kassie Thornton and her TV executive partner Christy Spitzer after ordering them to 'keep that behavior for the bedroom'.
He warned that if they ignored his request during the trip on September 18, 2011, he would throw them out.
When they got out, Dahbi also called the pair 'b*****', 'c****' and 'whores' after they refused to pay the fare and walked away.
He claimed during the city's Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings they were 'touching each other all over' and 'kissing heavily' .
But according to DNAinfo New York, Judge John Spooner disagreed and ordered him to pay the fine.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Must not mock foreign pronunciations
As Cinderella, Lily James repeats the line 'Have courage and be kind' ad nauseam.
However, her fans have accused the 26-year-old actress of being more than a little unkind to her Japanese audience after she appeared to poke fun at their accents on Instagram.
'Shinderera' premiere in Tokyo,' she wrote alongside a photograph of herself on the red carpet. 'The final stop on our tour and it was a beautiful cold night, thank you!'
'Tacky racist stereotype comment is pretty gross,' replied one commenter, while another added: 'Not sure if that's a racist comment or it's the real name there.'
Other fans quickly defended the Downton Abbey star, who played Lady Rose, pointing out that 'Shinderera' is how the film's title is pronounced in Japanese.
Must not encourage anorexics to eat more
Amazon has pulled a controversial computer game where players are encouraged to feed a cartoon character battling anorexia.
The game is based on children's favourite Whack-a-mole but instead of hitting the mole with a mallet players are invited to throw food at the cartoon girl.
It was marketed by SmartTouch media and sold on the Amazon and Android platforms until it was withdrawn following a string of angry complaints.
If the player misses the girl, she starts to lose weight until she eventually dies.
According to the game's instructions, which have now been withdrawn: 'It’s your time to become a real hero with this new amusing game Rescue The Anorexia Girl!
'You know, heroes are not just superheroes, flying in the skies, throwing rocks and fighting villains with supernatural powers. Anyone can be a hero, if he is willing to help others from the bottom of his heart. Start saving the day now!'
The game's designers continue: 'Anorexia is a serious disease and fatal if not cured in time. When you have anorexia, the desire to lose weight becomes more important than anything else.
However, social media users reacted with horror when they first saw the game on the internet.
Brian Cuban, who suffered from eating disorders wrote on his blog: 'The science of eating disorders is firm. They are biologically based and not a choice. Simply feeding “anorexia girl” isn’t going to cure anything; 'Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
'Games such as this play into stereotypes and stigma which could cause someone not to seek help.'
Someone should tell the critics it's just a game
Friday, April 10, 2015
Bill Maher accused of Islamophobia for comparing Zayn Malik to Boston marathon bomber
Bill Maher has received the outrage of One Direction fans online after comparing the former band member Zayn Malik to a terrorist.
During his Real Time show, the US talkshow host and comedian was discussing Zayn’s exit from the boyband when he likened him to the Boston marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
During a skit in his show, Maher said: “I think after everything we’ve been through, I at least deserve the common respect of being told face to face [that you’d quit One Direction]. “Just tell me two things Zayn. Which one of the band were you? “And where were you during the Boston marathon?”
At which point, the screen split to show images of Zane and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev side by side, while Maher suggested they looked similar.
The audience can be heard audibly gasping and then applauding on the video, which has been shared on YouTube.
Fans have set up an online petition calling for the host to apologise for the remarks, which they believe to be racist, and for using an “Islamophobic terrorist joke”.
'Racist' noose shirt pulled from shelves
Tavik, a surfing clothing company, issued an apology Monday after one of its T-shirt designs depicting a noose and the words "hang loose" created a backlash online.
The company removed the shirt from shelves after people on Twitter called the shirt both racist and insensitive to people affected by suicide.
"We sincerely apologize for any offense caused by this T-shirt. This item was released without going through proper protocols and is not related to anything other than surfing. We are pulling this item from retailers immediately," Tavik said in a written statement to USA TODAY Network.
Thursday, April 09, 2015
Controversial British TV personality says the unsayable
Controversial TV pundit Katie Hopkins has once again provoked outrage, branding dementia patients as 'bed blockers' and questioning the point of living with the disease.
In her latest outburst on Twitter, the 39-year-old tweeted: 'Dementia sufferers should not be blocking beds. 'What is the point of life when you no longer know you are living it? 'Bang me over the head.'
With 850,000 people living with the debilitating disease in the UK, most members of the public will have direct experience of family members or friends suffering the condition.
Hopkins' comment subsequently sparked an outpouring of disgust from followers, who retaliated calling her 'abysmal', adding she has taken it 'too far'.
And leading charity the Alzheimer's Society today reacted to the comments, condemning the tweet as 'disgraceful' and 'ill-informed'.
George McNamara, head of policy and public affairs at the charity, said: 'These disgraceful remarks only serve to reinforce the stigma that sadly prevents many people with dementia from feeling like valued members of society.'
Who is this racist?
He "stereotypes" both Jews and the inhabitants of Crete
For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group [Jews]. They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth.
I hope my Christian readers recognized that it's from chapter 1 of the apostle Paul's epistle to Titus in the New Testament. Paul obviously lacked the "advantage" of tutelage from the modern-day Left
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Even greyface is no good
Kylie Jenner has found herself at the center of another controversy this week after posting a series of photos from a recent shoot to Instagram in which the reality star is seen with dark, metallic makeup that some are claiming resemble blackface. Fans bashed the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star for the shoot, calling it insensitive and racist while demanding an apology from the star.
Gossip Cop reports that the photos, which were posted by Jenner herself to her own Instagram account, were shot by photographer Marcelo Cantu while close Kardashian friend Joyce Bonelli handled the star's makeup. The snaps show Jenner with darker skin and metallic highlights for an ultra-glam shot. However, some have taken great offense to the photos as they interpret the makeup from the shoot as an impression of blackface, especially after Jenner captioned one shot in particular with, "What I wish I looked like all the time thank you," further pressing the issue that she was making a statement about skin color.
Other fans, however, came to Jenner's defense, noting that the makeup is metallic and that a plethora of lighting conditions could have altered the appearance of the makeup.
In order to combat the racist rumors, Jenner spoke out regarding the artistic direction of the shot, telling fans, "This is a black light and neon lights people lets all calm down."
However, in the short time the photos have been posted to Instagram, fans have already sounded off regarding the insensitive pics.
Student humor hits trouble again. NOTHING African is amusing
A Princeton University group called Urban Congo was disbanded Monday after two videos of its performances allegedly mocking African culture surfaced over the weekend.
Urban Congo’s president apologized on Sunday and announced he would disband on Monday amid criticism from other students and people on social media.
One of the videos, which was taken down by the group but recorded and reposted to YouTube, shows Urban Congo’s members – most, if not all, of whom appear to be white males – with painted streaks on their faces and bodies, wearing loincloths, and banging on objects while chanting.
That video, which was from this past weekend, when the group performed the act as filler during the eXpressions dance show on Saturday night. The eXpressions Dance Company is Princeton’s oldest student-run dance group and puts on two shows a year.
The second, similar video that surfaced was from late 2014. The similar performance by Urban Congo was recorded during the annual Princeton Varsity Club “Tigers Got Talent” talent show in November, The Daily Princetonian reported.
In both videos, the audience can be heard laughing and cheering during Urban Congo’s performance.
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Sweden: Even a member of the Green/Left must not criticize Islamic practices
On March 9, the country's Social Democratic Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, was to address the foreign ministers of the Arab League assembled in Cairo.
Wallström had been invited by Arab League Secretary General Nabil el-Araby as a guest of honor. According to Egyptian sources, it is believed that the unusual offer to listen to a European foreign minister was made in light of Sweden's recent decision to recognize Palestine.
Wallström never got a chance to speak. According to her own explanation, she was blocked from addressing the meeting after protests by Saudi Arabia. "They have reacted strongly to what we have said about democracy and human rights," she told Swedish public radio. Secretary General el-Araby refused to comment, and spokespersons for the Swedish and Saudi embassies in Cairo were unavailable for comment.
It is unknown if the text of Wallström's address was distributed to the Arab foreign ministers before the meeting. They cannot, however, have been unaware that she had previously spoken out against the flogging of the Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, who was convicted of "insulting Islam," and that she had criticized the status of women's rights in the Gulf kingdom.
How many layers of bureaucracy does it take to write a joke these days?
The joyless Left is the enemy of humor, as well as much else
Comics at the BBC must go through a lengthy process to get some jokes on air because the Corporation is extra-wary about causing offence, an editor at the company has claimed.
Chris Sussman, executive editor for comedy, revealed particular jokes have to go through 'quite a lot of layers' to be approved.
Some jokes even have to be looked over by director general Lord Hall - alongside editorial policy advisers, the channel and legal advisers - before they are aired, he said.
Monday, April 06, 2015
Another noose! What fun! I wonder which Leftist will be found to have put it up this time?
The discovery of a noose at Duke University is only the latest in a string of racially charged incidents on campuses nationwide. Colleges might be serving as a crucible for America's seismic racial shifts.
Less than a week after the United States Department of Justice indicted a Georgia man for putting a noose around a civil rights statue at the University of Mississippi, students in Durham, N.C., early Wednesday discovered a noose hanging from a tree at Duke University.
The noose is the latest in a series of high-profile incidents at colleges in the United States, including revelations of racist fraternity chants at the University of Oklahoma and other schools, including Duke.
Hysterical "justice". Part of a witch-hunt on fraternities?
North Carolina State University disbanded a fraternity chapter Wednesday following the discovery of a notebook filled with sexist and racially offensive entries in a restaurant off campus.
University Chancellor Randy Woodson announced that the Tau Chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity was disbanded, effective immediately. The fraternity was ordered to immediately vacate its on-campus house.
Woodson's announcement comes one week after the notebook containing sexist and racist remarks attributed to Pi Kappa Phi fraternity members was found at a restaurant near campus. The book and its contents were then featured by a local television station.
The notebook was not found at or near the fraternity house nor was it linked to any particular fraternity member. Some people obviously supect that it was written by a fratertnity member but where is the proof? Is there any evidence at all? It could be just another Leftist provocation.
Sunday, April 05, 2015
Fat is unmentionable
The left’s assault on speech and common sense has taken on the cause of banning offensive emoticons.
Emoticons, just to be clear, are those cute little cartoonish characters that are used in emails and social media to add a touch of “feeling” when words won’t suffice.
According to offended hipsters at “Endangered Bodies” a group that challenges the “current toxic culture that promotes negative body image,” Facebook’s “feeling fat” emoticon has got to go – ASAP.
The group had launched a campaign to enlist people to sign their multinational petitions, demanding that the social media giant remove their “body shaming” emoticons before any more feelings are hurt.
The U.S. version of the petition already has over 16,000 supporters and growing…
Must not suggest that white women are more attractive than black ones
Cosmopolitan magazine's website is facing heavy criticism over a beauty-focused trends feature which compared old, 'dead' looks with fresh and 'gorgeous' new ones - and used only white models to showcase the on-trend fashions, while the only women of color featured were all said to be off-trend.
The article, which is entitled '21 Beauty Trends That Need to Die in 2015' has sparked outrage among readers, many of whom have taken to social media to call for a boycott of the publication, which used only five black models in the feature, labeling their 'outdated' looks with 'RIP'.
'This is blatant racism. Stop letting random white women submit articles and get a real staff @Cosmopolitan (sic),' one person wrote on Twitter.
The article features a number of famous faces, from Kendall Jenner, who is applauded for her 'berry-colored lip color' while black model Joan Smalls is criticized for her 'black lipstick', to former Glee star Naya Rivera, who 'noticeable contouring' was given the magazine's 'RIP' stamp of disapproval, while a Calvin Klein catwalk model's more subtle attempt was given the thumbs up.
Despite being published back in January of this year, the article's potentially discriminatory angle has only just been brought to light, after someone posted their views on the piece on Twitter.
Since then it has been shared thousands of times across several social media platforms, with many people demanding that the article be removed altogether - while others insist that Cosmopolitan issues a full apology for its actions.
Despite its apology however, it appears the magazine has made no effort to remove the offending article from its website - a fact which many of its critics have found incredibly insensitive.
Since a majority of Americans are white, it's a fair guess that they find whites more attractive. The magazine was just serving its audience
Friday, April 03, 2015
Why Offensive Speech Is Valuable
Offensive speech contributes to the marketplace of ideas by expanding its borders. If the marketplace of ideas is the area where “acceptable” ideas are freely exchanged, then outside is the “black” marketplace of ideas. There, people talk about things that are not allowed in the “official” marketplace. That sometimes includes conspiracy theories, racial hatemongering, and other pure lunacy, but it also includes things desperately needing a public airing.
For years, if not centuries, the field of sex research was hindered by taboo and puritanical censorship. Bigotry and prejudice towards homosexuality, divergent sexual desires of any sort, women’s sexual health, and sexual dysfunction caused researchers to be relegated to the black marketplace of ideas. In order to get out of the black market, they needed to offend.
By being offensive, comedians, authors, and artists helped bring sex research out of the darkness. By saying forbidden words in jokes and skits, by looking censors in the eyes and saying “cocksucker”—one of the words that famed comic Lenny Bruce was arrested for in 1961 in a San Francisco nightclub—the crass and the boorish opened up avenues of thought and discussion that were previously forbidden. Bruce said, “you break it down by talking about it.” Slowly, conversations about sex were freed from puritanical oversight, sex researchers illuminated a crucial part of human existence, and couples had more fun.
Those comics from the 60s who were “edgy” now seem quaint to our modern sensibilities. But there are always new innovators in the world of offensive speech, and no amount of government regulation will stop that.
People define themselves by being offensive. They express themselves through their willingness to stomp on prevailing sensitivities and, yes, even other’s feelings. Fostering self-expression and self-development is another important reason we have a strong and uncompromising First Amendment. As homosexuals who have “come out” know all too well, expressing something publicly is crucial to defining oneself.
Does this apply to those who hate other races, religions, and ethnicities? Yes. They have as much right to define themselves through speech as anyone. And those who abhor the hateful have a right to shun them, expose them, and call them out. Government prohibitions on hate speech drive the hateful underground, where they can proliferate freely and without pushback from those who dare not enter. Sunlight, not government, is the best disinfectant. I, for one, would like racists and bigots to speak freely. I want to know who not to invite to my parties.
Government is not as effective as civil society in properly squelching and shaming hateful speech. If the government defines the parameters of acceptable speech, then many people will break those boundaries just because the government told them not to do it. They will explore the hidden, underground world of hate speech just because it is a forbidden fruit. There they will find whole new ways to offend people because offensive people, like water, will always find a way.
In fact, there is no correlation between the strength of a country’s hate speech laws and the eradication of hateful views. Greece, for example, has passed laws that try to combat “certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.” Yet according to the Anti-Defamation League, 69 percent of Greeks hold anti-semitic views, compared to just 9 percent of Americans. Just like drug laws, driving hate speech underground will do little to eliminate the habit, and could make the situation worse.
So go forth and offend and be offended. Do it for Lenny Bruce.
Confederate display okayed in Florida
A Confederate-themed Civil War display that includes a controversial battle flag will go up as scheduled Thursday at Brevard County's main library in Cocoa — just as it has for the past decade.
After hearing speakers on both sides of the issue, the Brevard County Commission voted Tuesday against changing its policy on displays by the public at its libraries.
Commissioner voted 4-1 not to change county policy, fearing a change could be interpreted as censorship. "I do not want to start censoring," Commissioner Trudie Infantini said.
Tuesday's County Commission discussion followed a citizens' request filed by the Central Brevard County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP said it opposes the annual display by the Brevard County-based Confederate Sons Association of Florida Indian River Camp 47.
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear First Amendment Case Challenging School Ban on American Flag Shirts
In an order issued today without comment or explanation, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a high-profile First Amendment case challenging a California school district which banned several students from wearing shirts bearing the image of the American flag.
The case originated in 2010 when the Morgan Hill Unified School District forbid several students from wearing American flag-themed shirts on Cinco de Mayo over fears that their attire would spark racial violence between white and Hispanic students. School officials told the offending students to either turn their shirts inside out or go home. The students went home and subsequently filed a legal challenge alleging that the First Amendment had been violated because the school allowed a "heckler's veto" to trump their rights to peaceful free expression.
In February 2014, those students lost at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. "School officials anticipated violence or substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities, and their response was tailored to the circumstances," the 9th Circuit declared in Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District. "As a consequence, we conclude that school officials did not violate the students' rights to freedom of expression."
Notably, the 9th Circuit claimed that its ruling should be distinguished from the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1976 precedent in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, in which the Court invalidated the suspension of three public school students for wearing black armbands in silent protest of the Vietnam War. According to the Supreme Court in Tinker, while school officials may have based their actions "upon their fear of a disturbance from the wearing of the armband... in our system, undifferentiated fears or apprehension of disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression."
To say the least, the 9th Circuit's judgement in Dariano would appear to be in conflict with the central free speech holding of Tinker. In fact, none other than Mary Beth Tinker and John Tinker, two of the original plaintiffs from that 1976 case, filed a friend of the court brief supporting the students against the Morgan Hill Unified School District in their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"If students learn that threatening speakers is an effective way to suppress speech," the Tinkers told SCOTUS, "this will produce more threats, and more suppression of a wide range of other speech. And beyond this, even peaceful students will learn that free speech must yield whenever its opponents are willing to threaten violence—a message antithetical to all things this Court has tried to convey about the First Amendment."
Yet despite these strong free speech arguments, and despite the 9th Circuit's questionable adherence to First Amendment precedent, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Today's order leaves the 9th Circuit's decision in place.
The ACLU’s Hypocritical Defense of Laws That Violate Religious Liberty
One of the great ironies of our politics is that the American Civil Liberties Union is now actually hostile to traditional American civil liberties.
This is the conclusion one must draw from a letter the organization has sent to the House of Representatives, seeking to defend two District of Columbia laws that, under the guise of enforcing non-discrimination, undermine the First Amendment rights of private organizations.
Essentially, the ACLU seeks to defend regulations that require religious universities to provide their facilities for the use of student LGBT advocacy groups and that forbid religious organizations from firing employees whose personal conduct violates the morality to which the organizations are dedicated.
As I explain at greater length at Public Discourse, the ACLU’s zeal for “non-discrimination” here directly infringes on not just one but two fundamental constitutional freedoms—freedoms that the ACLU was originally founded to protect.
Under the First Amendment, Americans enjoy the freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has long held that this freedom includes as well a freedom of association. Since individuals have a right to free speech, they also have a right to band together and form organizations that exist to promote their views. This is precisely the constitutional freedom that is being exercised by organizations that are constituted to promote a particular moral and religious worldview, and that in pursuit of that aim must choose to employ and support only those who will assist them in this undertaking.
This principle should be precious to any freedom-loving American, regardless of partisanship or ideology. Without it, no Americans of any point of view could reliably cooperate in order to promote their shared ideas. Discarding this principle would permit the government to frustrate their efforts by making them employ or otherwise cooperate with people bent on undermining rather than advancing the organization’s cause. Since individuals usually are not powerful enough to make themselves heard without joining in associations with others, freedom of association is necessary to any effective form of freedom of speech.
There is, however, an additional problem. The organizations whose liberties the ACLU seeks to curtail are religious organizations, which means that their freedom to operate is protected not only by the First Amendment’s protection for freedom of speech and freedom of association, but also by its explicit protection for the “free exercise” of “religion.”
It is impossible for individuals to freely exercise their religion without permitting them to join into associations for that purpose. And such associations are rendered effectively useless if they must employ and otherwise work with people hostile to their purposes.
Again, these freedoms should be defended by all Americans. The ACLU is organized with a view to the defense of certain principles. In its mission it has often been aided by liberal religious organizations.
Neither the ACLU nor its allies could carry on their political and legal activism if the law could require them to employ people opposed to their purposes. To the extent that the ACLU wants this freedom for itself, it should respect it in others as well. This is the American way.
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Germanwings: can we no longer call mad people mad?
Apparently it is now forbidden to refer to someone who killed 149 people in a pointless act of mountainside barbarism as a ‘madman’. Seriously. The Sun found this out today after it dared to run with the headline ‘Madman in cockpit’ in relation to the Germanwings air disaster, which is now thought to have been a conscious and suicidal act of mass murder on the part of the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz.
Academics, tweeters and tabloid-loathers have, well, gone mad over the Sun’s headline, ironically frothing like loonies over the Sun’s use of loony-like language. I’m sorry, but if you can’t call someone who is suspected of killing 149 innocent souls in the most horrible and calculated fashion a ‘madman’, then who can be branded with the m-word? Anyone? No one?
It has been discovered that Lubitz was suffering from a mental illness, and officials now believe that this could have been a factor in his seeming decision to coolly crash his airplane into the side of the Alps. But according to the Guardian we must be super-careful in how we talk about Lubitz. It accuses the Sun of ‘stigmatising depression’ by referring to Lubitz as a ‘madman’.
This is bonkers (I have lots more of these madness-related adjectives): the Sun was describing Lubitz as a madman because he killed himself and 149 people in a bizarre way (allegedly), not because he was depressed. He behaved madly, hence the madman tag. What’s the problem?
British TV personality reported to police for 'inciting racial hatred' over tweets linking Pakistani men to Rochdale child sex abuse
The fact that courts and official enquiries have also linked Pakistani men to Rochdale child sex abuse doesn't matter, of course
Hopkins sent the tweets after Mr Danczuk attended the raising of a Pakistani flag over the town hall for half an hour on March 23 to mark Pakistan's National Day.
She wrote: 'Raising a Pakistani flag in Rochdale is not helping community cohesion. it is inflammatory. @SimonDanczuk you & your party disgust me.'
Outspoken Hopkins posted a series of messages to her account after the MP tweeted a picture of himself at the event.
In response the controversial columnist sent a picture of eight men convicted of child exploitation offences, asking Mr Danczuk if they were his friends too.
She wrote: 'Are these your friends too @SimonDanczuk? Is this why you are raising the Pakistani flag in Rochdale? 77 years inside.'
'Your Pakistani friends saw young white girls as fair game when they abused them,' she wrote in a separate post. 'Do NOT lecture me on community cohesion fool.'
Explaining his decision to make the complaint, the MP said it was about the businesswoman 'inciting racial hatred'.
He said: 'The letter is me asking the Police Commissioner to investigate whether a crime has been committed in relation to Katie Hopkins.'
He continued: 'It is not right that somebody who has little to do with Rochdale incited hatred of this kind.