Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Paki-Bashing

The saddest thing about the Don Imus caper, other than that large number of politicians, reporters, and media personalities who defended a man who viewed casual racism as a form of entertainment, was that the former CBS radio host represents just the tip of the iceberg. Note the following item from Media Matters regarding Republican activist and occassional Fox Noise Channel guest Debbie Schlussel:

Debbie Schlussel suspected VA Tech shooter might be a "Paki," part of
"terrorist attack"

Responding to the April 16 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, right-wing pundit
Debbie Schlussel "speculat[ed]" in an April 16 weblog post that the shooter,
who had been identified at that point only as a man of Asian descent, might
be a "Paki" Muslim and part of "a coordinated terrorist attack." "Paki" is a
disparaging term for a person of Pakistani descent.

Schlussel wrote, "The murderer has been identified by law enforcement and
media reports as a young Asian male," adding, "The Virginia Tech campus has
a very large Muslim community, many of which are from Pakistan." Schlussel
continued: "Pakis are considered 'Asian,' " and asked, "Were there two
[shooters] and was this a coordinated terrorist attack?" Schlussel asserted
that the reason she was "speculating that the 'Asian' gunman is a Pakistani
Muslim" was "[b]ecause law enforcement and the media strangely won't tell us
more specifically who the gunman is." Schlussel claimed that "[e]ven if it
does not turn out that the shooter is Muslim, this is a demonstration to
Muslim jihadists all over that it is extremely easy to shoot and kill
multiple American college students."

In updates to her posting, after more information became known about the
shooter, Schlussel first claimed that "[t]he shooter has now been identified
as a Chinese national here on a student visa," which she called "[y]et
another reason to stop letting in so many foreign students." Schlussel later
wrote that the killer was a "South Korean national." The killer was later
identified as Cho Seung-Hui, "a South Korean who was a resident alien in the
United States."

As Media Matters for America noted, in a December 18, 2006, online post
headlined "Barack Hussein Obama: Once a Muslim, Always A Muslim," Schlussel
argued that because Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) middle name is Hussein, his
late, estranged father was of Muslim descent, and he has shown interest in
his father's Kenyan heritage, Obama's "loyalties" must be called into
question. As Media Matters also noted, on the June 14 edition of MSNBC's
Scarborough Country, Schlussel falsely claimed that "there wasn't a peep"
from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) when Suha Arafat, wife of former
Palestinian National Authority president Yasir Arafat, stated that Israelis
"poison Palestinian water and air and cause cancer for them." In fact,
according to an October 6, 2000, New York Times article, Clinton disavowed
Arafat's remarks after receiving an official translation "hours later."

Schlussel is still trying to impy that the Virginia Tech tragedy was somehow a Muslim terrorist attack. Try to follow the convoluted case she makes in this April 18 posting:

"Yesterday, I wrote about the many mainstream media reports that Virginia Tech massacre perpetrator Cho Seung-Hui had "Ismail Ax" written in red ink on one of his arms. More on possible meanings of that, later.

All day long, bloggers and e-mailers sent me to the Flickr photo archive site, where an Indonesian Muslim woman, named Eldarossell, kept pics of "Me & My Family." One photo of "Ismail"--uploaded in August 2006--looked very much like Cho Seung-Hui and bore an interesting caption further telling us that it's the same guy. Strangely, since yesterday, that photo has been removed by Miss Eldarossell, though the rest of her photos remain up. Also removed were the many comments posted by visitors to the site noting that her friend (or relative?) "Ismail," sure looked like Cho Seung-Hui, and was probably him, given the caption she posted.

. . . So, the question remains: If Cho Seung-Hui is not "Ismail," then why would she remove the photo? I think we know the answer.

And by the way, if this is just a deranged, crazy kid, how did this immigrant student from S. Korea--with no military training--become such an excellent marksman?

("A doctor at a Blacksburg hospital described the injuries he saw Monday as "amazing" and the shooter as "brutal." . . . "There wasn't a shooting victim that didn't have less than three bullet wounds in them," said Dr. Joseph Cacioppo of Montgomery Regional Hospital.)

So who is Ismail? Is he Cho-Seung Hui? Why did Eldarossell suddenly remove his photo? Just asking."

Just asking. And just engaging in anti-Muslim McCarthyism. How long will it be until Lou Dobbs makes the Viriginia Tech massacre the platform for more anti-immigrant racist rants?


Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

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