Is that so damn hard?
Today it was.
Now when NPR lowers the standards by allowing women to be referred to on air as "chicks" because, apparently, some young Black woman wanted to pretend she was on MTV and not NPR, I cringe but that's it. (To be clear, I'm referring to a woman who is NPR staff. People who are guests on the programs can speak -- and should speak -- however they want.)
And I also agree with Juan Williams that, if you're Black, you'll only be allowed at NPR if you're willing to enter the petting zoo while everyone else hangs out at the Cantina. By that I mean, if you're White you can do anything and be anything. But if you're Black you better not have any more complexities than a pet sheep. That's really what got Juan fired and they can pretend otherwise all they want.
I am way to the left of Juan Williams but that doesn't mean I say, "Yea! He got fired!" He shouldn't have been fired. And if that's a topic you're new to you, refer to "NPR: Establishment radio (Ava and C.I.)."
But nothing prepared me for today's Morning Edition broadcast which was RACIST.
I've told you before, we were raised not to automatically go there. My parents were very clear that we called out racism but we made sure it was racism before we labeled it that. (That didn't mean that they had to agree with our call, only that we had to have given it thought and be able to explain why we made the call and able to back it up.)
My grandparents were the Civil Rights era and they passed on so many important lessons to my parents who had a whole other world thanks to that generation. By the same token, my parents didn't want my brother, my sisters and I to ever use "racism!" as an excuse. If we did that, we made it harder when real racism came along. That was drilled into us.
So when I say NPR was RACIST this morning, I didn't just form a thought. I went over the broadcast in my head, I went over it with co-workers, I went over it with friends and I even called my father and played it out for him.
Here's the segment. Thanks to C.I. for that. It's not listed in their breakdown here. If I was RACIST I guess I'd try to hide it too.
House Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri was the guest. He is Black. Steve Inskeep isn't. In an interview that's 3 minutes and 15 seconds, how many times should the host have cut off the guest?
For the record, I've listened to Morning Edition for years and exclusively for the last 3 years. Renee cut off a politician (White) once while I was listening. She explained that she was sorry but they were out of time. She cut him off at the end of the segment.
She did it politely.
Emanuel Cleaver was interviewed on air for 3 minutes and 15 seconds.
Steve Inskeep did not just cut him off at the end.
He cut him off three other times.
At 20 seconds in, the interview starts. It's really something. At 56 seconds, while Cleaver is speaking, Steve Inskeep cuts him off with, "very briefly, why is it so bad?"
C.I. caught something I did. I don't have her ears. (Wish I did.) But before he cuts Cleaver off, Steve Inskeep is clicking a pen and making some weird noise. Not just the second before, but several seconds before.
It's so damn rude.
Then Cleaver is explaining, "this is the weirdest thing I've ever seen. We've had this debt ceiling since 1917 and we probably never should have created it, at least our ancestors shouldn't have. And we've never seen a vote on the debt ceiling connected to the deficit reduction --"
And now, Cleaver will be cut off with, "Congressman, I'm sorry to interrupt, I just want to ask you a few questions." The interview isn't even half over. There was no, "We're running out of time." In each case, Cleaver was answering the question and speaking about something important.
And were he White, Steve would have let him finish a thought the way Steve always does. But bring on the President of the Black Caucus and Steve's going to tell what to answer and when to shut up.
Not only that Steve insists (to the Congressman) that "you have to make the numbers add up over the longterm" -- because Cleaver is too stupid to understand that on his own? Steve doesn't like the Congressman's vote so he's going to waste valuable time to lecture the Congressman.
I'm not remembering ANY WHITE POLITICIAN EVER BEING LECTURED AT BY STEVE INSKEEP.
He kisses their ass.
He did nothing, NOTHING, but disrespect the Black Congressman.
Cleaver tried to explain what was being missed with an answer which included that under the current plan "that means that you start cutting head start and many other programs that I think are valuable --"
Steve cuts him off again!
"Well then because those cuts, I'm so sorry" to cut him off. But he did it.
At that point, there was over 30 seconds left in the segment and YOU DAMN WELL BETTER BELIEVE THAT THE SECOND "HEAD START" WAS SPOKEN, A LOT OF LISTENERS LEANED TOWARDS THEIR RADIO.
I'm so offended.
NPR owes the Congressman an apology. They also need to send Steve Inskeep off to some sort of diversity training. When the 'interview' goes up with a transcript (it doesn't have one right now), you will see that Steve Inskeep spoke over the Congressman repeatedly and, while making the Congressman's responses brief, Stever was turning out essay questions and editorials.
There's no excuse for it. NPR owes ALL listeners an apology.
And, for the record, there's one more cut off coming. This one for 'time.' But notice how Steve clicks his pen repeatedly while the Congressman is speaking and makes some weird uh-uh-uh noise (which he did throughout the interview when the Congressman was speaking).
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Iraqi Christians made up a tiny section of Iraq's internal population but they compose a large portion of the refugee population. Throughout the Iraqi War, Christians have been repeatedly targeted. The most infamous attack is the October 31, 2010 attack on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad which was invaded and taken in the middle of a religious service. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reminds, "An October 31 attack on the Sayidat al-Nejat Cathedral, or Our Lady of Salvation Church, left 70 people dead and 75 wounded, including 51 congregants and two priests." David Kerr (CNA) notes, "The
In the aftermath of the attack on the Baghdad church, many Iraqi Christians fled the country and, of those who remained, many sought refuge in Mosul and other areas of northern Iraq. Violence against Iraqi Christians did not end with the October siege of the church in Baghdad. From last Wednesday's snapshot:
Friday, AFP reported the US House of Representatives -- by a 402 for and 20 against vote (all votes against were Republicans who cited economic reasons for voting against the proposal) -- called on US President Barack Obama to create a post of religious envoy citing the targeting of Coptic Christians in Egypt and "the treatment of Christians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Ahmadiyah Muslim minority in Pakistan, Bahais in Iran and Hindus in Bangladesh." In response to the House vote, Aswat al-Iraq reports, "A Member of the Iraqi Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee, Hassan Khudheir al-Hamdany, has said on Sunday that the U.S. appointment of an American Envoy to protect minorities in some countries, including Iraq, 'represents an interference in the country's internal affairs'." That's a rather touchy reaction since (a) Iraq was only one of the countries on the list (with Egypt got most of the attention) and (b) the measure still has to go to the US Senate.
Reuters notes a Kirkuk roadside bombing left two Iraqi soldiers injured, a Baquba attack left 3 Sahwa dead and 1 man was shot dead in a Baquba drive-by. Aswat al-Iraq adds a double Baghdad bombing left 2 people dead and six injured and late yesterday there was an attempt on the Ministry of the Electricity's Director of the Judicial Section, Ali Halim Hassan, who was not injured but two of his sons were injured.
Rudaw: What is the KRG's solution?
Dabbagh: All sides need to abide by international laws and respect their neighbors' borders. But the question is: How successful can we be in that regard? Can the KRG, with the assistance of the central government, (in Baghdad) implement laws that prohibit groups from using Iraq's soil to attack neighboring countries?
Rudaw: What if PJAK does not accept your solutions?
Dabbagh: If they do not accept, then we will take our stance. We hope that PJAK and PKK (the Kurdistan Workers' Party) put into practice their slogans. They believe that their existence is in the interest of Kurds. Let them define the Kurds' interests. Are the interests of the Kurds the same as PJAK's interests? If they are working for Kurds, they should not derail the achievements of the (Iraqi) Kurdistan Region. The KRG, despite being under pressure for years, has not yet succumbed to those pressures to oppose and fight PJAK and PKK. (Editor's note: PJAK is an offshoot of the PKK.)
adam vs. the man
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