Thursday, July 30, 2009

So, Glenn Beck, Obama is a "White Guy" Who "Has a Deep-Seated Hatred for White People"?

Crossposted at the Huffington Post

A friend of mine dug up a story from Media Matters that is from all the way back on February 12, 2007 that quotes radio and television host Glenn Beck as saying that Barack Obama is "colorless. You don't notice that he is black. So he might as well be white." Adding later the unbelievable (for multiple reasons) following lines: "But if somebody who is me -- I say, 'You don't even notice his color. He might as well be white. He's a white guy.' Doesn't matter. 'To white people.' Doesn't matter. That's racist," claiming that someone can say Obama is "not black" and be considered just stupid, but not a racist.

These comments, made so long ago, are interesting in light of Beck's recent comments on Fox and Friends, where he called Obama "a racist" and claimed that he (Obama) has shown himself "over and over again" to be "a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is..." While adding, interestingly enough, "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist." It seems to me that if someone shows us over and over again "a deep-seated hatred for white people" he should be considered anything but "colorless."

So, Glenn, putting aside the non-racial issues I have with a sentence that begins, "But if someone who is me -- I say" (excuse me?), and the interesting juxtaposition of stating that someone has a "deep-seated hatred for white people," but then claiming that you're "not saying he doesn't like white people" (dislike in no way being a prerequisite for hatred), explain this to the rest of us, please. Is it possible for a "colorless man" or a "White guy" to have a "deep-seated hatred for white people"? Is this some sort of white self-racism...with a person who is actually black...except in the eyes of "Color Blind" Glenn Beck...where he is colorless? C'mon Glenn, explain this to the rest of us who just don't have our finger on the pulse of the racial dialogue in this country the way you do.

Here's the thing, if it wasn't so obvious that these people (see: Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, et al., hosts and commentators alike) simply say things to make people look at them, to make people watch and listen to their shows, if they actually had positions upon which they stood and didn't contradict themselves constantly, then it might be worth the time to entertain their views in the ongoing political discussion. But, as it is, as they are so willing to change course, not out of rational thinking, but instead in attempts to simply shine the spotlight more in their direction, to keep their shows in the public eye, there is no real reason to consider their views thoughtful or, indeed, well thought out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ben Harper Nat Geo Video Courtesy of The Amazing Pudding

Once again The Amazing Pudding has some great music videos up, including this one from Ben Harper. (Check out all the slide guitar clips that Trevor put up here.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why the Hate Crimes Prevention Act Should be Attached to the Defense Bill

(Also published on the Huffington Post)

Let me state this up front: I'm not a fan of the political practice in Congress of attaching unrelated measures to bills that are considered must-pass legislation. I think it's a political tool that tarnishes our government and makes a mockery of what a legitimate government should be.

As the Senate votes today on broadening the definition of federal hate crimes to include people attacked based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities, Democrats have attached the Hate Crimes Law to the Defense Bill, which, if you have been paying attention at all over the last eight years, is about as "must-pass" as legislation gets in today's political climate. But I don't see this as an unrelated matter the way many Republicans in the Senate do, including Senator John McCain:

"While we have young Americans fighting and dying in two wars we're going to take up the hate-crimes bill," McCain said, "because the majority leader thinks that's more important, more important than legislation concerning the defense of this nation." And later: "The Senate will pass a highly controversial, highly explosive piece of legislation to be attached to the authorization for the defense and the security of this nation. That's wrong."

What exactly defines the defense and security of a nation? I would argue that the defense and security of the nation implies the defense and security of its citizenry, of its people. Otherwise, just what exactly are we defending? Now, say what you will about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but those who have supported these wars have always defended them as our only means to fight for the right of every U.S. citizen to continue to live that life promised to us, one in pursuit of happiness. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act is commonly referred to as the Matthew Shepard Act, named after a young man who was kidnapped, robbed, pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a fence in a remote, rural area, and left to die. Defending the American people is not only a matter of fighting people far away who might one day come to this country to try once again to do us harm. It's a matter of defending our people against the small-minded, bigoted, hate-filled people already within our borders who would seek to do harm to fellow citizens.

Attaching the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to the Defense Bill in not in contradiction to what that bill should do (i.e. help those looking to defend our country and its people). Indeed, the Hate Crime Prevention Act looks to do exactly what the Defense Bill should be set up to do: defend the nation and allow its people to live freely.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put it well when he said, "If their country doesn't stand up for them, if we don't stand up for them, who will?" It is important to fight against anyone who might look to bring terror (and a crime like the one perpetrated against Matthew Shepard is most certainly terror) into the lives of people only trying to live freely. Just because John McCain thinks it's more important to defend a uniformed soldier in Iraq than a young homosexual man in Wyoming doesn't mean the rest of us have to come to that same conclusion.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Radio Happy Hour All the Time



Radio Happy Hour will be extending its stay at LPR in October, November, and December.

RHH will wind up its summer performances with Andrew W.K. on August 8, take September off, and then return in all its glory to LPR on October 10.

If you've missed the first two episodes of Radio Happy Hour featuring Norah Jones and Michael Showalter, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or stream the show at RadioHappyHour.com. While you're at RHH's online home, watch out for your chance to submit suggestions as to who should be the special guests for the fall and winter shows.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Listen to Radio Happy Hour With Norah Jones



So, as I've mentioned here before, I've been lucky enough to do a little writing and editing work on my good friend Sam Osterhout's live show here in New York called Radio Happy Hour.

Well, now those of you who couldn't make it can listen online and see just what the heck this live radio broadcast that isn't really on the radio at all is all about.

We've got Michael Showalter as our guest in July and Andrew WK in August. And this first episode features the one and only, Ms. Norah Jones. She was a pro, by the way. Flew in from Spain that day (I think), read the script, and nailed it. She's hilarious. The whole thing is, in my opinion. And a couple of my jokes even got some small laughs.

Listen here, and check the Radio Happy Hour blog often for updates and hilarity in general from Sam Osterhout.

About Me

David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (www.indigestmag.com), an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine (www.guernicamag.com). His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post, mnartists.org, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.

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