You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Mosque Of The Inbred Death
Memo to America: STOP MAINSTREAMING THE FAKE MOSQUE CONTROVERSY.
Two fucking months ago, at the beginning of June, I discussed the fake controversy of the Ground Zero Mosque, which is two blocks from Ground Zero and isn't even really a mosque. It's the Joe the Plumber of Islamophobia, or it would be, if Joe The Plumber wasn't already the Joe The Plumber of Islamophobia.
Two months later, and not only are we still arguing about the ability of a private religious organization using private funds to put up a religious/cultural center on land they own, the debate has moved from crazy people like known moron Peter King, semi-discredited racist Mark Williams, and insane New York radio talk show hosts, all the way to the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.
And in case you were wondering, when it came right down to brass tacks, whether one of the premier opponents of religious bigotry in America would side with religious freedom, or sticking it to those damn Muslims, let's find out, shall we? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"We regard freedom of religion as a cornerstone of the American democracy, and that freedom must include the right of all Americans – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths – to build community centers and houses of worship. We categorically reject appeals to bigotry on the basis of religion, and condemn those whose opposition to this proposed Islamic Center is a manifestation of such bigotry."
Oh, excellent. Thank goodness. I was worried for a while there, because I'd written that whole intro, and it really sounded like I was going to have to slam the ADL for being bigots, and that would have been weird. Good thing there isn't any more to their statement than that.
"However, there are understandably strong passions and keen sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center site. We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel – and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001. The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found."
Motherfuckers. Jews are not usually known for having big buts, but this one's so huge it's got a yarmulke on each cheek.
If the controversy is counterproductive, then you penalize the people who created the counterproductive controversy in the first place - INSANE BIGOTS. Just because a bunch of morons are finding it politically expedient to be upset doesn't mean the target of the manufactured outrage needs to suffer. Well, except that those seem to be the ground rules these days. Ground rules so entrenched that even the ADL falls for them.
Also, can we get the fuck over 9/11 already? It's nine years later. The number of people who should have strong passions and keen sensibilities at this point is small enough that they shouldn't be granted carte blanche to run roughshod over the lives of the hundreds of millions of us who have moved on. You don't hear the Pearl Harbor Families and Newt Fucking Gingrich raising a ruckus every time someone opens a sushi restaurant near Pearl Harbor.
Hell, it's not even all the families who are feeling anguish over 9/11 that are in play here. There are a few, sure, but they've been shamelessly co-opted by Newt and Sarah and Fox and everyone else who thinks it's excellent for the 2010 elections if they can demonize some brown people that are outside Arizona for a change. And that demonizing has become so prevalent that not only are hardly any Democrats willing to go to bat for the Cordoba House (site of the proposed community center), but it's given Joystick Joe cover to throw a little of his patented gentle Arab-hate into the mix.
"Well, I guess I'd say I'm troubled by it. But I don't know enough to say it ought to be prohibited. But frankly I've heard enough about it, and read enough about it, that I wish someone in New York would just put the brakes on it for a while and take a look at this." - Joe Lieberman.
So you don't know enough to say it ought to be prohibited, but you've heard enough to wish that New York had prohibited it. Makes sense to me. Or at least as much sense as condemning the bigotry of people opposing the community center then blaming the community center for inciting it.
And in case there was any doubt in your mind that the right was just using this bullshit to position themselves for future political runs, Tim Pawlenty weighed in on it. Tim Pawlenty. Barely even governor anymore of a state so geographically and culturally distant from NYC that we wonder why delis put sesame seeds on donuts. And Timmeh was his usual loquacious self.
"I'm strongly opposed to the idea of putting a mosque anywhere near ground zero -- I think it's inappropriate. I believe that 3,000 of our fellow innocent citizens were killed in that area, and some ways from a patriotic standpoint, it's hallowed ground, it's sacred ground, and we should respect that. We shouldn't have images or activities that degrade or disrespect that in any way." - Timmeh, delicately fluffing the cock of wingnut site RealClearPolitics.
It must be pretty hallowed ground. That's why they haven't actually built anything there. But how far does hallowed ground extend? Do we kick the existing mosque near Ground Zero out? Who gets to decide what images or activities degrade or disrespect our patriotic hallowed ground? Tim Pawlenty? He's running for President, which is about as disrespectful to America as you can get.
So the Republicans are picking on a minority to score political points, the Democrats are unwilling to spend the political capital to defend the minority because they don't want to lose the votes of fiscally liberal bigots, and the media keeps it all going for the sake of ratings. Business as usual, in other words.