Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Yep, he's a racist

Via Billmon:
Newsday is reporting Bob Lonsberry, a conservative talk-show host at WHAM, Rochester, has now been fired after more than a week of intense criticism over recent remarks.

It all began when Lonsberry made on-air comments that alluded to the black Mayor of Rochester, Mayor William Johnson Jr., as a monkey and orangutan."

Nobody can deny there's a serious undertone of racism to this 'war', from the menacing photos of Iraqi, Afghani, and other Middle Eastern civilians to the semi-religious anti-Muslim rhetoric. The terminology I see on Fox and CNN generally follows the line of "Radical cleric," etc., as if religious monomania were the only thing driving our enemies. We easily fall into the trap of categorizing the Dark Man as the Dark Man. Race becomes the physical representation of political debate, and the excuse for removing oneself from participation in that debate. Lonsberry's remarks, I feel, were race-based, and firmly rooted in the notion that the people of Iraq are sub-human. Why else would he say it's okay for the people we 'saved' to die? Fucked up rhetoric aside, I'm just glad he was fired. We don't need vitriol fuelling the flames of this war.

What we do need, unfortunately, is an open and honest discussion about why this war was so easy for this country, why we fell into it so easily, why we perpetuated the racially-related mistakes of the past - I think of the Japanese concentration camps of World War II, for example. Because if any part of that reason, any tiny part, has to do with the color of Iraqi skin... you finish this sentence. I can't.

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