Why is the Mainstream Media Giving ‘Pastor’ Terry Jones So Much Exposure to Burn the Quran?? by Davey D

So called Pastor Terry Jones is determined to burn copies of the Quran this Saturday, September 11th in Gainesville, Florida at his Dove Outreach Church. He’s doing this in spite receiving strong condemnations from some very power people like: Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton White House senior advisor David Axelrod and General David Petraeus who says such an act would put our troops in grave danger. This is all probably true. Such an act would undoubtedly fuel the flames in War on Terror and further embolden outfits like Al Qaueda who would use Terry Jone’s action as a recruiting tool.

With all that being said,  let’s be honest and let’s be clear  Terry Jones is a small fry in all this. Nobody in their right mind cares about a two-bit preacher who has a congregation of 50 people. They could be the most fundamental amongst hardcore fundamentalist and Terry Jones would not be on their radar except for one small detail,  he and his proposed actions are and will not be viewed in a vacuum.

Far too many of us here in the US sees things from the lens of  individualism. For many of us we have long written Terry Jones off as just one ‘nutcase’ from Florida. However, the rest of the world sees him as the tip of the iceberg of loud and raucous protests against buildings a Mosque near Ground Zero. The rest of the world sees Terry Jones alongside sitting Senators like Harry Reid and sitting Congressman like Peter King who have all but told Muslim-Americans that the constitutional amendment that grants freedom of religion really doesn’t apply to them.

While many Americans see Terry Jones a lone wolf, the rest of the world sees him as part of the loud chorus of American citizens to the tune of 20% who mistakenly believe that President Obama is a Muslim  us collectively saying there’s something wrong if he was.

Why has Pastor Terry Jones has been granted a world wide audience by mainstream media to spew his hatred for Islam

Terry Jones epitomizes the strong anti-muslim sentiment that has been allowed to be seen and heard all over the world, coming from loud, cantankerous anti-muslim pundits who are backed by large media conglomerates and given a global platform to speak hate and intolerance in our name.

Terry Jones is a problem only because mainstream news outlets decided to give him air time and blow him up. They made him the problem. They decided to show him acting a fool  versus showing the thousands of instances where American Christians and American muslims, work, eat, play and build with each other everyday. Unfortunately us getting along is a boring narrative as far as mainstream media is concerned.

In spite dwindling resources and shrinking budgets,  many news outlets have already found ways to fly reporters down to Florida, pay for hotels and equipment and have folks staked out to watch Doves Outreach Church like hawks. From Matt Lauer of the Today Show on down to the right-wing agitators at Fox News, all of them have been gleeful as they wait for the first Quran to burn..Thats when it’ll be on. That’s when the TV ratings are anticipated to rise.. For those who don’t know, our news media seems to thrive on crisis and chaos.  So if our troops suffer any harmful repercussions because a knucklehead Pastor in Florida burns a Quran, don’t just blame him, blame the mainstream outlets for making him a story too big to ignore and showing his foolishness sans true balance and countering images.

I recall the painful days and weeks after 9-11, when those of us in media, if we dared not carry the party line advocated by former President George Bush and spoke out against his call to fight a War on Terror, you paid a price. Many of us including myself and TV host Bill Maher lost our jobs. Others got death threats. For the most part much of the media fell in line and didn’t vary to far from the script that eventually led us into war.

During the weeks after 9-11, I recall watching a TV show called Like It Is which airs in NY where host Gil Noble had some Black preachers on who talked about their 9-11 experiences and thoughts. It was refreshing and counter to the constant arguments justifying our aggressive behavior. It was noted that their voices had been shut out and that many did not believe we should go to war.

A local preacher and former San Francisco supervisor here in the Bay Area named Amos Brown was vilified and shut down when he asked the question publicly, ‘What is it about our foreign policy that we need to look at and perhaps change that led to the 9-11 attacks’?

Brown had his name drugged through the coals. They said he was being insensitive and stirring up a hornets nest and even inviting more attacks.

I recall hearing him go on a local ABC affiliate  KGO to explain his remarks to host Ron Owens . Brown was not allowed to elaborate on any of the answers he gave to Owen’s one-sided questions. If i recall Owens actually said it was against his better judgement to bring Brown on the air and that he would not allow his radio show to be used as a platform to spew remarks he considered insensitive and divisive. Owens went on and on about how America had come together  in the wake of 9-11 and there was no room for remarks like Browns.

The former supervisor tried in vain to explain that as a Baptist Preacher the tradition is to always ask what you could learn from and what role you may have played in any mishap. Owens kept cutting him off and finally let him go. Brown was not allowed to fully explain himself as he bore the full brunt of a media shut down. Where’s the media shut down with this so-called Pastor Terry Jones? Brown made remarks at a funeral.. Jones wants to burn Qurans even though we had Muslim victims on 9-11..

Rev Jesse Jackson was shut down by both the government and our media when he attempted to broker peace around 9-11. Why is Pastor Jones allowed a platform to broker war? ..photo credit: Eric Guo

I recall doing an interview with Jesse Jackson a few days before we launched our attack on the Taliban when he got a phone call from when then Secretary of State Colin Powell. It happened right in the middle of our interview. Jesse had to drop our call to talk to Powell.. When we resumed, Jesse noted that he was asked to fall back with his anti-war remarks and abandon his proposed actions.  Jesse wanted to do something dramatic that would bring attention and hopefully result in Peace and Healing..If memory serves me correctly  I think he actually wanted to go and speak with the heads of the Taliban.. The Bush administration wasn’t trying to hear that and Jesse was shut down cut off from most of the media.

Pastor Jones is teaching us a lot in the days leading up to his protest. He’s exposing the blatant hypocrisy within many sectors of our media. He’s also exposing the timidness within many sectors of  our government. Of course a guy like Pastor Terry should be condemned, but where’s the chin checking of all those news outlets who time and time again with sensational, over-the-top coverage have painted America as being this intolerant country when it comes to Muslims?

If Bush could ban media pictures of dead coffins returning because it would be harmful in demoralizing the troops, maybe we should ban media outlets from showing any Qurans burning. After all aren’t we trying to protect our troops? Is this not about national security?  This question is being asked not to have a fast and hard policy where the government comes in enacts censorship but instead to make sure we are not giving lip service to the brave men and women we say on the battle field who we say we wanna protect.. Are we trying to unite or trying to divide?

something to ponder

written by Davey D

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Davey D: Hip Hop’s Renaissance Man is Mos Def

If there was ever a Renaissance man within Hip Hop it would no doubt be Mos Def. Here’s a man who does it all. He’s an incredible rapper, one of the best to come along in the past 10-15 years. He’s a talented singer who’s left his mark with songs ‘Umi Says’ off the ‘Black on Both Sides‘ album which pays homage to his mother and ‘Kalifornia’ off the Biker Boyz soundtrack.

Mos to date has put out 4 albums Black on Both Sides, The New Danger, True Magic and The Ecstatic. This is in addition to the Blackstar album. Unlike most artists who are pressured by a carnivorous and increasingly dysfunctional music industry, Mos takes his time and releases an album every couple of years. He’s his own man and keeps his own pace.

  • Mos Def is an Emmy nominated, award-winning talented actor who has done a stellar job in flicks like ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘The Woodsman’ and ‘Something the Lord Made’. He set to star opposite Don Cheadle and Wesly Snipes in the movie Toussaint which is a film about the Haitian revolution.

You name it Mos Def does it…We wont even talk about his activism and the numerous causes he’s shown support and been involved in. His most recent venture occurred this past Labor Day weekend, when he teamed up with NASA and the ISIS (Instituting Science in Schools) education project and astronaut Leland Melvin to promote the importance of science, engineering, technology and the importance of exploration.

200o people came out to Oakland's Chabot Space Center to see Mos Def & astronaut Leland Melvin in a 3 D Hologram

Mos and Leland Melvin using a new 3D hologram projection appeared at science festivals in both Oakland, California and Orlando, Florida where they stood side by side and delivered their inspiring messages. More than 2000 people showed up at Chabot Observatory in Oakland to peep Mos Def in 3D. Judging from the loud applause and brief conversations with many of the young attendees, he did not disappoint.

Such accomplishments have only added to Mos Def’s appeal and underscored why he can come to a place like the Bay Area stay an an entire week, do sold out shows in both big and small venues. He did this the other night at Oakland’s New Parrish when he and his partner Talib Kweli resurrected their landmark group Black Star and rocked two shows along with comedian Dave Chappelle. Two nights later Mos Def showed up as a solo act at San Francisco’s Independent nightclub on 628 Divisadero. And just like the New Parrish this venue sold out with less than a day’s notice.

Mos Def kicked off his set at SF Independent w/ the song 'Kalifornia'... Click HERE to see Mos def photo album

Always a man for the people Mos Def whose government name Dante Terrell Smith took the crowd to new heights when he brought out surprise guest Talib Kweli. Dave Chappelle was backstage chilling and watching the show. The fact that a man of his stature was there to enjoy the performance and was under no pressure to come on stage and ‘cheese’ for the audience, went to show you just how dope and respected is the man we call Mos Def.

What I like most about Mos is his willingness to give a full 100% in anything he does. A lot of artist should take a page from his book. When you come to town, park yourself there for minute and make yourself accessible to the fans. Do more than one show. Record a few tracks with the local artists and like Mos, give a different performance with each show. Give the audience what they’ve come to know and like you for, but at the same time you push the musical boundaries and give them something new.

Below is a link to my photo album showing more pictures of Mos Def at his SF show at the Independent..

Click HERE for Mos Def photo album of SF Independent Concert

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