Could You Imagine if Barack Obama Practice Witchcraft Like Tea Party Candidate Christine O’Donnell

Could you imagine if President Obama was found to have gone to some outing where he toyed around with the practices and rituals with a religion like Santa Muerta, Santeria or any number of Native American spiritual traditions? Folks would’ve had a field day..

It’s bad enough that Tea party types have focused in on his Kenyan background and have resurrected every stereotype in the book. It’s bad enough that we’ve seen numerous placards of President Obama dressed as a witch doctor (which he wasn’t) and because the stereotypes are so ingrained there’s no way to even look at the true history of the practice and glean better understanding. Such is this place called America where the slightest of things can be made into total condemnation of ones character.

While all these attacks are taking place, we have Christine O’Donnell the ultra religious Tea Party candidate who is now holding it down for the GOP in the fall contest for US Senate out of Delaware. A tape was put out via comedian HBO talk show host Bill Maher with her talking about how she was at some Satanic cult practicing witch craft. She din’t use the word Wicca she said Satanic and witchcraft.

Now she’s catching hell, but no one has showed up with nasty ‘witch doctor’ signs and I wonder why? We don’t have thousands of people outside O’Donnell’s front door with signs demanding that she go away the way we had thousands running around telling us to get rid of Islam.. And while I definitely disagree with the protest and outraged launched at our Muslim fellow American citizens, what was not lost on me was those who protested equated Islam with Evil aka Satan.. Here you have a candidate who said she was at an altar where they worshipped Satan…How much more evil can you get?

If they could stab Muslim cab drivers and urinate in Mosques and have sitting congressman and stand alongside angry mobs demanding a Mosque not be built in lower Manhattan, I fully expect them to demand that O’Donnell not run..If not than I think we should shine a light on the hypocrisy of the Tea Party zealots and their supporters.

-Davey D-

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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? 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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The Power of Words & Hate Speech-Where do We Draw the Line on Islam & the Ground Zero Mosque?

As you read this article, keep in mind whats been going on the past few days since i posted this..some right-wing radio stations are hosting polls asking if we should start registering practicing Muslims during time of war.. Keep this in mind as you read this and ask yourself is this really a mindless distraction or some real cause for alarm.. here’s the link to the story

-Davey D-

Sept 1 2010

The power of language and words should never be underestimated. They can inspire or inflame. They can move mountains or paralyze us. If broadcasted they can be maligning with serious physical and political consequences for those who are on the receiving end of a tirade and can’t speak back. It can embolden those who agree with the tirade and encourage them to act on anger and fear.  Words from those who have access to far-reaching platforms can set a responsible or irresponsible tone. We’re seeing this play out with the big debate around the proposed Community Center/ Mosque near Ground Zero, the site of the 9-11 attacks in New York.

Yesterday I heard about  a Mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee being burned to the ground. Last week in nearby Madera, California we heard about a Mosque being vandalized. Graffiti was left warning Muslims not to continue their plan to build a Mosque at Ground Zero. Instead of seeing our esteemed 4th estate (the media) go in and do investigative reports as to who was behind the attacks, we heard lots of justifications in the form of media pundits wanting to find out who might be behind the funding for project at Ground Zero. We didn’t hear about the trauma and angst worshippers of those vandalized places of worship may have felt. There hasn’t been too much conversation about suspicious activities leading up the vandalism. There weren’t a whole lot of   questions about whether or not it was a paramilitary ‘Minute Man’ type group or some knucklehead kids behind the vandalism?

Personally, I  wanna know if any of these groups opposed to a Mosque /Community Center being built near Ground Zero or any of these colorful, bombastic  individuals spewing so much hate are being funded?  Is it fair to ask if the Koch brothers who were recently exposed in an expose Covert Operations by New Yorker magazine as billionaire funders for the Tea Party, are funding Anti-Mosque/Anti-Muslim protests?  Could you imagine how deep reporters would go in, if there was even a hint that some synagogue was vandalized by an angry group of Muslims?

Good Day NY Host and military man Greg Kelly broadcasted on Good Day NY that anti-Muslim sentiments were non-existent

One of the attacks reported last week centers on a nutcase who ran up in a Mosque in Astoria, Queens and yelled out anti-Muslim slurs and then urinated on the prayer rug. The first thing that came to mind was what took place last Tuesday morning on the TV news show Good Day New York. Here anchor Greg Kelly who is a Lieutenant Colonel the Marine corps reserve and the son of NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly, rudely and pompously cut off his guest Elaine Brower and berated and dismissed her claims that she had experienced anti-Muslim sentiment at a rally that was held at Ground Zero over that weekend.You can peep the segment here: .

Kelly told the women her story sounded like hogwash. He then accused her of being in the same vein those who accused the Tea Party of racism but couldn’t produce a video proving their point. Kelly went on to say he lived near the area of the protests and he had not seen any evidence the people would act so hatefully.  His remarks were broadcast all around the country and because he’s a news anchor, many took his word at face value, especially knowing who his father was.. The thought is he above all would know best.

What was ironic was while Kelly was denying there was any anti-Muslim hysteria a video was making its way around the blogosphere showing a young Black man, accused of being a Muslim on the verge of being attacked by a frenzied mob at that weekend protest. People in crowd could be heard yelling ‘Mohammed is a Pig‘ while folks held up anti-muslim signs. You can peep the video here:

That morning I contacted Good Day NY and sent their news department a link to the video. Of course there was no retraction or acknowledgement. Now that we’ve had these other attacks,  I’ve watched to see if  Kelly would apologize or have the woman back on to state what she actually experienced that Sunday. But of course that’s not happening in 2010. I know we here at Hard Knock Radio are in the process of tracking down Elaine Brower at her organization  NYC Coalition to Stop Islamaphobia in America to invite her on our show where she can finish her sentences and fully explain what she experienced.

Sadly people like Kelly are not alone in denying there’s been little anti-Muslim sentiment. If anything, many actually feel justified in the anger they have expressed. The other day I got a tweet from someone stating that they Italy denies religious status to Islam & so should the USA.  Some one else hit me up stating that while this country has religious freedom the people behind the Mosque should show some class and move elsewhere. There was no sign or concern about the attacks. If anything folks felt that they deserved to be attacked for not moving. Such comments are indicative of both the sense of entitlement many feel as well their belief in nasty stereotypes and incidents hawked by media pundits that have nothing to do with Islam’s core beliefs.  Many have gone all out by  showing extreme intolerance and by equating Islam to terrorism. This has had dire consequences.

Ahmed Sharif was stabbed in the throat by a domestic terrorist named Michael Enright

The most serious and heavily publicized of these recent attacks on Muslims took place last week in New York when a cab driver  named, Ahmed Sharif was viciously attacked by some lunatic Islamaphobic passenger named Michael Enright. According to the reports, Enright asked if Sharif if he was a Muslim before stabbing him in the throat with a pocket knife. Sharif came inches to losing his life.

What was troubling to note was in the days after the attack many reporters described Enright as a 21-year-old ‘drunken’ film student. It seemed as if  horrible behavior was being explained away by him being  ‘boozed up’. My question was ‘Why not call him a ‘Domestic Terrorist’? That’s what he is..  So many people have been quick to call anyone who is Muslim a terrorist and Un-American,  why not refer to Enright as someone who is  treasonous? Why not describe him as someone who tramples on the Constitution? Lot’s of news outlets spent countless hours asking people if they would feel safe with a Mosque being built near Ground Zero, why won’t those same news outlets spend time asking cabbies who are or look like they are Middle Eastern or Muslim, if they feel safe picking up white passengers who may be holding extreme Islamaphobic views?

If we really wanna get deep, why not start unearthing questions and find out if Enright’s recently filming assignment of Marines on the front lines in Afghanistan led to him having so much hatred? Was that a key reason allowing him to dehumanizing Sharif?

Why not refer to Michael Enright as a domestic terrorist or is he just a poor lowly student film maker suffering from some sort of PST

It’s being reported that Enright ‘the film maker’ (notice how he’s constantly being humanized)  has been transferred to a psych ward on Riker’s Island.  This is in spite of the fact that the note books he was carrying was filled with ‘biased sentiments’.  They are also running stories about his bizarre drunken behavior in the past.

Again, the question that should be answered; Was it the war that Enright experienced in Afghanistan and should we be concerned that there are others like him as more and more combat troops return home? Or was Enright spawned on by hearing all this unchecked vitriol on broadcast media where Muslims are routinely castigated?  Was Enright’s actions the result of him hearing supposedly respectable politicians and pundits like Newt Gingrich who recently equated Muslims to Nazis or  Sarah Palin who recently advocated profiling Muslims? Should  Gingrich or Palin shoulder any responsibility for this attack? After all both have pointed in the past out how words used ‘irresponsibly’ have power.

Sarah Palin is always railing about the harmful effects of ‘biased media’, unfair coverage and how unchallenged punditry has caused distress to her and her family.  Newt Gingrich over the years has made no bones about  fearing certain types of speech along with his political colleagues who have made  moves to squash it.

Newt Gingrich recently equated Islam with Nazism

We can look back over the years and see how  Gingrich’s political cronies blamed rappers like Ice Cube and Ice T for instigating the riots that took place in 1992 in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict?  Ice Cube caught heat for songs like Black Korea and Ice T came under fire for Cop Killer.

All the controversy resulted in special Senate hearings being held while then Vice President Dan Quayle went in on both rappers?  A few years later in 1995, controversy erupted when 2Pac was sued by the estate of a Texas state trooper for the song Soulja’s Story where it was contended that the lyrics led to the trooper being killed by a crazed assailant.   It was just a two years ago Gingrich himself appeared on the Neil Cavuto show and blamed rap music for this disrespect Americans were showing one another. He stated…

We have tolerated the growth, whether it’s on MTV or it’s in a variety of other sources. We have tolerated a language. We have tolerated a kind of rap music. All of these things have been a coarsening, degrading process of saying to people, it is OK to ignore authority. It’s OK to be brutal. It’s OK to do really bad things. If we follow Gingrich’s line of thinking and conclude a steady diet of negative ‘music’ can have harmful effects can we make the case that steady diet of negative news punditry is also harmful? If so, then we have to look at what’s taking place around this debate about what should be built around Ground Zero with a larger lens.

We do know our country has taken great pains to limit and actually take out the broadcast mediums in places like Afghanistan and replace them with Voice of America. Our military has long complained about news outlets like Al Jazzera suggesting that their reporting on the War in Iraq was fanning the flames of our enemies. We made moves to censor the newspaper, remove their credentials we were accused of bombing them. We eventually hired a high-caliber PR firm called the Rendon Group to counter and limit their influence in the region.  Obviously our brightest military minds understand the power of words. They understand what sort of harm can take place when media outlets start whipping people into a frenzy. We saw this play out with Huto Power Radio in Rwanda which led to the horrific genocide.  We saw this play out in Nazi Germany under Hitler where Germans were whipped into a frenzy and eventually started attacking Jews.

Did Bill O'Reilly's relentless anti-abortion campaign lead to Dr George Tiller being killed?

It was just two years ago we saw the public get whipped into a frenzy around the issue of late-term abortions. Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly was at the helm as he spent months crusading against abortion doctor George Tiller In one of his infamous tirades O’Reilly stated;

“If we as a society allow an undefined mental health exception in late-term abortions, then babies can be killed for almost any reason… This is the kind of stuff that happened in Mao’s China and Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union… If we allow this, America will no longer be a noble nation… If we allow Dr. George Tiller and his acolytes to continue, we can no longer pass judgment on any behavior by anybody.”

Unfortunately some crazed individual named Scott Roeder believed the hype, took O’Reilly’s words to heart, went to a church in Wichita, Kansas and in cold blood, shot Dr George Tiller who was serving as an usher.

Bill O'reilly denies his vicious slander of Dr Tiller caused him to be a victim to violence, yet he feels Jennifer Aniston's remarks will harm 13 year old girls?

Many said O’Reilly had the blood of Tiller on his hands. He said he felt like he did nothing wrong while his supporters pointed to free speech and first amendment rights. O’Reilly fans felt it was an ‘illogical’ conclusion to see him as contributing to Tiller’s death because of his on air remarks which they saw as pointed but harmless.  However, this is the same Bill O’Reilly who like Gingrich had  taken a number of entertainers to task including rappers Ludicrous and Jay-Z and most recently actress Jennifer Aniston for ‘being irresponsible’ with their words.

In the recent case with Aniston, O’Reilly went to town on her, accusing her negatively influencing 12 and 13 year olds after she said women don’t need men to have a child. This came out during an interview in which Aniston was promoting her new movie  ‘The Switch’ which is about artificial insemination.

One could make the case that if we’re supposed to be concerned about Aniston negatively influencing 12-13 year old girls about single motherhood, should we be concerned about how O’Reilly might be negatively influenceing 12- 13 year old boys when we look at how he handles his guests by screaming and shouting or how he handled the Loofa sponge scandal a few years back?  What sort of negative influence does a man who preaches we should have high moral standing have when he was sued by his producer Andrea Macktris for sexual harrassment?

Many say cop killer Richard Poplawski was influenced by the anti-government rantings of media pundits Glenn Beck and Alex Jones

The bottom line is that words especially those that are broadcasted have influence. We can cite dozens of examples of individuals who have acted out violently after being whipped into a frenzy by fiery media pundits who get to speak unopposed on the airways  They range from anti-government zealot Richard Poplawski who murdered 3 Pittsburgh, PA  police officers in April of 2009 to  Joseph Andrew Stack who flew his plane into an Austin, Texas, IRS building killing former Vietnam Vet and IRS manager Vernon Hunter this past February to Byron Christopher Williams a California man who last month while armed to the hilt and wearing body armor, shot it out with police on the 580 Freeway in Oakland. Williams was on his way to San Francisco to kill ACLU and Tide Foundation workers who he felt were ruining this country based upon the fear mongering of news pundits.

In many of these instances its been pointed out that  these attackers were ginned up from listening to inciteful right-wing anti-government media pundits.  Why do these announcers get a pass and are allowed to incite violence while others are reigned in, penalized and shut down for far less egregious remarks

Why is that TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey can go on TV and express criticism about eating meat and get sued by the cattle industry who accused her of causing prices to fall but those Muslims who now find themselves under  attack are literally being told to keep quiet and move?

Kanye West came underfire from the powerful Diamond industry when he warned his fans about buying 'Confict' diamonds

Why is that rap star Kanye West speak out about the harmful impact of Blood diamonds and have the Diamond Industry upset with him and eventually step to him, but those who are marginalized and demaonzied by right-wing talk are told to grow a pair and only see this as entertainment?

Back in the days, how could we have NWA do a song like Fuck Tha Police and not only do they get a letter from the FBI condemning the song, but have police departments all over the country refuse to let the group perform the song at venues they patrolled. The one time they attempted to perform the song, in Detroit, 20 plain clothes officers rushed the stage and attacked the group. One might ask where’s that same heavy hand of the law to reign in those attacking Muslims on the air today?

Is it wrong to be concerned when powerful media outlets seem to be working overtime demonizing various groups of people?  Today its Muslims and the issue of terrorism. Yesterday it was Brown folks and the fervor over immigration and ‘anchor babies’.  The day before it was Black folks and the war on drugs. The constant fearmongering has led to politicians taking note on certain issues and crafting legislation around what was being tossed up as something to fear.

From 3 Strikes to SB 1070, fear mongering in the media was an essential component in getting these laws on the books. With the current debate around Muslims in America  who knows what crazy law will be thought up and pushed for passage. We already gave up lots of privacy and Civil Liberties after 9-11 under the guise ‘we need to keep the country safe’. Will we find ourselves returning to the days of internment camps where we locked up thousand of Japanese-American citizens during World War II while  allowing our German-American citizens to be free even after some formed a Nazi Party here in the US?

Gov david patterson has pushed for Ground Zero Mosque/ Community center Builder to find another location.

All of us should be concerned when we have sitting Governors like NY’s David Patterson and US Senators like Harry Reid telling a group of American citizens it would be a good idea and smart thing to move their community center/ Mosque because people’s feelings are raw.

One must move because people are feeling hurt? It wasn’t the builders of the ground Zero/Mosque/ Community center who flew those planes into the building. This setting a bad precedent?  Where do we stop and draw the line?

Should we ban gas stations especially if we know the gas is coming from Muslim countries? Did any of the anti-Mosque protestors stop driving or using gas? Hell have they even picketed gas stations expressing their angst? Just how hurt are they?

If we allow the anti-Muslim crowd to get its way can we extend this to other victims? Can survivors of Hurricane Katrina demand that no new housing that further displaces them be built in the 9th Ward because they’re still in shock and traumatized? Can we go on the air waves and bash on developers and make them feel unsafe for rebuilding?

Can we ban the building of Catholic churches because children have been molested by clergy members? Should we take to the airwaves and shout down anyone who is Catholic? Can we start demonizing our Catholic neighbors? Perhaps we can tell the schools in our area to relocate because folks have been hurt by a few individuals who claim that faith.

Don’t get me wrong censorship is not being advocated. However what does one do when fairness and common sense are absent from those who have large and loud media platforms? What do we do as a society when media which is increasingly becoming consolidated even on the web is being used as a vicious weapon and propoganda tool against folks who are marginalized and dont have a voice? How this Mosque thing plays out will set things in motion for years to come. I’m not sure what all the answers should be but I hope all of us put our heads together and start with the premise we are all human and have right to be here.

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