Every now and again I turn on the radio in my car to 770 AM, WABC in the New York City suburbs, and listen to conservative radio. Do I find myself agreeing with everything that’s said? No; but sometimes I find oddly-placed nuggets of wisdom and even, with folks like John Batchelor, reasonable people with sane ideas. Today I was expecting to hear Rush Limbaugh, a man far less prone to such insight, and I instead got his fill-in host, Mark Steyn.
Now, Mr. Steyn took a number of calls on today’s “Open-Phone Friday,” and on the first of them a caller whose name I couldn’t care enough to remember remarked that the “fifty-three percent” that elected President Obama in 2008 were largely made up of first-time voters. She declared she needed to put aside the fear of offending people and announced that Obama “played that card,” alleging that most of such voters were just trying to elect the first Black president. Mr. Steyn didn’t counter this argument or even offer tepid acceptance – he added that “guilty white liberals” voted for Mr. Obama simply to be a part of such a historical event. The shockingly-simple concept of “people trusted Barack Obama over John McCain” never entered into the discussion.
A second caller declared that he was a “traitor” because he was a self-described “Black Conservative.” Mr. Steyn proceeded to discuss how he was “no longer Black,” because one “can’t be both.” He also said that Sarah Palin couldn’t be a woman because she was Conservative. Now, this is a little more of a forgivable thing in my eyes; one of the listed contributors on this site and a long-time personal friend of mine is a Black Conservative, and we both are guilty of poking fun at that notion. Had this been the only incident of the day, I wouldn’t honestly have thought twice about it.
Mr. Steyn topped off his insanity by discussing how the idea of a “day of service” in honor of September 11th is a terrible way to handle it. Now, the idea of using the thousands of dead as a bayonet to compel volunteerism is lame even in my eyes – if people want to volunteer, they will; if they don’t, the memory of 9/11 won’t get anywhere. However, Mr. Steyn not only failed to grasp that serving one’s country is a valid way to express support for it, and serving one’s community is a way to help one’s country.
No…He went on to describe how “multi-culty” beliefs (that is, a belief in the good of multiculturalism) will lead people not to believe that there are “enemies,” but “only friends that we haven’t hugged” enough to get along with. This is a completely false dilemma; embracing multiculturalism does not mandate that enemies don’t exist, while viewing things in a “friends or enemies” light along cultural lines is far too close to condemning the entire culture of the “enemy” as the problem. A vast number of Muslims refuse to consider men such as Osama Bin Laden as representing their faith, and such villains slaughtered those of their own culture regularly. How, then, do you determine the “enemy?”
Any one of these statements that Mr. Steyn made would qualify as idiotic and illogical, much like his belief that some people will spend their Sunday, September 11th, 2011 mourning in ways that he described as “huggy” “drivel.” Such things are simply asinine and incomprehensibly stupid, to be perfectly blunt. That he would dare to condemn people based on how they mourn their losses is sickening almost beyond words. That behavior is concrete proof that the man is deranged.
Sadly, throughout the course of his airtime, Mr. Steyn also offered multiple views that were clearly based on his views about race. Had it only been one comment, perhaps it might have been written off with the same brush as his idiocy. I absolutely despise the way so many people claim that opposition to President Obama (of which I offer all on my own) is solely based on his race. I don’t believe in just assuming that something is derived from one’s beliefs about race. There’s plenty of other factors that are involved in human decision making, most of which are far more self-serving than hatred (see: Profit). However, in this case, I view it like the old saying: “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck – its probably a duck.”
If you speak like a racist, use race as an excuse for people’s actions, and paint an entire culture with a single brush, then you – my not-friend – are a racist.