Profiles in Hypocrisy

63 Comments

One of the hottest news on national TV in US in the last few days has been of Cynthia McKinney, an African-American Congresswoman from Georgia who was entering an official building without her Senator pin. On being asked to stop by a policeman, she refused to do so (possibly considering herself above the law) and then when the policeman tried to physically prevent her from entering [by gripping her arm], she assaulted the police officer. (kind of like an American soul sister of Uma Bharati who once hit a policeman with her chappal) and just to make her martyrdom complete, also threw in the accusation that she was “inappropriately touched” .

While right-minded people would say that the policeman was merely doing his job, the liberals represented by the Democrats started shouting “racial discrimination” and “profiling” —two extremely dirty words in the American lexicon. According to them, Ms McKinney was stopped from entering the building only because she was black and that “act of discrimination” somehow justified her actions of striking a police officer (She has subsequently apologized for striking an officer).

And while successions of liberals expressed their outrage at racial profiling, I could not help but snicker.

A few weeks ago, these same “liberal” Democrats were giving sound bytes condemning how national security was compromised by giving contracts to run certain American ports to a Dubai-based company. Their argument was that 2 of the 9/11 hijackers were UAE citizens and that the UAE has recognized the Taliban. As a result, an UAE-based company was a security risk. Despite the fact that the company won the contract fairly, they had to withdraw due to the massive uproar orchestrated by the Democrats and disgruntled units inside the Republican party.

An entity was thus “profiled” and denied business purely based on their religion/country of origin (remember there are no sanctions against UAE). And the liberals felt no compunction in making the connection between Muslim Arabs and terrorists simply because here was another stick they could beat GWB with!

The impression the Democrats sought to pass of was of shady Arabs working in the docks and putting bad things in UPS containers. It was quite another thing there would be no Arab anywhere on the docks—the work would all be done by unionized port workers (all American citizens who love beer and country/rap music). The management would also comprise of Americans—the only thing was that the owner was a Muslim Arab. The question was not even about foreign control of essential infrastructure (which is what some liberals spun it as)—the previous contract-holder was British—but we all know that they are good blokes and not really “foreign” (if you get what I am saying).

Double standards—anyone?

[Note: I oppose profiling in all its forms—-I find it illogical that a community should be blamed for actions of its individuals (even a large number of them). But what I find totally hypocritical are people who support profiling for one set of people and not for the other.

Advertisements

63 thoughts on “Profiles in Hypocrisy

  1. Cynthia McKinney is one of the most anti-Indian Congresscritter in U.S history. Some of her utterances include

    – The Indian government is responsible for terrorism against its own people. It engineered the massacre of bus passengers in Kashmir and the blowing up of a passenger airliner.
    – Imminent breakup of India because of its “17 different separatist movements”

    Indian-American organizations played a large role in her defeat in 2002. ( To be fair, the Israeli lobby was probably a bigger influence). This was hailed as one of the first examples of political muscle-flexing by the Indian community in the U.S.

    Unfortunatly, she’s back in power due to the redrawing of the districts in Georgia. Hopefully. her new propensity to smack policemen around will make her present stay in power a short one.

  2. “Their argument was that 2 of the 9/11 hijackers were UAE citizens and that the UAE has recognized the Taliban”

    — I think that IS a very valid argument. Should India hand over the control of a Kandla Port to a Pakistani? Even if he were to employ only Indians, the very idea of a Pakistani owning Indian port would seem dangerous. Afterall, relations between India and Pakistan will always be engulfed in shadow of doubt, however they pleasant they appear to be.

    I guess that feeling was conveyed by Democrats too – after 9/11 and subsequent wars, there will always be a shadow of doubts between Americans and Arabs too – so why take that risk. I think they did the right thing…

    Cheers

    Suyog

  3. @Fool on the Hill: Is what that bad?

    @AndyS: Thanks for that info. I googled for her and boy is she an India-baiter. A Democrat needless to say.

    @Suyog: 1) A majority of criminals in urban US are African-Americans. Can that be used to justify not having African-American policemen?

    2) The thing is that Saudi Arabia and UAE have trillions in investments in US from diapers to safety pins to crude oil. Now why not argue that they will put rust in the pins, itching cream on the diapers and water in the oil?

    3)A Pakistani owning an Indian port may sound dangerous but it is not—if all employees are Indians and the Pakistanis are vetted by the Indian intelligence agencies. Yes I am not talking about allowing Dawood of course. Incidentally he actually does own Mumbai port. The Americans promised to do extensive security checks on these UAE owners(had done so and were ready to do more).

    Plus if I knew that Wipro and say ONGC were financed by Pakistani businessmen and nothing bad had happened for all these years—I would not have any problems with Pakistani investment in an Indian port.

    Also point to note: UAE does not capture Americans and kill them (like Sarabjit is being killed by the pakis)—-it is not officially an ENEMY country as Pakistan is for us.

  4. @Radhika: Not America in general—it is a specific section which is being referred to here: the so-called liberals. We have their equally two-faced cousins in India too.

  5. But I thought we are talking about generalizations here as in UAE recognizing Taliban because 2 of the 9/11 hijackers were UAE citizens. In the same vein….

  6. Profiling is automatically assuming that X is a criminal/terrorist just because the community/country that X hails from is known to produce an inordinately large number of criminals/terrorists. In other words, it is pre-judging an individual on the basis of his origins.

  7. I had heard about this Cynthia McKinney incident before also but it was just a casual acount because to us, Indians this kind of happenings are notthing surprising or exceptional. People keep accusing each other for every reason and you never know who is speaking the truth.
    After reading Arnab‘s blog, and AndyS‘s comment I too did a little bit of R&D in Google about this lady and yeah, no doubt, she is out-and-out anti-Indian for some hitherto unknown reason (at least I don’t remember of ever hearing of something like some yankee or may be some ‘black’ person being harassed, insulted, killed, abused or molested in India or by Indians).

    The laws are same for everyone. No one is above the law, not even the Prez himself. Therefore, if the Policeman on duty tried to stop her while she was trying to enter the office without her i-card, it was of course her fault. The poor Policeman was just doing what he was supposed to do. And if while forcing her way in despite the resistance from him, he had held her arm or may be accidentally touched some inappropriate part of her body, he can’t really be blamed. He was just doing his duty.

    However, I , after seeing some of her photographs, personally opine that no sane person (even with the minimum amount of sanity left in him) will find it too tempting or interesting to touch her inappropriately. If it’s accidental, understanable…..otherwise, naaaahhh !!! 😉

  8. Arnab, you are equally wrong to generalize all Democrats as hypocrites based on a couple of incidents. Cynthia McKinney is clearly in the wrong here and people who are supporting her are political oportunists. But it is equally clear that many top Democrats are not supporting her and staying away from this fracas. A few are, of course, but then a few will always support anything and anyone. Add to that Cynthia has a history of violent behavior. She belongs to that creed of people who will play the race or religion card to cover their own mistakes/asses. Remember Nadeem “persecuted Muslim in a Hindu country” Saifee of the Gulshan Kumar murder fame? Needless to say, these people deserve no sympathy.

    On a lighter note, have you seen her photo? What kind of low-self-esteem-ridden sick pervert would “inappropriately touch” her? 🙂

    On the Arab port issue, I can totally understand the fears of the American people. The owner of the company is not French or German who just opposed the US. The owner is from one of the three countries in the world that recognized the Taliban. The Taliban, for chrissakes. Don’t tell me you are forgiving of that. As for your own hypothetical reaction to a Pakistani owning Indian ports, you are obviously in a very ultra broad minded, but miniscule minority (tautology? :)). Popular opinion will be overwhelmingly against it, as it would have been in the US as well. Not everything works on the pronciples of logic and objectivity, certainly not public opinion.

    And imagine for a moment that Dubai did own the US ports and something, even some small terrorist activity took place through the ports. Can you comprehend the fallout? Would anyone take a chance? Can you blame anyone, US or India (hypothetically), for not taking that chance?

  9. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB: You wrote to @Suyog: “1) A majority of criminals in urban US are African-Americans. Can that be used to justify not having African-American policemen?” I think your hitting the nail has been absolutely perfect. In other words it is like considering all Muslims in our country to be unpatriotic or terrorists sympathizers because majority of the terrorists happen to belong to Muslim religion. Profiling of any sort whether it is caste/religion related or education related or financial status related or gender related should be explicitly denounced.
    And as for hypocrisy – I think this word has no geographical boundaries. I think we as a nation also have our share of hypocritic moments.

  10. pretty soon all this political correctness will lead to the death of rationalism……whatever happened to calling a spade a spade

    i am in the mood for a long rant but work awaits:(

  11. @ Arnab: W
    Why is only my comment (the previous one) still in the queue for moderation? I haven’t use anything abusive or objectionable there…..in fact, earlier my comments with a million times more objectionable content had been published directly without moderation of any sort.

  12. I agree with the part abt the senator, who is definitely a hypocrite. The example of the UAE ports to support this point, however, does not seem to be the correct one. It was not just democrats who opposed this plan. I also feel it is logical to be skeptical of a country, however small the chances, when the security of a nation is at stake. As Shan put it very aptly, broad minded optimism is not what will work when it comes down to the nations interests, whether India or USA.

  13. As people before me have pointed out, not a single mainstream Democrat supported McKinney, which is why she ultimately had to apologize to the officer. I don’t know who these liberals are you’re talking about who stood behind her. All I saw on tv were some racist black people making a fool of themselves by supporting her actions. Generalizing all liberal democrats as hypocrites just because some black people who probably can’t even be called “liberal” chose to ignore the law and support McKinney is like saying all republicans are religious fundamentalists because Ann Coulter goes around telling people to bomb Islamic countries and convert their residents to christianity.

    And as for the port deal, it was a populist charade indulged in by people of both parties equally, not just liberal democrats and disgruntled republicans. After all, if it were just democrats opposing the deal, you think the deal would have fallen through? We all know how much Bush cares about what democrats think.

    All in all, I am not sure what you are blaming democrats for.

  14. Calling on the hypocrisy of the extreme left or the right side of the political spectrum is passe. It has become too easy and isn’t very funny anymore.

    How about tackling liberatarians next 😉

  15. @Dhananjay: Of course they don’t.

    @An Ideal Boy: As it is she is an India-hater. Why push her further?

    @Shan: This point also applies to Gawker’s comment. From my experience in the last few days of watching TV, there were quite a few Democratic politicians who came out in support of McKinney—–at least to the extent of calling racial profiling a problem. Of course, they refused to accept the point that this incident had nothing to do with profilinf in general. And some of the ACLU loons actually refused to accept McKinney had raised her hand even after the anchor pointed out that McKinney’s lawyers had themselves accepted the fact.

    As to the Dubai ports deal, popular opinion can be manipulated. If the vox populi have no problems with their baby food coming from Arab owners (I am sure that if sufficient number of people raise the bogey of poisoning babies, then there will be outrage there too), then they shouldnt have any with an Arab holding a controlling stake in a company that operates a part of its ports.

    The Democrats/liberals who pride themselves on rationality (on other topics where it suits them) should have taken the lead in educating Americans about the true situation rather than fanning popular hysteria (which people like Michael Moore accuse GWB of doing).

    This is classic hypocrisy—they apply the same tactics that they criticize GWB for.
    @Yourfan: Yes of course. The liberals in India are no better.

    @Jethro: Work? Never heard of it !

    @deBolin: Two or more links puts any comment in moderation. And oh no please do not make any association with looks and inappropriate touching—we do not want “them” falling on us like a ton of bricks and pointing out that touching is about power and has nothing to do with looks.

    @Deep: Democrats of all hues opposed the UAE port deal. If I give the logic of pragmatism and refuse to hire an African-American as a security guard for my factory, I shall be slapped with a billion dollar lawsuit before I can blink. No such fancy logic may I give then !

    @Gawker: I saw Democratic politicians who if not directly supporting McKinney kept on saying “profiling is a big problem”. Profiling of African-Americans and not of Asians should be the subtext.

    And yes I feel that Bush does care for the opposition (he has to) if they are united in their stance. On the port issue, every Democrat was opposed to it—mainly because they were so happy that they can show themselves to be “tough” on national security.

    If there was dissension, then Bush would have been able to pass this through. Remember that for the Iraq war, there were quite a few Democrats who supported it at the time (Mr Kerry for example) which is precisely why GWB got his way. If all Democrats had unequivocally opposed the war, then things may have been different.

    @Bongopundit: The democrats alas are not the extreme left. And libertarians? Aww no…don’t want half the Indian blogosphere at my neck !

    @Akash: Absolutely right. I am lying. It’s not so easy as described.

    Incidentally, I dont expect you to understand that fanning anti-Arab sentiment does not amount to political suicide—actually exactly the opposite because now the Democrats have shown themselves to be tough on national security.

    But come on, don’t I get some brownie points for speaking for Muslim Arabs here? Please please…

  16. I guess this is typical of most of the so called minorities residing every where. Remember how Messrs Nadeem,Azharuddin,Salman Khan brought in their religion when they were caught with their pants down.

    It is easy for a Black man or a woman to rally support around them by raising the racism bogie.For starters it shifts the focus totally away from the real issue.

    Similar is the case with Indian Muslims. They’ll immediately fall back on support of the mullahs when they are caught on the wrong side of the law. I am surprised how Abu Salem has not found support as yet from Samajwadi and Lalu. Or has he?

    Putting up a facade of being a victim of racial or communal abuse is the best form of defence one can come up when caught on wrong foot. May be it is also the best kept secret.

  17. @GB: Cool. I did not mean that. What I meant was that perhaps you were missing some critical points. Democrats going the Republican way is no better than committing suicide.

  18. Arnab & Gawker,

    I think Arnab has a vald point here. She behaved exactly like some our netas behave back home.

    And Gawker, even Daily Kos, opposed the Port deal. Unfortunately, the Democrats did get it wrong there.
    There was resistance within the Republicans too, but it was not that strong and democrats in their attempt to look strong on National security did come out looking racist.

    @Akash sen,

    What the freak is ”lawfully resisted by police”?

  19. Err…GB…this is probably the first post that im not in completely in agreement with you. I agree that the actions of Mckinney deserve the strongest condemnation. But one eccentric politician does not a party make, in this case the Democrats. Also I feel from a national security point of view theres a reason for skepticism about UAE ports(assuming you believe that 9/11 was due to Al-Queda. There is a school of conspiracy theory …see Winamp TV- secret channel.. which airs stories about the Illuminati Nazi connection…secret brotherhoods and Skull and bones which say that 9/11 was actually done by American govt to further strengthen the ‘new world order’.). Also I find your reasoning offered to Suyog about Indian ports managed by Pakistanis fascinating, but I dont think its feasible in real life.

    So in this case i agree more with Gawker(I simply love his political posts- exactly my thoughts) and Shan.

    Also id request certain commentators above not to use misogynist terms like ” Wholl touch her inappropriately”. How would you all feel if a white man said the same about you? Every woman has a dignity and a woman no matter how unattractive she may look had the reason to feel molested if touched inappropriately. But if she was not and falls on that argument to save herself ( as many many women do– the other side of blank noise? 🙂 ) then sure …she deserves to be called a fucking bitch.

    But if your post was an exercise to infer “But what I find totally hypocritical are people who support profiling for one set of people and not for the other.” then I agree wholeheartedly to the general inference. There are ample instances of that worldwide.

    @Bongo pondit: GB may or may not write a post, but a

    SEMINAL WORK
    on the subject already exists. One guy wrote this and I request you read through this great work over several cups of coffee.I am sure even GB would doff his hat at that long comment. I think its a magisterial work and deserves the highest praise.

  20. @Kaunteya: Samajwadi definitely is responsible for helping terrorists make UP a safe haven.

    @Confused: Glad someone agrees.

    @youfan2: No problem with disagreeing.

    1) I never said that the entire Democratic party is a loony toony like this lady. However their spinmeisters who came on cable news kept on supporting the connection between the incident and racial profiling. Not a single Democrat said “No she is wrong.”

    Here’s what Howard Dean, Democrat spokesman said: (I presume this is the official stance)

    First of all, racial profiling is a real issue. But, secondly, I have absolutely no knowledge of what happened to Congresswoman McKinney at that checkpoint. I wasn’t there. I don’t know any of the people involved, and I haven’t talked to them. So, I have no comment on what went on when Congresswoman McKinney was going into the Capitol, since I have no knowledge of what went on.

    Now tell me, why does the word “racial profiling” come into the statement (a connection McKinney made). Why didnt Mr Dean just make that statement without the first line.

    2) Let me repeat this again. Why isnt their skepticism then with respect to African Americans in law-enforcement? I am not saying there should be—but if there is skepticism with respect to an Arab owning a company that handles port business then there should be skepticism about African-Americans in law enforcement also. Plus from a pragmatic viewpoint–this Arab owner, even if evil, cannot walk into the port and put a dirty bomb inside a crate—all the crate handling is done by Americans. Now you can say that an American can be bribed but then that can happen even if the owner is from the Midwest.

    In conclusion, not having an Arab owner does not add any more security–it is as insecure as before.

    3) Yes Chetan’s comment is legendary. And even more so because he was under the influence of alcoholic beverages when the said comment was penned.

  21. I remember the chelas of an Indian politician manhandling a CISF constable in Mumbai airport. The crime? He dared to ask the politician to go through the metal detector. I guess it is not entirely different in the US. When you are in a position of power you suddenly feel superior to other human beings.

    I am still in a dilemma about racial profiling. I know it is inhumane and downright insulting to signal out people based on their skin colour. I completely agree that you cannot hold a religion/race responsible for the actions of a few. I do find it hypocritical of the US to have a policy of racial profiling targeting one race (muslims/any body looking like them) but not in the case of others (remember Timothy McVeigh??).

    But I also cannot discount the ground realities; I hope there will be a day when terrorists come in all shades of the rainbow. But the fact is the people who flew planes in to those buildings were Arabs or in general people with brown skins. So I feel checking an Arab looking person carrying a huge back pack in the Metro while as offensive as it is, may not be the worst thing to do.

  22. Sadly and strangely, the lines that differentiate a liberal from a conservative are blurring. I am trying to define my idealogies here and seem to disagree with a little from both sides. Democrats were certainly wrong in ‘profiling’ the Dubai Ports World and the Republicans were wrong in pumping up the Terri Schiavo case. So if you see, the borders are crossed quite often these days and the political scenario in the US is resembling that of India i.e. political populism…

  23. Hey Arnab
    If Howard Dean did say that I disagree with him. He shouldn’t even have raised the issue of racial profiling. And saying “I wasn’t there so I don’t know the exact details of what happened” is simply a ploy to be able to dodge the topic.

    However, if you read as many liberal blogs as I do, you will notice that each and every one of them mocked McKinney and her antics (Atrios, Americablog, Rude Pundit), no one supported her stance, maybe some fringe black groups might have done that, who knows. My point is, regardless of democratic leaders staying mum in this case (since Dean didn’t really support McKinney through his statements), the democratic base, or what you call the “liberal democrats” were entirely against McKinney.

    Now compare this with the ports deal and the reaction from the conservative base, as in conservative blogdom. Each and every one of them from Ann Coulter to Michelle Malkin screamed hysterically at Bush and were against the deal. And I didn’t see a single republican leader speak on Bush’s behalf either, except for Frist who was busy flitting from side to side depending on the direction of the wind.

    Thirdly, how could you expect anyone in the US to be for the ports deal after Bush has basically dehumanized Arabs after 9/11? As I wrote on my own blog, Bush wants the average American to be mortally afraid of the average Arab, and at the same time, trust big rich Arab conglomerates. How is this possible?

    Fourthly, the African American analogy doesn’t stand. African Americans don’t commit crimes because they are African American : Its not a genetic thing. Poor people commit crimes and it so happens that most poor people in the US are African American. Therefore, there is no issue in having African American cops.

  24. @Anil: Yes it may not be the worst thing to do. It could be the most pragmatic thing to do. However, once you do that you cannot take a high moral ground when people you like get profiled. In other words, consistency is whats needed.

    @Patrix: Terri Schiavo case was a total non-issue hyped up by cable news because of the “human interest angle” just like that girl who vanished in Aruba. The port issue however is not because it relates to the war of civilizations that is going on in the world today.

    @Gawker:

    Fourthly, the African American analogy doesn’t stand. African Americans don’t commit crimes because they are African American : Its not a genetic thing.

    And for Arabs it is a genetic thing?? Arabs commit acts of terrorism because they are Muslim. Is that the contrast with African-Americans? Else why this above line?

    I never said that African-Americans commit crimes because of their genes. It is racial profilers who base their profiling on that assumption. The same way Democrats have profiled an UAE business house to be possible terrorists just because they are Islamic.  And there are seveal sociological/political reasons why Islam has produced so many terrorists (not that they justify their actions)
    I still do not see why the analogy does not stand.

  25. Arnab, I think you are off the mark by comparing the ports deal to this incident. The uproar was about handing over a facility that is percieved – correctly or incorrectly – to be something similar to say, airport security services.

    Like it or not, there are somethings that people are uncomfortable handing over to entities from other countries. Particularly when it comes to immediate security matters.

    Saying that UAE is not a country under sanctions does not matter as this argument misses the whole perception thing – whether a country is percieved to be friendly, having common values with the host nation, or not. In other words, a country may not be under sanctions, but can still be considered to be generally unfriendly. For e.g. Formally, India has not imposed sanctions on Pakistan or Bangladesh, yet these countries are percieved to be unfriendly by the establishment and people in general.

    So yes, this UAE company was profiled, on the basis of the perception that UAE is not a friendly country, and the reality that in the past, UAE allied itself with sworn enemies of USA, and also that it continues to be a hub of money laundering.

    In doing so, none of the rights guaranteed to this UAE company in the US constitution, or international laws were violated. OTOH, if profiling is done against a citizen or a visitor, the right to equality irrespective of skin colour is being violated.

  26. A thought –

    The argument you put against profiling is also applicable to liberal democrats and/or liberals (as you mixed them in your articles). You cannot call them hypocrites or profile them as hypocrites even if n-1 out of n democrats are hypocrites.

  27. “…kind of like an American soul sister of Uma Bharati …”

    LOL! That’s hilarious.

    Even though the post is on Mckinney, since there is a reference to “port deal” , I’ll add my 2 cents to it. I think the port deal is what is called a “smoke screen”. I love conspiracy theories, especially those that are just….theories. I think the bigger picture is not about “racial profiling” or “protectionist attitude” or such like. It is pure business. A leading US based financial giant is in the process of acquiring a major port operator which is ranked in the top 5 of the Drewry report (a shipping consultancy firm). In a few months, by the end of this year may be, this “giant” will take control of those 6 ports. The mere economics of port handling makes perfect sense in terms of infrastructure investment. Again, this is my conjucture. Few years down the lane, we will even have a book and a movie on this, “Portico”!

  28. I’m saying opposition to the ports deal is not because of racial profiling, as compared to opposition to African American cops. DPW controlling American ports is objectionable not just because it is an Arab company, it is objectionable because it is controlled by an Arab government. A government that is KNOWN to have supported the Taliban, and even after 9/11 has obstructed efforts to track down Bin Laden through his bank accounts. Are you seriously suggesting that such a government coming into possession of port plans wouldn’t jeopardize American security? There is no profiling here.

    Secondly, Bush tells us to trust him, that this company’s been cleared for the deal after investigation. And then he tells us he heard about the deal after it was approved. Is this guy for real? Strike 2.

    Thirdly, why is Bush so adamant about letting this company and only this company control the ports to such an extent that he was prepared to exercize his veto for it? It’s because there’s vested financial interests involved. Bush wants to promote free trade with the UAE that would benefit American corporations. If DPW doesn’t get the ports contract, this sours the free trade deal. This means that Bush’s motives for awarding the contract to DPW are not at all transparent. And if security does not figure in his motives, how can anyone support it? Its just like the Iraq war when he said his objective was to find WMDs, and the first thing he did after invading the country was to secure the oil ministry instead of the ammunition dumps which led to looters rrunning away with explosives that they are now using to manufacture IEDs and blowing up each other.

    So what I’m saying is this : opposition to the ports deal isn’t necessarily due to racial profiling, but also due to tangible reasons. Which is why its not analogous to your example of African American cops.

  29. Wrong she was, but she made a point. I am with her on this one. I live in the US, came from the Indian Sub continent. no matter how much I wannabe an American, my skin is still brown and will be profiled. There is subtle discrimination in every walk of life. She brought into lime light the issue which will never go away unless eventually there is only one color left. Today colored people enjoy more freedom than 40 years back, thanks to the civil rights movement. But is there equal opportunity for all…? hmmm let me ponder a little on that one. Why is Corporate America outsourcing to India and the rest of the world? is it because they have found love for colored people?

    I am not condoning Congresswoman McKinney’s actions. If she speaks up against India, it pains me. But there are powerful lobbyists infuenzing these politicians in US. Both countries ( you know which) have their whips driving and deriving issues to the fore front using prominent US politicians. The loudest voices get heard the best. The politicians have neither the time or the inclination to check granular facts.

    Sometimes you have to grab an opportunity to raise an issue, however insignificant that might sound. I wonder what direction this world would have taken if Mr. Gandhi was not thrown out of that train in S. Africa or if the bus driver was a kind hearted man and let Ms. Parks sit on that seat and not raised an issue when she refused to move.
    Look beyond the person and see the issues that need to be addressed. As much as my heart bleeds saffron, white and green (along with red, white and blue) there are serious issues that threaten this world. Politicians can give fancy speeches and manipulate the masses, but for how long can you sweep issues under the rug and keep moving on?

    Congresswoman McKinney may lose some votes, lose support of her peers among the Democrats. But she has unleashed a thought process which will churn for a while atleast, maybe nothing will come out of it, then again something will… you gotta wait and watch.

  30. Renukadi, our good friend from Khammam once got off a car and seized a traffic cop by his collar and shook him. You will be happy to hear she is the new Minister of State for Women and Child Development (Independent Charge)

  31. I can add more.

    The US, in its time, recognised the Taliban too. Gave them loans and what not. In fact, Taliban dignitaries visited US and were greeted with open arms.

    A good percentage of foreign terrorists (non Afghani/Paki) in Guantanamo bay are British and French. Any chance of curbing all trade ties with them ??
    (I’ve never heard of a UAE terrorist as a matter of fact)

    Hypocrisy rules!

    jedi

  32. Hi Arnab,

    I love your blog and am a frequent visitor. Keep up the good work. The purpose of this comment is to urge you to write something against Indian government’s proposed move to allot 50% reservations in central universities for certain castes and religions. This grotesque proposal is getting through the parliament without any opposition as no political party would risk losing their vote banks. It is only upto the thinking citizens like you to create a public opinion against this retrograde step which is sure to lead us to dark ages. Indian government is hell-bent upon leading the country towards disaster. Our only hope is to create a strong public opinion against this kind of vote-bank politics. I hope you concur.

    Vivek

    PS: I have compiled a post against this on vkg378.blogspot.com.

  33. I did not have the patience to go through all the posts, esp the ones towards the bottom, but there are two things that caught my attention.

    1. Given that the Taliban were created, aided and abetted by the USA in their fight against the Great Satan, and were recognised by them after they came to power in Afghanistan, and immediately after 9/11 were considered par for an honourable exchange where they would hand over Osama to the merkins in return for billions of dollars — I do not see what’s wrong with the UAE government having recognised the Taliban. I would in fact be surprised if I were to find that they did so on their own accord, and were not goaded by the merkins sometime in the foggy past to do so!

    2. I do seriously think that we need new terminology to categorise political hues in the USA. The traditional left and right, as understood broadly in the rest of the world certainly do not apply here, not at least amongst the politicians who are in power or are in a position to vie for power. Now you may call that [grin] US exceptionalism, but the fact remains that especially since the Civil Rights movement created Dixiecrats [former Democrats from the South who turned Republican to oppose the movement] and later on, Clintonomics created Blue Dog Democrats [who believe in social liberalism and economic conservatism] and Conservative Democrats or boll weevils — calling someone left or right in the USA based on their party of support is rather misleading.

    This doesn’t mean that something akin to the traditional left or right doesnot exist here. But I’d say that, especially in the case of the left, such people are scattered, at the margins, and have little to no influence. Just goes on to show, that using an external scale of reference, the entire political spectrum in the US is skewed to the right!

    My two pice on the whole issue!

  34. Terri Schiavo wasn’t a total non-issue. It highlighted the borders between state intervention and civil liberties. Republicans traditionally favor less government and reduced role of the state but in the changed times, they are willing to let go of that traditional standpoint because its pro-life movement seems to get more votes e.g. an incumbent and inept bush administration getting re-elected.

    Regards Cynthia McKinney, I was a resident in her constituency when I lived in Atlanta. She is known to be a wack job in the Atlanta liberal circles as well. Her actions at the Capitol aren’t totally a surprise. She is the Laloo of Atlanta. You cannot extrapolate her actions to the Democrats.

  35. @Sudeep:

    “Like it or not, there are somethings that people are uncomfortable handing over to entities from other countries. Particularly when it comes to immediate security matters.”

    Even when there is no logic behind it since the concerned foreign countries wont even be handling the said objects of security. If knee-jerk reactions are justifiable based on “popular sentiment” then why worry about things like fairness?

    @OS: Democrats are liberals. Or claim to be. They are a party with a leader and spokesman. Hence making a judgement about the whole of them is fair. However African-Americans and Muslims dont have leaders like that. To explain, saying that the Indian National Congress promotes a culture of sycophancy isnt “profiling” (I doubt you understand the full meaning of the word)—-whereas saying that Muslims are terrorists is a sweeping generalization.

    Incidentally when did I say that all Democrats are hypocrites? All I said was “liberal hypocrisy”. Right?

    @D.N.A: Interesting.. 

    @Gawker: Now the rationale has gone off on a tangent to standard Bush-bashing—something I find as boring and bookish as MS-trashing. And whats more it is not relevant to the point here. All these fine points you raise are not what the Dems raised to nix the deal—they just kept on hammering Arabs–>danger. That’s it. If they had raised other points including the ones you raised then fine. However they did not—it was a racial bogey that they appealed to—something they accuse the Republicans of doing.

    @Cliff: Again the issue of whether racial profiling exists is not germane to the point. I would have you know that sometimes the way things work—it is considered okay to racially profile an Indian/Paki/Arab-type guy but not anyone else.

    @Red: Gladdens my heart.

    @jEDI: Well 2 of them were the 9/11 hijackers..

    @Guga: The only true classification in politics is which politician is allied with which lobby and belongs to which caucus.

    @Patrix: The Laloo of Atlanta. Marvellous.

  36. Gawker,

    Much as I like your writing, you are tying yourselves in knots here. First you defend the oppostion to port deal on rational grounds and then blame Bush for creating a fear phychosis which evidently precluded objective analysis! Now you cant have it both ways, if you want to blame Bush for it, accept that the oppostion to the port deal was not rational…

    Secondly, if Americans can do business with Pakistan, and make them a front line ally in the war against terrorism, UAE is a much lesser evil. It has no real strategic interests in Afganistan or the rest of the Muslim world, and it’s govt is much less likely to create a any problem for US.

    Thirdly, how does a UAE owned company, operating on American soil, employing American workers, with port security entirely American hands create a security threat?

    But in way I am happy the port deal fell through. The porous security in the ports(less than 5% of the containers get checked) is like a ticking time bomb. Atleast with American ownership, UAE will not be blamed if anything untoward happens.

  37. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/04/sitroom.02.html

    Dean did not bring up the issue of racial profiling on his own. In the interview with Blitzer, he was shown a video clip of Rep. McKinney claiming that racial profiling in USA was a serious issue to be dealt with and her experience was linked to it. Dean was asked to respond to those claims. He clearly separated the two issues in his response. About racial profiling in general, he said –

    If there’s a separate question, do we still have a problem with racial profiling, yes. It’s getting better, but we still have a problem

    He avoided commenting on her second claim by saying he was not there. I found that acceptable. Given Rep. Mckinney’s track record, I could believe that she was using the race card to get out of an ugly situation, but I do not know for sure. If the policeman behaved in a manner different from what he would have done with a white male Congressman, it could be construed by her as profiling. Not that it justifies her action in any way and quite possibly the cop was just doing his job. The point is if she had felt profiled and violated, it was not possible for Dean or someone else not present there to categorically deny her subjective experience.

    I have not followed this closely and it’s possible that other liberals represented by democrats shouted profiling and discrimination and related them to Rep. McKinney’s experience. However, I did watch this interview and Dean’s reaction did not strike me the way you characterized it.

  38. I am with you on the port deal. Democrats shamelessly exploited the anti-Arab sentiment that was painstakingly manufactured by talk radio, freerepublic, drudge report etc. over the last five years. There is a part in me that says “serves them right”, but you are absolutely correct in pointing out that this is the worst sort of hypocrisy. Not only they lose any claim to a moral high ground which they probably had given up back when they couldn’t decide if they were for or against the war, this sort of poll-driven (70 percent of Americans were against that deal even after realizing that US would retain total control over the port) opportunistic politics kills the chances of building any coherent framework of credible alternatives. Not only they used racial profiling, they also played to the protectionist crowd by grandstanding against the takeover of foreign companies and in favor of unionizing all port workers.

    @Gawker: Most of conservative blogosphere and talk radio world was against Bush on that deal simply because they could not afford to alienate their base and destroy their careers. However, Rush Limbaugh, the biggest of them all and one who does not have to worry too much about his career any more, was behind Bush from the beginning to end and had to fight his dittohead listeners tooth and nail on this issue. He, like the Bush administration, realized that once the war was over and it was time for some free trade, anti-Arab sentiments were no longer an asset. He tried really hard to deconstruct it, but it did not quite work. American attention span is not that short. However, it was the first time in seven years that Rush and I agreed on something.

  39. @Arnab- Arnt u stepping on ur own toes here????

    “While right-minded people would say that the policeman was merely doing his job, the liberals represented by the Democrats started shouting “racial discrimination” and “profiling” —two extremely dirty words in the American lexicon”

    “A few weeks ago, these same “liberal” Democrats were giving sound bytes condemning how national security was compromised by giving contracts to run certain American ports to a Dubai-based company.”

    “Double standards—anyone?”

    =
    Perfectly Profiled Democrats???????

  40. @Dipanjan: It was upto Dean to stress that there is no connection between the incident and racial profiling. This is what he should have said. Come on Dean as a Dem representative knows everything that happened—the facts of the case were already before everyone (and MCkinney didnt deny that)–a lady tried to enter a protected area without her pin and got stopped. Saying “I dont know I wasnt informed” a few days after the event….

    However thanks for making that point..I should have quoted the full thing in my comment to Gawker. The place where I got it from (a blog) just had this much.

    @Rahul: Its a point I have already answered in a prev comment. In short: if I said “Enron is a rogue company” or that the “Indian cricket team has been performing well” am I “profiling” ? Some employees of Enron are honest and some players like Kaif cant make a run it seems. However since both these are homogenous units (unlike African-Americand and Muslims and like the Democrats), you can make an assessment on the entire group.

    @HP: So it is.

  41. hypocrisy is all about me/you/them

    eg : on asking questions

    me– a thirst for knowlegde
    you — plain curious
    them — tell them to stop poking their bloody noses into what is none of their concern

    and as for polititians, nothing much has changed from the demagogues of Athens, circa 450 BC
    ref: plays of aristophanes

    i think we are fools to elect them

  42. @Swati: And so we are.

    @Rahul: Because a political party has a leader and a spokesman and anyone who joins a party is assumed to agree with certain basic principles of the said party. Religion/racial sects are things you are born with.

  43. I think it all boils down to the kind of diversity America enjoys in the first place; its is by no means, inherent, at best acquired. Reminds me of something I had read in the Three Horsemen of the New Apocalypse by Nirad Chaudhari abt USA’s guiding motto being Ex Plunibus Unum (From Many to One) as compared to India’s Eko’ham Vahu’Sayam (Out of One Many). As such, any effort to uphold and facilitate heterogeneity in a system which actively strives to homogenise its individuals can only be an utopian dream, and such acts of profiling only serve to illustrate how utterly fallacious that notion is

  44. Long time reader first time commenter.
    My comment is totally unrelated to the post.

    Where do you get the pics for your banner?
    As your website downloaded i got hit with the scary-eyebrowed, toothy maniacal smile of a yester year villain/comedian?

    as a hindi heroine would exclaim
    oui ma! (not the french oui)

  45. Profiling is good. If 80% of the terrorists are of middle eastern descent, then middle eastern travellers should expect profiling. it just makes statistical sense.

    discrimination on the other hand is bad, there is a HUGE difference between the two.

    Also prejudice comes somewhere in between. In NY, at night if I am approached by a group of black guys, I am going to cross the street and avoid them. Am I prejudiced ? Yes. Is it bad ? Maybe. Doesnt hurt anyone. It is not discrimination. If I were to refuse a job to someone on his skin color, thats discrimination. Although arguments can be made that prejudice LEADS to discrimination.

    Bottom line is profiling is good

  46. When a bunch of white guys try to avoid Indians, just because they are Indian, why does it hurt more than when the same white guys avoid Middle eastern people?
    Personally, I think that Indians have a different set of rules for themselves. There is still some kind of false superiority complex. Its something like trying to prove to the world that Indians are better than everyone else at everything. This comes out at every “drunk” discussion at every Indian get-together. There is most likely going to be a person who supports everything Indian, and then there are the total India opposers. Unfortunately, there is usually no one in between, which is the basic problem. 🙂

  47. “I oppose profiling in all its forms”

    Classic “liberal” speak. I don’t think you should, though. Even though it’s politically incorrect to say so, racial profiling of Arab Muslims would probably have prevented 9/11.

  48. Came across this other comment:

    “I hope there will be a day when terrorists come in all shades of the rainbow. But the fact is the people who flew planes in to those buildings were Arabs or in general people with brown skins.”

    Let’s cut the chase call a spade a spade, shall we ?

    It was Islamic terrorists responsible for this, and a look at Islamic fundamentalism will give you a better picture of who we are dealing with.

    The problem is Islam, specifically, fundamentalist Islam (though the boundary lines separating the two is dangerously thin.)

  49. Hartmann’s experience as both on-air talent and being a program director back in the 1960s and 1970s – that progressive talk radio could be a profitable format if done right. ,

Have An Opinion? Type Away

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s