- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 19, 2006

Racist Olympics?

“While watching a bunch of young, white Olympians zipping and flipping around on their newfangled snowboards the other night, I couldn’t help thinking: What if Bangladesh, my parents’ native land, had the geopolitical muscle to turn an extremely Bangladeshi-friendly activity into an Olympic sport? …

“Like the Augusta National Golf Club, the Winter Olympics is ‘exclusive.’ Paul Farhi, writing in the Washington Post, has described it as ‘almost exclusively the preserve of a narrow, generally wealthy, predominantly Caucasian collection of athletes and nations.’ …

“I can’t help but conclude that my hopes of adding a drop of Hershey’s Syrup to the skim milk of the Winter Olympics were misplaced. Though chocolate milk is, as New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin recently pointed out, a ‘delicious drink,’ the deck will always be stacked against the droplets among us. After all, I’m starting to realize, we brown folks hail from largely snowless, tropical climes. It’s not fair, but it’s the cold, hard truth.”

— Reihan Salam, writing on “White Snow, Brown Rage,” in Slate at www.slate.com

Blog ethics

“Sometimes in journalism, the medium is the story. So it is with the ongoing saga of The Blogs vs. The Mainstream Media, endlessly flogged and blogged in the old and new media alike. The story is always the same: Periodically, a mainstream newspaper or magazine will run a ‘barbarians at the gate’ story about blogs as purveyors of misinformation, calumny, and digital mob rule, and the Web will respond by summoning the unquiet ghost of disgraced New York Times reporter Jayson Blair and scoffing at the mainstream media’s obvious fear of competition. …

“News gathering without gatekeepers surely has a dark side. Does the public’s right to know extend to rumors and innuendo?”

— Cathy Young, writing on “Smears in Cyberspace,” in the February issue of Reason

Fake ‘phobia’

“If all the problems faced by homosexuals arise from ‘homophobia,’ fueled by us bigots in the conservative Christian camp, then to eliminate ‘homophobia’ would be to eliminate the problems.

“So runs the prevailing orthodoxy … trotted out, opportunistically, at every opportunity.

“Witness the words of Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, trying to attach a rider to the death of Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘From the beginning, Mrs. King understood that homophobia is hate, and hate has no place in the Beloved Community that she and Dr. King envisioned for our nation and our world.’ Neither Dr. nor Mrs. King is in a position to object to Foreman’s crass opportunism.

“But this orthodoxy is dead wrong. If the Christian Right and all vestiges of ‘homophobia’ were to disappear by magic, homosexual behavior still would be problematic.

“It would still be a sin … not because we say it is, but because the Bible says so. Whatever the damage done by ‘homophobia,’ the damage done to society by the homosexual movement is considerable. Among other things, it has accelerated Western civilization’s falling away from faith in God, as timeless truths are reduced to cultural relativism.”

— Lee Duigon, writing on “‘Homophobia’ Is Not the Problem,” Feb. 13 for Concerned Women for America at www.cwfa.org

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