The right wing nut-jobs are at it again!
Fox talking head Michelle Malkin got on her blog this week and chastised Rachael Ray for wearing this scarf in an add, calling it "Jihadi Chic" and implying that it somehow glorified terrorism. Before the storm died down Dunkin Donuts had pulled the add.
Now, as ignorant, stupid, and arguably racist as Malkin's complaint was, I am not surprised. Fox is full of reactionary morrons. Nor am I surprised that the right-wing Dunkin Donuts caved to the rabid attacks of the right-wing crazies in the blogosphere--although it shows them to be hypocrites. They've taken a lot of heat for their xenophobic stance n imigration and not caved,a nd been called "principalled" for doing so: but one complaint from the right and they are suddenly cowering in the corder like frightened puppies.
No, it is the simple ignorance of the American people that bugs me. That is to say, the people who actually believe that a scarf makes Rachael Ray an appologist for terrorism. Let me be clear here: I live in Brooklyn, 11218. I see people wearing this identical scarf every day. I can buy it from street vendors on Flatbush avenue or at Church and MacDonald. I have myself owned one for over twenty years, so I take this attack personally. It's not that I don't know that Arafat wore a kafiyah made of this type of scarf, it is simply that I don't care. I dont' think it glorifies terrorism if I wear it. Anybody who does think so is a xenophobic, racist ass. It's like thinking that wearing military fatigues glorifies communism because Castro wore them. Is Malkin going to condemn the US Army? Of course not.
A scarf like this is a common article of clothing among arabs and sephardic peoples--and that included Christian, Jews, and Muslims. Even if Arafat did make it part of his personal uniform, that doesn't mean it is a terrorist scarf. Clothes do not the terrorist make. Actions make the terrorist. I wish I could think of an article of clothing that was worn by anti-aboriton terrorists so that I could paint Malkin with the same type of sweeping genralization. How about a cross pendant?
I can certainly find pictures of President Bush dancing with, holding hands with, and kissing men wearing kafiyahs. Does this make *him* pro-terror? I'm pretty sure if I dug deep enough I could find pictures of Menachem Begin or Moishe Dyan wearing one, not to mention Bush's dad and mabey even W. himself.
Malkin knows nothing about terrorism if she thinks that a scarf makes someone pro terror.
I'll tell you about somebody who *does* understand terrorism: Dr. Ruth Westheimer. You know her: Dr. Ruth, the sex therapist. Dr. Ruth was born in Germany in 1928. She was spirited away to Switzerland in 1939 to escape the holocaust. Her parents died in Auschwitz. She emigrated to Palestine in 1945 and fought in the Israeli War for Independence, where she served as a scout and a sharpshooter. She was wounded in action by an exploding shell. She is a decorated war veteran and a citizen of Isreal. She knows a thing or two about terrorists, and also about sephardic culture.
Why do I bring up Dr. Ruth? Because when I met her several years ago, at the Fort Tryon Medieval Festival, I was wearing my kafiyah. I was wearing it on my head, *as* a kafiyah, not wrapped around my neck like Rachael Ray. Do you know what the diminuative Israeli war hero said to me? Did she call me a terrorist? Did she accuse me of supporting the palestinians? Did she say I coddled, supported or was appologetic for terrorists? No. She smield and said in that thick accent of hers "I love your Kafiyah, darling! It looks wonderful!"
She knows that the Kafiyah is a piece of clothing that has nothing to do with terrorism. It is traditional desert headgear, worn by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. She's probably worn one herself.
Rachael Ray just wore a very nice black and white scarf, nothing more. Dunkin Donuts is cowardly and Michelle Malkin is an ignorant ass. And in the United States of America we have much more important things to talk about. But we have to talk about this stuff because the right, in constant campaign mode as they always are, needs to bash any and all possible targets to distract Americans from the economy and keep them thinking about terrorism, becasue they know that they can only win the whitehouse in November if Americans are terrified of Arafat (who's dead) and Bin Laden, who's STILL WALKING AROUND, and of Rachael Ray.
Because she wore a nice black and white scarf.