In the previous post, I introduced the idea that those who fetishize multiculturalism are failing to adequately confront the dangers of Radical Islam. I also stated that those who hold multiculturalism most sacred tend to be on the Progressive/Liberal spectrum of ideological thought. The late author and professional atheist Christopher Hitchens expanded this thought by saying that the left has failed to confront this threat of Radical Islam because the guilt of past sins. Hitchens took the bold and more nuanced stance by admitting that America has done awful things yet still retains the moral authority to confront totalitarianism.
A couple of weeks ago, Bill Maher took this issue head on and essentially said that if Liberals want to bear the name “Liberal” then they are going to have to temper their hesitancy in criticizing other cultures and take a brave stance and denounce certain aspects of Islam that are at odds with liberal principles like free speech and equality.
In addressing this issue of Liberal nonjudgmentalism, Maher said, “91% of Egyptian women have had their clitorises forcibly removed. 98% of Somalian women have. Ayaan Hirsi Ali grew up in Somalia, and is one of them. She was scheduled to speak at Yale last week, but the school’s atheist organization — my people — complained that she “did not represent the totality of the ex-Muslim experience”. Meaning what? The women who like mutilation? You’re atheists! You should be attacking religion, not siding with the people who hold women down and violate them, which apparently you will defend in the name of multiculturalism, and then lose your sh!t when someone refers to Chaz Bono by the wrong pronoun.”
This week, the aforementioned issue was at the forefront again when Bill Maher and his guests, Sam Harris, Ben Affleck, Michael Steel and Nicholas Kristof were discussing Maher’s earlier attempts to awaken Liberals about of their multiculturalist stupor.
Maher said, “… liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. This is what I said on last week’s show, obviously I got a lot of hate for it. But all I’m saying is that liberal principles like freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion that you want without fear of violence, Freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities including homosexuals; these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what’s lacking, then they get upset.”
Sam Harris added, “Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticize white theocracy; they’ll criticizeChristians. They’ll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984, but when when you want to talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us and the crucial point of confusion…”
Before going further, it’s important to recognize when someone has fetishized multiculturalism. Again, I think Bill Maher points it out nicely, “Overwhelming majorities in every Muslim country say a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. That all seems like a bigger issue than evangelical Christian bakeries refusing to make gay wedding cakes.”
For the sake of practicality, if someone’s blood pressure rises over the fact an Orthodox Christianity believes that homosexuality is a sin and not over a gay Iranian who gets a stone wall pushed on top of him by a tank, I reserve to right to ridicule your shallow sense of Liberty. At the very least, I know not to take you seriously. Plus, you are engaging in what Sam Harris pointed out earlier, “They’ll criticize white theocracy; they’ll criticize Christians…”
Thomas Sowell (yes, I’m a fanboy) said that, “What ‘multiculturalism’ boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture – and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.” And, along the same lines, “People who warn us against being “Eurocentric” are often totally Eurocentric when it comes to condemning the sins of the human race as if they were peculiarities of “our society.””
In the last post, I pointed out that Bill Maher was first and foremost preaching to his own audience members and their failure to criticize Radical Islam for fear of being a labeled a bigot. It’s very telling that when Bill Maher said, “these are liberal principles (gestures towards the audience) that liberals applaud for but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what’s lacking, then they get upset.”
Right after Sam Harris said that Liberals have failed us, Ben Affleck chimed in and instead of challenging Harris’ idea, he mockingly said, “Thank God you’re here.”
Ignoring the tantrum, Harris went on to say, “The crucial point of confusion is that, that we have been sold this meme of Islamophobia where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people… That’s intellectually ridiculous; it even gets compared with racism.
With tempers flaring, Affleck asks Harris if he is qualified to speak on behalf of the Islamic faith. He asks, “So you’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing. That if you’re critical of something…” Maher responds by saying that he and Harris’ criticism of Islam was not Islamophobic, to which Affleck retorted with a sarcastic, “Right.”
Harris went on to say, “I’m not denying that some people are bigoted against Muslims as a people and that’s a problem,”
Affleck upped the teenaged angst by snidely saying, “That’s big of you.”
Maher, sensing that Affleck’s level of post-adolescent passive aggressiveness has reached critical mass, pressed Affleck on why he is being so hostile about this discussion. Without hesitation, Affleck, in statement that would make Al Sharpton proud, said that what Maher and Harris were saying was gross and racist!
Harris and Maher then tried to assure Affleck that the icky feelings that he was experiencing were not real. They tried to inject reason and facts in support their position by saying that Islam, at this moment, has a lot of bad ideas that are causing a lot of death and violence. Affleck then goes Super Saiyan upgraded up to whiny outrage level 4 by shouting, “Jesus Christ!”
If I get nothing else from watching Affleck’s meltdown, at least I am finally able to empathize with underpaid school guidance counselors who try to console teenage girls after “the love of their life” has dumped them.
The conversation then became a back and forth with Maher and Harris playing the adults in the conversation, and Affleck metaphorically stomping his feet in mock outrage. Affleck and reporter Nicolas Kristof, in the spirit of Jesse Jackson, tried to draw similarities in Maher and Harris’ way of thinking with those who stereotyped black people in the recent past. Kristof said, “This is such a caricature of Indonesia, of Malaysia, of so much of the world. And this does have a tinge a little bit of how white racists talk about African-American and define blacks by —“
What did Thomas Sowell say on this matter again? “…you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture – and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.”
And what did Harris say earlier about playing the race card in this situation? “… we have been sold this meme of Islamophobia where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people… That’s intellectually ridiculous; it even gets compared with racism.”
This is the battle that is being waged in today’s society, and instead of standing in solidarity with Western Civilization against theocratic authoritarianism, some on the left are still afraid of criticizing any culture that’s not white and/or Christian.
If multiculturalism and political correctness are going to stay, then Ben Affleck certainly is not qualified to lead the march for tolerance. That would be like Leonardo DiCaprio leading a protest at a climate change march. Affleck may have been appalled at what Bill Maher and Sam Harris said, but what if Maher and Harris were doing this segment on the dangers of Republicanism? Would Affleck be so quick to defend those on the right of center? Ben Affleck wants everyone to know that it’s not right condemn every Muslim because of the actions of a few, but when it comes to Republicans, he is more than willing to set that notion aside.
“People now know me as a Democrat, and that will always be the case to some extent,” Affleck told the publication. “It does [polarize viewers], and you can bifurcate your audience.”
“When I watch a guy I know is a big Republican, part of me thinks, I probably wouldn’t like this person if I met him, or we would have different opinions. That s–t fogs the mind when you should be paying attention and be swept into the illusion.”
“I grew up in a house with a mother who was a teacher and a Freedom Rider—very left-wing Democrats living in a heterogeneous working-class neighborhood,” Affleck explained. “I picked up a lot of those values there, and I brought them with me when I showed up in Hollywood.”
Affleck prides himself on his nonjudgmentalism and his upbringing in a Liberal environment but what apparently was missing in his home training was the ability to tolerate ideas he finds reprehensible and to not throw teenage temper tantrums when engaging in a grown up discussions.
If we are going to engage in an intellectually honest and mature discussion on the current issues that face our country, we are going to have to do so dispassionately. Even if we find someone else’s point of view trite and idiotic, we have to govern our emotions and speak with clarity. Simply put: state your point. If you get upset, act with some dignity and assertively attack the idea while leaving behind the adolescent attitude. Judging from his past performances in Gigli and Daredevil, maybe Ben Affleck simply isn’t capable of having a mature discussion without resulting to hysterics and flying race cards. We all have limitations, I guess.
Western Civilization is at stake, and those “Liberals/Progressives” who value multiculturalism over Liberty have elected to stay neutral on a moving train.