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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Huffington Post: Not Even Wrong

[Author's note: This was originally written months ago, but due to a failure in communications between myself and my esteemed editor, it went unpublished. It's essentially an emotionally-charged piece that came in the wake of the shooting and its subsequent media fervor that put me off of social media for a short period.]

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I had to take the night off because I was getting tired of seeing propaganda surrounding the San Bernardino shooting coming from every direction. There was such a flurry of agenda-pushing that finally culminated in a masterpiece of gravesquatting from none other than Huffington Post.

In San Bernardino Shooting, Patriarchy Pulled the Trigger.” 

I'm sorry, but you what mate?

There's a concept called “Not even wrong.” The best way to explain it is probably a sports metaphor (or not; I'm terrible with sports): Imagine you're playing baseball, and someone pitches to you. You swing, but instead of a full-on contact with the bat, you only sort of wing it. The ball shoots sideways, hitting the umpire in the solar plexus. As you finish your swing, your grip on the bat gives way and it slides from your fingers, rocketing into the facemask of the catcher and giving him a concussion, as you realize you're in the stadium from Sharknado 2 and a shark lands on you, eating you whole and leaving only bloody cleated shoes at home plate as evidence you were ever there.

Okay, that might have gotten away from me. Let's put it this way. Correct would be to say 2 + 2 equals 4. Wrong would be to say 2 + 2 equals 5. Not even wrong would be to say 2 + 2 equals a shadow conspiracy to oppress 50% of the world's population. So let's take a look at what James Marshall Crotty thinks.
I am all for religious liberty and the freedom to wear whatever you want
No you're not. You're for supporting something that makes you look good to your friends. You're virtue signaling. And let's see if you'd support the freedom to wear a shirt with cartoon ladies on it.
including full-metal burka, but the relatives of American-born, Redlands-residing, "ISIS-sympathizing" (according to Farook's own father) terrorist, Syed Rizwan Farook, insult our intelligence when they proclaimed, through their associate attorney, Mohammad Abuershaid, that their "normal" son and his "quiet" and "petite" Pakistani-born Internet bride, Tashfeen Malik, were "living the American dream."
How is this an insult to our intelligence? For decades, when a white dude snaps and kills his entire family before blowing away the population of a local McDonald's, they interview the neighbors who say “He was such a nice, quiet man, we could never imagine him hurting anyone.” To me his sounds like progress, equality. approximate treatment regardless of identity.
As the Los Angeles Times has now reported, every time Farook's extended family visited Mr. Farook and his wife, they saw Ms. Malik completely shrouded in a black burqa, with only her eyes showing. Moreover, at such gatherings, according to Abuershaid, men and women were completely segregated.
Is it not halal to protect her from the male gaze?

See what I did there? Mixing ideologies? Clever, eh? Eh?

Eh... I'll just assume you agreed with me there. If you didn't, it's harassment.
Let me explain something to the Farook family. There is nothing "normal" or "All-American" about segregation of the sexes, let alone women clothed head to toe in a garment where one can only see the woman's eyes. We may tolerate such antiquated behavior here, but it is by no means "normal."
Really? That's awfully judgmental of you, that bit about antiquated behaviour and all. But the segregation thing -- I mean, safe spaces and the talk of women-only train cars and buses -- That's starting to sound a little all-American there. Disappointingly all-American.
Sorry, Mom, but when your "polite" Muslim son is married to a woman you barely know, who hails from an area of Pakistan (Punjab) widely known for its violent Islamic extremism and from a politically influential family widely known for its radical Islamic connections, and who is radically fundamentalist in her own garb and demeanor, and you are not even allowed to access your son's "man cave" (read: bomb factory) in your own home, then, shame on you for your grotesque and enabling incuriosity.
Yeah, mom! This is all your fault for giving your son a space of his own and not intruding on it! Down with man caves!

This part does confuse me, though, because for some reason Huffpo here is, quite problematically, conflating an entire region of a country with its extremists, something that I've seen admonished heavily both on its own site and lots of others, and with good reason: everyone from Muslims to gun owners to gamers to feminists to sport fans know that their bad apples that don't spoil the entire batch, right?

Right?
Until that time, we will keep alive this important, but secondary, debate about stricter gun control, better predictive analytics, tighter surveillance, and more rigorous visa waiver and fiancé visa requirements.
So you're endorsing gun control, profiling, violation of privacy, and immigration reform? What website is this, again? I'm so confused.
Unfortunately, in the highly secretive, segregated and patriarchal world of Wahhabist Islam, it was not considered proper to investigate those actions further.
Points here: you actually, for once, correctly identified a Patriarchy. Good job. Now will you, in return, call me an Islamophobe for criticizing it?

But here's the part where Huffpo not only misses the ball but takes out the Umpire in the process: all the evidence in (somehow) less biased reporting seems to point entirely to Malik being the one behind it all, and having been married previously.

I'm fully prepared to believe that a woman can be both inspired to, and capable of, pulling off an act of terror. Now that's what I call progressive!

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