For anyone who doubts that there is a double standard regarding racism in the U.S. media, read Marty Peretz’s blog post (New Republic, 6/19/10) on the “crooked little emirate” of Dubai, in which he glibly comments that “Arabs are deft at disguising reality.”
Peretz will certainly be able to continue to freely publish his anti-Arab screeds with little condemnation, yet Helen Thomas was pushed out of her job and rebuked by President Obama himself (AP, 6/8/10) and some pundits (FAIR blog, 6/14/10) for her comments telling Israelis to “get the hell out of Palestine” and to “go home” to Poland, Germany or the United States. Thomas promptly apologized (FAIR blog, 6/9/10) and announced her retirement, but Peretz has written similar rants in the past regarding Arabs and Muslims that didn’t raise many eyebrows. Apparently, anti-Arab sentiment remains an acceptable part of the discourse on the Middle East.
Here’s Peretz again, in language that was later scrubbed from the New Republic’s website without comment (Salon, 3/6/10):
There were moments–long moments–during the Iraq War when I had my doubts. Even deep doubts. Frankly, I couldnÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢t quite imagine any venture requiring trust with Arabs turning out especially well. This is, you will say, my prejudice. But some prejudices are built on real facts, and history generally proves me right. Go ahead, prove me wrong.
One more from Peretz (New Republic, 3/19/10):
Alas, in the Middle East, itÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢s mostly continuity and cruelty. This is a culture so unhinged by modernity that it clings to its crippled civilization. And who will tell me that the civilization of the Arabs, the civilization of Islam, is not crippled?
Where’s the media outrage on this one?
(H/T Matt Yglesias.)