Obama Appoints Race-Baiting Judge; Left Thinks Real Scandal Is That Conservatives Noticed
Apparently it is if you’re Cenk Uygur, host of liberal Sirius radio show The Young Turks. On his October 29 webcast, Uygur mocked Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly for criticizing one of Barack Obama’s latest district court nominees, Judge Edward Chen of San Francisco. Chen has quite the left-wing record, from which Hannity highlighted two examples: his self-described “feelings of ambivalence and cynicism when confronted with appeals to patriotism,” and his revelation that among his first reactions to the September 11 attacks was fear over what Americans would do to Muslims in response. For daring to say Chen shouldn’t be confirmed, Hannity is apparently perpetrating a “witch-hunt.”
Uygur defends Chen’s race-baiting as justified, since “attacks against Muslim-Americans only went up 1,600% after the attack.” But predictably, that statistic is deeply misleading:
To begin with, though the percentage increase sounds dramatic, it doesn’t represent very many actual crimes. The report found 481 anti-Muslim “incidents” (not 500 “attacks,” as Rather claimed) involving 546 separate offenses. For perspective, the FBI found about 11.8 million crimes in 2001, so those driven by anti-Islamic bias account for less than one crime in 21,000. The hate-crimes report also found 334 known offenders behind the attacks on Muslims – this, in a country of more than 280 million people. That’s not quite a ratio of one in a million (more like one in 838,000), but it’s not a lot. You can find a lot more people who’ll say they’ve been abducted by aliens.
More telling, though, is the kind of crimes the FBI found. Say “hate crimes” (much less “attacks”) to most people and they think violence, a la Matthew Shepard or James Byrd. Yet the number of murders the report attributes to anti-Muslim sentiment is zero; the number of aggravated assaults, just 27.
Conservatives don’t support bigotry or violence against Muslim citizens, and it’s fair to hold America to her promise as a free, pluralistic society—but it’s not legitimate to claim America has violated that promise when she hasn’t or to tar an entire country with the actions of a few. Whether it’s this, the supposed Limbaugh-McVeigh connection, or the smear campaign against tea partiers and healthcare townhalls, the Left is certain that anyone who isn’t them is a powder keg waiting to burst. They’ll use whatever connection they can to make the charge stick, no matter how tenuous.
Uygur also reassures us that, obviously, Chen felt for the victims of 9/11, too. I wouldn’t accuse the guy of enjoying their deaths, but in an age where doing precisely that won’t threaten your tenure and fans of mass murderers can find jobs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I hope you’ll allow me a bit of skepticism as to where Chen’s primary sympathies fell.
Of “America the Beautiful,” Chen says:
“sometimes I cannot help but feel that there are too much [sic] injustice and too many inequalities that prevent far too many Americans from enjoying the beauty extolled in that anthem.”
Uygur concedes that Chen should “maybe cool down a little” about regularly emphasizing America’s past sins, but mocks Hannity and O’Reilly as “stupid” for judging “judicial nominees based on what songs they like.” The real question is if Uygur thinks we’re stupid enough to notice his clumsy attempt at misdirection. Chen’s musical taste isn’t the problem; it’s that his obsession with America’s failings distorts our true history, in which the good has far outweighed the bad, and even the bad is by no means unique to these United States.
The racial tensions of the past will never be extinguished if leftists like Edward Chen insist on keeping them alive. And Barack Obama will never fulfill his promise of bringing Americans together as long as he keeps appointing radicals. And we’re certainly never going to get anywhere as long as “progressives” like the Young Turks mock and stigmatize honest discussion of serious issues.