Pornhub, the world’s most popular porn site, has been under fire in recent months for featuring videos of sex-trafficking victims — including a 15-year-old victim from Florida, 118 confirmed cases of child abuse, as well as 22 women allegedly duped and coerced by Michael Pratt, owner of GirlsDoPorn, into performing sex acts on film that were subsequently monetized on a Pornhub partner channel (Pratt has been found civilly liable and now faces federal criminal charges).
Now add another blatant misdeed to the litany of the site’s misdeeds: While the rest of the country grapples with race and racism, Pornhub enables, monetizes and promotes content involving racism in its most extreme forms. The sexualized hatred Pornhub dishes out as masturbation material should alarm a nation that otherwise claims to condemn bigotry.
Decent Americans mourned the unjust killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Yet for Pornhub, the tragedy supplied grist for masturbation. Recently approved and uploaded titles include “I Can’t Breathe,” posted by a verified user, with search tags that include “George Floyd” and “choke-out.” A for-profit partner channel on Pornhub called Black Patrol sexualizes police brutality against African-Americans with titles such as “White Cops Track Down and F - - k Black Deadbeat Dad.”
Countless other titles on Pornhub feature variations on the N-word and “white master.” “Exploited black teens” and “black slave” are suggested search terms deliberately promoted by Pornhub to its users. If the titles repulse you, imagine what the videos do to the ever-younger eyes and minds that daily encounter hardcore, racist porn.
African-Americans aren’t the only community denigrated for pleasure and profit on Pornhub. There are also loads of anti-Semitic content on the site. Pornhub had approved and monetized with ads videos with titles such as “Nazi Rick & Morty Have Sex at Auschwitz” and “Nazi F - - k Camp” (involving “Jewish corpses”).
Wildly anti-Semitic videos such as these are uploaded by Pornhub verified users, accounts with usernames like “OvenBakedJew” and “Hitler the Jew-Slayer.” Many of these videos have remained on the site for months and years, with comments such as “Blacks, Jews and Muslims — bad seed!” and “Anne Frank was hiding, but I didn’t want to kill her, I just wanted to make a casting-couch Auschwitz edition!”
Pornhub places monetized ads all over these videos, comments and user accounts.
As Calev Myers, deputy president of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, told me, “the violently aggressive nature of the anti-Semitic rhetoric on Pornhub dehumanizes the Jewish people and brutally assaults the memory of the Holocaust and all the people who were murdered in it. Those who allow these types of expressions to be broadcast publicly are essentially condoning the Holocaust and its horrors.”
The company insists it has an “extensive team” of moderators dedicated to viewing every video uploaded for illegal content. Yet a horrifying number of abuse videos have made it through, and the firm appears indifferent to racist content. Moderation or not, Pornhub is monetizing extreme forms of racism and anti-Semitism (not to mention videos of trafficking victims).
The abject reality of Pornhub — it makes this content available for 115 million visitors daily and monetizes it to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year — should disturb anyone who cares about the rights of women and children to be free from exploitation and everyone who cares about equality and a society free from hatred.
America has made great strides in combating the exploitation of women and girls. We have also overcome historical slavery, legal apartheid and the horrors of anti-Semitism. This is to our credit. Yes, racism and anti-Semitism persist, but they are utterly banned from ethical society. And yet there is this underside to our society, where the same awful phenomena are promoted, broadcast, used for pleasure — and monetized for profit. That’s not progress.
Laila Mickelwait is the director of abolition for Exodus Cry, which works to abolish sex trafficking.
Racist and oppressive regimes should recuse themselves from today’s UN Human Rights Council urgent debate on racism and police brutality, says UN Watch, a Geneva-based independent human rights group that monitors the United Nations.
In testimony delivered before the 47-nation council yesterday (see below), UN Watch directed its appeal to such council members as Mauritania, which has up to 500,000 black slaves; Libya, which has up to a million African migrants treated as virtual slaves; and Venezuela, which kills protesters and has been accused of crimes against humanity.
Other council members with egregious records of racism or police brutality who approved today’s urgent debate include Burkina Faso (which initiated the session on behalf of African states), Bangladesh, Cameroon, DR Congo, Pakistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Qatar.
Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and China are expected to be elected to the council in October.
China recently chaired the UNHRC process for interviewing and recommending the UNHRC’s next expert on freedom of speech, to be appointed in July.
The following statement was delivered by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer in testimony before the United Nations Human Rights Council, in its debate on June 16, 2020:
In the archives of Reverend Martin Luther King, there is a telegram from March 1965, sent to him in Selma, Alabama, by his friend and fellow civil rights leader Morris Abram, our founder, days after Bloody Sunday. Morris Abram condemned the “shameful exhibition of brutality” by police officers at the peaceful protests, and expressed solidarity with the “great cause” of justice and equality.
Sadly, a half century later, UN Watch must again today condemn the shameful exhibition of brutality by police officers, in the killing of George Floyd. We continue to stand unequivocally with the struggle against racism and police brutality.
In the spirit of Morris Abram—who served at the United Nations, and drafted the 1964 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination—UN Watch has been a leading voice at this Human Rights Council, fighting discrimination worldwide. When there was genocide in Darfur, it was UN Watch that organized the global Activist Summit, held here in 2007.
And every year, we campaign against the election of racist and brutal regimes to this Council. Too often, however, because of back-room political deals, they win. The accused become the judges.
If we wish to honor the memory of George Floyd, tomorrow’s urgent debate on racism and police brutality must be serious and credible — and not become a farce.
Accordingly, we propose that Council members which practice systematic racism or police brutality refrain from taking part — that they recuse themselves.
We ask Mauritania: given that you have an estimated 500,000 black slaves, with CNN referring to Mauritania as “slavery’s last stronghold,” will your country recuse itself from this urgent debate on racism against blacks?
We ask Libya: given that your country subjects up to a million African migrants to virtual slavery—trapped in a terrifying cycle of extortion, imprisonment, forced labor and prostitution—will Libya recuse itself?
We ask Eritrea: given that your country has been condemned—by this Council itself—for “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations,” including arbitrary detention and torture, will Eritrea recuse itself?
We ask Cameroon: given that your country systematically bans peaceful demonstrations, crushes protests by the English-speaking population, and has committed atrocities, including massacring civilians, rape, and burning villages, will Cameroon recuse itself?
We ask the Democratic Republic of Congo: aside from being the rape capital of the world, given that your police just 2 months ago killed 55 people, in a coordinated crackdown on a religious sect, will DRC recuse itself?
We ask Venezuela: given that in just 5 days last year, your forces killed 47 protesters, and arbitrarily detained 900 people, will the Maduro government recuse itself?
Mr. Chairman, when will the UN stop electing racists and oppressors to be judges on human rights?
I thank you.
The fact is, many in positions of power and influence are oblivious or unaware of the unique challenges disproportionately facing African American communities across this country. We must now acknowledge these challenges and address these disparities that they create. The only way forward is to treat each other with the empathy and respect required of a people who have decided to share a nation—and a future.
The murder of Mr. Floyd at the hands of law enforcement officers was an outrageous crime that has shocked this nation. But it would be a mistake to conclude that the unrest of the last two weeks is only about his death or relations with the police.
At its core, this unrest is about the question of what kind of society we are, and what kind of society we want to be.
The murder of Mr. Floyd at the hands of law enforcement officers was an outrageous crime that has shocked this nation. But it would be a mistake to conclude that the unrest of the last two weeks is only about his death or relations with the police.
A society is a voluntary agreement by people to live together. For a society to thrive, those in it must believe their interests are protected and their voices are heard. But when a substantial number of people in a society come to believe that they are not valued, they do not matter or they are not wanted, then that society will have big problems.
For decades, African Americans have complained that they feel that their voices are ignored, their problems are not addressed, and their lives are not valued. Given our nation’s history with race, this is an uncomfortable grievance, and one many would rather avoid. But like a bad debt that must eventually be paid, it is a grievance we can no longer ignore.
Like before, the latest unrest has given rise to voices arguing that the foundations of our republic are built on systemic racism and must therefore be brought down. The only difference is that this time claims like these don’t just come from the fringes of our politics. Like before, we also have voices who say that today race is a factor only in individual cases, distinct from our society at large.
Both of these views are wrong.
The foundations of our country are not irredeemably racist. Abolition, women’s suffrage, desegregation, the Civil Rights movement—these were not appeals to overthrow our values, these were demands that we fulfill them. And the Constitution that once considered slaves three-fifths of a human being was ultimately the vehicle used to free them and, eventually, to secure their most basic rights.
We have made tremendous progress on racial equality over the last fifty years, but there remain shocking racial disparities on health, on education, on housing, on economics and criminal justice. And there remains the fundamental truth that, any society in which a substantial percentage of the people believe that they are treated unjustly, is a society that has a problem—a society that can never fulfill its full potential unless those grievances are addressed.
None of this excuses radical, violent extremists’ setting fires, looting buildings, and hurting innocent people. It also shouldn’t lead us to stupid ideas like de-funding the police. And this is not going to be fixed by endless e-mails from corporation after corporation trying to prove how “woke” they are, even as they outsource your job to China. But it’s also not going to be fixed by pretending that race is no longer an issue, and by accusing everyone who disagrees and says it is, of hating America.
Yes, there are still vile racists among us, although few of them will ever openly admit it. But, in twenty-first-century America, few people consider themselves racists. The primary reason why race remains relevant today is that the African American community faces a unique set of challenges that far too few people in positions of power and politics fully understand.
Imagine a child who is raised in a stable home in a safe neighborhood, attends a good school, and has a private tutor to help them prepare for the SAT. Meanwhile, another child—just two miles away—is raised by one parent or even a grandparent, living in substandard housing in a dangerous neighborhood. That child attends a school that is failing—or failing them—and has no access to a private tutor for the SAT. On most days, he doesn’t even have access to WiFi.
Do these two kids really have an equal opportunity to go to the same college?
If one college student has the connections and money to complete unpaid internships in the summer or study abroad, and another student has to work in the summer just so they can afford to go back to school in the fall, do they really have an equal opportunity to get hired when they graduate?
If one young adult does something stupid and gets arrested, his parents can hire good lawyers, and he is able to avoid having a criminal record. Meanwhile, another young adult who does the exact same thing has to use a public defender, pleads guilty to a lesser charge, and now has a criminal record. Do they really have an equal opportunity when they apply for the same job?
When policymakers encourage sending manufacturing jobs that once employed African American men overseas, in an effort to benefit those employed in technology and finance, how can we truly expect widespread prosperity for all Americans? And when a disproportionate number of those with these disadvantages come from one race, while a disproportionate number of those with the advantages comes from another, the result is a racial disparity.
Some suggest these disparities are the result of institutionalized racism or of a deliberate effort designed to harm African Americans. I believe that it’s the product of something far less sinister, but sometimes equally damaging.
It is the result of racial indifference.
The fact is, many in positions of power and influence are oblivious to or unaware of the unique challenges disproportionately facing African American communities across this country. We must now acknowledge these challenges and address these disparities that they create, because when disparities go unaddressed, they become grievances. And when grievances are ignored, it leads to friction, division, and unrest.
By no means do these disparities alone fully capture the entirety of the challenge before us. There still remain points of friction more reminiscent of a different and shameful era in our history, and here too we can suffer from indifference. The vast majority of Americans simply do not personally know the sting that comes from implicit—and sometimes explicit—reactions to the color of your skin.
True progress requires that we listen to the viewpoints of those who do.
Listen to the young man I know, who sees reports of a young man that looks like him, like his uncles, like his grandfather, being murdered by vigilantes in a case of mistaken identity. Who knows that, had they not taken a video of themselves doing this, they would have gotten away with it. Listen, and he will tell you that he feels his life wouldn’t matter either, if he didn’t play professional football.
Listen to the police officer I know, who was pulled over while off duty at least seven times by his own department for no reason. And he will tell you of the humiliation of having to explain this to his teenage son.
Listen to what it feels like for African Americans to see on the news that, when a mother in Miami recently drowned her own autistic son in a terrible tragedy, she tried to cover it up by falsely telling the police that he had been abducted by two African American men demanding drugs.
And listen to what it feels like for them to read about the indictment of the Chief of Police of Biscayne Park, Florida, who—so that he could brag about having a perfect crime-solving record—ordered his officers to arrest anybody black walking through their streets, and if they had any kind of criminal record, pin one of their unsolved crimes on them.
Listen, not because it is your fault. Not because you are to blame. Listen, because this is what people who want to live together in harmony must do. This is the respect we owe one another, as colleagues, as co-workers. This is the empathy that is required of us as neighbors, as friends, and as children of the same God.
This may not be YOUR fault. But this is OUR problem. Until we heal this divide, we will never, ever have the kind of society we want. And we will never fulfill the full promise of our nation.
There is reason for hope. Even in a deeply divided country, where the political and cultural lines that divide us continue to harden, a clear consensus has emerged that we can no longer ignore matters of race in America.
There is reason for hope. Even in a deeply divided country, where the political and cultural lines that divide us continue to harden, a clear consensus has emerged that we can no longer ignore matters of race in America. But it is a fragile consensus. It is already being tested by loud voices appealing to our most basic fears, and those who see this time as an opportunity to advance divisiveness and extreme ideas.
If this is the path we choose, we will all look back at this time with profound regret. We will be left with a society that is even angrier and more divided than it is now. We will be left with an America that no longer resembles the one we honor when we stand during the national anthem. And ironically, we will also be left with an America even further away from the one some kneel to demand.
The only way forward is to treat each other with the empathy and respect required of a people who have decided to share a nation—and a future.
The above text was delivered as a floor speech by Senator Rubio on June 9th, 2020.
The similarities between this week’s riots and the Los Angeles riots of 1992 are obvious. Both were occasioned by appalling video images, and both divided the nation along partisan and ideological lines. The differences between the two events, however, are more revealing. The violence in 1992 came after a court verdict; the beating and arrest of Rodney King had happened more than a year before. This year’s riots came within days of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis officers. The riots of 1992 were mostly confined to poor and working-class areas of Los Angeles. This week saw mayhem all over America, and in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere the rioters targeted wealthy streets and neighborhoods.
But perhaps the most striking difference is the rationalization, and sometimes full-throated defense, of violence from left-wing elites: the glorification of havoc, the vilification of cops and their middle-class admirers, highfalutin defenses of vandalism. The sense of revolution and class warfare was everywhere this week: the cognoscenti and underclass arrayed against the petty bourgeois shop owners; the elite and those they claim to represent against everybody else.
Gary Saul Morson says he has no special insight regarding police actions and the death of George Floyd. But he does have a provocative thesis about America’s current political moment: “To me it’s astonishingly like late 19th-, early 20th-century Russia, when basically the entire educated class felt you simply had to be against the regime or some sort of revolutionary.”
Mr. Morson, 72, is a professor of Russian literature at Northwestern University and an accomplished interpreter of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy. Obviously we haven’t arrived at anything like what Lenin called a “revolutionary situation,” Mr. Morson says, but we have arrived at a situation in which well-intentioned liberal people often can’t bring themselves to say that lawless violence is wrong.
In late czarist Russia, some political parties and other groups—the Social Democrats, the anarchists, the Marxists—explicitly endorsed terrorism. “The liberal party—the Constitutional Democrats, they called themselves—did not condone terrorism,” Mr. Morson says. “But they refused to condemn it. And indeed they called for the release from prison of all terrorists, who were pledged to continue terrorism right away. . . . A famous line from one of the liberal leaders put it this way: ‘Condemn terrorism? That would be the moral death of the party.’ ”
The lesson seems highly relevant today. “When you’re dragged along into something you don’t really believe yourself—because otherwise you are identified with those evil people, and your primary identity is being a ‘good guy,’ not like those people—you will wind up supporting things you know to be wrong. And unless there is some moral force that will stop it, the slide will accelerate.”
Mr. Morson, ensconced in his delightfully untidy and book-laden office in Chicago as we chat on Zoom, concedes that a scholar who spends much of his time thinking and writing about Russia’s revolutionary period will tend to look for parallels between that time and our own. The parallels don’t obtain in every way.
But some of them make the analogy worth considering. One is that many of today’s revolutionaries are wildly successful and privileged. Take Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, both New York lawyers in their 30s, who have been criminally charged for attempting to firebomb a police vehicle with a Molotov cocktail. Mr. Mattis was educated at Princeton and New York University, Ms. Rahman at Fordham.
Why do people at the top want to destroy the system that enabled them to get there? “No,” Mr. Morson says, “you have it wrong. When you’re such a person, you don’t feel you’re at the top. The people at the top are wealthy businesspeople, and you’re an intellectual. You think that people of ideas should be at the top.”
The word “intelligentsia,” he notes, comes from Russian. In the classic period, from about 1860 to the First Russian Revolution in 1905, “the word did not mean everybody who was educated. It meant educated people who identified with one or another of the radical movements. ‘Intelligents’ believed in atheism, revolution and either socialism or anarchism.
“The idea was that since they knew the theory, they were morally superior and they should be in charge, and that there was something fundamentally wrong with the world when ‘practical’ people were. So what you take from your education would be the ideology that would justify this kind of activity—justify it because the wrong people have the power, and you should have it. You don’t feel like you’re the establishment.”
Is American society, shaped by Protestant Christianity and dominated by a kind of dovish, humanitarian left-liberalism, ever likely to fall into the barbarity of the Russian Revolution? Aren’t we too—I fumble for a word as I formulate the question—soft for that sort of totalizing violence?
“I don’t know,” Mr. Morson answers after a long pause. “I don’t know if that means people won’t go as far as they did in Russia, or if it just means there will be less resistance to it.”
The danger begins, he thinks, when complex social and political problems can’t be debated any longer. “You get into a revolutionary situation because people can’t hear,” he says. “Can there be a dialogue on important questions, or is there only one thing to say about every question? Are people afraid to say, ‘Well, yes, but it’s not quite as simple as that’? . . . When you can’t do that, you’re heading to a one-party state or a dictatorship of some sort. If one party is always wrong and another always right, why not just have the right one?”
Mr. Morson speaks with conviction about the peril of “ideological segregation”: “It was very easy for white people to believe evil things of black people when they never met any. But when you live with somebody, you realize that they’re no worse than you are. . . . We’ve increasingly had ideological segregation on both sides. Each side has caricature views of the other.”
The assumption of historical inevitability may play a part here. You hear it in our political language: A favored policy is “an idea whose time has come,” a disfavored one is “on the wrong side of history.” This sort of teleological thinking—history has a direction, and that direction is identical with our political views—is fervently, if unconsciously, embraced by highly educated people today. It was also “one of the central arguments of late-19th-century Russian thought,” Mr. Morson says.
“Does history have a direction? And is later necessarily better? The greatest thinkers—Tolstoy, Alexander Herzen—answered no, later is not always better. They believed that sort of thinking was an importation of religious providentialism into history—the determinism of Hegel and Marx. The difficulty of this form of thinking is that it paralyzes you from acting. Between the wars, it was common for people to say: ‘Yes, you may like liberal democracy, but that’s of the past. We fascists are of the future.’ Or ‘We communists are of the future.’ People would resign themselves to the inevitable and conclude, ‘Well I can’t fight the future, I can’t resist the fascists or the communists.’ ”
I suggest that the American left is very fond of this teleological language—Barack Obama spoke in his first inaugural address of the “worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.” But Mr. Morson reminds me that Ronald Reagan used similar rhetoric. “Part of being a revolutionary is knowing that you don’t have to acquiesce to the tired, old ideas of the past,” he said in a 1985 speech.
Another marker of the Russian intelligentsia was the sheer contempt its members had for the peasants and workers they claimed to represent. “How many workers, how many peasants, were even in the Bolshevik Party? Very few. . . . Lenin’s whole idea was that ‘the working class, left to itself, will never develop more than a trade-union consciousness.’ That’s his famous phrase. They had to be led by the intelligentsia and completely disciplined. No matter what you say, they will do it, no matter how violent. They don’t have to understand the reasons, they’ll just do it. Because they’re the agents of history, as Marx described them. . . . That implies a contempt for the working class and a greater contempt for the peasantry.”
The supposition that America is moving toward anarchy or revolution because we’ve had a week of riots—or three years of bad faith and acrimony, or three decades of polarization—still seems hard to accept. Mr. Morson is careful not to predict the course of events. He uses the phrase “insofar as the Russian example applies” more than once.
But, he says, “we have a major depression, we have terrible fear from the illness, and now we have mass riots in the street, which our leaders do not seem to know how to handle. That’s a very rapid slide from only a year ago. And there’s no reason to think it will slow down. The slide could well continue.”
And history can unfold in unpredictable ways. Who would have guessed 20 years ago, he asks, that the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee would become passé on the liberal left? “I used to get a laugh from students by quoting a Soviet citizen I talked to once. He said to me, ‘Of course we have freedom of speech. We just don’t allow people to lie.’ That used to get a laugh! They don’t laugh anymore.”
By Barton Swaim Mr. Swaim is an editorial page writer for the Journal.
Last week, the NYPD published its hate-crimes report for the third quarter, and the results are troubling.
Start with the anti-Semitism. Over the last 12 months, there were 246 anti-Semitic crimes in the Big Apple, up from 144 over the previous 12 months. The number of anti-Semitic assaults jumped to 33 in 2018, up from 17 in 2017, and is on pace to rise again this year, with 19 in just the first half of the year. These attacks brutally target Orthodox Jews, often in broad daylight in Brooklyn neighborhoods that are home to the community.
Then there’s the anti-LGBT violence. The most recent quarterly report tallies 20 incidents, bringing the total number of attacks over the past 12 months to 63, up from 48 in the previous 12 months.
Finally, there’s the anti-Muslim violence, most of which goes unreported (and isn’t well-captured in the report as a result). Yet it is possible to track trends by paying attention to local news and other city agencies. Many of the attacks on this community take place in the Bronx.
Regardless of the victims’ identity, perpetrators too often escape justice. The attackers in the January anti-Muslim case were only caught because the mother of one of them turned in her 14-year-old son. The Muslim woman beaten up this spring, meanwhile, had to track down street-camera footage on her own before police would pursue the case, having initially dropped it after she failed to make an identification.
Yet there is little pressure on the NYPD from activists who are normally quick to denounce hate crimes and bigotry. What explains this silence? The perpetrators have been disproportionately black.
As the investigative reporter Armin Rosen pointed out in Tablet, “many of the [anti-Jewish] attacks are being carried out by people of color with no ties to the politics of white supremacy.” As he noted, even in cases where no one is caught, video footage overwhelmingly shows minority attackers. Blacks comprised seven of the nine anti-Jewish hate-crime perpetrators arrested during the third quarter.
In the most recent report, blacks comprised 24 of the 34 (71 percent) perpetrators arrested for all hate crimes. After reaching a high of 61 percent in the second quarter of 2018, the black share consistently declined to 14 percent in the second quarter of 2019 but has now shot back up. The NYPD doesn’t account for this odd oscillation, though one wonders if there is a political component to this, as well.
Black perpetrators are especially prominent in anti-LGBT crimes, comprising 10 of the 12 arrested for those crimes in the latest quarterly report. Overall, since the beginning of 2017, blacks comprised 56 percent — 61 of 108 — of those arrested for anti-LGBT hate crimes.
But in many urban areas, the problem is complicated by the fact that many of the perpetrators themselves are minorities. Just because facts make us uncomfortable, however, doesn’t mean we should ignore them.
The social-justice community must take hate-crime stats seriously — even when the crimes aren’t committed by white supremacists. We must find the courage to look at the warts in the black community before bigoted violence escalates even further.
Robert Cherry is a professor emeritus of economics at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.
“SpongeBob SquarePants,” which celebrated its 20th anniversary on Friday, has millions of fans around the world, but one University of Washington professor is clearly not among them.
For a recently published academic journal, the professor, Holly M. Barker, wrote an article “Unsettling SpongeBob and the Legacies of Violence on Bikini Bottom,” in which she offers a different take on the affable sea sponge.
“SpongeBob Squarepants and his friends play a role in normalizing the settler colonial takings of indigenous lands while erasing the ancestral Bikinian people from their nonfictional homeland,” the article reads.
Barker calls SpongeBob’s colonization of Bikini Bottom “violent” and “racist,” and also claims that the cartoon is guilty of the “whitewashing of violent American military activities” against natives of the Pacific.
Barker’s beliefs come from the idea that the show is set in a version of the real-life Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. During the Cold War, natives of the area were relocated and the American military used the zone for nuclear testing.
Fox News caught up with ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ cast members Carolyn Lawrence, Bill Fagerbakke and Clancy Brown, who talked about their favorite moments from the series and how the show made a huge impact on US culture.
The area remains uninhabitable to this day. That history has given rise to fans’ theory that Bikini Bottom is inhabited by creatures who owe their mutation to that testing.
Barker stated that as an “American character” allowed to inhabit an area that natives had no choice but to leave, SpongeBob showed his privilege of “not caring about the detonation of nuclear bombs.”
Barker also points out the cultural appropriation of Pacific culture, with Hawaiian-style shirts, homes in the shapes of pineapples, tikis and Easter Island heads, and the sounds of a steel guitar perpetuating stereotypes of the region.
Even the theme song, according to Barker is problematic, as it denounces the area as one full of “nautical nonsense.”
Barker understands that the writers likely didn’t have colonization in mind when creating the show, but she’s upset by the lack of acknowledgment that “Bikini Bottom and Bikini Atoll were not (the writers’) for the taking.”
Other issues for Barker: a perceived imbalance between male and female characters, and the name “Bob” representing an everyman rather than a culturally appropriate character
In the article, Barker claims that because of these themes, children have “become acculturated to an ideology that includes the U.S. character SpongeBob residing on another people’s homeland.”
The article concludes with this: We should be uncomfortable with a hamburger-loving American community’s occupation of Bikini’s lagoon and the ways that it erodes every aspect of sovereignty.”
The journal in which the article was published is called “The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs,” and it is designed to publish pieces on “social, economic, political, ecological and cultural topics.”
A rep for Nickelodeon did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. Fox News’ attempts to reach Tom Kenny — who voiced SpongeBob Squarepants — were unsuccessful.
By Nate Day
Last month, 12-year-old Amari Allen appeared on television to share how she had been brutalized by racist white boys at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia. The sixth-grader, who is black, wept as she recalled how she was pinned down during recess, had her arms pulled behind her back and had a hand placed over her mouth so she couldn’t scream.
She said the boys cut off her dreadlocks, calling it “nappy.” By Monday, it was revealed that, following an investigation by Fairfax County Police, the girl admitted she had made it all up.
When the story first broke, left-wing politicians and activists raged. Rep. Rashida Tlaib published a personalized message on Twitter to the girl: “You see, Amari, you may not feel it now but you have a power that threatens their core. I can’t wait to watch you use it and thrive.” On Twitter, some even found a way to blame the Trump administration, noting ominously that Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, teaches art part-time at the school.
As with Jussie Smollett’s original accusations, Allen’s yarn had all the elements of a rage-bait story. Fervid media interest turned a regional non-incident into a national crisis, featured prominently and uncritically on televised reports from NBC, MSNBC, CNN and CBS, in addition to numerous print and online outlets.
Left-wing activists and the mainstream media refuse to learn lessons about hate-crime hoaxes. Sensational claims deserve additional scrutiny. Was Allen or her family asked why no known students had come forward to corroborate her claims? She said it happened during recess — around dozens of other students presumably.
It’s hard to blame the public and media consumers for their naive credulity. The real problem is that highly publicized fake hate crimes like this one usually receive little public coverage after it is revealed that the original accusation was a hoax.
Then, too, few Americans are aware that in just the past few years, several children have been caught fabricating hate-crime allegations.
In January 2017, police in Gambrills, Maryland, identified a “14-year-old black female” as the suspect responsible for sending out a violent racist threat against her high school using a Twitter account pretending to be part of the Ku Klux Klan.
The following month, students at Plano West Senior High in Texas discovered their school vandalized with racist, anti-black graffiti all over its buildings and school vans. After several months, police arrested and charged Alexandria Monet Butler and Elizabeth Joy Police, two black female minors, for the incident. They were caught on camera vandalizing the school.
Then last year, a 5-year-old black child in Grand Rapids, Michigan, launched a frenzied police search after she told her family that a white man in the neighborhood had urinated on her and called her a racist slur. A 60-year-old man was arrested. The child made up the story with her friends.
Nor are incidents like these confined to the United States. In early 2018, Khawlah Noman, an 11-year-old Muslim girl in Toronto, claimed that a man had attacked her by cutting her hijab. The story reverberated across the country, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately issuing comments condemning Islamophobia in Canada. Local police invested huge resources into catching the at-large suspect. Noman had fabricated the incident. She was never charged.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf is as old as time immemorial, to be sure. What’s different today is the mind-boggling credulity of mainstream media and politicians, who jump to ideological conclusions and dial the outrage to 11 before the facts have played out.
It’s no surprise that children lie, but when they are rewarded by an all-too-willing media and audience, we should expect more incidents like what happened in Virginia. The final result: Americans are bound to become ever more cynical and skeptical of hate-crime allegations — even when they’re true.
Andy Ngo is a journalist in Portland, Oregon. Twitter: @MrAndyNgo
It is now a standard trope that whites pose a severe threat to blacks. That may have once been true, but it is no longer so today.
This month, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released its 2018 survey of criminal victimization. According to the study, there were 593,598 interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) between blacks and whites last year, including white-on-black and black-on-white attacks. Blacks committed 537,204 of those interracial felonies, or 90%, and whites committed 56,394 of them, or less than 10%.
Blacks are also over-represented among perpetrators of hate crimes, by 50%, according to the most recent Justice Department data from 2017; whites are underrepresented by 24%. This is particularly true for anti-gay and anti-Semitic hate crimes.
You would never know such facts from the media or from Democratic talking points. This summer, three shockingly violent mob attacks on white victims in downtown Minneapolis were captured by surveillance video.
On Aug. 3, in broad daylight, a dozen black assailants, some as young as 15, tried to take a man’s cellphone, viciously beating and kicking him as he lay on the ground. They jumped on his torso like a trampoline, stripped his shoes and pants off as they riffled through his pockets, smashed a planter pot on his head and rode a bike over his prostrate body.
On Aug. 17, another large group kicked and punched their victim until he was unconscious, stealing his phone, wallet, keys and cash. In July, two men were set upon in similar fashion. Such attacks have risen more than 50% in downtown Minneapolis this year.
The Minneapolis media have paid fleeting attention to these videos; the mainstream national media, almost none (CNN blamed the attacks on police understaffing and ignored the evident racial hatred that was the most salient aspect of the attacks). This year’s installments of the usual flash mob rampages on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor have also been ignored.
If the race of perpetrators and victims in any of these incidents were reversed, there would be a universal uproar, with public figures across the board denouncing “white supremacist” violence and calling for a national reckoning regarding white racism. But because the violence doesn’t fit the standard narrative about American race relations, it is kept carefully off stage.
Today’s taboo on acknowledging the behavioral roots of criminal-justice-system involvement, multi-generational poverty and the academic-achievement gap isn’t a civil rights advance. To the contrary, it will ensure that racial disparities persist, where they can be milked by opportunistic politicians and activists seeking to parade their own alleged racial sensitivity and deflect attention away from the cultural changes that must occur for full racial parity to be realized.
Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal, from which this column was adapted.
When Oklahoma City Council member JoBeth Hamon was sworn in early this year, she chose to use a copy of Marxist Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” rather than the Bible.
While there’s no law or policy that requires the use of a Bible for swearing-in ceremonies, Hamon upset traditions going back to ninth-century England.
In an email to me, Hamon explained that she comes from a social services background, so she wanted to center her campaign “on uplifting voices that aren’t often at the table when our governments make decisions”— the homeless, the car-less, and so forth, from whose perspective, she claimed, Zinn told U.S. history.
“A People’s History,” she thought, “would be a good reminder of who I seek to serve.”
Implicit in the ritual of taking oaths on the Bible is the acknowledgment of the need for God’s guidance—something that U.S. presidents have signaled since George Washington used his own personal Bible as the sacred object for his oath.
In Washington’s first inaugural address, he offered his “fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe,” and in his Farewell Address reminded the nation, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” And “national morality” could not “prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Washington asked, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?”
Hamon sought the guidance not of God, but of a supporter and almost certainly a card-carrying member of the Stalin-controlled Communist Party USA, according to FBI files. Like others at the time, Zinn seems to have dropped his official membership in the Communist Party in order to infiltrate U.S. institutions, in his case by teaching at Spelman College and Boston University, where he attained a cult-like following.
His “A People’s History of the United States,” which has sold a record 2.6 million copies, casts George Washington as a racist money-grubber and Ho Chi Minh as the true Thomas Jefferson. It presents Soviet-backed insurgencies around the world as local independence movements and American women as slaves.
The 1949 communist takeover of China is presented as “the closest thing, in the long history of that ancient country, to a people’s government”—in stark contrast to the “corrupt dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek.” The 100 million human beings that Mao and other communist dictators murdered in the 20th century are ignored. Zinn’s “history” was cobbled together from dubious sources—and by dishonest quotation that makes authors say the opposite of what they intended.
President Donald Trump has vowed that “America will never be a socialist country.” But the increasing support for socialism in our country, the politicization of everything, and worship of Zinn show that even if the president is right, it will be a close contest.
Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” which follows the contours of Communist Party USA leader William Z. Foster’s “Outline Political History of the Americas,” has been gaining influence exponentially since its original publication in 1980. It’s used in classrooms, in teacher-training courses, in the dozens of Zinn-inspired curricular materials available from the nonprofit Zinn Education Project, and in library books and textbooks that cite passages from it.
Our tax dollars support this indoctrination in other ways, such as a recent “teach-in” at the Smithsonian, a credit-bearing workshop for teachers that used Zinn’s twisted and plagiarized version of the discovery of America, and trained them in conducting an “Abolish Columbus Day” campaign in the classroom. The National Endowment for the Arts supported the Kronos Festival, where Zinn’s “penetrating words” were used to “unite music with energized action.”
Two generations have been steeped in Zinn’s America-hating history, and we are seeing its influence pervade our workplaces, politics, arts, and culture, especially among millennials. One of the most famous of that generation, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), in claiming that ICE detention centers were “concentration camps,” mimicked Zinn’s false depiction of earlier U.S. detention facilities for Japanese Americans during World War II.
Other less-famous millennials elected to political office have specifically claimed the history professor, who died in 2010, as their inspiration. Newly elected District Attorney Natasha Irving of Waldoboro, Maine, cited Zinn’s autobiography, “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train,” in her inaugural speech: “As district attorney, I cannot be neutral in the face of mass incarceration. I cannot be neutral in the prosecution of the sick for being sick, the poor for being poor.”
As if any of this were the reality of life in the United States—rather than the lies and distortions of Howard Zinn.
Mary Grabar holds a doctorate in English from the University of Georgia and is a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization. Grabar is the author of “Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History that Turned a Generation against America,” recently published by Regnery History.