Raise your hand it you’re the most dangerous thing for kids since lead paint.
A few days ago, Sesame Street announced the arrival of a new puppet. Her name is Zari, and she is a hijab-wearing Afghani girl who will appear on Baghch-e-Simsim (the version of Sesame Street that runs in Afghanistan) and teach kids about girls’ empowerment, health, and social and emotional wellbeing. Most people would consider this good news, right? I mean, you’d think just about anyone would welcome the news that kids–especially little girls in one of the most oppressive parts of the world–were given an example of a strong, fun-loving girl to help them grow and learn… That is, of course, unless you are a member of a dangerous, fanatical extremist group that is characterized by their mixing of warped fundamentalist religious beliefs with a grotesque, theocratic nationalism.
You might think I’m talking about ISIS or the Taliban here, but actually I’m referring to the sort of people who read ultra-conservative, far-right online rags like Breitbart.com.
Don’t let her smile fool you. Behind that smile is something… Sinister.
Now, before I post the pictures that follow this paragraph, I want to say a few things. First
, I know they say “Don’t Read The Comments,”
but sometimes it’s necessary. If you’re walking around believing that “racism isn’t really a problem anymore,”
visiting a comments section can quickly cure you of that misconception. Second
, I am not posting these comments to point out how ignorant and hateful people are on the political right. If there is a left leaning website with violent, hateful language like this stuff, let me know of it, and I’ll be happy to call them out on it. Hatred and prejudice should be stood up to not matter who is saying it. The point is not to say “Hey, look at all these ignorant, hateful people.” The point is to call people to a better place. Third
, if you feel like you are very close to giving up on humanity, and one more heart-breaking and soul-crushing comments section might put you over the edge (or if you started reading and reached your limit), feel free to skip ahead to where I start writing again. And finally
, if you were directed to this post because you posted an article somewhere from Breitbart, you need to take a good look at these comments–whether you can stomach them or not–because these are the sorts of people whose company you keep:
Disclaimer: These are all screen captures from Breitbart’s article announcing Zari’s arrival. I took pictures of groups of comments, because that way it’s easier to see I’m not just picking and choosing the worst/most offensive individual comments in the thread. There are over 1900 comments below the Sesame Street article, and THE VAST MAJORITY of them are at a level of hatred, anger, and offensiveness similar to these pictures. If you don’t believe me, check for yourself.
Apparently, white mice should stay away from tampon factories… Who knew?
There’s a lot happening here, but you’ll notice that Breitbart readers seem disturbingly concerned with what this puppet’s vagina looks like…
To many of these people, this really is what the “reality of Islam” is all about: Clitorectomies. In a related story, it turns out my computer underlines that word no matter HOW I spell it.
Great, now that song is in my head…
Another far-right belief about Islam: The stereotype of the incestuous uncle who also happens to be a pedophile rapist. Know where else that’s a stereotype? The American South. How do y’all like it…
There are more good names for bands in this comment than I can count.
“Madge” has been so busy focusing on the benefits of white majorities that she must have missed the EIGHT DIFFERENT MUSLIM MAJORITY NATIONS who have elected female heads of state. How many has this country had again?
Ahh yes… The stereotype of Muslims having sex with camels. Classic.
Let’s walk through this: You got some straight up racism, followed by calls to kill “gay Obama” on pay-per-view, followed by a fan of Trump’s “No More Muslims” policy… I believe that’s called a “Tea Party Yahtzee.”
And then the Mark Driscoll fans start showing up…
Just so you know, the cross in Pattée Cross’ icon is a white supremacist symbol. I imagine this person’s Rorschach test results would be… Frightening.
You guys remember you’re talking about a puppet… Right?
I am certain the millions of Islamic Feminists in the world will be sad to hear this…
Someone should tell “Trump!OnlyTrump!” how that saying goes. Bless her heart.
Lucky for us, this seems to be a PC-FREE zone.
Consider the sort of person whose day is made by imagining Elmo splashing acid on a girl’s face.
Yes. It’s Sesame Street. Sesame Street has turned your kids into “crying morons.” It had nothing at all to do with your parenting… It was Sesame Street’s fault. And Muslims.
Notice what happens here: Someone suggests that MEN might in fact be the problem, and John Keller suggests “purging rapists” from society… But he worries that people would think this action would be “racist.” I wonder what color he pictures the rapists being…
“Ghetto kids” versus “Middle class parents.” For people who don’t like political correctness, these folks sure use a lot of racist code words.
News flash, people. This puppet is for the Afghani version of Sesame Street. So unless your kids are watching Baghch-e-Simsim after school, you can stop freaking out…
Sesame Street has always been known for promoting pro-social development in children. And that is what they are still doing today… It’s just that “pro-social” seems like a political statement to you now. Do you know why that is? It’s because you have moved so far into the ANTI-SOCIAL realm that pro-social lessons seem like liberal indoctrination.
Okay… Take a cleansing breath. I know that was a lot to handle. Please know that I am not saying, “Despair at the sad state the world is in, and lose hope.”
If that is what you are hearing me say, go back to the beginning and start reading again. Or READ THIS
. What I AM saying is that you can discover some things about yourself by noticing the company you keep.
If, while watching The Price Is Right, you notice they are running a lot of commercials for associates’ degrees, lawyers’ offices, and HoverRound scooters, chances are pretty good you are in the company of drop outs, criminals, and retirees. If you’re eating at the Shoney’s breakfast buffet, and you look around and notice that everyone else in the restaurant is pushing 350 pounds, I’ve got some bad news for you: That might not be where you are right now, but you’re definitely pointed in that direction.
And likewise, if you like everything that a Facebook group called the “Council of Concerned Christian Citizens” puts out, you show up for a CCCC conference, and everybody there is wearing a pointy white hood and has a swastika tattooed into their forehead, I’ve got some bad news for you: You’re a white supremacist.
Is that a volleyball, or an IED?
The people who are leaving comments on sites like Breitbart and Fox”News” and Drudge and The Blaze (not to mention the thousands of smaller “conservative” sites) are some of the most angry, xenophobic, hateful, racist people you will encounter anywhere on the internet… And that is not a coincidence. Look around you, folks–You’re eating at a Shoney’s.
Notice the people whose company you are keeping, and then ask yourself: “Is that me? Is that who I am?”
So many of these conservative sites are saturated with people who lament all these “Liberals” with their “Empathy” and “Kindness” and “Respectful Language” and “Love.” Come to your senses, people! If you are looking at something as basic as “Considering the Feelings of Others” as some sort of character flaw, there is a serious problem.
And what’s even worse is that many of you are crediting this way of thinking to Jesus. Look around you… Read the things people write… Imagine those things being said in a movie… Would the person saying those things be the hero or the villain? Because if you are surrounding yourself with villains, chances are you’re a villain too.
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