Sesame Street Is Trying To Turn Our Kids Into Muslims

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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.

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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.

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Apparently, white mice should stay away from tampon factories… Who knew?


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There’s a lot happening here, but you’ll notice that Breitbart readers seem disturbingly concerned with what this puppet’s vagina looks like…


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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.


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Great, now that song is in my head…


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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…


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There are more good names for bands in this comment than I can count.


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“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?


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Ahh yes… The stereotype of Muslims having sex with camels. Classic.


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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.”


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Wait… what??


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And then the Mark Driscoll fans start showing up…


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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.


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You guys remember you’re talking about a puppet… Right?


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I am certain the millions of Islamic Feminists in the world will be sad to hear this…


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Someone should tell “Trump!OnlyTrump!” how that saying goes. Bless her heart.


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Lucky for us, this seems to be a PC-FREE zone.


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Consider the sort of person whose day is made by imagining Elmo splashing acid on a girl’s face.


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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.


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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…


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“Ghetto kids” versus “Middle class parents.” For people who don’t like political correctness, these folks sure use a lot of racist code words.


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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…


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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 THISWhat 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.

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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.

Awaken…

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22 Responses to Sesame Street Is Trying To Turn Our Kids Into Muslims

  1. Greg Frazier says:

    Honestly, I had to stop reading comments on the news feeds about a year ago because I DO believe they show the grand scale of bigotry, ignorance and utter stupidity in our grand country. These are the people who show up at Trump rallies to cheer him on as his retired American Legionnaires and other thugs batter women of color, students with valid questions or anyone who looks, acts or even appears to be different from him. I love what you do, but I do not read the comments on your posts. That leaves me walking upright and not crawling away from the rantings of yet another reptilian brain gone wild. Thank you for what you do. To a retired Episcopal priest who has seen too much of the underbelly of humanity, you are a breath of fresh air.

  2. Sienna N. says:

    The difference between conservative brains and liberal brains is the difference between living in fear and living in hope. Over-exposure to fearful stimulus actually does change the structure of the brain in the long run and makes the fear circuits even more active. How do we get the fearful to stop being afraid? Because really, that’s what most of these comments say: “I fear, and so should you.”

    • Alecta says:

      Ah, but fear makes them SO much easier to control. Program them to react to keywords and they’ll do whatever you say when you use the words. No thinking required. It’s absolutely sickening.

    • Chris says:

      In other words, our group’s brains are good, but the opposing group’s brains are bad. I hope the irony is evident in the comments section of a post about bigoted comments.

  3. mirror8192 says:

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  4. fancher493 says:

    I think you are looking for the bad here. It’s easy to pick on these guys, but at the heart of their hatred is some truth which your post ignores totally. The things they have typed have happened. The acid, the honor killings. Even the hijab is considered by some a form of degradation towards women. Again you don’t mention that. Yes there are many Muslims who are more progressive than this, but there are many who aren’t and ignoring them is not going to change that.

    • Mr. Fancher, by that same logic, we should focus on all the things that the U.S. does that are equally as negative, but we also ignore in general. Like the Klan, letting your banks run your country into the ground, your police state where officers can shoot whomever they like with impunity. The things these people are saying are ignorant. And they don’t come from a place of knowledge about the people of Afghanistan or their culture. No one is denying the elements exist in the culture, but they are automatically conflating them on a puppet that is a positive thing for little girls.

      Also, the hijab is a religious decision and many women CHOOSE to take it, as opposed to being forced.

    • Let me ask you something Mr. Fancher. Would it be acceptable if Sesame Street introduced a new Christian or Catholic puppet? Would it be ok if commenters then proceeded to spew hateful rhetoric about Christians or Catholics? Would it be okay if those commenters displayed their racist opinions and said that all Christians are a part of the hate group KKK? Or if they commented about the stereotypical pedophile pope and fathers of the Catholic church who molest little boys? None of these scenarios would be acceptable, because the actions of some do not define the character of an entire religion/culture/race. The author of this post blatantly stated that his purpose for sharing the post was to “bring us to a better place”. Your prejudiced comment, however subtle it might have been, does nothing to add to the author’s purpose. You actually did the total opposite. The author found no need to include the obvious fact that there are some evil people out there, of all races, religions, etc. Again, that was not the point of his post.

      Also, your comment about the hijab being seen as a form of degradation towards women is probably based on your own personal opinion, or that of other people who’s opinion about women wearing a hijab is completely irrelevant. Such as those who are not Muslim women, those who have never experienced degradation as a woman, or have absolutely no religious or cultural ties to the symbolism of a hijab. Many Muslim women decide whether or not they want to wear the hijab anyway (in this country at least). However, I cannot speak for the Muslim women living in France, who are being oppressed and forced against their free will to remove their headpiece.

      I leave you with this last note: The show is being aired in Afghanistan! This is not your concern, or anyone else who left those hateful comments.

  5. I am sorry to see this vitriol. I dismiss some of it as play-acting, where people act tougher online than they are in real life — but I also think they act this way in the voting booth, so these hateful words and attitudes can have real-life consequences towards the targets.

    Muslims, like Jews and vegans and supply-siders and Jungian psychotherapists and NFL players and knitters and online customers service agents, are just people with characteristics we all share, and who express their faith in a way that might seem odd to people who are ignorant about Islam.

    Personally, I am satisfied with my Christian faith, and if my faith cannot handle the competition from Islam, then it seems like a weak faith, right?

    Let’s be thankful we live in America, where religious belief is protected, where religious expression is permitted, and where no religion is allowed to be supreme.

  6. D. Foster says:

    Raise your hand if you know someone–person to person–who is Muslim. If so, chances are you hold a more positive view of Islam and its followers. I’ve had the enlightening experience of teaching hundreds of Muslim college students–men and women–and found them to be nothing like the stereotype reflected in the comments on the Brietbart site.

  7. B. Griff says:

    You probably don’t read responses to your editorials, but I am leaving this just the same. While I support your opinion on the Muslim muppet not being a threat to America’s children and that the people who wrote all those disgusting tirades are schmucks, I do take offense in how you began your “Look Around You to see if this is who you are” choices. You lump dropouts, criminals and retirees in one group, then denigrate overweight people, ending with a pointy hat reference. So all these things are bad in your opinion? And while I doubt you mean that they are all equivalent, it sort of looks as if you do equate them all. Totally unfair to the retired, obese, drop outs and even some criminals. Maybe I have gone too PC, but if you are going to talk about people being judgmental, then you shouldn’t be. Even if you are more eloquent.

    • theboeskool says:

      I read all the responses… I just don’t have the time or the sanity to respond to them all.

      It’s okay to say that some things are better than others, B. Griff. Taking care of your body is better than not. Getting an education and finishing something you started is better than quitting and/or being ignorant. And I have nothing against retirees… If you are watching a show that keeps having DUI commercials, chances are good that you are aligning yourself into a group that is more likely to get a DUI. And I can say that NOT getting a DUI is better than getting one without having to defend myself against people calling me “judgmental.”

      I’m not saying “Throw these people away.” I’m not saying “Give them separate bathrooms.” This is a tired line of reasoning… This whole “If you’re being critical of judgmentalism, you’re being judgmental” thing. Calling on people to get control of their thoughts and actions is not an act of discrimination against people whose thoughts and actions are out of their control. There actually IS right and wrong in the world… Or, at the very least, better and worse. We can call on people to get their lives together without being accused of judging people whose lives are a mess. And there are certain things that you can “look around” and notice that give you clues that your life is a mess.

      In summary, please give me a freaking break.

    • Colleen Klein says:

      As an obese person, I get that logic and have sat in quite a few Shoney’s, might I add. Do I want to keep company with obese people? YES! but I don’t want sit at the table forever, I’m changing my thinking about weight and where I want to be in my life, and seomtimes that means not aligning yourself with certain folks. That’s what the article speaks to. you don’t have to stay where you are in your current thinking. it’s OK to change at any point.

  8. Michele Cox says:

    I had to stop reading the comments halfway down. Sickening and frightening, and I know people who say things like this. That what scares me.
    Ignorance is an abyss. I need to take a walk with my dogs.

  9. tabbyrenelle says:

    yeah, you’re pretty cynical when defending “what’s right” boeskool. you’re an advantaged white man teaching us poor folks, and you fuck up a lot. go ahead and ask me again, “what do I care about?” and I might tell ya for real. but so far you get an “F” in teaching.

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  12. Jeff Cann says:

    The most upsetting thing about these excerpted comments is that they are from educated people. Usually when I see strings of comments like these, “There using the wrong contraction’s and its hard reed whats writtin.” I don’t see this here. I see reasonably intelligent people who are full of hate. I blame Donald Trump. He’s made it fashionable to be a bigot again. Welcome back to 1930.

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