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Arianna is a Big Dumb Banana

I despise censors and censorship. I believe in free speech and I consider it a more than progressive value. Free speech is a basic human right safeguarded by the Constitution of the USA. I have always been impressed by the Constitution.

I am one of many Americans who think we need a national discussion of race and race relations in America. We need to include all voices in the discussion. If we do not hear from everyone, no matter how crude or vituperative their point of view, we cannot see reality. It is pretty hard to grow up in America and not possess some racist opinions oneself, no matter our race. It is pretty hard to grow up in America and not have experienced the sorrow that comes from racism oneself, not matter our race. We need to talk.

I was delighted when the controversy about Dr. Laura using The N Word came to my attention. I thought "At long last, we may have a safe and thorough discussion about racism on the Net." So I went to the Nets ”progressive journal" The Huffington Post hoping to have that discussion. What I encountered was sickening. HuffPo uses a robot censor to moderate discussion. Managment claims the CensorBot can even detect sarcasm.

The Huffingon Post censorship is capricious and rude. Discussion is controlled to a fare-thee-well. Those who would like a thorough discussion of egregious HuffPo censorship should go to this site:

http://reddogbear.blogspot.com/2010/05/free-speech.html

I am going to discuss one discrete part of the censorship that I think is troubling. HuffPo’s account of the censorship on the site purports to be benign and limited. We shall see. I decided to create a test entitled HuffPo Consumer Community Moderation and Censorship Test. I operated the test on their own social network discussion pages. The results were fascinating.

Test #1
I posted a quotation from James Baldwin in the thread about race and language. The quote comes from the introduction to The Fire Next Time, a seminal book about race relations in America. There is no better indictment of using the N word than this sentence. But James Baldwin does not make it through the CensorBot. The problem? In the quote James Baldwin uses a word the Bot does not like. How can you have a reasonable discussion when things you post that are relevant and poignant are censored? Here is the quote:

"You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a ‘n***er.’ I tell you this because I love you, and please don’t you ever forget it."

In Arianna’s World, James Baldwin is not allowed to say that about race and racist language because The CensorBot does not like it.

Test #2
I posted two songs from Hair. For those who don’t know the musical, it was a work of art that was a direct response to the civil rights struggle and racism of the 70’s. I will post the two songs below.

Black Boys
is one part of a two part piece. Black women sing about how beautiful white men are, and then white women sing about how beautiful black men are. A trio of white women sing and dance:

Black boys are delicious
Chocolate flavored love
Licorice lips like candy
Keep my cocoa handy
I have such a sweet tooth
When it comes to love
Once I tried a diet
Of quiet, rest, no sweets
And I went clearly crazy
Because I really craved for
My chocolate flavored treats
Black boys are nutritious
Black boys fill me up
Black boys are so damn yummy
They satisfy my tummy
I have such a sweet tooth
When it comes to love
Black black black black
black black black black
Black boys

First, the song was censored by the Bot, which I think marked it as needing human intervention. A human then decided that it was not racist and the song reappeared.

The second song was Colored Spade. There is no song that indicts white racism in America that is more scathing. Sometimes humans will pass on something the CensorBot does not like and posts can appear, disappear and reappear in HuffPo Land. This song was censored completely and never appeared at all:

I’m a
Colored spade
A n***er
A black n***er
A jungle bunny
Jigaboo coon
Pickaninny mau mau
Uncle Tom
Aunt Jemima
Little Black Sambo
Cotton pickin’
Swamp guinea
Junk man
Shoeshine boy
Elevator operator
Table cleaner at Horn & Hardart
Slave voodoo
Zombie
Ubangi lipped
Flat nose
Tap dancin’
Resident of Harlem
And president of
The United States of Love
I said President of
The United States of Love
(and for dinner at the White House you’re going to feed him:)
Watermelon
Hominy grits
An’ shortnin’ bread
Alligator ribs
Some pig tails
Some black eyed peas
Some chili
Some collard greens
And if you don’t watch out
This boogie man will get you
Booooooooo!
So you say.

Evidently, in HuffPo Land, it is okay to screw black men but you should not let them actually talk about how they feel about it.

Test #3
I posted this poem, author unknown but believed by some to be a child. The poem is taught in Black Studies courses in college. The poem is a wry and potent indictment of racism IMO. It was censored entirely by HuffPo:

When I was born, I was black.
When I grew up, I was black.
When I get hot, I am black.
When I get cold, I am black.
When I am sick, I am black.
When I die, I am black.

When you were born, You were pink.
When you grew up, You were white.
When you get hot, You go red.
When you get cold, You go blue.
When you are sick, You go purple.
When you die, You go green.
AND YET YOU CALL ME COLORED?
– by an Anonymous pupil of King Edward VI School, Birmingham, UK.

Conclusion
If you go to the Huffington Post to discuss politics and our culture because of Ariannna Huffington’s media reputation as a progressive populist, you will be defrauded. No such discussion can take place. I know image creation and misrepresentation-not-quite-illegal is the behavior du jour of the Effete Elite in America these days; I do not have to like it. Or take it. God bless the InterNet. Where else are you going to go to complain?

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CherryTheTart

CherryTheTart

I write comedy and plays. I am seek nirvana and a good Italian restaurant.

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