Bill O'Reilly is very very sad that you can't make "Arab jokes" anymore:
O’REILLY: So 48 years ago — 48 years ago in this country we could make fun of Arabs. … We could make fun of people in a general way, and certainly, Ahab was the Arab was a general parody. But now, we can’t. What has changed in America?
The subtext of this lament is O'Reilly mourning the demise of what he refers to as the "white Christian male power structure." It's not really that you "can't" make racist jokes anymore; it's that you when you make them, you can't expect everyone to remain silent as you assert your cultural or racial superiority through humor.
Still, while we're clearly a country where simply "making fun of Arabs" is seen in most circles as inappropriate, we are a country where it's not as taboo to whine about no longer being able to make fun of Arabs. Meanwhile there's also a bipartisan consensus that anti-Arab racism can be government policy.
But hey, what's racial profiling, indefinite detention, and unprecedented levels of warrantless surveillance when white guys can't publicly tell racist jokes? I think we know who the real victims are here.
-- A. Serwer
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