Racism, lies, and videotape

February 27, 2008

ABC News has developed a fetish for staging examples of “Islamaphobia” across the United States. Supposedly, fake examples of racial collisions help audiences digest the reality of them (try to work that out). According to the official website (HT: Malkin)

The Sept. 11 attacks, the Iraq war and suicide bombings worldwide have changed not only the way we live but the way we look at those around us, especially Muslims. “Islamophobia” has entered the American vernacular, and the anti-Muslim attitudes and prejudice it describes remain common.

But what if you witnessed “Islamophobia” in action and saw someone being victimized because of someone else’s prejudices? What would you do?

ABC’s production crew outfitted The Czech Stop, a bustling roadside bakery north of Waco, Texas, with hidden cameras and two actors. One played a female customer wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, or hijab. The other acted as a sales clerk who refused to serve her and spouted common anti-Muslim and anti-Arab slurs.

The polarity of reactions was shocking, from support to seething disapproval. Never did we expect customers to be so passionate or candid.

I’ve heard of candid camera stunts before, and some have merit, but this is nothing less than immoral journalism. ABC is trying to manufacture racism so people will get the impression that its all over the place. But how do we know? Wouldn’t this kind of thing be grounds of dismissal if it were in print, if straw-man “racists” were interviewed in a story about Islam in America? Hello, maybe we owe Jayson Blair an apology.

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