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September 04, 2002


Ray Hanania, Walking bundle of stereotypes
Ray Hanania, now famous for not getting a ten minute opening shot for Jackie Mason, gives a good example of the problem with stereotypes. The problem is that stereotypes are often largely based on truth. It's not nice to pre-judge somebody you don't know on the basis of their race or culture, yet the stereotyped expectations are often based on observable behavior patterns. It is prejudiced and bad to blanketly judge someone based on their race, but it is not racist pre-judging to notice that the Rev. Al Sharpton actively personally embodies the worst stereotypes of his race. Geez, you'd have to poke your eyes out not to see it.

Let's examine some stereotypes: Palestenians and Arabs often seem to have characteristics of being petulant and childish, with eternal martyr complexes and anxious to scapegoat anyone else, usually Jews, for their problems. They're given to perpetual childish lying, insisting the very most opposite of any real truth- and get righteously double and triple indignant when anyone doubts their arbitrary and hallucinatory claims. They like to arbitrarily make the most assinine accusations, accusing Jews of THEIR own worst crimes [such as calling Jews "nazis" even while THEY are sucking up umpteen copies of Mein Kampf - and acting on them]. They tend to "act out," like spiteful children lashing out- throwing embarassing public tantrums, or much worse. They'll make wildly paranoid accusations against everyone else, but have huge tantrums when their own real, true documented words and deeds are presented. Most of all, they will never accept responsibility for their own problems, no matter what they've done.

The problem is that these "stereotypes" tend to conform to fact, but that it's still not right to just ASSUME these characteristics will be true of any given person, because not everyone conforms to the stereotypes.

Ray Hanania, however, goes a long way toward personally fulfilling all these worst stereotypes- starting with his constant indignant objection to stereotyping. He said in one interview, for example, that he likes to open a comedy show with a line about seeing the crowd as "potential hostages" because he's Palestenian. Ha, ha. See how foolish you are to be having those kind of thoughts about this Yakov Smirnov aw shucks kind of loveable dude? Unless you realize that Mr. Cuddly here also said, "These are events we could never have hoped for. It proves that by standing up to Israel´┐Żs brutality, and even in the face of losing so many innocent Palestinian lives either to Israeli Army murder or suicide bombings, the Palestinians will defeat Israel. Now is not the time to surrender to Israel and accept compromise." Yes, how wrong we would have been to assume that he was a crazy, violent Palestenian.

But it's not fair to judge him based on this one statement, when after all that was just one statement, and he's been so reasonable the rest of the time. Hanania says this. He also says elsewhere as part of a supposedly comic definition of the word "politician": ""Poli" -- means multiple. "tic-ians" means a lot of people who bug you and get under your skin. "Bugs that lie" would be a better name for that. But, we'd have to checkw ith the Israelis before making any changes. Afterall. Congress is Israeli Occupied Territory."

Did I mention wildly paranoid accusations? Listed on his website as one of his favorite jokes: "President Bush will no longer hold impromptu press conferences. His staff says the President needs at least three days to translate the documents from Hebrew into English before he will read them to the press." This is his idea of humor? You are poopie-head, ha ha! Except that he's more specifically slandering the president and re-hashing some of the most hateful and destructive cheap "ZOG" anti-semitism.

Did I mention arbitrarily insisting the opposite of any real truth? "Sharon doesn't want peace with the Palestinians. He wants peace without them." Palestenians, remember, are the ones drawing maps with no Israel. It is he who thinks the time is right to think about "correcting the original injustice of 1948 and restoring Palestinian control over all of Palestine."

Note that these quotes are not all from the supposed one time he was ever unreasonable, as he keeps insisting.

Note also the stereotypically childish way that he refuses to take responsibility on the basis of feeling. He shouldn't be held accountable for things that he wrote when he was mad. No sir, you are not given license to have a temper tantrum. You are a 49 year old man, not an eight year old girl. Also, the classmates you are egging on are not going to respond by putting a tack on teacher's chair; they're going to respond by killing people. When some jackass who's on the edge of reality to start with sees this column and decides to act on it, it will not do one bit of good for you to tell the victims parents that they should just understand that you were really mad you wrote that, but you didn't REALLY mean it. OK?

Throwing together the aforementioned attributes of having a martyr complex, and childishly insisting on the breathtakingly backwards statements about reality, "Hi. Does anyone know Jackie Mason? I have a bill I'd like to give him for all the publicity and PR I got him ..." He says this after he has drug Mason's good and internationally known name through the mud for cheap publicity for his unknown self. It wasn't Jackie Mason or Zanie's management calling the press in and throwing around hateful accusations. This is just perverse.

He says whatever kind of hateful, slanderous stuff he wants, but expects childish indulgence as a voice of "moderation." The bar has been set so low that he does indeed qualify as a "moderate." That is, Ray Hanania has not personally gone out killing any Jews (so far as I know). That he sometimes rhetorically supports those who do should just be ignored, because most of the time he doesn't.

Finally, Mr. Hanania's personal slurs against Mr. Mason. He accuses Mason of living in a "glass house intifada" when complaining of anyone else's racism. Says Hanania of Mason, "Being called a racist by him is like being called ugly by a pig." I did numerous types of searches looking for Mason's bigotry, but there was very scarce to be found. Here's the worst thing I could find on Mason: He was apparently caught on tape in some private convesation ten years ago using an insulting Yiddish word to describe David Dinkins. Shocking! [Actually, the worst thing I found on Mason was Sally Jesse Raphael's accusation that Mason felt her up. That's just nasty. I'd slap him myself for that one - if I thought it were true. I know Jews are supposed to be cheap, but under those circumstances I think he'd come across with $50 for a hooker. Or so I'd hope. But I digress.]

Now in fairness, Ray Hanania is not Hitler. He's not Yasser Arafat. He hasn't killed anyone. He's just an American running his fool mouth. You're allowed to do that here. He was also courteous and prompt in responding to my inquiries, and does often make nice concilliatory gestures. He'd probably be ok to make friends with; you could reason with him most of the time. Not being violent, when he starts getting all crazy you can just call it a night and leave.

Just hope he doesn't make you come see his lame "comedy" show. I'm sorry, but Arabs don't know from funny.


posted by Al at 9/04/2002 05:58:00 AM

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