Friday, June 1, 2012

Thank the New York Times for your latest right wing meme

We had a project lunch today at work, and somehow I managed to get into politics with another guy -- typical Dunning-Kruger conservative, if you know what I mean. At one point he claimed that an elementary school in New York City was now requiring Arabic. I immediately said, "No way, that's bullshit, and I'm gonna debunk it right now," and whipped out my phone. (I'm somewhat of a gunslinger with my phone when it comes to debunking, heh...) He assured me it was true, and that his source was the New York Times.

My first search turned up a bunch of hits repeating the claim from a bunch of right-wing asshole sites like The most "reliable" source I found in my initial search -- and the scare quotes are very much justified there, I think -- was the New York Post. Not exactly a paragon of journalistic integrity, but I usually expect that they don't outright lie. And sure enough, the Post seemed to confirm that Arabic was required, although it was made clear even in the article from that conserva-tabloid rag that it was simply in lieu of where other foreign languages, like Spanish or French, might be offered. Of course, French isn't spoken by quite as many brown people, so I guess that would be okay.

So I figured I'd better find the original New York Times article. And I did. Turns out to have been a blog post. And lookie at the update at the bottom:

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this post, and the headline, said the Arabic program would be mandatory at the Hamilton Heights School. School officials said that while the lessons will be offered to all students, it is not mandatory.


Thanks a lot, Elbert Chu, for stirring up a whole bunch of anti-Arab race-baiting with your sloppy journalism. You lazy dick...


  1. French, the language of those femme-y socialist Euro surrender monkeys, is most definitely NOT okay. It isn't even really okay here in western Canada, where those nasty Quee-beckers oppress us by making us put it on our cereal boxes.


  2. I'm not surprised at the misrepresentation there. It's everywhere.
    Here (Portage, MI) the school district has just entered an arrangement with WMU to begin teaching basic Chinese in a couple of our elementary schools, first, second, and third grades. No real cost to the district for the first few years. Getting the okay from the school board, and listening to "informed input" from many residents, was a joy.
    "How will we know what the people teaching them will be telling our children? They'll learn to hate America and us."
    "Why do children need another language anyway? If other people come here they'll need to speak English."

    Of course, these are the same folks who fought against having the IB (International Baccalaureate) degree in our schools because "it is anti-American".

  3. Hear! Hear! That was one heck of a botched bit of information he inserted.

    It's crazy nuts the way some of the right wingers are going on about this, talking as if this is the first step toward Islamization and how we'll all be Dhimmis.

    Even when they know it's not mandatory, some of them still see this as an ominous sign of Islamization.

  4. Re: kushibo's last paragraph. Yeah, sadly that is true. I can't imagine the story would have gotten quite the legs it got without Chu's bad information. But of course, even corrections won't do anything to stem it now, because these jerks will just say, "Who cares if it's not mandatory? It's still Phase One of the Kenyan Socialist's plan to destroy 'Merica!"