January 17, 2007

Excluding Exclusion

Oh, you just can’t make this stuff up, dear reader. A correspondent from our Raleigh (NC) office—let’s just call him “Chip”—recently informed us about an upcoming discussion in a mom and pop bookstore called Quail Ridge Books. Aimed squarely at the “progressive community,” this little event couldn’t be more unintentionally hilarious.

The session is called “Ideological Exclusion: From the McCarthy Era to Today” and will be moderated by a fellow with an unpronounceable name from—where else?—the American Civil Liberties Union. The announcement for the discussion deliciously informs us:

Continuing our popular series of Town Meetings, the topic is “Ideological Exclusion: From the McCarthy Era to Today.” Focusing on authors Tariq Ramadan (a contemporary author currently a plaintiff in an ACLU case), Gabriel Garcia Marquez (who was unable to obtain a visa 1962-1986; he had to apply for special [sic] waiver each time he wanted to visit), Nazim Hikmet (Turkish poet, denied visa early 1950s –early 1960s).

Okay, so the session on “Ideological Exclusion” focuses on Tariq Ramadan, an anti-American Islamist who donated money to two charities fundraising for Hamas, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a writer known for his passionate advocacy of Fidel Castro, and Nazim Hikmet, a Turkist poet and ardent Communist. Huh: We don’t mean to be crass, but that seems a bit ideologically exclusive. Why no focus on far-right lunatics, only on leftist ones? In short, why the exclusions?

Essentially, then, this little powwow is intended as a get-together for an ideologically exclusive group to discuss an ideologically exclusive view of ideological exclusion. We have a hard time believing that any of the interlocutors will mention, say, Fidel Castro’s charming record regarding his ideological opposition. That, we’d wager, is fine and dandy to our “progressive” pals. It’s America, not Cuba, that’s the police state.

We also suppose it’s too much to ask for anyone to bring up Mr. Ramadan’s dubious connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and fundraising for terrorist organizations. In the “progressives’” view, these trifles have absolutely nothing to do with the neo-McCarthyite United States blocking Mr. Ramadan’s American employment. After all, who could possibly have any reservations about the activities and stated goals of Hamas?

But we suppose this is all beside the point. An ideologically exclusive discussion of ideological exclusion. You just don’t get any more ridiculous than that.

Posted at January 17, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack