Friday, February 27, 2004

U.S. Arms Haitian Insurgents

Ira Kurzban, counsel for the Haitian government, charges that the U.S. government is backing the insurgent forces that now threaten the capital of Port au Prince. Democracy Now has the story.

Mel Gibson and Hollywood Honchos

Do Jews control Hollywood? According to the New York Times the answer is yes and those in control are most unhappy with Mel Gibson.

As a Black American I am reluctant to dismiss others as being overly sensitive or politically correct when pointing out what they believe to be prejudice or bigotry. If Jews think The Passion is anti-Semitic they should say so. But anyone who disagrees should also be able to say so without fear of being labeled anti-Semitic. Unfortunately the anti-Semitism charge has been leveled in large part because Mel Gibson's father, Hutton Gibson, is an outspoken Holocaust denier and anti-Semite. It certainly didn't help his son that he continued his rants up until opening day. It is indeed ironic that Jesus said, "The sins of the fathers shall be visited on the sons."

My personal issues with the Passion began when Gibson's first screening was held for consevative pundits in Washington. No liberals were invited. I opined the following in my September 19, 2003 post.

"I have no idea if The Passion is anti-Semitic or not. We should remember that because Jesus chose death to pardon human sins, the issue of whether Romans or Jews should be held responsible is immaterial. If there were no crucifixion there would be no Christianity. But Gibson seems to agree that Jesus Christ is the personal property of conservatives. It is also clear that unless liberal Christians speak up he will have been proven correct. There is no better way to stave off criticism of The Passion than with the "real" Christian seal of approval."

I also have to point out a thinly veiled subtext of Jewish criticism of The Passion. There seems to be an assumption that all gentiles are anti-Semites who can't be trusted to see a movie. The death of Jesus was a central theme of the terror that was inflicted on Jews in Europe. But American Christians are not Cossacks or Brown Shirts. We celebrate Lent thinking of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf and we celebrate his resurrection at Easter without participating in pogroms.

Having said all of that, I will have no verdict on the film until I have seen it for myself.