Simpsons Creator Refuses to Apologize for ‘Apu,’ and Exposes Danger of ‘Pretending to be Offended’

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Simpsons creator Matt Groening knew he would stir up controversy when he decided to give life to show character “Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.” But maybe he had no idea how much, or didn’t care. Whatever his motivation for introducing the world to Apu, his character has predictably drawn the consternation of the politically correct police department.

But according to Groening, the outrage is fake news and those who take offense to the stereotypical Indian character are simply pretending to be offended. In a revealing interview with USA Today, Groening was asked if he had any comments about Apu being a stereotype of the Indian Community.

“Not really,” Groening responded. I’m proud of what we do on the show. And I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended.”

One of those concerned citizens to whom Groening was likely referring is comedian Hari Kondabolu. Even though Kondabolu has made a living employing his self-deprecating humor, often making fun of his own Indian heritage, he decided to attempt to kill Apu by making a documentary. “The Problem With Apu,” as it is titled, attempts to reveal just how stereotypical, racist, and offensive Apu is to the Indian-American community.

TruTV’s documentary even assembled A-list actors to opine about how offensive Apu is to them. Those actors include Kal Penn, Whoopi Goldberg, and others.

Kondabolu readily admits Apu sounds like his father but seems more offended that long-time Simpson voice-over actor, Hank Azaria, a white man, was tapped as the voice of Apu.

None of that bothers Groening. And it really does not seem to bother Kondabolu, who is now making money off of attacking a fictitious animated character who looks and sounds like many Indian-Americans people encounter on a daily basis. In the end, Apu is simply funny, and a somewhat true to life persona as many people view him.

‘So what makes Apu so stereotypical?’ one might ask. For starters, Apu is a Kwik-E-Mart owner, not that he couldn’t have been, to fit the stereotype, a taxi cab driver, deli owner, doctor, or smoke shop owner.

His voice is choppy, quick, and slightly nasalized, which emphasizes a South Asian and until people created an issue out of it, millions of Americans—including those from India—found humor in it.

In the Youtube video below, Kondabolu spoke freely with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show and admitted, “I don’t really give a shit” about Apu. He revealed that the network, TruTV, wouldn’t like his comments.

Such an admission proves Groening’s point, one could say. The offense isn’t real and isn’t born out of something truly offensive. That is proof enough that Kondabolu is doing the critical documentary for the same reason Groening makes the Simpsons. It’s about the money, honey!

Kondabolu admitted that he had made fun of Indians relentlessly. “I milked it for as much as I could…about four or five years,” until he said, 9/11 happened. That is when he claims he changed. But he has not. He is still making money from pseudo-outrage over the Simpson’s character Apu and his White guy voice-over, Hank Azaria.

Co-writer/Executive Producer of the Simpsons, Dana Gould, simplified Apu’s character by telling Kondabolu why he is so funny. In a way, with his choice of words, Gould put to death any talk of Apu’s character as being an attempt by the show’s creators to be racist.

“There are accents that by their nature to white Americans, sound funny. Period,” Gould said.

Last week, Azaria was a guest on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert where he discussed Apu and his character. Azaria told Colbert the fact that anyone was bullied or teased by Apu’s character “makes me sad,” and he admitted that there is a lot of talk about what to do with Apu.

Azaria said he would be “perfectly willing to step aside” if, as he says, it was “the right thing to do.” He also said he would welcome South Asian writers or voice-overs into the studio. And that is precisely what the Simpsons critics want: Representation. They want a seat at the table. But it is unclear if Groening and Gould are willing to change the formula for their show’s success. After all, The Simpsons is the nation’s longest-running primetime scripted TV show.

 

There is a dangerous precedent being set in America right now, and it all stems from the act of being offended and the actions one takes to prevent future ‘offenses.’ It is important to note that the freedom of speech is under attack and it is a bipartisan effort. Many of those complicit in the quelling of free speech are merely useful idiots and have no idea they are participating in one of the most effective forms of censorship humanity has ever seen.

All people have to do to silence anyone with whom they disagree is to now claim their speech offended them.

Telling people what words they can and can’t say and how they can say them to ‘protect’ others is chilling and nothing short of tyrannical. Freedom of speech does not come with terms and conditions as words alone, less the obvious yelling “fire” in a movie theater, cannot cause physical harm.

The act of being offended is a choice taken by those who hear certain words. Limiting or changing language does nothing to stop someone from offending in another manner or being offended.

Before his death in 2008, George Carlin wrote a book titled, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?in which he blasted everything from the dumbing down of America to the politically correct police.

In his book, Carlin explains how being politically correct is actually intolerance disguised as tolerance.

Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules. I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.

Indeed, just like it is Kondabolu’s right to make a movie criticizing Apu, it is Groening’s right to make fun of stereotypes. It’s called freedom and there are no better options. If they can silence one of us, they can silence any of us.

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Source Article from https://thefreethoughtproject.com/simpsons-creator-matt-groening-refuses-to-kowtow-and-apologize-for-apu/

WATCH: Innocent Man Dies 2 Hours After Cops Mock & Abuse Him for “Pretending to Be Sick”

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Norman, OK — Infuriating body camera footage has been released showing two police officers torment, mock, and physically assault an innocent man who was merely trying to get treated at a local hospital. Only two hours after Norman police officers accused Marconia Kessee, 34, of “faking it,” this innocent man would be dead.

A local activist group is now calling for the officers involved in the deliberate torment of an apparently dying man to be fired after body camera footage from Officer Kyle Canaan and Officer Daniel Brown showed the disgusting act.

As OU Daily reports, the Norman Citizens for Racial Justice’s press release states that the group believes the Norman Regional Hospital was negligent and the Norman Police Department “treated Marconia with extreme cruelty, denying him basic human rights, and profiling him because he was black, homeless and ill.”

“We fear for the future of Norman if there is not a way to protect the community from a police force that is exhibiting aggression, militarization and a lack of ability to properly interact with homeless, mentally ill and people of color communities,” the press release states.

According to family members, Kessee went to the hospital that day complaining of a headache. Kessee’s uncle, Michael Washington told Oklahoma’s News 4 that the hospital was inadequate in treating his nephew.

“I wasn’t there, but I believe it in my heart that he refused to leave because he wasn’t treated and he felt that he needed more medication because his headache was still hurting him,” Washington said.

Indeed, only hours later, this innocent man would be dead.

The incident happened on January 16, and as the body camera footage shows, the police officers were dispatched to the hospital to remove Kessee from the hospital grounds. When they arrived, Kessee was unable to walk and appeared to be in severe distress.

Officers did not believe Kessee when he told them he was suffering and instead resorted to mocking the man, demanding he get himself to the Salvation Army.

“You can’t just act like this to get back in the hospital, that’s not how it works,” one officer is heard saying.

Kessee was in so much distress that he could barely put on his own shoe. However, the officers thought this was an act, so they mocked him further.

At one point, one officer shows his utter lack of humanity and compares Kessee to his dog, saying, “I could teach my dog to put a shoe on quicker than this.”

After several minutes, the officers lose patience.

“Here in about 15 seconds, I’m going to drag your ass to the curb to get you off this property and then you can find your own way to the Salvation Army. OK? Put your shoe on. I’m losing patience,” an officer says in the video.

Instead of realizing the man is suffering—and apparently dying—they then proceed to drag him to the patrol car and book him for trespassing.

Kessee was then transported to the Cleveland County Detention Center where he was thrown in a cage. As the police report notes:

NPD was later notified that Kessee was found unresponsive in his cell approximately two hours after being booked into the detention center. Detention center staff called 911, and a medical response by the Norman Fire Department and EMSSTAT was initiated. Kessee was transported by EMSSTAT back to Norman Regional Hospital – Porter Campus where he was pronounced deceased.

Two hours after he was arrested for trying to seek treatment at the Norman hospital, Kessee was brought back to the same hospital only to be pronounced dead. A travesty indeed.

Below is an infuriating video showing what happens when the system fails society’s most vulnerable. We are told that all this exists to protect the innocent and help those in need. However, Kessee’s case illustrates the antithesis of that philosophy. He was in dire need of help and those who claim to ostensibly protect him ended up playing a role in his untimely death.

Kessee’s cause of death has still not been released. Both the hospital and have since launched separate investigations into his death as well as the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

“Norman Regional Health System is saddened by this loss of life. We are internally reviewing this case,” a representative for the hospital told The Mighty.

According to the department, the officers involved have been placed on paid leave involving the results of an internal inquiry.

There is no indication at this time that the actions of the two officers contributed to the death of Kessee. However, the department has launched an administrative review of the actions and disparaging comments made by the two officers. By policy, the officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-mock-innocent-man-dies-hours-later/

Facebook pretending to care about democracy now is the height of hypocrisy



 


Facebook has admitted that sometimes, it might actually be bad for democracy. Facebook is right about that. However, I’m not sure that the social media platform really understands why this is the case.

The admission comes in a series of official blog posts by Facebook insiders about what effect social media can have on democracy. “I wish I could guarantee that the positives are destined to outweigh the negatives, but I can‘t,”wrote Samidh Chakrabarti, a Facebook product manager. He continued: “….we have a moral duty to understand how these technologies are being used and what can be done to make communities like Facebook as representative, civil and trustworthy as possible.”

First off, it’s important to understand the political and media context in which Facebook has felt forced to make these comments. That context is alleged ‘Russian interference’ in the 2016 election through the promotion of political ads designed to take advantage of social division. Facebook is responding to a not small cohort of Americans who genuinely believe that Russian Facebook ads are destroying democracy. The second thing to understand is that while Facebook’s admission may sound like noble self-reflection, the truth is that what Facebook says and what it means are two very different things.

There is a temptation among some to believe that the social media giant is a neutral actor that cares about fairness and democracy and that it is doing its very best to ensure it has a positive effect on democracy. This could not be further from the truth.

If Facebook’s recent history is anything to go by, the California-based company is not actually a big fan of democracy at all. Even before Facebook decided to become selectively outraged about the ubiquitousness of propaganda and ‘fake news’ on its platform, it was already engaging in political censorship. Take this 2016 story in which Facebook employees admit to suppressing conservative news on the platform, for example. Not only that, but employees were told to artificially “inject” Facebook-approved stories into the trending news module when they weren’t popular enough to make it there organically. The employees were also told not to include news about Facebook itself into the trending category.

“Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation,” Michael Nunez wrote for Gizmodo. With that kind of ability and willingness to manipulate, Facebook itself possesses huge potential to affect political outcomes, far more than some Russian ads.

Facebook has said it believes that simply adding the ability to click an “I voted” sticker can increase actual voter turnout significantly through a combination of simply seeing the sticker and feeling the peer pressure to vote if your friends have done so. This is supposed to be one of the good things Facebook has done for democracy, but there are so many ways that Facebook could use this kind of thing to surreptitiously promote its own political agenda.

What if Facebook were to artificially push certain news stories in specific locations – say, where an election was taking place – and then add the “I voted” button for users in that area. Or alternatively chose not to add that button for certain races where a lower turnout might be deemed a good thing.

What Facebook means when it says it is worried about how its platform is being used is that it’s not entirely comfortable with the fact that it can’t fully control the political narrative. Even Facebook believes it has created a monster. It would like to control what our impressionable minds might see and read – lest we fall victim to unapproved opinions or ideologies. But Facebook also knows that such control is not entirely possible – and therein lies their true crisis.

Even the steps Facebook has taken to address alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election are questionable. In his blog post, Chakrabarti writes that the platform has “made it easier to report false news” and has “taken steps in partnership with third-party fact checkers to rank these stories lower” in the news feed. Once the fact-checkers identify a story as fake, Facebook can reduce impressions of that story by 80%, he says. But who are these third-party fact checkers? Facebook doesn’t tell us.

“We’re also working to make it harder for bad actors to profit from false news,” he writes. But again, we don’t get a definition of bad actor, either. One assumes Russia is the bad actor referred to – but if Facebook was truly concerned about government propaganda and its effect on election outcomes, the crackdown would surely not be limited to one government. Are some governments bad actors and other governments good actors? Is some propaganda good and some bad? Are some sock-puppet accounts acceptable and others not? Can we get a breakdown?

Facebook has also been kind enough to help users figure out whether they were unfortunate enough to have come into contact with any Russian-linked posts. It’s part of their “action plan against foreign interference”. Again, we might benefit from a definition here of “foreign interference.” Facebook is an international platform, thus the potential exists for elections to be ‘interfered’ with through Facebook all over the world, not just in the United States. Does Facebook’s fight against foreign interference incorporate all those efforts equally? This kind of information would be really helpful, if Facebook would be kind enough to provide it.

Facebook is not alone in its mission to rid the world of nasty Russian propaganda. Twitter is at it, too. Last week, the company sent out emails to users warning them that they may have come into contact with Russian propaganda on the microblogging platform. Curiously, no similar warnings have been sent to users who came into contact with American propaganda online – despite the fact that we’ve known for years that the US government has been using sock-puppet accounts to spread its own propaganda and misinformation online.

Google has also dipped its toes in the water. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., said recently that Google was trying to create special algorithms and “engineer the systems” to make RT’s content less visible on the search engine.

Media coverage of Facebook’s comments was fairly uniform. Most outlets have been treating the blog posts as a ‘see, we told you!’ moment, focusing entirely on the Russia angle but ignoring the many other ways in which Facebook has itself attempted to corrupt the free flow of information and manipulated its users. The reporting is almost sympathetic: Poor innocent Facebook is coming to terms with the fact that sometimes bad things happen online.

The Washington Post called Facebook blog posts the “most critical self-assessment yet.” Another piece in the Post opines on Facebook’s “year of reckoning.” Reuters reported that the sharing of “misleading headlines” became a “global issue” after accusations that Russia had used Facebook to interfere in the 2016 election. The implication is almost that misleading headlines are some kind of new phenomenon and Facebook is out there on the frontlines of the battle.

Facebook wants you to stay mad about Russian ads. It wants you to believe that its democracy-loving executives are truly sorry and doing all they can to make the platform as good for democracy as possible. What they don’t want is for us to examine their own practices too closely. But that’s exactly what we should be doing – instead of congratulating them on their disingenuous foray into self-reflection.

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Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheEuropeanUnionTimes/~3/D7lQfCuhQEw/

Officers Suspended Over Photo of Cops Pretending to Beat Up a Colleague at Arlington National Cemetery

The photo shows one officer on his knees in front of a squad car as he is held down by two colleagues, behind whom are three others simulating beating the kneeling officer with batons

Police officers have reportedly been suspended after a photo emerged of a group of cops pretending to beat a colleague at Arlington National Cemetery.

Officials at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall are said to be conducting an internal investigation into the picture, which showed the officers smiling and laughing.

It shows one officer on his knees in front of a squad car as he is held down by two colleagues, behind whom are three others simulating beating the kneeling officer with batons.

It is understood the photo, which was sent to Fox 5 by a whistleblower, involved officers who patrol Arlington

A Base spokesman told Fox at least two of the officers are on administrative duty while the investigation into the incident which occurred on Thanksgiving Day was investigated.

Graves of more than 400,000 US soldiers are located at the military cemetery, which has a mission statement of: ‘Honor. Remember. Explore.’

He added the officers were ‘horsing around’ and that the incident spiralled into ‘unprofessional behavior’.
As patrolling officers, they would have been responsible for responding to potential crime on the Arlington National Cemetery grounds.

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall said it did not fall in line with their views, and cemetery officials have not yet commented on the photo.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5120835/Officers-suspended-Arlington-National-Cemetery-photo.html#ixzz4zf5TgCeB

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Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/officers-suspended-photo-cops-pretending-beat-colleague-arlington-national-cemetery/

Cop Arrested for Pretending to be Child’s Mentor So He Could Violently Sexually Assault Her

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Broward County, FL — Sheriff’s deputies in Broward County are distancing themselves from fellow police officer Leon Campbell following his arrest for pedophilia. Campbell was arrested and charged with second degree felony lewd or lascivious battery and sexual activity with a minor.

Broward police arrested Campbell after a 17-year-old teenager confessed to her high school counselor and her aunt that she’d been having a sexual relationship with the career police officer—for years. She claimed their relationship was the reason she was truant and not doing well in school.

Family members became suspicious after the teen moved in with her grandmother and began to spend hours upon hours on the phone with Campbell, who the family believed was serving as a “mentor” to their child.

The 37-year-old officer reportedly began having sex with the teen shortly after she turned 15. The sex continued up until May of this year when he was outed by the girl’s aunt who said she watched Campbell inappropriately touch the girl’s breast at a family gathering and then lie about it, saying he was checking the girl’s temperature.

Campbell was jailed on Oct. 19, and released on Oct. 20, after he posted a $15,000 bond. But staying out of jail will likely be his main goal as prosecutors are seeking to put him behind bars for up to 15 years. The age of consensual sex in Florida is 18. While there are some provisions to allow for teens to have sex without criminal prosecution when both consenting individuals are near the same age, Campbell was no teenager.

Not only is Campbell 20 years older than the girl, he is an officer of the law, tasked with jailing the type of individual he became. Instead of protecting the child from sexual predators, he allegedly victimized the troubled teen, all the while pretending to be her mentor.

The girl was the niece of one of Campbell’s friends. The girl’s aunt and her grandmother took their concerns to the Lauderhill police and filed a report. Later, the aunt and the girl were able to record Campbell confessing to having sex with the girl. He apologized, saying he also had to break off the sexual relationship because of his employment as a cop.

The sexual relationship also reportedly included bondage. According to various news agencies that reviewed the criminal complaint, the cop used to whip the child with a black leather whip and then would put her in a dog collar with a leash. When investigators went to the home of one of their fellow boys in blue, they found adult sex toys, along with a black whip containing the girl’s DNA. They also discovered the officer had numerous long phone calls with the girl, over 150 in 3-three week period in 2017.

According to Brian Silber’s Courthouse Insider, the trouble began in 2015 when the girl moved in with her grandmother:

“In her statement to the police, the aunt said Campbell and the victim began to spend time together after the girl moved in. They purportedly had long phone conversations which made her suspect they were having some kind of relationship. The grandmother said she became concerned when the deputy inappropriately touched the girl’s chest at a family gathering under the guise of checking her temperature.”

Campbell’s superiors distanced themselves from their deputy’s alleged criminal actions. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said in a statement:

“Deputy Leon Campbell’s actions are a reflection of himself and not the hard-working, dedicated men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office.”

While it’s possible Campbell’s pedophilia activities were limited to just this one isolated case of sex with a teenager, statistics reveal pedophiles often have dozens, if not hundreds, of victims. We at TFTP encourage anyone who has ever been sexually victimized by Officer Campbell, who served on patrol at Pampano Beach, to tell police detectives your story. Now is the time to come forward.

Campbell has been suspended without pay as the criminal case against him continues. Meanwhile, he is a free man, out on bond.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/sheriffs-deputy-arrested-having-sex-child/

US Massacring Civilians in Syria While Pretending to Combat ISIS

US Massacring Civilians in Syria While Pretending to Combat ISIS



by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)



Civilians suffer most in all wars. In post-9/11 US conflicts, millions perished, were wounded or maimed for life, tens of millions more displaced.



For most, their welfare and futures were destroyed on the phony pretext of combating terrorism Washington created and supports.



Terror-bombing Iraq, Syria and other countries has nothing to do with liberating them from ISIS and likeminded groups – everything to do with imperial dominance, resource plunder and exploiting the people of ravaged nations.



Media scoundrels glorify them in the name of peace – supporting what demands condemnation. Opposing them is considered unpatriotic, the human toll of no consequence in all US wars.



Mass slaughter and destruction reflect strategic decisions taken in waging them.



America pretends to be combating ISIS in Syria while providing support. 



Russia demands a clear explanation in detail about the US downing of a Syrian Su-22 aircraft. All that’s forthcoming will be Washington claiming the right of self-defense while pursuing naked aggression.



Moscow continues to believe accommodation with America can be found – despite consistent betrayal numerous times before.



Deals it agrees to are flagrantly breaching virtually always – proving it can never be trusted.



Chances for cooperation between Washington and Moscow are nil. Believing otherwise is foolhardy.



RT Arabic interviewed former Raqqa resident Abu Abdullah. In fleeing the city, a US-led airstrike killed his daughter, he explained, saying:



“Coalition planes struck the district of Dariya. I was with my daughter at the time, and just like that, she perished in the blast.” 



“I lost my leg. More often than not, US planes hit civilians, not” ISIS as claimed.



The cold, hard true about US aggression is that “mostly civilians (are dying) in the Dariya district, (including) the agricultural university, the Al-Hal market, (and) hospitals. All these buildings suffer from coalition bombings. No place is safe.”



The only way out of the Raqqa cauldron is by paying hundreds of dollars to smugglers, he said – likely also true in Mosul, US terror-bombing massacring civilians there as well.



Media scoundrels report none of this, suppressing the dark side of all US imperial wars – most Americans none the wiser.



VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 



My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”



http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html



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Source Article from https://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Opinion/220197-2017-06-21-us-massacring-civilians-in-syria-while-pretending-to-combat-isis.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS