Calvin Freiburger

NewsHounds: Hannity’s a Racist Because We Say So

Posted on May 26 2010 10:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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The other night, Sean Hannity ran a segment about Hispanic radicalism in Arizona public schools.  As if on cue, the petty, factually-challenged Fox haters of NewsHounds fired back with a nasty screed that, once again, proves little more than their own moral and intellectual bankruptcy.  It begins as follows:

As the champion of white America feeling wronged, Sean Hannity never wastes an opportunity to demonstrate how poor white folks are being unjustly maligned by those whose skin pigmentation and language are different from Hannity’s. Obviously Sean has taken a page from the nativist playbook that was used, in the 19th century, against those with names like Hannity. Arizona Superintendent of Education Tom Horne is making the media rounds (three appearances so far on Fox) so it wasn’t suprising to see him being interviewed, Monday night, by Sean Hannity – during which time both validated each other’s prejudices.

Right out of the gate, Priscilla’s oh-so-thoughtful thesis is clear: Hannity and Horne are racists.  A bold claim; surely some mighty compelling evidence is forthcoming to back it up, right?  I mean, nobody would ever say something like that about a fellow American if it wasn’t true…would they?

[Cue crickets chirping.]

Oh, right.  I forgot that this was the Left we were talking about.  Sorry.

She doesn’t bother to defend the veracity of the materials used by Tucson Unified School District, or to demonstrate that either Hannity or Horne mischaracterized it. What follows instead is little more than a laundry list of remarks from the interview, with scare quotes and sarcastic one-liners thrown in here and there, as if their raw racial hatred was obvious for all to see.  It’s such a pitiful attempt that it neither needs nor deserves a point-by-point rebuttal; here are a few highlights (emphasis added):

He noted that AZ governor signed a bill prohibiting ethnic studies; i.e. classes that “promote the overthrow of the Govt” (and you thought I was kidding), promote “the resentment of a race” (So I guess we have to teach that slaves were happy and grateful)

Where in the interview is whitewashing slavery’s horrors even remotely proposed?  Is Priscilla saying it’s okay to “promote ‘the resentment of a race,’” so long as the race in question has it coming?  Does she have even the slightest ability to distinguish between past crimes and present conditions?

Hannity went on to compare photos of Chicano activists in the 60’s with today’s Arizona students who are protesting the banning of ethnic studies and doing (gasp) fist pumping. (Never seen from teabaggers!)

Okay, I’ll grant her this one.  The fist-pumping thing was quite a stretch, and it was stupid of Hannity to include it in his report.

A LOL moment from Horne when he said that ethnic studies are just like the “Old South.” (No, Tom, your attempt to suppress education among minorities is just like the former Confederacy).

Priscilla should be doubly ashamed of this smear.  She knows Horne’s real concern was over dividing children along racial lines and feeding them biased, ethnocentric material.  She knows that nothing even slightly resembling enslavement or segregation was proposed on the interview.

Amidst all the naked hatemongering, Priscilla manages to make one substantive complaint—that Hannity took a quote out of context:

As an example of what Hannity considers to be radical, he cited a textbook, “”Chicano: The History of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement.” Hannity said “Now the book begins by proclaiming that thanks to white Americans, quote, ‘Mexicans shared with blacks a debilitating burden of oppression’.”

Fact Check: The quote, from the on-line book, is contained in the introduction in which Rosales discusses his conversation with a sergeant in Rosales’ army unit, a fellow Arizona native and a “normally genial and likeable WWII veteran,” who reminded Rosales that when he was growing up “they hanged uppity Mexicans” like Rosales. Rosales continues that “the sergeant’s posturing, exaggerated as it might have been, provided one of my first real indications that Mexicans shared with blacks…” The author is reflecting on how he realized, through the bigoted comments of one white American, that Mexicans and Blacks share a history of oppression.

Fair enough: it’s not radical to say that Mexicans have suffered from discrimination.  They have, our public schools need to be honest about it, and that particular quote does not entirely support Hannity’s thesis.  However, it is legitimate to notice the phrase “debilitating burden” and ask just how much difficulty & failure Francisco Rosales (whose work does appear in radical “social change” curricula, by the way—I wonder why?) thinks minorities can legitimately blame on societal circumstances and past grievances, rather than individual responsibility.  Is this a conversation we’re allowed to have, Priscilla?

Also, that alone does precious little to refute the segment’s overall case that TUSD’s material is radical (recall that pesky La Raza link), or to show that anything either man said was even racially insensitive, much less indicative of bigotry.  So Priscilla caps things off with a link to the “ethnic chauvinism” of another AZ Education Department measure prohibiting teachers with “heavily accented or ungrammatical” English from teaching kids who are still learning the language (apparently teaching kids to speak English correctly is no longer a respectable value to the Left) and a throwaway reference to Hannity being a “former pal of white supremacist Hal Turner.”

Turner is a bigoted nut, but “old pal”?  Turns out this is another NewsHounds meme—Turner used to frequently call Hannity’s radio show, but many of the details claiming their relationship was anything more seem to come from…Turner himself.  Hannity’s a racist!  The science is settled!

These hit jobs all follow the same basic pattern: feign outrage that anyone would dare to voice a conservative opinion, attribute such views to a horrible personal flaw or ulterior motive without bothering refute anything on the merits, and throw in just enough factual window-dressing to make the whole thing seem plausible.  So much for “tolerance.”


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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