Brooks and Cohen, peas in a pod

TW: racism, racist criminalization, islamophobia

It’s only been only two weeks since David Brooks’ staggering statements in the New York Times about the intelligence and “political DNA” of Egyptians (phrased vaguely enough to mean anyone Muslim or Arab, which is an incredibly broad insult). In a similar theme, Richard Cohen’s blathering insistence in the Washington Post (that I won’t link to) that George Zimmerman just couldn’t have known that Trayvon Martin wasn’t a criminal, since he was Black, is the sort of bigotry we simply shouldn’t pay to see in the papers (or provide ad revenue to online). Wonkette has a great summary of the article if you’re concerned that I’m misrepresenting its argument, which apparently Cohen has been parroting in one form or another for decades.

(The opening paragraph to Cohen’s piece is comparatively conciliatory, but still revealing. From here.)

The cast of This Week in Blackness has argued that it’s actually something good to have these unfortunately common sentiments made public, as a means of showing how racism has not been “solved”. While that’s obviously true, it seems important that this bigotry as a source of funds to the Post and as a rallying cry for bigots is still something to contest as acceptable for the Post to have publish. There’s a petition much like the (unsuccessful) one for Brooks to be fired, which I’m hoping the utterly unbelievable attitude Cohen’s displayed here might actually have repercussions for him.

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