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EDITORIAL: Liberal media say 'symphony' is racist

By: The Gazette editorial board
July 12, 2017 Updated: July 12, 2017 at 2:56 pm
photo - Muslim composer Fawzi Haimor
Muslim composer Fawzi Haimor 

The Washington Post and other left-leaning media should stop trivializing racism in their crusade against President Donald Trump .

Americans of all ethnicities and backgrounds have fought and died to beat down the grotesque immorality of racism. They have marched in the streets and passed laws. Ending racial discrimination and hostility remains an elusive goal. The battle may never be won but must always be fought.

Racism holds back markets, stultifies cultural advancement, hurts and kills people. Each of us must assess our own irrational prejudices and destroy them.

Racists have caused human suffering incomprehensible to those who have not likewise suffered.

Given the gravity of racism, deceptive allocation of the scourge should repulse those who want prosperity and peace.

Journalists and sinister polemicists have discovered a phrase that helps them exploit the severity of racism by carelessly conflating it with harmless statements.

We increasingly encounter the charge "dog whistle" to smear political opponents as "racist" for saying almost anything that has no clear nexus with race.

Racists purportedly design code words and phrases only other racists can hear, just as only canines hear a dog whistle. Self-professed non-racist journalists and activists can spot these stealth racists — who are mostly conservatives. The journalists have a gift for hearing and decoding the silent racist language. We are expected to trust their translations, no matter how odd they may seem.

One dog-whistle decoder excoriated The Gazette's editorial board this week for "dog whistle" racism when an editorial claimed residents of "Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta and other cities" are oppressed by high taxes. The named cities have high minority populations.

Jonathan Capehart, of the Washington Post's editorial board, fueled the "dog whistle" idiocy with a July 6 article that charges President Trump with racism for extolling traditional music. Given the authoritative standing of the Post, Capehart's theme went viral among follow-the-leader journalists, with pundits lecturing faux expertise about the racist nature of lauding western cultural achievements.

Speaking in Poland, Trump defended Europe, the United States and the rest of the West as "the fastest and greatest community."

"We write symphonies. We pursue innovation," Trump said. "We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers."

In professing offense, Capehart blasted Trump for "symphonies."

" 'We write symphonies.' What on Earth does that have to do with anything?" Capehart wrote in the Post. ".In that one line, taken in context with everything else Trump said, what I heard was the loudest of dog whistles. A familiar boast that swells the chests of white nationalists everywhere."

Apparently Capehart thinks only white western people compose and appreciate symphonies, which seems like a racist and negative stereotype of minorities. Lots of non-white people compose and listen to symphonies, Mr. Capehart. High art is not reserved for "white nationalists."

The media pack fell in line. The Atlantic, Salon and the Los Angeles Times are just some of the press brands translating Trump's speech as racist, based in part on Capehart's translation of dog-whistle.

Afro-Brazillian composer José Mauricio Nunes Garcia may roll in his grave to learn that symphonies are for white nationalists, So might Afro-French composer Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Scores of books tell the stories of hundreds of contemporary and historical non-white composers of the West who have left indelible marks on our heritage.

The more Capehart tried to decipher "dog whistle," the stupider his case became. He resorted to concluding Trump's promotion of the West "inflames anger and tension with Muslims."

Maybe Caperhart's exclusive East Coast prep school forgot to teach that tens of millions of Muslims live in the West.

If symphony composition is the purview of American white nationalists, tell it to Muslim composer Fawzi Haimor, music director designate of Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen and former conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Tell it to Muslim Kareem Roustom, composer for the Philadelphia Orchestra and a long list of symphonies.

As a leading journalist with a national voice, Capehart has a history of inciting baseless racial strife.

In 2016 he accused then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of falsifying participation in a civil rights sit-in in the 1960s. Photos prove Capehart wrong, but fellow journalists trusted his indictment of Trump this week and ran with it.

Racism hurts, kills and destroys. We cannot defeat that which we cannot properly identify.

If everything is racist, nothing is racist. Tell the media to stop mocking serious evil in pursuit of biased and expedient political gain.

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