Yesterday’s Best of the Web has a beautiful example of the pseudo-erudition that has many of the Anointed Class feeling so smug:
Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr., made famous last summer by his Cambridge police kerfuffle, has a new documentary miniseries on PBS, “Faces of America.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports it’s a follow-up to an earlier series in which he traced the genealogy of prominent black Americans:
Mr. Gates expands his panel of celebrities, looking at the histories of a group of Americans with diverse backgrounds. . . .
“I call it the Noah’s Ark approach,” Dr. Gates said. . . . “So, like Noah, I wanted two Muslims, two Jews, two Asians,” he said. “Yo-Yo Ma is a friend of mine, so I thought it would be intriguing to do him. I had always admired [figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi], and I thought it would be a great way to do it, to meet her. . . . We had one person, Tony Shalhoub had said yes. He was my other Arab person, and then his shooting schedule [conflicted]. He had to cancel it. So then, I asked Mehmet Oz, and he agreed right away.”
Hold on a second! He wanted two Muslims, so he asked Tony Shalhoub? Unless we are mistaken, Shal[h]oub, who is Lebanese-American, is from a Maronite Christian family. So maybe Gates misspoke and said “two Muslims” when he meant “two Arabs”? But in that case, what’s with Mehmet Oz? His background is Muslim, but he’s Turkish-American, not Arab-American.
You’d think a scholar like Skip Gates would know that not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arab.
One is tempted to quote Ronald Reagan: “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.”
Oh, and BTW, “professor” is now a raaaaacist code-word. Odd. It wasn’t when 0bama’s supporters falsely claimed he was a law professor: in fact, he was just a lecturer, not a tenure-track faculty member, let alone a tenured one.