Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Michael Savage = Big Jerk

Monday, the Minnesota Monitor's Abdi Aynte, a Somali-American journalist, broke the story about the six imams who are going to sue U.S. Airways for discrimination after they were kicked off a flight last fall for doing crazy imamish stuff like praying.

Being a good journalistic outlet, the Monitor sent the story around as a press release. In response Michael Savage, the notorious and idiotic right-wing radio host, offered this comment: "You and they should be deported for taking advantage of this great nation."

This is so horribly dumb (not to mention borderline racist) that I can hardly comment. "Taking advantage"? They didn't slip some roofies into the nation's beer, for crissakes - they were unfairly prevented from flying based on paranoia about funny-looking guys who don't keep their prayin' to the churches.

Aynte wrote a good response, though:

It’s offensive and reprehensible because Savage seems to suggest that I -- along with the six imams whose story I have covered accurately and professionally from the beginning -- don’t belong in this country. It’s a protectionist attitude at its worst, coupled with deep-rooted resentment against immigrants and people of color.

I left my native Somalia because of a protracted conflict and to escape physical and emotional injury. To have a radio personality with so many listeners inflict a similar injury, in the land where I sought refuge, is frightening.

Since coming to this country barely six years ago, I have done all the right things. I secured a job to support myself and my family back home, all the while attending school to study what I’ve always dreamed of doing: telling people’s stories.

But I never imagined that becoming a journalist would prompt an influential person like Michael Savage to unleash such hate, bigotry and prejudice against me. Those are not the great American values I’ve seen over the past six years. And Savage’s remarks won’t deter me from pursuing my dream.