Author Archives: DCG

Boston University professor claims “Jingle Bells” is racist

kyna hamill

Professor Kyna Hamill

From Daily Mail: A professor has claimed that Jingle Bells has racist roots because it was first performed in blackface. ‘The legacy of ‘Jingle Bells’ is one where its blackface and racist origins have been subtly and systematically removed from its history,’ wrote Kyna Hamill, a Boston University theater historian, in a research paper that is making waves.

The claim has shocked fans of one of the world’s most famous Christmas carols, long considered innocuous and inoffensive.

Hamill began researching the origins of Jingle Bells to help settle a dispute between Medford, Massachusetts and Savannah, Georgia – both of which claim to be the place where James Lord Pierpont composed the song.

In the course of her research, Hamill discovered a playbill indicating that Jingle Bells was first performed under the title One Horse Open Sleigh in blackface, for a minstrel show at Ordway Hall on Boston’s Washington Street in 1857. She wrote that traces of the song’s blackface minstrel origins can be found in the music and lyrics, as well as the ‘elements of “male display,” boasting, and the unbridled behavior of the male body onstage’.

‘Its origins emerged from the economic needs of a perpetually unsuccessful man, the racial politics of antebellum Boston, the city’s climate, and the intertheatrical repertoire of commercial blackface performers moving between Boston and New York,’ Hamill wrote in her paper.

‘Although ‘One Horse Open Sleigh,’ for most of its singers and listeners, may have eluded its racialized past and taken its place in the seemingly unproblematic romanticization of a normal ‘white’ Christmas, attention to the circumstances of its performance history enables reflection on its problematic role in the construction of blackness and whiteness in the United States,’ she wrote.

Her claims, published in September, have attracted furious reaction from some who see them as an attack on Christmas traditions.

‘Jingle Bells is racist, White Christmas is racist, Baby it’s Cold Outside is sexist. What the hell happend to the America I grew up in where people didn’t wake up every day trying to find something to be offended by?,’ wrote one Twitter user.

‘What the hell is wrong with these liberal professors do they have nothing better to do besides sit around and Pick A Part our history and call everything racist,’ wrote another person on Twitter.

But as backlash mounted, Hamill spoke out to say that her research had been misinterpreted.  ‘In 1857 when it was performed in blackface — that is white men blackening up with burnt cork on their faces — it would have been racist,’ she told the Boston Herald.

‘I never said it was racist now,’ said Hamill. ‘Nowhere did I say that. My point was that because it is now included in the Christmas catalog of songs — attention is only given to it during the Christmas season — it has eluded rigorous study,’ she said.

Hamill insisted that she wasn’t telling people not to sing Jingle Bells, and that her research had been blown out of proportion.  ‘I did not write the article to make people upset. At no point have I ever made a claim on what people should or should not sing at Christmas,’ she said.

Decide for yourself how much Jingle Bells romanticizes whiteness. Read the lyrics to Jingle Bells here.

DCG

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NBC paid off producer who accused Chris Matthews of harassment

Chris_Matthews

From Fox News: NBC paid thousands of dollars to an assistant producer on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” nearly two decades ago after she brought a sexual harassment complaint against the longtime host, The Daily Caller reported Saturday.

The website, citing two sources, reported that NBC paid the woman $40,000 to settle her claim against Matthews in 1999. An NBC spokesperson told The Daily Caller the network paid a smaller, unspecified amount as part of a severance package.

The woman complained to executives that Matthews, now 71, had made inappropriate comments to her and made inappropriate jokes about her to others.

An MSNBC spokesman told The Daily Caller that Matthews had been slapped with a formal reprimand at the time the woman made her complaint. The website reported that the network decided that the complaints were “inappropriate and juvenile,” but were not intended as propositions.

Matthews has hosted “Hardball” on MSNBC since 1997. He also hosted the syndicated “Chris Matthews Show” between 2002 and 2013 and has authored eight books, most recently a biography of Robert Kennedy.

DCG

This is Chiraq: 16 shot with 5 dead, including a 15-year-old boy, during weekend shootings

rahm_emanuel_2

Heckuva job mayor!

I scheduled this post on Sunday afternoon. Expect the number to be higher come Monday morning.

The good mayor should be more worried about the number of shootings and deaths in his gun-controlled town than making the city a “Trump-free” zone.

From MyFoxChicago: Shootings across Chicago have left 5 people dead and 11 more wounded since Friday afternoon. In a particularly violent six hours of the weekend, nine people were shot — three fatally — in attacks Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The most fatal recent shooting took the life of a 15-year-old boy as he rode in a car Sunday morning in the LeClaire Courts neighborhood on the Southwest Side. About 6:50 a.m., someone in a white vehicle crashed into the back of the car the boy was riding in and then someone fired shots into it, striking the boy in the head, according to Chicago Police. He was pronounced dead at the scene in the 5100 block of West 47th Street.

Earlier Sunday, a man was found dead in the driveway of a home in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. The man, whose exact age was unknown, suffered a gunshot wound to his head was found by officers responding to a call of shots fired about 1:54 a.m. in the 4000 block of West Iowa, police said. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has not confirmed either death as of Sunday morning.

On Saturday night, a man and woman were killed and another man was critically wounded in a shooting in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood on the Southwest Side. About 9:40 p.m., they were traveling south in a four-door sedan in the 5900 block of South Richmond when someone fired shots from the sidewalk, authorities said. The 25-year-old man and 21-year-old woman who were shot were pronounced dead at the scene. Their identities have not been released. The other man, age 20, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition with gunshot wounds to his arms and legs.

About five hours earlier, a 20-year-old woman was killed and an 18-year-old man was wounded in a shooting in the South Side Englewood neighborhood. They were sitting in a vehicle about 3:40 p.m. in the 5600 block of South Emerald when someone in a passing dark-colored Audi fired shots, authorities said. The woman was shot in her body and pronounced dead at the scene at 4:15 p.m. Her identity hasn’t been released. The man suffered a gunshot wound to his leg and showed up at St. Bernard Hospital, where his condition stabilized.

The most recent nonfatal shooting happened at 2:23 a.m. Sunday in the South Side Washington Park neighborhood. A 36-year-old man was walking on a sidewalk when someone came up to him in the 5500 block of South State and fired shots, striking him in his chest, police said. He took himself to Provident Hospital for treatment and was later transferred to Stroger Hospital in serious condition.

About 10 minutes earlier, a man was seriously wounded in a Humboldt Park neighborhood shooting. The 37-year-old was walking on a sidewalk at 2:12 a.m. when someone in a vehicle opened fire in the 2500 block of West Potomac, according to police. He showed up at Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center and was later transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition.

About an hour and a half earlier, two men, ages 22 and 29, were wounded in a South Deering neighborhood shooting on the Far South Side. The men were in a parked vehicle at 12:33 a.m. when shots were fired in an alley in the 10200 block of South Commercial, police said. The younger man was shot in the abdomen and the older man suffered a gunshot wound to his left knee. Both were taken to Trinity Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized.

At least five more people were wounded in shootings since Friday evening. Last weekend, 19 people were shot — five of them fatally.

DCG

Family members of Berlin Christmas terrorist attack receive bills from government

berlin terrorist attack

Bureaucracy doing what it does best.

From News.com.au: Those whose sons, daughters and loved ones were killed by a terrorist plunging a hijacked truck through a Christmas market in 2016 thought at the very least they’d get a letter of condolence from their leader.

Instead, almost a year after the Berlin Christmas market terror attack, relatives of the 12 Germans killed in the attack have received bills for identifying the dead bodies and threats to call the debt collectors in.

They received limited compensation and not an official word, or letter of condolence, from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel failed them, say the grieving relatives of the 12, who have vented their anger in a withering letter accusing the Chancellor of “political inaction” and of failing to reach out to the bereaved.

Almost a year after the attack, we note that you have not shared your condolences with us either in person or in writing. In our opinion, this means that you are not doing justice to your office,” read the letter, published by weekly magazine Der Spiegel on Friday.

“In failing to do so, we believe, you are failing to live up to your high office … It is a question of respect, decency and, finally, a matter of course that you as the head of government should acknowledge to us the loss of our family members through an act of terror.”

Among those venting their anger, frustration and grief are Sigrid and Hans-Georg Rheinsberg. Their daughter, Doris, was killed in the attack by a jihadist asylum-seeker Anis Amri.

The only official communication they’ve had is an invoice from the forensic medicine department demanding €51 ($80) for identifying the body of their daughter. And a very official warning that if they didn’t pay it in 30 days, a debt collector would be hired.

Hans-Georg Rheinsberg told the magazine: “Ms. Merkel embraced the refugees, but she left us out in the cold.”

The letter says the bereaved were neglected by their government after the attack.

Accusing the Chancellor of “failing to live up” to the responsibility of her office, it notes how she and other dignitaries attended a rushed mass at the Memorial Church, a Berlin landmark in the heart of the Christmas market, while relatives of the victims were desperately struggling to find out whether their loved ones were among the casualties. Some waited for days to be informed.

The letter contrasts how other nations dealt with the five foreign dead: the Italian President attended the transfer of the remains of one of the victims; the Polish president knelt in front of the coffin of the truck driver murdered by Amri. Israel, home to another victim, passed a law giving financial support to families of terror targets overseas.

Meanwhile, the injured German survivors of the attack are also angry: while the killer received state support, some of the 70 injured have not yet been compensated for massive medical bills.

The German government has so far paid out $1.9 million to those wounded in the attack and to the victims’ families, according to the justice ministry.

Merkel’s office reacted swiftly to the public damnation, her spokesman saying on Monday she will this month hold her first face-to-face meeting with relatives on December 189 — one day before the anniversary of the attack.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel will listen to their grievances and see “which lessons can be learned” at the December 18 meeting.

He claimed the meeting was scheduled before the open letter was sent, nevertheless, “the letter shows how useful and urgent this meeting is”, Seibert said.

The letter had harsh words for the security “failings” that allowed Amri, a failed asylum seeker from Tunisia, to carry out the attack, the deadliest yet in Germany to be claimed by the Islamic State group.

Authorities missed a number of opportunities to arrest and deport the known drug dealer with connections to radical Islamists, who escaped detection by skipping across German state lines and using different identities.

On the day of the attack, he hijacked a truck and murdered its Polish driver before ploughing the vehicle through the market on his deadly drive. He was shot and killed four days later by Italian police in Milan.

The annual Christmas market at Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz reopened last week with new security measures in place, including concrete barriers and a heightened police presence.

DCG

Couple furious as jury pays illegal alien’s fine after jewelry theft conviction

sandra ortega fairfax county sheriffs office

Sandra Mendez Ortega/Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office photo

I understand having compassion for people. Yet as small as the fine was, it was the perfect opportunity to teach this young women about personal responsibility for your actions.

FYI: Fairfax County is a sanctuary county.

From Fox News: A Virginia woman was outraged after the maid she hired stole $5,000 worth of jewelry from her home and then the jury chipped in to pay for the woman’s fine after convicting her of theft.

Sandra Mendez Ortega, 19, who is in the country illegally, was convicted of felony grand larceny for stealing three rings on Dec. 8 by a jury at Fairfax County court. Instead of jail time, the jury sentenced her to a $60 fine.

A sympathetic jury for the teenager, who is pregnant with her second child, and pulled together $80 to pay for the fine after they convicted her.

Jury foreman Jeffrey Memmott told The Washington Post the jurors felt sympathy for the woman who testified she dropped out of school after sixth grade, had one child and was pregnant with another but was not employed.

“The general sentiment was she was a victim, too,” Memmott said. “Two of the women (jurors) were crying because of how bad they felt. One lady pulled out a $20 bill, and just about everybody chipped in.”

Memmott said he contacted the case’s public defender and went to the former maid’s home to give her $80, more than enough to pay her $60 fine.

“Justice had to be done,” Janice Woolridge, a juror, told The Washington Post. “But there’s also got to be some compassion somewhere. Young people make bad decisions. We just couldn’t pile on any more.”

However, Lisa Copeland, Mendez Ortega’s employer, was not happy with the sentencing – or their actions. She told the post that a $60 fine was insufficient for the crime committed and claimed Ortega told lie after lie. “I was outraged,” Copeland said. “I was just flabbergasted. I didn’t think $60 equated to the crime at all.”

Copeland said she discovered the rings missing in Sept. 2016 and actually did not realize a third ring had disappeared until they were turned in. The rings were worth at least $5,000, she aid.

Copeland called Fairfax City police who questioned the three housekeepers – including Mendez Ortega – who cleaned Copeland’s home and they all denied wrongdoing.

However, following the questioning the 19-year-old reportedly felt guilty about the stealing and told Copeland’s husband, Jeff, she had the rings and gave them back, The Washington Post reported. Police also had the young woman write the Copeland’s a letter of apology. Copeland said she has never seen the apology and the former maid never said sorry to her in person. “Never saw it,” Copeland said. “Never heard about it until the trial, during sentencing.”

Mendez Ortega was arrested and spent eight days in jail but posted the $1,000 bond and was released. The jury was not told of the woman’s stint in jail and that she was in the country illegally because “it was not relevant to whether she stole the rings.”

(So why was Ortega’s education, employment and pregnancy status relevant to whether she stole the rings but not her criminal entry into this country?)

Copeland said she felt the jury should have been told these facts. “I think it’s relevant to the case,” Copeland said.

“It really irritates me that she came here and committed a felony,” Jeff Copeland told The Washington Post. “People are coming here because there is opportunity here. But when they come here and commit crimes, that’s where you’ve got to draw the line.”

Lisa Copeland said she was “amazed” the jury did not want to convict Mendez Ortega although she confessed. “The fact that she confessed,” she said, “and they didn’t want to convict her? I don’t get this. That’s basically saying it’s okay to steal.”

Mendez Ortega faced up to 20 years in prison and a $2,500 fine but the jury only made her pay a fine that would be equivalent to a day’s pay.

Speaking through an interpreter, she said she was “happy” following her sentencing. “I became happy when I heard they wanted to give me that (money.) Thank you very much to all of them, God bless them,” she said.

DCG

SNL libtard gets a tattoo of his “hero” Hillary Clinton

hillary clinton tatoo

Hahahahahahahahaha!

From ABC News: Hillary Clinton has made quite an impression on “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson — on his right leg, to be exact.

Davidson, who publicly supported Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, posted a photo Friday on Instagram of his new tattoo, which is of Clinton.

“Wanted to get @hillaryclinton a Christmas gift so I got a tattoo of my hero,” the New York City native wrote. “Thanks for being such a badass and one of the strongest people in the universe.”

Not too long afterwards, a comedic Clinton commented on the photo.

“Thanks, @petedavidson, This makes it significantly less awkward that I’ve had a Pete Davidson tattoo for years,” she wrote. “But seriously, I’m honored. Merry Christmas my friend.”

The tattoo artist, Jon Mesa of No Idols Tattoo in Lower Manhattan, confirmed that the ink was indeed permanent.

He told Us Weekly Friday, “Yes, it’s real! Just did it last night at my shop No Idols Tattoo on Bowery and Grand! It’s a small one on his right leg.”

DCG

Miss Iraq’s photo with Miss Israel forces family out of Iraq due to death threats

miss iraq

That’s the “Religion of Peace” for you.

From MSN: Relatives of Iraq’s Miss Universe contestant have gone into hiding after a picture of the beauty queen with Miss Israel led to death threats.

During a Miss Universe event in November, Sarah Idan, representing Iraq, snapped a photo with her friend Adar Gandelsman, who was competing as Miss Israel. The photo was later posted to the women’s Instagram accounts.

In response, people in Idan’s home country of Iraq began issuing threats against the beauty queen and her family, Gandelsman told Israeli television.

“People made threats against her and her family that if she didn’t return home and take down the photos, they would remove her [Miss Iraq] title, that they would kill her,” Gandelsman told Israeli TV.

Gandelsman says that she and Idan are close friends who have remained in touch since the pageant. Idan, who lives in the U.S., confirmed the story with a Tweet.

“I’m not the first nor the last person to face prosecution over a matter of personal freedom. Millions of Iraqi women live in fear. #freeiraqiwomen,” she posted on Twitter with a link to Gandelsman’s interview.

The threats against Idan and her family are just one example of how tense the situation can be between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East, where many Muslims conflate any connection with Israel as support for Israeli activities.

Many in the Middle East are taught that Jews are murderers. These passions were recently inflamed even farther when President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that enraged many Arab leaders who want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state. Protests broke out across the Middle East in the wake of Trump’s decision last week, and several Palestinians died in violent exchanges with Israeli forces.

Many countries, like Iraq, do not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Idan, however, had hoped that her photo would spread a message of tolerance and understanding. She posted the photo “so that people can understand that it’s possible to live together,” Gandelsman told Israeli TV.

Idan also defended the photo in a separate Arabic language post on Instagram. “I want to stress that the purpose of the picture was only to express hope and desire for peace between the two countries,” she wrote, adding that the photo with Gandelsman is not indicative of support for the Israeli government or a lack of support for the Palestinian cause.

People in Iraq were also angry that Idan had posted in a bikini.

DCG