Is "The Dictator" Racist?
James Kirchick, writing in Ha'aretz doesn't think so.
I saw the preview at the movies and was sickened. The "dictator" in the preview was a mixture of Orientalist stereotypes, but mostly mockery of Gaddafi. The movie apparently (I wouldn't pay a nickel to see it.) is a celebration of "our" triumph over him less than a year after his sodomization and murder. It even includes clips of Obama and Hillary Clinton talking about him. The movie is the latest product of Sacha Baron Cohen of "Borat" fame.
A while back Abe Foxman of the ADL worried about "Borat" because the supposed Kazak spouted crude anti-Semitic taunts that he thought might egg on bigots. But everyone was in on the joke. The movie showed what idiots the southern rubes were and the superiority of the non-bigoted viewers .
Foxman would better use his time worrying about the anti-Semitism on the hit TV show "Big Bang Theory". There Howard, the very Jewish character, was for years shown as sex obsessed schmuck (nearly to the point of a Streicher cariacture) and his mother is portrayed as a crude vulgar woman who is never shown, but communicates with him by screaming from another part of the house, usually about his or her bowels.
According to Kirchick the dictator plays "a Munich Olympics-themed video game in which yarmulke-clad sportsmen cry "Oy Vey!" as they're shot". The Ha'aretz columnist is not alarmed by the anti-Semitism, far from it. The movie, for him, is just showing the "depressing reality" of Middle East societies steeped in racism.
It takes zero guts for Baron Cohen to satirize a bunch of demonized dead dictators. When is he going to do a funny bit about a president going over the daily Kill List in his bedroom, picking out who to obliterate while he clips his nails?
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