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Thursday, September 06, 2012 

It really is that wretchedly biased

Inside Pulse has written the first review I could find of Green Lantern #0, and it's just as biased as we could expect:
Who is Simon Baz? An Arab man living in America, who was a child when he and his family watched the World Trade Center towers fall on September 11th, 2001, and who has felt the pain of being an Arab in America ever since. Well, no, now he feels the pain of being a car thief who completely ripped off the wrong van. Yeah, he’s no boy scout, but his heart is in the right place. By the way, why did I say wrong van? Because there was a bomb in it, and why is he a good person? Because he makes it a point to send that bomb on a one way trip to a place with no collateral damage once he discovered it. Unfortunately, again, Arab in America, Baz winds up in Gitmo pretty much instantly. Because an Arab guy blowing something up instantly means terrorist.
I thought that was "Muslim guy". Why can't they get their facts straight? It's just like how in the articles I looked at previously, Geoff Johns and the interviewers seem to think "Muslim" and "Arab" are completely interchangeable.
There is some straight forward racial profiling done for his interrogation, and honestly, as much as I hate to say it…yeah, this is what would really happen. His honesty would be ignored in favor of trying to label him an extremist in an excuse to interrogate him. I stress honesty, by the way, he holds nothing back and answers every single question they ask him, only to have his answers ignored in favor of painting him as a mad bomber working with more bad bombers. It also makes for a great moment where, with nothing to lose, Baz fights back and becomes worthy of the ring that we’ve all known he was getting for a good while now. Unfortunately, everyone who really shouldn’t known about this event happens to know, which means that governments, secret governments, and Justice League’s all known about the suspected terrorist who just got the most powerful weapon in the universe.
It sounds like pretty much what we could expect, a potential assault on Gitmo, and more so an attack on racial profiling. There's more told in at least one comment written in reply on the page itself:
Here's my problem with the issue. While the actions of the feds in are terrible it's not hard to understand why they wouldn't believe him. I mean if you didn't actually see the story unfold there is no way anyone would believe his story. You, a Muslim American, just happen to steal a van that has a bomb in it. Of all the terrible luck. Then you drive it to your old place of work you were fired from recently and blow the place up. I mean really who would believe that? Obviously the feds are supposed to look unreasonable but really they really only become unreasonable when they start with the torture because the truth is so unbelievable.

Also, wouldn't it have better to not tie the first Muslim green lantern to a bombing or being a car thief. Even though it wasn't his fault he's still connected. What if he was just a regular guy with a regular job that had the courage to survive discrimination in the wake of 9/11? Why make him a criminal that accidentally bombs a building?
The story as described certainly is ludicrous, if he drives the van onto the same property of a company he used to work for and totals the place, which is little different from what he allegedly was trying to prevent. If this is accurate, then "Baz" is guilty of destroying private property and trespassing, to say nothing of potentially jeopardizing other people's lives. I'm sure there's plenty of empty lots on the outskirts of Detroit he could've driven the van to if he wanted to keep it from endangering innocent lives (assuming it wasn't a time bomb hidden in the van), or he could've just called out to everyone to run for cover since there was a bomb in the van and called the police and urged them to cordon off the area it was in and send the squad to disarm it. The story structure certainly is bizarre and ill-advised.

Interestingly enough, there's one more story Johns recently put in Aquaman #7 that one could figure takes a pro-Islamic stance involving a Muslim woman who was killed off at the hands of Black Manta named Kahina the Seer:
As we see here, Black Manta offs Kahina in an unsurprisingly vicious manner for a story written by a writer as pretentious as Johns. And what easily makes this story an intellect-insulter is that - depending on how you view it - it technically makes the black man look like the real threat here (he even threatens to terminate her family), and the Islamist the one to be sorry for. In other words, Johns came up with a really clever piece of subtle propaganda, whether he knew it or not.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Johns about the zero issue of GL, and as expected, his answers aren't really that at all:
An Arab protagonist seems timely since there is this swirl of social issues that Muslims in post 9/11 America have to deal with.

True. As fantastic as the concept of “Green Lantern” is of an intergalactic police force, the comic has had a history of grounding in the now and dealing with modern characters and concepts and Simon Baz is that. I wanted to create a character that everyday Americans have to deal with.

When 9/11 hit, he was 10-years-old. His family was devastated, just like every other American. He’s grown up in that world. It’s just part of the daily life, the new normal.

The fact that the color green has a historical connection with Islam is probably coincidental but will religion play any part in future stories?

The background is in the DNA of who he is but it doesn’t define who he is. It’s more about a compelling character than anything else.
But as the Pulse review/reader comment signals, all the signs are that it will, certainly in the story setup. It's an insult to the intellect as it pulls what's surely a classic gimmick by now, to make Islamists look throughly "misunderstood" (and who knows if we'll ever learn who the villain was who actually built the bomb he disposed of?), and the authorities look completely like the baddies. (And was Naser Abdo "fighting back" when he injured a county jailer's arm?) Which is truly offensive, and smells of an anti-authoritarian bias too. And Islam is hardly a "modern" concept if this is what it's going to stoop to.

What an embarrassment Johns is becoming from a political perspective.

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Judaism is the religious group in the US that is by far the most frequent victim of hate crimes. That is "feeling pain of being a Jew in America," Mr. Johns, you politically correct dolt.

Oh, did I say "by far?" Yes I did. Check it, from 2009:

Of the 1,575 victims of an anti-religious hate crime:

71.9 percent were victims because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.

8.4 percent were victims because of an anti-Islamic bias.

I love this stuff -- we get lectured about "stereotyping" yet again by these ultra-PC comic writers, yet they wouldn't waste a microsecond doing that very thing against conservatives, the Tea Party, the GOP, George W. Bush or Mitt Romney.

F*** 'em all.

Exactly, Hube. I shudder to think about how they'll depict Romney if he becomes President.

I agree. F*** the current crop of ultra-PC writers.

I'd say "Hell with em," instead, but I agree.

Funny how now Hollywood is shrieking about discrimination against Muslims immediately after 9/11, when that didn't happen on a wide scale, at all.... Discrimination against Muslims exists, yes, but look at the stats -- it's usually against Jews or, more recently, Christians. So, yeah, but that's Hollyweird for you.

Yeah, I remember how after the 9-11 attacks my middle school principal (I was in sixth grade when it happened) and several of my teachers would go on and on about how it was "wrong" to put Arab-American children under scrutiny and "discriminate" against them... even though there wasn't a single Arab-American at my middle school.

Well, then, I feel old, as I was 19 when 9/11 occurred. Heh. I also was becoming more politically aware, and I don't recall anything anti-Arab or anti-Muslim backlash on a wide scale. I don't.

I'm sorry you had to deal with that, Carl, but it was a good foreshadowing of what we're dealing with, now.

Besides all the dhimmitude I am still in shock over a man entrusted with a wish fulfillment cosmic weapon... needing a gun.

This new green lantern's penis must be like the size of a cocktail frank or something.

Yeah, you're right, Killer Moth. It foreshadowed the PC attitudes toward terrorism that people now have.

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