Pamela Geller’s plan to fashion herself as the Rosa Parks of Islamophobia hit a major road bump today on Fox News.
On America’s Newsroom, host Martha MacCallum made it very clear to Geller that she is not part of the Fox News family of conservatives.
MacCallum set the tone for the somewhat contentious interview. She began by playing clips of some very critical comments about Geller’s “Draw the prophet” stunt over the weekend in Texas. There, armed gunmen might well have caused a horrific tragedy had a local Texas police officer not shot and killed each of them.
Bill Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League (and a Fox News fave), was seen asking about Geller, “Why would anybody who’s morally responsible want to intentionally incite other people?” Donald Trump said, “It looks like she’s just taunting everybody.”
Geller responded by accusing Donohue of “emboldening” Muslims and “giving them the sanction of the victim.” She sneered that Trump “sure flaps his tongue and uses free speech and wishes to silence others.”
Then Geller played the Rosa Parks card.
GELLER: There’s a war going on. I mean, what would he have said about Rosa Parks? “Rosa Parks should never have gone to the front of the bus. She’s taunting people.”
MacCallum pushed back forcefully. “No, no, no, no, no,” she interrupted. “How do you make the Rosa Parks comparison? They’re saying that if you want to make a difference, you do it – Bill Donohue’s saying – in a Christian way. You don’t do it in a crass, crude way by insulting someone’s religion. You do that by rising above that and saying, ‘We are not like you. We will not attack your religion. We’re not like you.’”
Geller is either deceitful or delusional or both. She insisted she was not denigrating Islam because “political cartoons is political opinion.”
MacCallum went on to point out that Charlie Hebdo cartoonists see no comparison and have deliberately distanced themselves from Geller, saying they criticize all religions and only focus on Islam when it’s in the news. MacCallum also cited Pope Francis, who prayed for peace in a mosque, for comparison.
Geller became even more outlandish. “Based on what you’re saying, the Christians in the Middle East should all convert because they’re insulting Islam,” she hit back.
“Absolutely not. Absolutely not.” A look of horror crossed MacCallum’s face as she spoke. “My God, absolutely not.”
I, for one, am breathing a sigh of relief.
Watch it below, from today’s America’s Newsroom.
For those not aware of the situation, here’s a relatively brief summary of the events.
Rosa Parks (who, yes, was a bit of a known civil rights worker and agitator) had boarded a bus in Montgomery in December of 1955. The bus, as with ALL public buses in Montgomery, was clearly segregated. There was an assigned “whites-only” section which was, as suggested, FOR WHITES ONLY. The rest of the bus was NOT designated for anyone. The reason for this was so that IF the “whites-only” section was filled, then the next row would be cleared of any and all Black riders, even if the rest of the bus behind that row was filled. THIS was the situation that Rosa Parks faced. She took a seat in one of the non-“whites-only” rows and began her trip home. At a later stop, a white passenger boarded the bus but the “whites-only” section was completely full. So, as was expected, the bus driver went back and ordered the Black passengers seated in the first row adjacent to the “whites-only” section to move. Even though this meant one row of seats (on both sides of the aisle) would be empty except for the lone white passenger (and no, a Black passenger could NOT sit in a seat in the same row—even on the opposite aisle—as a white passenger) and the rows behind that one were already filled with Black passengers. (The system didn’t care if Black passengers were packed in like sardines or even standing while the bus was moving as long as no white passenger had to face the prospect of sharing a row with “one of them.”) Rosa refused to give up her seat.
Now, there are several conflicting points in the story. One suggests the white passenger didn’t mind standing until his stop; another even suggests the white passenger had no problem sharing a seat with a Black passenger. These are, however, fairly irrelevant as Miss Parks was arrested on the spot for her failure to obey the bus driver. (In most jurisdictions, even today, the law considers the bus driver as being in charge and refusing to obey his/her directives can be considered akin to refusing to cooperate with police.)
(I realize that might be a bit more than a “brief summary” but there are a lot more facts in the case than what I posted.)
I guess, on Planet Wingnut, all it takes to be a civil rights leader is being a highly-paid bloviating rightwingnut . . .