March 11, 2014

Efforts at censoring the comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala heighten his appeal.

This is happening in France, which follows the kind of anti-hate-speech approach that's pushed by some Americans who lack sufficient respect for our free-speech tradition.
[T]he attempts to silence Mr. M’bala M’bala seem to have fueled support for him among his core audience: a social and racial cross section of French people who feel shortchanged by a ruling elite....

Mr. M’bala M’bala... has... denied that he is an anti-Semite... In [one] of his popular routines he performs a song called “Shoahnanas” — a pun that in French sounds like the words “hot pineapple.” The word Shoah refers to the Holocaust, and Nana is a slang term for a woman akin to the English chick. The video features a thin, bedraggled man in the kind of uniform that was worn by prisoners in concentration camps, with an oversize yellow Star of David on it; the man jumps around the stage — a puppet on a string to Mr. M’bala M’bala’s satirical commentary....

Anti-Semitic views “are not that important until it connects with the masses and that’s what Céline did in the ’30s and that’s what Dieudonné is doing now,” said Andrew Hussey, the dean of the University of London in Paris and a specialist in the history of anti-Semitism in France....

“Dieudonné’s got this constituency out in the banlieues and he speaks to them in code, he doesn’t have to say, ‘The Holocaust never happened,’ ” Professor Hussey said, referring to the poor suburbs often populated by immigrants. “Instead he makes a joke about the Shoah, but the joke is testing the limits of French law.”
Joking about the Holocaust should feel ugly, but when the government crushes the comedian, it's the government that feels ugly. The best defense against oppressive government is this instinctive sensitivity to oppressive government.

The link goes to a NYT article, which doesn't link to any of the offensive material. I found this, which seems to be at least one iteration of "Shoahnanas."


traditionalguy said...

The younger generation of France has a point. Their ancestors got to experience the satisfaction of hating Jews, sending them to Polish extermination camps, and stealing their stuff. And after Les Soldats Americain arrived they made a law to forget all about it.

Now they deny young people the same fun they had.

It's a fairness issue.

Wince said...

"A pissed-off Jew walks into a bar and cuts off M’bala M’bala's head."

I'm here all week.

MattL said...

If the France thing doesn't work out for him, he could come to America, update his schtick to be anti-Christian and get a show on HBO.

The Crack Emcee said...

M’bala M’bala's a sick fuck, but I gotta give it to him:

He makes France look like more fun than it is,...

Xmas said...

Part of his schtick is getting his fans to do a form of Nazi salute, quenelle, in front of Jewish buildings, "Jewish" buildings and Holocaust sites.

Legal Insurrection has an explanation

Cedarford said...

Matt makes the obvious point. A considerable amount of Hollywood entertainment is an anti-Christian scorn/mockfest that passes muster in the liberal/progressive jewish run media in America.
Christians, you see, are not a "protected group"...(In this the Islamists heartily agree with American cultural elites).

So Mahre, Andrew Sullivan get their own TV shows. TV and movies are free to indulge in jewish, gay, atheist, and leftist writers and producers that openly Christian-bash at any opportunity.

But while throwing rocks, declare it would be bigoted and intolerant and racist and sexist for Christian Oppressors to throw rocks back..

mccullough said...

Anti-semitism is only a problem if citizens can't carry guns. Since France doesn't really allow guns, they have to regulate speech. Same with other European countries.

The Muslims in Europe know this. Slander the Prophet and you're dead.

That's why most comedians in the US won't go near Islam. Most academics either. No one wants to be killed or live like Salman Rushdie.

William said...

What would happen to a Jewish comedian who poked fun at the wacky ways of Muslim immigrants to France? My guess is that his career would not prosper, especially after the beheading.

rhhardin said...

I happen to know a Holocaust joke.

It's from a Holocaust joke book that my late friend F.T.Grampp brought to work one day.

Guard: Little boy, how old are you?

Boy: I'll be six tomorrow.

Guard: [shakes finger] No, no, no.

The joke is a serious refusal to take the Holocaust as a sacred object, which it had become as a political matter.

It's saying that the expected reaction cannot be counted on. Try some better argument.

The situation is different today; the joke would have trouble with a confusion with Islam. Everybody would side with the Jews today, in particular those refusers.

Not because of the Holocaust however.

Because of the better argument.

rhhardin said...

Grampp specialized in bad taste and quick wit.

One day a woman driving slowly stopped at a red light. Fred pulled alongside and passed her on the right on green.

She caught up with him at the next light.

"This isn't New York. I have a baby in here," she said.

"Maybe if you'd moved faster you wouldn't have had the kid," Fred said.

His best line, on MADD, if it weren't for the drunks, most of them wouldn't be mothers.

Rosalyn C. said...

We don't tolerate our entertainers bashing gays or using the n word. The French shouldn't tolerate Jew bashing.

From the linked article, "There were more than 600 anti-Semitic acts in 2012, according to the Interior Ministry, an increase of nearly 60 percent over 2011. The sharp rise came after Mohammed Merah, a French Muslim, shot three Jewish children and their teacher, a rabbi, at a Jewish school in Toulouse in March 2012."

The murder of children and a Rabbi actually inspired more acts of aggression against Jews who are leaving France in record numbers. They are not safe in France. "... threats to France’s Jews come not only from the extreme right-wing nationalists (as exemplified by the National Front party) but also from the country’s huge Muslim population – at an estimated 6 million people. France has Europe’s largest Islamic community, which dwarfs its (still sizable) Jewish community by more than 10 times."

Cedarford said...

R. Chatt said...
We don't tolerate our entertainers bashing gays or using the n word. The French shouldn't tolerate Jew bashing.

Explain then how these bars on mocking certain groups became "the rules" that are enforced by powerful people kow-towing to PC who will destroy the career of anyone under them that jokes about gays, n-worders, jews, Muslims, etc.??

There were never any laws created to silence the "Haters!". The laws that employers and media use to stifle such expression probably would not pass muster with voters that still believe in the 1st Amendment.

What happened was Elites in media, government, powerful corporations, law firms, and academia just decided to set the rules the masses must obey on what they can safely talk about. And much of this is of course in response to the threat of violence or lawsuits by activists for the "oppressed".

The quickest way to get on the bandwagon if you are a Christian, Hispanic, white, or Asian would be to sue, threaten violence. Or, if you own much of the media, demand all products produced honor your Oppressed Victim status.

Aaron said...

You can watch his act on youtube complete with translations.

People bring pineapples with them to the show.

Its pretty anti-Semitic.

The Crack Emcee said...

The windows of synagogues and Jewish gravesites were constantly abused when I lived there.

So were blacks of any kind (Hello!)

Arabs huddle together, women dressed in black from head-to-toe, sending a gloom over wherever they appeared. Partially because they were weird-looking, partially because they didn't make you feel safe, and partially because the French are knee-jerk racists.

This is a photo of my brother-in-law (in yellow) and his best friend.

One day, the friend pulled me aside and said he had seen me at the local kabob place, and angrily warned me not to hang with "those people". When I asked why, his gaze went cock-eyed and his answer was "I don't know."

Another time, the village elder warned me away from them, under the pretense I couldn't trust the food - which I was eating because A) it tasted better than French cooking, B) I could get it at any time of the day, C) I had friends there by then, and C) I was avoiding food poisoning.

Anyway, I told him it was cool, and I liked them, and the food, and it was a shame how isolated they are. He said it was their own fault. The village tried to make them feel at home but they were bizarre and unwilling to join the rest of the village when it bent over backwards to be good to them.

Mind you, I just walked in the place and made tons of friends, immediately.

So what did I catch the elder saying to someone the very next day?

I approached him, from behind, just in time to hear him tell another Frenchmen the Arabs can't be trusted and he wished he knew a way to make them leave.

That's the French for you,...