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The long knives are out and the fanatics are dining with relish. Hard to say what will happen, but New York sadly has embraced this extremist position of removing anything that might or could or just maybe would offend or just annoy people, though it is of course just certain people.
The clown mayor there DiBlasio has fed this beast and no one is now safe. They are talking of tearing down a statue of Christopher Columbus, which has inflamed the Italian American community. Recently a rally to oppose that attracted many speakers, including Saturday night alumnus Joe Piscopo.
The truly hateful City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito recently declared that the annual Puerto Rican day parade would honor a convicted terrorist pardoned by Obama, a man who was a member of a group that conducted more than 100 bombings over a decade including one in New York, which resulted in 4 deaths. Upon his release from prison Rivera said he regretted nothing.
There is also a former Black Panther there who demanded they name a street for a man named Sonny Carson. Carson was famous for replying to a charge of anti-Semitism, that he had nothing in particular against Jews, he just hated all white folks. During his campaign for a Sonny Carson Avenue, Barron cited his opposition to the then recently named Al Jolson Way, as honoring a man who was in his words, A racist to the bone.
Fortunately the Carson street was rejected, though Barron had the street sign put up anyway, challenging the police to remove it.
So in this city, and with the inane and hateful campaign on to remove every statue or rename any street named for anyone from Lee to Washington to Teddy Roosevelt to even Abraham Lincoln, who can say if Al is safe. Hopefully some rationality will return, the fever will subside and those who care will come forward to speak out.
Long live Jolson.
Thanks Marc. I can't say I'm a big Jerry Lewis fan, (notwithstanding his love for Jolson) but those clips were really wonderful, especially the mime from The Errand Boy.
I do not know what has happened to our democracy. PC is the scourge of our nation, as it was in Nazi Germany. We all have seen the pictures of people burning books in the street.
For anyone to degrade a great patriot like Al Jolson tells you everything you need to know. At 73 years of age, no PC lies will effect me. However what about the children? What horrid pollution will be fed to their brains? Where are we going as a nation? I often think about my elementary school teachers teaching us patriotic songs, and I'm so sad for today's kids.
We have a duty to speak out. If you are a Jolson fan you must talk about him whenever the opportunity arises. Play the music and run the movies for friends and strangers. Speak at whatever organizations will ask. It's up to us too do what little we can, not for Jolson, for our kids and grandchildren. Do whatever we can to restore this nation to it's former greatness. Political Correctness will do us in, if we don't do it in first.
I spoke at some length with Charles Barron at the height of the "Al Jolson Way," controversy.
Amazingly, he was not as close-minded as I was expecting. After all, I was giving him information and making a case for something that was 180 degrees the opposite of everything he had been taught and believed. I think it helped that we discovered that we went to the same JHS on the Lower East Side, about a year apart, and we know many of the same people and teachers! That loosened things up a bit. At the conclusion of our talk he did say, "I'll have to re-examine this issue," -- which I considered a major victory -- and I told him that!
I don't think our chat changed the outcome of the vote as Ms. Christine Quinn, the City Council President, assured me they already had enough votes for approval. I just hated the fact that Barron used a picture of Al Jolson in his defense of the Sonny Carson re-naming, saying, in effect, that if they can re-name a street for this bigot who mocked black people, then how can they say "no" to the Sonny Carson re-naming. Haven't had any contact with him since.
Regarding the recent insanity involving the tearing down of statues, I have no real way of knowing anything but my gut tells me do not be shocked if "Al Jolson Way," is taken down. In the current political and social environment anything is possible. Especially where votes are at stake, or perceived to be at stake. These are, after all, politicians.