Toby Keith's upcoming all-male concert is okay, because multiculturalism conquers all.
I’m sure you’ve already seen the unfolding controversy. It seems that country singer Toby Keith agreed to sing for a gathering of the Christian group Promise Keepers. It’s an all-male group. In the name of fostering “comradeship,” the organization planned to restrict attendance to men. That’s what sparked the outrage.
Major articles appeared in Vanity Fair and the New York Times. They denounced the concert as “misogynist” and “transphobic.” Feminist groups condemned Promise-Keepers as “patriarchal woman-haters” who “use the rhetoric of theocracy and male control over women’s bodies.” The National Organization for Women threatened to launch a boycott of the state of Alabama.
Leading Alabama legislators asked state regulators to look into prohibiting the conference. The state’s Chamber of Commerce chimed in to support a ban. It warned of the need to “protect the business atmosphere here for future jobs and investment.”
Priests from the local Jesuit college, Springhill, sponsored a campus-wide “teach-in.” The topic? Female empowerment and the need for more headline female country singers, plus women in the Catholic priesthood.
Spin magazine ran a piece by the head of Toby Keith’s record label. It warned of canceling Keith’s upcoming album.
At last, within 48 hours of the concert being announced, Keith pulled out and apologized. Organizers might cancel the conference itself. Antifa protestors from colleges across the country and leaders of Black Lives Matter warned on social media that they would show up and “disrupt Promise Keepers, disrupt Trump!” Several prominent business leaders on the board of Promise Keepers have withdrawn from membership. Social media protests had targeted their companies’ shareholders and customers.
Now, strictly speaking, none of the above is true. Not a word.
But did you find it implausible? Or didn’t it seem exactly the way that cultural coercion plays out in today’s America — when conservatives or Christians are involved?
In fact what is happening is this: Mr. Keith is performing at an all-male concert, all right. But it is in Saudi Arabia. The concert coincides with Donald Trump’s state visit to that theocratic absolute monarchy. CNN reported on the concert. It didn’t even mention that women can’t attend. Excluded. CBS News did note the ban on both women and beer. But it didn’t seem to consider either exclusion controversial. It just noted the female ban deadpan, as if reporting on the weather. Spin magazine weighed in, but only to snark about Keith’s apparent fondness for Donald Trump.
Why are mostly white, Western or Christian institutions subject to the strictest scrutiny?
I was only able to find one prominent voice criticizing the concert for keeping out women. Washington Post blogger Alyssa Rosenberg wrote a piece. She complained that the concert is “segregated.” She noted briefly that the Saudi government oppresses women. But even she spent more than half her column sniping at Keith for his right-leaning views.
Strict Scrutiny for Westerners, Whites, and Christians
Isn’t that funny? Why are mostly white, Western or Christian institutions subject to the strictest scrutiny? Progressives weigh their every policy against the latest list of tender sensibilities. Their every choice goes under a microscope. Does it offend one of an ever-expanding (updated hourly) list of “marginalized” groups? Any violation will be punished with maximum savagery, innocent bystanders be damned.
Muslim Autocracies Are Just Exotic and Cool
But whole countries like Saudi Arabia get a pass. Meanwhile, their record of abusing women is staggering and inhuman. Rape victims in Saudi Arabia can be flogged for committing adultery. The only loophole? If they can produce four adult male witnesses to testify that the sex was non-consensual. There is no law forbidding marital or statutory rape.
Saudi women miss out on a lot more than Toby Keith concerts. They cannot drive cars. The reasons I’ve seen listed for that vary according to the Islamic cleric cited. They range from dangers to women’s reproductive systems, to that well-known side-effect of riding over bumpy roads: insatiable sexual arousal.
Saudi Arabia is the Comintern for the new face of totalitarianism — a country that exports jihad and jihadists, that accepted zero refugees from Syria but spent millions building them mosques in Germany and Sweden.
Saudi Arabia regularly executes homosexuals. And Muslims who announce they are leaving Islam. Indeed, that country is one of the most aggressive on earth in employing the death penalty for a wide variety of offenses. Child marriage is common. Likewise forced marriages imposed on women by their fathers and brothers.
Christian churches, bibles, and symbols are totally prohibited. They’re even denied to the thousands of enserfed foreign workers who toil in Saudi households. Even embassies (technically foreign soil) come under the ban. Female genital mutilation is widespread in parts of the country.
None of this stopped Hillary Clinton from recruiting Huma Abedin as her “body woman” and likely chief of staff (had she won). Abedin worked with her family on a Saudi-founded and funded journal promoting Saudi-style sharia around the world. None of this stopped Georgetown University from accepting $20 million from a Saudi prince in 2008 to fund its Islamic studies program. Flashback to 1978: Would Georgetown have taken that kind of money from the Republic of South Africa, for a program on race relations?
Treating Muslims Like Mischievous Pets
There’s a powerful double standard at work. It comes to us via multiculturalism. We only hold white, Western, and especially Christian institutions to fully human standards. We treat Muslims in particular as if they were lovable, mischievous pets. The same progressives who denounce Christian churches as “patriarchal” damn critics of Islam as “Islamophobes.” That’s deeply degrading to Muslims as human beings. Much more importantly, it is dangerous to us.
Since I believe that Muslims and country singers are equally human, I’ll say it: I don’t think Toby Keith should sing in Saudi Arabia. I don’t think President Trump should visit that hell on earth, or that the U.S. should pretend that the country is an ally. Instead it is the Comintern for the new face of totalitarianism — a country that exports jihad and jihadists, that accepted zero refugees from Syria but spent millions building them mosques in Germany and Sweden, that keeps a fragile peace in its unjust society by projecting discontent outward: into the West, where we are the victims.