A producer contacted me from the Watters’ World program on the Fox cable network hosted by conservative commentator Jesse Watters. She asked if I was interested in appearing to discuss the topic of Christian privilege.
Apparently, a major controversy has erupted on the conservative blogosphere after George Washington University had announced it would hold a workshop training session open to students and faculty on this topic four days following Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. I was to appear the Saturday after the workshop on April 7, 2018.
The Fox producer then stated that the order of the interview would go as follows: 1) a general description and definition of the concept of Christian privilege, 2) a connection to professor Robin DiAngelo’s notion of “white fragility,” concluding with 3) a discussion of Jay-Z’s comment on the new David Letterman program that the election of Donald Trump as President may be a “great thing” in the sense that Trump is “bringing out an ugly side of America that we wanted to believe was gone.”
What I walked into by appearing on the program was a less-than-superficial propaganda segment introduced by Jesse as “an assault on Christianity.”
I was led to believe that sufficient time would be given to address three areas of discussion as they outlined. As it turned out, however, I was given approximately three minutes allowing me to speak about eight sentences with numerous interruptions.
I feel as though the show engaged in a bait and switch operation. I left feeling frustrated but, unfortunately, not particularly surprised.
To make matters worse, when I arrived home, I found numerous email, Facebook, and phone messages.
I present only a few of the numerous comments I received within one-two days after leaving the TV station. I present these as they were stated or written editing only for length, with a few comments in brackets.
I just finished watching your interview on Fox News. I wish to tell you that you are a disgrace to your people! Jews like you are a very good reason why Gentiles hates Jews…. [The latter sentence confirms the reality that antisemitism remains an active form of oppression in the United States.]
…I’d like to know when your brain had become infected by all this purely Communist agenda driven propaganda? [A throwback to the “Red Scare” of the Cold War era.] Absolutely shocked. “Christian Privilege” and all the rest of these anti-educational social pseudo-science fraud courses conditioning the masses of unsuspecting malleable student minds. [An anti-intellectual and patronizing statement implying a lack of agency and decision-making and critical thinking capacity of youth.]
…An utter disgrace! Please do me a favor and read the Islamic texts, delve into Islamic theopolitical jurisprudence: Sharia…. [An appeal to Islamophobia and false equivalency between Christian power and Islamic power in a Western context.] …Everything and anything to utterly rape the Western – once “Judeo-Christian” freedom loving democratic West – of everything and anything that could possibly contain decency…. [False understanding by raising Christian privilege as a bashing of Christianity.]
Utterly disgraceful. You should be ashamed of yourself for peddling such lobotomized rubbish.
Jeremy D. Valentine
What some refer to as a “Judeo-Christian” tradition is a misnomer. Beaman, for example, argues that “this obscures the pervasiveness of anti-Semitism in the modern world.” I add that the term disguises the major differences between these two monotheistic religions and denies the primarily Christian antecedents to these practices.
Take, for example, the longstanding controversy related to displaying the “Ten Commandments” in an Alabama courthouse. While the “Ten Commandments” are indeed important traditions of the Jewish faith, the Hebrew or Jewish Bible lists 613 mitzvot (commandments) for Jews to follow. Christians have extracted the “Ten Commandments,” and those fighting to display them in the public square are primarily Evangelical Christians who misleadingly claim “Judeo-Christian” tradition as their battle cry.
…As a Jewess [I don’t recall anyone using this term as a self-descriptor]… Not only are you doing a disservice to students, but you have done a disservice to Jews by going on Fox news and offending a very wide audience of Christian viewers, many of whom support Israel financially and in other ways. [This viewer considers raising issues of Christian privilege as bashing Christians, and that my very presence jeopardizes continued Christian support for the state of Israel. I am more powerful than I could have imagined.]
…Maybe things are so good for you in the U.S. that you’ve forgotten the lessons of history regarding our people. We don’t have many friends and we shouldn’t insult the ones we have. [At lease she acknowledges oppression directed against the Jewish people. Her fear and seeming misunderstand of my intent to appear on the program foregrounded her response.]
Hey Warren, you disgraceful ignorant kike and perverted faggot. I’m surprised you haven’t already died of AIDS, but don’t worry, you’ll be dead soon, you kike faggot.
–Anonymous phone call, 3:00 a.m., April 8, 2018.
So you like to suck cock Warren. He is a pink hat bitch. (This person in his vitriol connects homophobia with sexism and misogyny.)
Dude get over yourself. Typical liberal….let’s create some b.s. about Christian Privilege in America just because we’re not happy unless we’re complaining about something. In God we trust. I love how the Americans who complain about everything, they stay here anyway. Why not move elsewhere? Because you have it too good in America. That’s why. Lol. [This sentiment echoes one that arose during the Vietnam War era – “America: Love It Or Leave It” — against those of us who protested the war. We chanted our response: “America: Change It Or Lose It.”]
I posted on Facebook: “Now they’re calling my home with antisemitic and homophobic rants. Such sad people.”
You are the idiot who said the stupid shit though. You brought it upon yourself. If you can’t take the heat then get out of the kitchen. [Typical victim blaming.]
Saw you on fox mews…I think your position on so called privilege is POROUS AND DISJOINTED….I do however believe that many in acedamia — aka indoctrination centers – feel they are qualified and justified To pass judgement on others with a tone pf perceived moral superiority. [A common anti-intellectual trope on the political right generally and specifically on Fox.]
I HAVE HEARD A LOT OF CRAP LATELY , ANTI-AMERICAN RHETORIC !! BUT YOURS IS THE WORST!!… [He equates a discussion centering on Christian privilege as being “ANTI-AMERICAN.” How very illuminating!] WARREN IF NOT FOR THE CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA THERE WOULD NOT A SINGLE JEW LEFT ON THIS PLANET!! BECAUSE OF THE NAZI’S, MUSIMS AND THE COMMUNISTS!! YET YOU FEEL IT’S AMERICA’S FAULT? [I never claimed fault or blame, but this is what he and many people hear when we raise issues of dominant group privilege.]
I watched your segment. I find you extremely disingenuous. Christian privilege? In WWII, did America’s ‘Christian privilege’ stop us from fighting HITLER, who KILLED millions of Jews ALL OVER EUROPE? No. Was Jesus a Jew? Yes. Was America founded on Judeo Christianity? Yes….Sad. You are OBVIOUSLY old enough to know that America lost THOUSANDS of men and women in WWII. Millions of Jewish people lost their lives because of Nazis and YOU have the BALLS to complain that Watters DOESN’T KNOW about a specific Jewish holiday? Are you THAT brain dead? Apparently ANYONE can become a professor as long as they hate Christians. You, sir, are a VERY SAD representative of your ancestors. I believe that Americans were thrilled to help fight for their freedom, only for YOU to compare America to Germany today. Christians, how horrible we were to fight for the freedom of your ancestors from German Nazis. How gentiles hatrd jews.
Joanie Carpenter Maley