Michelle Malkin, the pro-Roosevelt “conservative,” has become the latest unlikely champion of a new political correctness movement. She is up in arms because Rachel Ray, the spokesperson for an American institution, Dunkin Donuts, wore a scarf in a commercial. This new movement is living in territory bordering somewhere between political correctness and conspiracy theory. The scarf supposedly resembles the keffiyeh worn by such folks as Yassir Arafat (and also, by the way, by President Bush’s handholding buddy King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud). So, apparently to this New-PC-Truther movement, a scarf isn’t just a scarf, it’s a message of Muslim solidarity. Come to think of it, Truthers think Bush and Al Saud were involved in 911, so I guess maybe this isn’t the stretch I thought it was.
You don’t have to know much about Rachel Ray to know that she wasn’t trying to make a pro-terrorist statement by wearing a scarf. This lady is a fun, family oriented, all American, girl next door who has capitalized on her personality and skill with food to build a nice capitalist empire. That’s about as American as it gets.
The scarf, which supposedly resembles the headpiece worn by Yassir Arafat, wasn’t even on her head where it would belong if she were being a good Islamic woman. Plus it supposedly resembled a piece of male clothing. Again, not a good way for a woman to show solidarity with intolerant, fundamentalist Muslim fanatics who generally frown on crossdressing.
I remember when all women used to wear scarves, often on their heads covering their hair. My grandmother used to wear one and as I recall with near metaphysical certainty, she was Catholic not Muslim. Texas sweetheart Flo used to wear a scarf to work at Mel’s Diner; I suspect she’d tell Michelle Malkin to kiss her grits. Scarves were usually worn more for utility than looks, back when women with longer hair than is now the norm would spend a long time getting their hair done and use the scarf to protect it when going out in the wind. Women used to wear hats occasionally, too, and while nothing looks as stupid as a hat on a man (to paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke), both hats and scarves can look quite cute on a lady. Remember when stewardesses, back before they were flight attendants, wore hats? But I digress.
Message to Michelle Malkin and company: Political correctness was ridiculous when championed by liberals. It was ridiculous when Chris Matthews went hardball about the swiftboat ads on some cute girl just trying to promote her book praising Franklin Roosevelt. It’s just as ridiculous today. Nutjob conspiracy theories can be good clean fun, but when you actually attack real people because you really believe them, it’s time to go back on your meds.
American women should be able to wear scarves. They should be able to wear them around their necks, on their heads or in place of a bikini top at the beach. And especially in the last case, they should be able to remove them, as well. While it might not be in the Bill of Rights, I’m sure that the right to wear a scarf is somewhere in those mystical penumbras emanating from it. If American women can’t wear scarves, the terrorists have won.