If you know me at all, you know that I wear a keffiyeh in the winter. I like the way it looks. That is the simple answer. If you also know me, you know that I teach at a community college. Last winter, one of my students, a young Palestinian, said, hey, I like your keffiyeh! He was excited that I was wearing it. Actually, all my Middle Eastern students liked that I was wearing it. Today, I found out exactly why. Turns out the scarf means something. You can read in detail, but the short of it is that the scarf represents Palestinian solidarity. I didn’t know that, but I actually like the scarf more now. I actually just bought a new, larger, thicker one. Do I hate Jewish people? Of course not. I didn’t even know what a Jewish person was until I was 19. But I’ve always been sensitive to the Palestinians. I’ve always thought this was a shitty problem that would, hopefully, one day, allow Israel and Palestine to live together in peace. Do I regret wearing the scarf? Nope. I like it. It keeps you warm and I look hot in it. But, apparently, not everyone agrees with me here. Two years ago, Dunkin’ Do-nuts ran an ad wear Rachel Ray was wearing a keffiyeh. People got mad at Dunkin’ One of those people is Michelle Malkin.
It’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists. Too many of them bend over backwards in the direction of anti-American political correctness. Naturally, liberal commentators on the Internet are now up in arms over Dunkin Donut’s decision to yank the ad and mock anyone who expresses concern over the keffiyeh’s symbolism. It’s just a scarf, the clueless keffiyeh-wearers scoff. Would they say the same of fashion designers who marketed modified Klan-style hoods in Burberry plaid as the next big thing? Fashion statements may seem insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence—unintentionally or not–they matter. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. In post-9/11 America, vigilance must never go out of style.
First, I just want to get this out of the way. Fuck you, Michelle Malkin. The reason I can’t stand her should be obvious. Any time I see a person of color support conservative ideals I want to rip my balls off and use them as replacements for my eyes. There. Next, she has a point. People should not wear this scarf accidentally. I did, at first, and that was a mistake. I didn’t know what the Keffiyeh meant before and I do now and that makes me want to wear it more. I have no problem supporting the rights and needs of the people of Palestine. I have no problem doing that and still having Jewish friends. What are we, on a football team? Pick a side? Red vs. Blue and everyone has to be on their side? The world doesn’t work that way. People like Michelle Malkin might think the world works like this, but it doesn’t. We are humans. We are complex. Let us relish in our complexities. Let us not be scared of them. If me wearing the keffiyeh allows someone to have a conversation with me about it, good. Let’s do it. But I refuse to allow people like Michelle Malkin, people who would have us hate everything that doesn’t have an American flag sewed on it, to tell me what I should wear or how I should wear it. And, you know, at the end of the day, it is just a damn scarf. Shut up. Michelle Malkin. Hate you.