Historian Henry Louis Gates’ PBS program Finding Your Roots is apparently dedicated to showing prominent people how they come from families of victims, and thus belong among today’s elites. For in today’s insane world, victimhood is currency, and the more you have of it, the more privileged you are. Gates himself is a fine example of this. A few years ago I boarded an airplane and saw Gates already seated in first class. He was exquisitely dressed, happy, bantering with the flight attendants — the very picture of wealth, privilege, contentment and success. As the line slowly inched back to where the great unwashed were crowded together, I saw that as he sipped his drink, he was reading an academic paper — perhaps even proofreading one of his own — about racism and oppression of “brown people.”
The irony was not lost on me. The privileged classes today are those who are present themselves as victims, and Muslims are among the left’s designated victim classes. Thus Gates had to dissemble about the Armenian Genocide and claim that “there was a major bias in American newspapers against the Ottomans because they were Muslim.” Any other analysis would have been “Islamophobic.” But did the Ottoman Muslims really crucify Armenian Christians? Yes.
“Did PBS and Henry Louis Gates downplay crimes against humanity?,” by Daniel M. Bring, Spectator, February 22, 2021:
In PBS’s Finding Your Roots, celebrity guests learn about their genealogies from the Harvard historian Henry Louis Gates. The guest on February 9 was the Lebanese-American actor Tony Shalhoub. The episode made several false or misleading statements that downplayed what historians now call the ‘30-year genocide’ – the mass killings perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Christians from the 1890s through the 1910s….
‘[Shalhoub’s great-grandfather] died in 1895, in a region of the Ottoman Empire which was then part of Armenia. At the time, Armenian nationalists were pressing for political reforms, and the Ottoman state decided to make an example of them. An estimated 150,000 people died in massacres that made international headlines.’
Though he does not name them, Gates is speaking of the Hamidian massacres of 1894-1897, during which as many as 400,000 Armenians and other Christians were killed. Gates wrongly identified these killings as the politically motivated repression of Armenians. Instead, these were the overtures of the methodical slow-moving genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities that accelerated during World War One….
Strangest of all, Gates discredits a contemporary report about the killing of Shalhoub’s grandfather. Shalhoub reads a harrowing passage from a period newspaper clipping: ‘He was crucified, being nailed hand and foot to a cross and left to suffer many hours before being finally dispatched by a lance thrust. Particulars reached his son in Appleton by letter from a relative who escaped.’
Shalhoub is astonished and repeatedly asks if the story of the crucifixion was true. Gates’s response is stunning.
‘Well, the article was written during the era of yellow journalism, where newspapers often sensationalized or exaggerated stories to improve circulation, right? And at the time, there was a major bias in American newspapers against the Ottomans because they were Muslim. So it’s possible the story was exaggerated.’…