I hate to bring this up but I was deeply offended by her comments as a US born Palestinian who loves everything about this country and never takes it for granted. Here is a transcript of the comments she made the morning of 6/25/08 on the Mike & Mike show on ESPN radio.
It's sort of like, you know, and this isn't -- I'm prefacing this by saying this is in no way an analogy to sports because I know we live in a hypersensitive society -- but I remember a while ago I was reading an article in the New York Times about Palestinian suicide bombers and I just remember being struck by the notion that from the point of birth, people in Palestine are taught to think that dying in the name of God is a good thing.
They grow up wanting to be suicide bombers. So bringing it back to sports -- and again, I'm not making the comparison or the analogy -- if a young talented basketball player is being told at an early age that they are destined, it is a good thing to focus on basketball and not worry about what's going on in the classroom, why are any kids going to be worried about what's going on in the classroom?
I have written emails to ESPN and others to express how disappointed I am in these comments and would like to ask if you would take the time to do the same. I want to make it clear that I, in no way condone such violence and I am not defending suicide bombers. However, at the same time, at no point in my upbringing or that of my siblings or that of my cousins or anyone else that I know that is Palestinian either here or back in the Middle East have we been taught to become suicide bombers.
She has issued an apology but it just apologizes for bringing it into the discussion and not at all for disparaging a whole nationality of people. The trascript of the apology is here as well:
"Hi, this is Bonnie Bernstein, and I'd just like to take a minute to apologize for making a connection this morning on Mike and Mike between Palestinians and the adults who influence the thinking of many young NBA prospects. I was a student athlete who was lucky enough to have part of my college expenses paid for by a scholarship, and so I've always embraced the importance of higher education.
That said, it upsets me greatly -- as I think you can tell, if you heard the interview -- when I hear about adults telling impressionable kids, 'Don't worry about school, your future is in the NBA.' These stories just lend credence to the notion one is often a product of his environment, and while I emphasized that twice during our discussion, in hindsight I realize it was simply a mistake to bring Palestine into the discussion at all, and for that, I apologize again."
Lesson learned: Religion and politics have no place on public airwaves at a sports network. That's definitely a credo I will live by from this point forward. Thanks and have a great day."
I know this is really off topic but I felt so horrible hearing such a blanket statement made that I wanted to vent some here and I hoped that some of you can help me make a statement.
I am Palestinian-American and I am a part of this American society. There are mmillions like me that are solid citizens in our country. I have friends of all faiths and religions, have lived with them in college and afterward, & can get along with eceryone. There are problems in the Middle East that may never be resolved but it doesn't mean that it is right to cast such statements against a whole group of people.
Thanks for allowing me to speak about this & if Al feels this is not an appropriate discussion, I guess I can understand. I don't really know any of you but I do know from being a member for a couple years that most of you are kind and respectful and there may be some of you that just don't care. However, if you would like to send an email to ESPN, I have included some emails as well.