The Colbert Report

Season 6 Episode 126

Eugene Robinson

Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Oct 04, 2010 on Comedy Central
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Episode Summary

Eugene Robinson
Tonight Stephen welcomes Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America, Eugene Robinson.
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      • Stephen: Tonight: How can Muslims find acceptance in America? Step one: Dancing with the Imams. Then: The Tea Party reaches out to kids, I assume for help with spelling. And my guest Eugene Robinson has a new book about the four groups that make up black America. Four? I'm stumped after Earth, Wind and Fire. The Postal Service is going to be charging more for floppy bulk mail. Bad news for anyone who signed up for my jellyfish of the month club. This is the Colbert Report.

      • Stephen: But how do we keep the decent ones from scaring us? Well the solution brings us to tonight's Word: It's A Small-Minded World. Folks, there's one group of Americans who always seem to have the answer to our problems, (Pharmacists) and that is the imaginers at Disney. Earlier this year Disneyland hired an intern over the phone, but then she showed up to work.

        [Video: Reporter: Noor Abdullah thought she'd landed her dream job. When she reported for work at the Magic Kingdom, a supervisor told her the hijab she wore for religious reasons didn't fit in with the official Disney look.]

        Stephen: See, Disney has a rigid dress code, which kind of makes you wonder how Winnie the Pooh slipped in without pants. So because she wouldn't remove the hijab, Disney has no choice but to assign her to a secluded stockroom. The same one I believe the stashed Uncle Remus and those racist crows from Dumbo. You see folks, when you work at Disney, you're not just an employee, you're a cast member and you don't wear a uniform, you wear a costume. And Noor Abdullah was hired to play the part of girl in ticket booth. (Worst Stieg Larsson book ever) Now we all know that character has an elaborate back story. She's not a Muslim…and that's it. Now Noor didn't want the role of girl in windowless stockroom, so Disney offered her a costume change.

        [Video: Reporter: The company offered Noor a compromise, instead of her own head covering, she could wear a Disney approved blue head scarf, topped with a kind of floppy beret.]

        Stephen: And here's the official costume artist's rendering. Like everything at Disney it's magical. Not does it cover up her hijab, now she's white. This was not Disney's first foray into custom Muslim headgear. (Also tried The Tinkerburqa) Earlier this year a Muslim waitress at Disney who wanted wear a hijab was allowed to do so if she also wore this styling fedora. Because Muslims may be scary, but a child's face really lights up the first time he meets a pimp. Folks, I think Disney is on to something here. (On the phone to their lawyers, probably) They are on to something! Throughout our history we've always been frightened by ethnic groups until we tamed them with cartoons and costumes. I mean the Irish were drunken apes until we came up with the Notre Dame guy, the Lucky Charms guy and the Kennedys. Those have got to be cartoon teeth. It was the same with Native Americans [Chief Wahoo], Italians [Chef Boyardee], even Hispanics [Speedy Gonzales]. And Muslims, you can help. Americans may fear an Islamic center, but who wouldn't love a Mickey Mosque? Then you'll be embraced here in America because the only way for some Americans to feel comfortable around Muslims is to imagine a world in which they don't exist.

        And that's the Word.

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