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Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Racist December 5, 2008

Posted by joshuachayne in Culture, media, politics, Religion, Uncategorized.
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On the December 2nd 2008 show of The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck referred to Medical Doctor and Spiritualist, Deepak Chopra as “glitter glasses whatshisname” and said he should “go burn a bowel of incense” in a jab against his Hindu derived spiritual beliefs.

Fans from the Television Without Pity website spearheaded an effort to contact ABC and ask that Hasselbeck apologize.  On today’s Dec. 4th show, Elisabeth gave a half baked apology right before a commercial break.  She did not explain the context of the apology nor did she explain why some Indian Americans, Hindus, and others were offended by her remarks.

Elisabeth had taken a jab at Deepak after he did an interview on CNN about the Mumbai terrorist attacks.  Deepak Chopra criticized America’s foriegn policy (Iraq war, civilian casualties) for causing outrage and resentment among the Islamic world which many scholars maintain contributes to turning moderates into radicals.

The Wall Street Journal also attacked Chopra, saying that he blamed America for terrorism.

Chopra responded to the attacks with a very nuanced interview with the Huffington Post.  Deepak and his son will also have editorials published in Friday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal where they will respond to the criticisms.

Here are some excerpts from Deepak Chopra’s interview at the Huffington Post…

“I didn’t blame America,” Chopra says and then elaborates that placing blame is complex and that Pakistan is suffering because of the people that don’t want Pakistan to have a relationship with a nuclear-armed India. “The worst thing India could have done is to have a nuclear deal and to be part of a nuclear club… Why are we selectively choosing to have nuclear deals and making the rest of the world feel unsafe?”

“We have a very self-righteous attitude towards the rest of the world. We have no understanding of how these violent ideologies are born. We want to just go to war and kill the terrorists. Well, the bad news is you can kill as many terrorists as you want, but you cannot kill terrorism. In order to kill terrorism it’s gonna have to be a 50-year Marshall Plan to not build war torn cities, but to build ideas. To rebuild violence torn minds. To educate them, to help them, to cooperate with them, to create economic partnerships so that the rage disappears, and to understand them. There are very simple rules for having a dialogue. You respect your enemy. You talk to them with the attitude, ‘Yes. We understand that you also have injustice and we also feel injustice. Can we have a room here for forgiveness on both sides? Can we refrain from belligerence?’ The more belligerent we get, the more belligerent the radicals get.”

Chopra says that, according to Rabinowitz, “I’m a purveyor of aromatherapy, enemas, I say happy thoughts make people happy.” He touches on Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s comment that he should “go light some incense.” He takes personally when the media dismisses thousands of years of wisdom and traditions, and is patient in explaining that aromatherapy and incense work through neuro-associative conditioning. If anyone bothered to ask, he would mention that he is a neuro-endocrinologist and that everything he studies has a medical basis. “If you really examine this, this is racism. This is bigotry. This is hatred. This is prejudice. And this is total lack of knowledge of another person’s culture.” You can almost hear him rolling his eyes when he says, “The only time I’ve prescribed enemas is when somebody has constipation.”