Idol Chatter

hortonpicforIC.jpgWhile I wasn’t really that surprised when I read that theabortion debate somehow wormed its way into the release of the big screen adaptation of “Horton Hears A Who”, you could have knocked me over with a tiny, purple flower when I read former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s commentary on the same movie. In what I can only describe as a very articulate but ridiculous knee-jerk reaction, “Horton,” according to Abdul-Jabbar, is sexist and racist and much of Hollywood and middle America is too ignorant to realize it.

According to Kareem, the sexism is embedded in the subplot of the Mayor of Whoville and his many daughters and only son. The son saves Whoville, while the daughters are merely on the fringe of things, neglected by their dad. And, his logic goes, if we are willing to allow this sort of “social injustice,” then we will simply turn a deaf ear, if you will, to other forms of injustice—including racism.
Are you as confused as I am about that broad leap in logical reasoning? “Horton” has numerous themes in the story including respect for others’ differences and the need to find your own voice. Picking on a relatively small moment in the film to make a huge broad social statement seems a bit of a reach to me.
But perhaps the real purpose of his editorial is found in the final paragraph, where he ties his commentary back to where the article actually started—a pitch to vote for Barack Obama.

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