Mos Def’s Study In Post-Modern Thought

There’s some discussion about this clip where Christopher Hitchens intellectually eviscerates Mos Def on Bill Maher’s excreable TV show. Some see a case of racism. Says James Joyner:

While I agree entirely that this is an absurd pairing, it’s most definitely not a racist one. Sandefur has apparently never seen “Real Time with Bill Maher.” The premise of the show, from its inception more than six years ago, has been to pair politicos and pop culture figures in discussion. (Whether the point of the exercise was to demonstrate that the latter are morons or that their opinions are equally valid, I could never determine.)

I see a case of stupid post-modern thought. Or rather, emotionalism disguised as a feeble attempt at argumentation. Here’s the video:

But really, the focus should be on what Mos Def says.

He starts out fine enough by asking the other panel members, Christopher Hitchens and Salmun Rushdie this question,”What is the Taliban and al Qaeda’s political objective?” He doesn’t seem to like the answer, however, and asks again.

When, in exasperation Bill Maher says, “They’re bad. They’re bad motherf*ckers.” Mos Def responds with, “I’m not wearing an al Qaeda T-shirt”.

Christopher Hitchens jumps in and says,”This sounds like this is news to you.”

Mos responds,”I don’t believe something just because it’s on CNN.”

Translation: There is no objective truth.

Mos then tells a story about a Black Panther woman in Cuba who ostensibly didn’t commit a crime she’s accused of and so says he’s suspicious about what is said about al Qaeda because “this kind of thing happens all the time in my community–maybe not in your community.” The audience clapped.

Translation: Al Qaeda is being framed for crimes they didn’t commit even with the obvious evidence of the Twin Towers down in front of my face.

So Christopher Hitchens says,”So you’ve never watched a Bin Laden interview.”

Mos Def replies,”I don’t speak Arabic and I don’t trust the media.”

Translation: Unless I see it with my own eyes, it’s not true. Only my own experience is truth.

So then Christopher Hitchens licks his chops and goes in for the rhetorical kill. “You’ve already told me you won’t take it just from me. Do a bit of work on your own account.”

Mos Def is then caught by his own argument and says, “I’m from Compton and I’m not afraid of no answers.”

Hitchens responds to that inane diversion with,”I’m from Hampshire.”

Mos then says,”I’m strong enough to hold an an unpopular opinion. I can think on my own.”

Hitch says,”We’re just waiting for evidence that you do that.”

Hitchens then says,”You said earlier that you thought Bin Laden was a mythical figure.”

Mos Def says,” I said that he was promoted like a mythical figure and I have a right to feel that way.”

Translation: My feelings matter more than facts. There is no objective reality, just my interpretation of my experience.

Mos Def then says,”You don’t have any right to cast my thought process into dispersion.”

Hitchens says,”Yes I do, because I think it’s a very stupid position to have.”

Translation: No one can criticize my thoughts. Thoughts and ideas are me. So by criticizing them, you criticize me.

Hitchens then says,”I know you.”

Mos Def says,”Don’t pretend to know me.” He then turns to Maher and says,”You had to know this was going to happen.” [Maher takes umbrage at this and says, “No.”] Mos finishes with,”Maybe I’m just black and paranoid and sh*t.”

Translation: So instead of an argument that started out on ideas, it’s become a personal attack.

There isn’t much to say with all this except to say this is a classic conversation with a Leftist. There is no winning the argument because it ceased to be an argument once the ignorance was revealed.

H/T Infidels are Cool

Cross-posted at

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