Is Joyce Kaufman related to Joe Kaufman by any chance? Florida seems to have a high percentage of loons!
Hey, don’t bother looking for your free Publix calendar.
The coupon-loaded calendar, which had been a yearly giveaway for the past five years, was yanked this past week from all of the chain’s South Florida supermarkets.
Why? Collateral damage of today’s political climate.
On Dec. 7, the 2010 calendar lists Islamic New Year, not Pearl Harbor Day.
There are two ways to react:
1. To get into a xenophobic tizzy while weaving this into a narrative of a vast anti-American conspiracy that leads right up to the subversive undercover-Muslim, Kenyan interloper in the White House.
2. To assume that the grocery store chain has no reason to offend people, and that Publix, in an effort to be inclusive, inadvertently became a victim of a synchronicity of dates and an unconscious omission.
Publix pointed out that Pearl Harbor Day had never been listed in the store’s calendars . And the Islamic New Year had been on the Publix calendar since 2006.
And nobody complained.
Not a political document
The rub is that this year the Islamic New Year, which changes dates because it is based on a lunar calendar, falls on Pearl Harbor Day.
And why does the calendar list Islamic New Year? For the same inclusive reason it lists the Jewish High Holidays, Chinese New Year and an international array of other dates, including Puerto Rico Commonwealth Constitutional Day, Haitian Flag Day, Boss’s Day and Administrative Assistant’s Day.
It’s not a political document. It’s a calendar with pictures of animals that you get for free, along with discount coupons. To make more of it is to engage in political mischief.
“I was driving home Tuesday night and Allen West told me to look at the Publix calendar,” said Joyce Kaufman, a WFTL-AM talk-show host.
West, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a Republican candidate running for the congressional seat held by Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton.
Radio host urges audience uprising
Kaufman, who advertises her radio show with the words “America first. No apologies,” didn’t require much arm twisting to parlay the quinella of Islamophobia and flag waving to her audience the next day.
“What relevance does Islamic New Year have in my country?” Kaufman told me. “Islam is an ideology, and it’s not friendly to me.”
She said World War II veterans were “terribly offended” and she urged her audience to show up at their local Publix to complain.
“You show this calendar to the manager and say, ‘What’s wrong with this picture?’ ”
Meanwhile, a “Dear Fellow Americans” e-mail was urging a boycott, citing an “un-American attitude” of Publix for “recognizing the Muslim New Year over Pearl Harbor Day.”
Publix wisely yanked the benign calendar, which had become a talking point in a cartoonish alternate universe.
“Based on feedback we have received this year, if a free calendar is produced for 2011, we will also include Pearl Harbor Day,” Publix spokesman Kim Jaeger said in a statement.