walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

inciting to violence

I've had a lot of reservations about the loose talk about how political speech that used metaphors of violence may have contributed to the recent tragedy in Arizona. I don't like to see a public debate that lets the far right cloak itself in the mantle of the defenders of the first two amendments to our constitution. I haven't been particularly shy about saying this, urging people to focus instead on things like technical gun regulations (better reporting of people with mental illness that might make them ineligible to own a gun; renewing restrictions in high capacity magazines).

Then Reuters has this:


quoting Sarah Palin as saying this:

"Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible."

"Blood libel" is a scandalous term, referring to horrifying speech. From wikipedia's entry on the topic:


[quote begins] Blood libel (also blood accusation) refers to a false accusation or claim that religious minorities, almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays. Historically, these claims have–alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration–been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.

The libels typically allege that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover. The accusations often assert that the blood of Christian children is especially coveted, and historically blood libel claims have often been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children. [quote ends]

So I take it all back. The media should go after Sarah Palin and the far right for everything factual they can possibly find. They should criticize her political speech, her family life, her television career, her parenting choices, her clothing, her hair and grooming, her illiteracy, her religious views, the views of everyone around her. They should do so with every negative adverb and adjective they can muster while sticking to the factual truth.

She's earned it. And at this point, anyone who defends her in any mistaken view that the attacks on her are risking anything more serious are as delusional as I was yesterday.

To quote Olbermann: That Woman is an Idiot.

And that's an insult to idiots.

ETA: To clarify, what Sarah Palin has done by using this offensive term in this context is to put her "suffering" on a par with what Jews suffered in the course of Christian pogroms against them. Rather than cloak herself in the mantle of a defender of the bill of rights, she has chosen to cloak herself in the mantle of a persecuted Jew of 70 or more years ago. Doing this while a Jewish woman is lying in a hospital after being shot while engaged in the work of democratic government is difficult to find words for.

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