From Talking Points Memo:
Trump’s Blood Libel & Press Failure
By JOSH MARSHALL
Published SEPTEMBER 2, 2016, 12:07 AM EDT
Even now, after all that’s happened, most political reporters find themselves either unwilling or unable to identify Donald Trump’s tirades as hate speech. … This is hate speech.
We tend to think in over-literal or clumsy ways about ‘hate speech’. Most often we assume that it’s a matter of using particular words … Hate speech is rants meant to inflame, inspire fear or rage or violence against a particular class of people. The precise vocabulary is not the heart of the matter. There’s no question that what Trump’s Wednesday night speech was was hate speech, a tirade filled with yelling, a snarling voice, air chopped to bits with slashing hands and through it all a story of American victims helpless before a looming threat from dangerous, predatory outsiders.
I’ve discussed the matter a few times in these pages. But I’m stunned at how little reaction or discussion we see of how sick and dangerous it is to parade these victimized families around like props.
It’s striking how blatant double-standards are.
Mothers of the Movement at the DNC
It doesn’t seem to occur to Josh Marshall that Hillary trots out her black “Mothers of the Movement” all the time, putting nine on stage at the Democratic convention, even after the Black Lives Matter-inspired murders of eight cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge. And Hillary doesn’t seem to show much judgment in whom she selects to feature, such as the mother of attempted cop killer Michael Brown of Ferguson. From STLToday.com:
Michael Brown’s mother appears at Democratic National Convention, prompting police ire
By Chuck Raasch and Christine Byers St. Louis Post-Dispatch Jul 27, 2016 (775)
Lezley McSpadden, the mother of slain Ferguson teen Michael Brown, appeared at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday as part of the group “Mothers of the Movement” — women who have lost their children in encounters with police or to gun violence.
On the other hand, the concept of putting the loved ones of victims of public policy onstage makes sense. The mother of Eric Garner, the fat guy who died of a heart attack after a jerk NYPD cop choked him, for example, is a pretty articulate individual and it’s worthwhile to hear her perspective on an unfortunate incident.
Similarly, it’s useful to put a human face on the toll from immigration policy.
Back to Josh Marshall:
These families have suffered horribly but no more than the families of victims of American murderers and Americans who committed DUI fatalities.
Okay, but with all the world to choose from, why is it acceptable that we get so many low quality immigrants? Shouldn’t our goal be zero defective immigrants? We can’t get all the way to our goal, but we can do a lot better than we’re doing now.
If we went out and found victims who’d suffered grievously at the hands of Jews or blacks and paraded them around the country before angry crowds the wrongness and danger of doing so would be obvious.
In contrast, Hillary puts black victims of whites on stage at her convention, even after eight cops died because of this kind of agitation. But seven of the eight dead cops were white, so that’s okay.
Now, you might say, that’s not fair. American Jews and African-Americans are citizens, with as much right to be here as anyone else. But that’s just a dodge. There’s no evidence that undocumented immigrants commit more crimes than documented or naturalized immigrants.
Actually there is. Legal immigrants who got in because they married a GI or have a graduate degree or whatever don’t commit a lot of homicides and rapes. As they should. Why let in drunk drivers? Does Harvard let in a lot of criminals? Why not have high standards for immigrants?
Indeed, there is solid evidence that immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native born. Simple logic tells us that undocumented immigrants face greater consequences for being apprehended by police and thus likely are more careful to avoid it. They’re likely more apt to avoid contact with authorities than the rest of us.
What drives American crime rates so high is having 40 million African-Americans, who are world famous for their tendencies toward gangsta behavior. According to the Obama Administration, a majority of the homicides in America are committed by the 13% of the population that is black. We could let in just about anybody in the world and do better than that.
Marshall puts up this graph to prove his point:
The first generation of immigrants is somewhat intimidated and/or disappears over the border when wanted for arrest, but the second generation is much worse. And there are more and more of them. Why does anyone think this is a good thing?
Okay, let me explain why some think this is a great idea. If you live in New York City or Washington DC or a similar supercity, letting in a bunch of Hondurans who will grow up to have homicide rate X, but who will push out African-Americans with homicide rate 3X, is good for property values.
On the other hand, if you live in one of the loser cities where the African-Americans will move to, too bad. Moreover, people in the media will call you a racist for not wanting to take their surplus African-Americans off their hands. You do not get a say in this matter. Your betters have decided that you deserve some Diversity, good and hard. They’ve had enough Diversity, so they’ve decided to share the Diversity with you, you racists.
… This is simply a way of whipping up irrational fear and hatred. …It is simply blood libel and incitement.
Indeed, my hypothetical about Jews and African-Americans is no hypothetical. Anyone who is familiar with the history of the Jim Crow South or 1930s Germany and the centuries of anti-Semitism that preceded it will tell you that the celebration and valorization of victims was always a central part of sustaining bigotry, fear and oppression. … The valorization of victims was and is a way of provoking vicarious horror, rage, hate and finally violence whether specific individuals were guilty or not.
You know, “the celebration and valorization of victims” is not wholly a sin of Republicans …
… But there’s no excuse for those who have themselves suffered nothing but exploit this suffering to propagate hate. That fact that we’ve become inured to this, that we now find it normal to see these cattle calls of grief and incitement as part of a political campaign is shocking and sickening. There’s no other word for this but incitement and blood libel.
Another term for it is “Who? Whom?”
Watch Trump’s speeches, with the yelling, the reddened face, the demand for vengeance and you see there’s little to distinguish them from what we see at Aryan Nations or other white hate rallies that we all immediately recognize as reprehensible, wrong and frankly terrifying. This isn’t ‘rough’ language or ‘hard edged’ rhetoric. It’s hate speech. Precisely what policy solution Trump is calling for is almost beside the point. Indeed, it wouldn’t be hate speech any less if Trump specified no policy solution at all.
This isn’t normal. It was normal in the Jim Crow South, as it was in Eastern Europe for centuries.
Nothing has gotten me in more trouble over the years than pointing out that many Jews in the media are not very self-aware of their own prejudices. Josh Marshall, for example, is a 47 year old with a Ph.D. in history who simply doesn’t notice his own bigotry and ethnic animus.
Because we’re the world’s greatest victims, we can denounce anybody else for appealing to victimist thinking with a straight face.
And why should Marshall self-aware? Who would dare point it out to him?