Friday, January 14, 2011

US Conservatives Are Not European Jews

Earlier this week, we covered Sarah Palin's unfortunate use of the term "blood libel" in her self-obsessed response to the tragedy in Tuscon. Not to be outdone for inappropriate word choice, the Washington Times editorial page upped the ante today with a piece declaring criticism of Palin's use of 'blood libel' to be part of "the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers."

'Pogrom' refers to incredibly destructive riots, and occasionally massacres, that historically targeted Jewish populations within the Russian Empire and other parts of Eastern Europe. And while 'blood libel' is arguably a somewhat archaic term, referring to charges against Jews that were much more common in the Middle Ages, the last wave of anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia raged from 1903-1906 and left at least 2,000 Jews dead.

In addition to upholding Palin's use of 'blood libel,' the editorial suggests,
[Criticism of Palin] is simply the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers. The last two years have seen a proliferation of similar baseless charges of racism, sexism, bigotry, Islamophobia and inciting violence against those on the right who have presented ideas at odds with the establishment's liberal orthodoxy.
A quick note to Sarah Palin and the editorial staff at the Washington Times, and really to all conservatives out there: as comforting as it might be to identify yourselves with some truly historically oppressed populations - even as you push your racist, sexist, bigoted, Islamophobic, violence-inciting politics - you are not a marginalized people. There is nothing, nothing, in the experience of contemporary conservatives in the United States that comes close to paralleling the suffering of European Jews in the last two millenia. I do not know how to say that more bluntly.

No comments:

Post a Comment