Sunday, January 09, 2011

Applying the Louis Farrakhan Standard [Anthony McCarthy]

One of the interesting results of the assassination in Arizona was the speed with which Sarah Palin's operation took down her map of the United States with cross hairs over Gabrielle Giffords' district, and many others. The model could have been the infamous post on an anti-choice site that listed abortion providers whose assassinations were crossed off in celebration. It is not credible that no one responsible knew about that and that no one who saw it didn't inform Palin's operation about the similarity.

And hers was far from the only site which took down morally incriminating evidence, one which I found with a Google search was taken down minutes later.

How much of this blithe advocacy of violence and assassination on the part of the Republican side of things will stick, is clearly one of the more pressing issues for Republicans and the Palin fans in general. Looking for information this morning, Googling, the first pages in a number of searches were full of right wing denial of responsibility, trying to blame the violence, so clearly in line with what they advocated, on the left, trying to deny that clear resonance between their two-years long campaign and the act of violence. This is an issue that has been thoroughly Google bombed by the far right, in their own interest.

Back when Louis Farrakhan made some of his more outrageously anti-Semitic statements, it became practically de rigeur for anyone who was black who appeared in the media to be forced to condemn him. I remember all kinds of people with no connection to Farrakhan or his ideology put through that degradation ceremony. The eminent poet Gwendolyn Brooks was one of those I remember especially.

As Juan Cole points out, the standards applied to white terrorists is not the same applied to other people, terrorist or not. The media, NPR, ABC, CNN, FOX, etc. will not be demanding of right wing Republicans that they denounce and condemn Sarah Palin and the hoard of official Republican candidates, office holders, their staffs and the professional members of the Republican Party who have endorsed Palin, Angle and any number of others AS THEY WERE ADVOCATING ASSASSINATION in the most unambiguous language, with hardly a fig leaf to cover it.

What we ill hear instead of the outraged demands that the allies of Palin and Angle and the rest of those who have advocated the murder of Democratic politicians and others repudiate their promotion of political violence, are scolds telling Democrats and progressives that we must bend over backward to be fair to Republicans. This is absurd. Fairness isn't an absolute standard, it depends on the standards that prevail and those are set by the Republicans and their kept media. Allowing them to apply a standard which they don't apply to themselves allows them to set up a double standard in their favor. We are under no ethical or moral obligation to do it, certainly not in this issue where the facts are clear and fully documented and they have been going back years. It is fairness to hold people accountable for their words, their actions and their endorsements.


Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), a friend of Giffords since she was elected to the House, said Sunday that she told him just a week and a half ago that she was worried about the potential for violence back home.

"Gabby did tell me that she was concerned," Moran said, using Giffords's nickname. "She did say it's really bad out there, particularly in a district like [hers]. She was very much troubled that\ Sarah Palin put her in the crosshairs."

Moran said Giffords explained that, unlike in his Northern Virginia district, "a substantial percentage" of her district was "anti-government and pro-gun" - a potentially dangerous mix.