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View Diary: Dead activists are funny. And stupid! (170 comments)

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  •  hate vs. anger (4.00)
    hate and anger are quite different emotions and they are certainly of a different political order.  we would do well to make this distinction over and over again.

    there's a bigger picture issue here: the way in which the meanness --the surface level hurt/response--also works to diminish the reality of the politics beyond the partisan nastiness.  Calling criticisms of Bush "hate speech" doesn't just deflect criticism, it disrespects and adds insult to injury of real incidents of hate speech and the what people who are subjected to it must endure.  Ridiculing Rachel Corrie doesn't simply reinforce the crass disregard for a young person's life or complete disrespect for that woman's family; it diminishes what this kind of courage is, what the power to act can actually be and how it is really a matter of life and death.  

    There are other political outcomes that it accomplishes, too.

    •  cheapening rhetoric (3.85)
      This is one of the most persistent strategies of the current right-wing in this country. They consciously cheapen the political rhetoric in an attempt to strip it of all meaning and power. It, in effect, debases the political life in this country to a point were politics means nothing and people tune out.

      They are also trying to steal the civil rights language. All critics of the neo-cons are "anti-Semitic." The Democrats opposing Estrada were anti-Hispanic, against Pryor, anti-Catholic. Criticizing Bush is "hate speech." They are actively trying to rob the left of its linguistic power by overusing the terminology. This is no accident.

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