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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

FEAR, PART FOUR

Features distorted in the flickering light
The faces are twisted and grotesque
-Rush, "Witch Hunt"

Maybe I should retire from blogging. I keep reading articles that other people write and think "I should have come up with that." Then again, if I had, nobody would have noticed and then someone else would have written it later and gotten linked and seen. I don't mean that to sound as depressed and bitter as it might; read it as a wry grin of past experience.

Over at the Wall Street Journal William McGurn wrote about the Zimmerman/Martin case and he brought up something that's been percolating in the back of my head about a lot of topics. Remember in To Kill A Mockingbird when the mob came to the jail and Atticus Finch talked them down? McGurn does too:
Who is the Walter Cunningham hereā€”the hard-working white farmer who seems decent enough but nonetheless accompanies a lynch mob to the Maycomb, Ala., jail? Might it be Spike Lee, the filmmaker who in the midst of escalating racial tensions tweeted out what he thought was Mr. Zimmerman's address. As it turned out, Mr. Lee had the wrong Zimmermans, but would Atticus have thought it any better had he had the right ones?

Or what about the novel's newspaper editor, Mr. Underwood, who in a scathing editorial indicts white Maycomb by comparing Tom Robinson's death "to the senseless slaughter of songbirds." Would this be NBC, which edited a 911 tape that made the accused appear as though he was offering up a comment on race when he was in fact responding to a question from the police dispatcher?
He wants to know where is Atticus Finch? Where is the voice of the leader calling for justice, for not presuming guilt, for calming the mob? President Obama had a golden opportunity, but instead was the voice of the mob, fomenting a disturbance. Sure it would have taken courage, and yes, it would have meant avoiding a political opportunity, but it would have been the right thing to do and it would have been leadership.

The thing that's been whispering in the back of my head and I've touched on a few times is that the modern torch wielding mob of book burning zealots fearing difference and hating non conformists is... on the left, politically. Every example of the unruly mob in modern literature is a right wing group, usually racist, full of intolerance and bigotry, but the truth is these days when a mob forms, its almost always filled with PC and hard left folks such as the Bush era protest/riots.

There have always been people among us who will brook no dissent, who want to destroy those who disagree, who fear and hate difference, and who want to destroy that which they do not understand. Its just that these days they tend to be in the more sophisticated, urbane crowd of academic and elite left who cloak their actions in the same sanctimonious, humorless shroud as witch burners did in the past. These days the religion is political correctness and environmentalism, but the faces, the snarls, and the intent are unchanged.

Yet the perception remains with these same people: its the right wing who are the book burners, the crazed mob, the witch burners, and the fear-filled haters who cannot stand difference.

For musical accompaniment on this theme, here's Rush singing about this sort of people, unaware its often about them:

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