Sunday, March 18, 2007

Blame the victim

The usually intelligent Barbara O'Brien puts the dumbest sort of "blame the victim" spin on recent atrociously dishonest right-wing propaganda leading to pro-war counter-protests.

Skip past the headline and lede and you'll see a litany of dishonest right-wing propaganda (fabricated "threats" of vandalizing the Vietnam Veterans memorial) and obnoxious and abusive misbehavior towards anti-war protesters.

Let's go back to the beginning:
Stupid Activism

From time to time (most recently here) I ramble on about how activism and demonstrations, done stupidly, can backfire and do more harm than good to the cause. Today we have an example of what a backfire looks like. (And, yes, I understand the backfire is way out of proportion to the alleged act that triggered it; this is pretty much always true.)

Who's fault is this "backfire"? According to O'Brien, it's the fault of the "Stupid Activism" of those who "do more harm than good."

And what is the sole unchallenged stupid activity which is responsible for this backlash?

Hold onto your hat, cover your children's ears and prepare yourself for a tale of unspeakable villainy and inexcusable stupidity of those who would blithely sacrifice progressive ideals for the sake of their selfish anarchism.

Someone put a pink tiara on a statue.

Good grief.


  1. Hi I responded to your comment on Akhram's blog! I just wanted to know your exact criticism of his comments on The Secular Islam Summit. I mean everyone likes an excuse to say exactly what they feel about a group of people--in this case- you got to call Svend stupid and hypocritical because of his Muslim identity. Yet, your blithe dismissal is more apparent than Svend's. I actually find his blog refreshing and nuanced. But I know when you want to beat up on a Muslim--when you want him to fit into that neat little box that you have for a group-nuance goes out the window.

  2. Keep in mind that Svend critiques the Secular Islamic Summit... without having actually heard any of its speakers or read any of its publications. Maybe he'll read them later, he says, when he gets the time.

    At least I took the time to read Svend's comments before responding to them.

    (A note to puzzled readers: Don't worry if none of this makes sense; this ephemeral contretemps is spread across no fewer than four different blogs. I'm not complaining: I'm happy to get readers any way I can.)


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