Your Symbol

So the police roll up to a house, and the woman meets them out at the curb with two black eyes and a face puffed up from having been punched a couple times. 

The guy comes to the door in a, er wife beater (don’t look at me, I don’t invent these terms) without a scratch on him except for scraped knuckles with smears of blood up and down his fingers. 

Asked what happened, the guy responds “Sheprovoked the whoooole thing!”

How do you think that’s gonna play with the cops, the prosecutors, and a jury? 

Not well, most likely. Whatever the “provocation” may have been, it’d be pretty absurd to presume it warranted beating someone purple. It’s kind of a no-brainer. 

This past week, I’ve heard some people I otherwise have reason to believe are serviceably intelligent – who, in reference to the Covington flap, say “the MAGA cap is, itself, a provocation!” that warrants all manner of mayhem against people who wear them. 

I’m not big into wearing paraphernalia for political campaigns, even those I completely support. But this claim is one of the most toxic things I’ve heard lately. 

First of all – the MAGA cap is “racist” almost entirely because, for the past two years, Trump’s opponents have been *saying* it was. It has little or nothing to do with the actual behavior of actual individuals who supported or voted for Trump. It’s called “othering”, and it’s one of the most noxious tactics in modern politics. 

Photo via Babylon Bee – simultaneously the most brilliant satire site out there anymore, and oddly enough perhaps the best news outlet there is in the Trump era.

Second – the idea that there’s some license to try to destroy peoples’ lives (or worse), not just because of the (utterly legal) beliefs they have, not even because of the (utterly legal) symbols they may wear, but because of the meaning that (people have told) you the symbols have? 

Could there be a more toxic idea? 

In this society, the remedy for (for sake of argument) “bad speech” has always been “more better speech”, at least among those who deserve to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, a fair chunk of our society [1] believes “our ends justify our means”. 

I mean, don’t get me wrong – if the notion of the intellectual “Purge Night” takes off, the thought of taking a can of Pam to the next smug little fop wearing a “Che Guevara” t-shirt would work for me…

…but for the fact that *no free society can survive* that sort of thing, any more than the marriage in that first example is going to survive. 

But just like the “She provoked me!” at the top of the post, “wearing your symbol justifies any evil I want to commit against you” is the refuge of the entitled narcissist and the abuser. 

[1] And in the interest of diplomacy, I’ll say “both sides do it”, although my heart’s really not in it. Mike Pence’s kids aren’t throwing smoke bombs and punching 17 year old girls at their opposition’s rallies, but Tim Kane’s kid sure as hell did. Still, the point is “your (interpretation of) someone’s symbol doesn’t justify a response faaaaar out of proportion to the symbol itself”. Ever.

18 thoughts on “Your Symbol

  1. I’d like these experts on racist symbols to explain how the MAGA hat became one. The leftists are practically claiming justification for violating someone’s civil rights on his/her choice of headwear by citing an unestablished fact.

    Meanwhile, the Black Hebrew Israelites get a pass from the Gray Lady, despite being the ones on video saying actual, racist things?

  2. A person wants to preserve a historical memorial that I don’t like. Therefore, I am justified in physically attacking him.

    A person practices a religion that I don’t like. Therefore, I am justified in destroying his livelihood.

    A person wrote a memo about workplace policies, expressing an opinion that I don’t like. Therefore, I am justified in blacklisting him.

    People attending a rally for Free Speech might say something I dislike. Therefore, I am justified in striking seven of them with a bike lock.

    A young person smiles in a way that I dislike. Therefore, I am justified in pressuring his college to withdraw its offer of acceptance.

    High school students wear a cap I don’t like. Therefore I am justified in Tweeting: “I just want these people to die. Simple as that. Every single one of them. And their parents.”

    A President is elected but I don’t like him. Therefore, I am justified in shooting members of Congress from his party.

    Is it just me, or is this trend ominous?

  3. Ian, they’re not “practically claiming justification.” They just plain, flat out ARE claiming justification for violating people’s rights and calling for violence against people wearing MAGA hats.
    Unfortunately, we’ve got too many DAs that will claim that anyone wearing a MAGA hat won’t get to defend themselves because the hat is equal to fighting words and makes the hat wearer a willing participant in any altercation.

  4. Here’s a fresh one, a tweet that’ll probably be deleted – or maybe not – from an Ian Millhiser, Justice Editor at ThinkProgress, commenting on Howard Schulz’s possible presidential run:

    If Howard Schultz gets into the presidential race, @MoveOn, @IndivisibleTeam, the @DNC, the major unions, and the major presidential campaigns should all use their email lists to promote a Starbucks boycott until he drops out.

  5. jdm,

    Yea, Schultz’s announcement seems to have triggered the moonbats. Whichever Castro brother that’s in Congress, was bemoaning the the announcement as giving Trump his best chance of reelection.

  6. I don’t get why Schultz’s running for Pres has the left up in arms. I mean, Starbucks is pretty much the MSM of the food service industry. There isn’t a more lefty-slanted major food service company of which I am aware. His left Bona Fides are sufficient (pro-gay marriage, pro-gun control). Is it because he’s a billionaire? Hello? John Kerry?…altho Kerry married into money. This guy built his fortune via capitalism…maybe that’s why.

  7. I read that the problem with Schultz is that he’d split the lefty vote (he wouldn’t be running as a Democrat) and thus “guarantee” another Trump win. YMMV.

  8. If Howard Schultz gets into the presidential race, @MoveOn, @IndivisibleTeam, the @DNC, the major unions, and the major presidential campaigns should all use their email lists to promote a Starbucks boycott until he drops out.

    Anybody want to tell Milhiser that Schultz is the former CEO of Starbucks? It’s sad that lefties have to resort to threatening people’s livelihoods because their message is otherwise too weak. But it seems they’re punishing Starbucks because Schultz used to be the CEO.

  9. Ian, they’re not “practically claiming justification.” They just plain, flat out ARE claiming justification for violating people’s rights and calling for violence against people wearing MAGA hats.

    You’re right, I was being too charitable.

  10. So why was the initial short video of the Covington Kids/Nathan Phillips confrontation so powerful?

    One could say it was because it looked like a group of high school kids were mocking an indigenous man beating a drum. Fair enough. I guess the media gets to go with that excuse. One should not disrespect the religion of others and if a group of boys mocks a native elder, that could be news.

    (Even if it happened that way)

    But hold on…. didn’t a disrespectful Nathan Phillips try to disrupt a Catholic mass at the National Basilica prior to his encounter at the Lincoln Memorial?

    Why wasn’t that covered?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  11. Greg, the Catholic Church in America has bent over for Big Gay, blessed Diversity Inc., genuflected before One World Order, joined hands with the Muzzies, procalimed Communism a sacrament and grovelled for Big Feminist…if they don’t welcome the viewpoint of dirt worshipping heathens, why, that wouldn’t be Christian.

  12. Regarding narcissists convincing people of implausible theories, we should be aware that it does happen. For example, Obama, Clinton, Willie Brown, etc.. Really, the reason we’re here is that the narcissists were believed by the MSM, no?

  13. Wearing a Make America Great Again hat is sufficiently provocative that you deserve whatever you get, up to and including death threats. Got it.

    Now do short skirts.

  14. I always ask them to prove that “Trump is racist”. After a few “you must be stupid if you don’t know that by now” dodges, I ask again. Invariably it’s somthing to do with the border-“he hates those kinds of people..”. So I inform them that “Mexicans” aren’t a race, so by definition impossible to be racist. “Salvedorians” aren’t a race, either, ect. It’s actually quite funny hearing nothing but…. crickets…

  15. Poverty pimp isnt a race; Socialist slob isnt a race; head chopping Muslim isn’t a race; Somali ingrate isn’t a race either.

    These people are judged by the character of their rotten hearts, just like MLK directed.

    Why do leftists hate MLK?

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