Thursday, February 21, 2008

America the flawless!

There's been a lot of discussion about Bill O'Reilly's latest offensive statement:
I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit.

Many people have discussed this in view of the fact that O'Reilly said he felt lynching a black woman would be an acceptable course of action if he felt she deserved it. Dave Neiwert at Orcinus discusses the issue, and there's an entire list of blog posts on the right-hand side of the Media Matters page.

Obviously that kind of suggestion is abhorrent. The suggestion that it is okay, or recommended, to lynch a black person is deplorable. But I found something else telling about O'Reilly's statement, too. He said,
If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit.

Here we have the disgusting, senseless uber-patriotism of the right wing laid bare. They have gone beyond "America: right or wrong"; the mantra is now "America is never wrong." The merest suggestion that America is flawed, that it is anything less than perfect, is a crime worthy of organizing a "lynching party."

Certainly this has been hinted at whenever somebody uses the trite phrase "blame America first" to describe someone. To point out that America has done bad things, that we are still capable of doing bad things, that even if we enter into something with good intentions our enterprises can have unfortunate (to put it as mild as possible) consequences for people, is to "blame America." Obviously, this is used as an attack--to criticize is to be unpatriotic. But I do not think it has before been put forth as blatantly as O'Reilly did. We have gone from "to point out America's flaws is to be unpatriotic" to "to think that America has flaws is to be unpatriotic."

And worthy of grotesque mutilation and death, apparently.

5 comments:

Brian said...

Totally agree! Saw your post after I posted my comment at Orcinus.

This is IDOLATRY. This is RELIGION for these people. How can they claim to be "Christian" with such obvious idolatry?

Myself, I increasingly dislike all of the various religions out there. Including Baseball. :)

Skemono said...

How can they claim to be "Christian" with such obvious idolatry?
Well, isn't O'Reilly Catholic? I think they're a bit more lax about graven images.

Myself, I increasingly dislike all of the various religions out there. Including Baseball. :)
If I weren't an atheist and a computer nerd with an aversion to sports, I'd probably say that were blasphemy.

Anonymous said...

Many people have discussed this in view of the fact that O'Reilly said he felt lynching a black woman would be an acceptable course of action if he felt she deserved it."

Well, it causes my gorge to rise even to come close to defending O'Reilly, but he didn't quite say what you're imputing to him; he clearly meant lynching metaphorically. (And no, I don't think it's acceptable to use "lynch" as a metaphor as he used it.)

Skemono said...

he didn't quite say what you're imputing to him; he clearly meant lynching metaphorically.
Even so, I think the main point of my post stands.

Anonymous said...

What a bigoted ass O'Reilly is. To use that term in reference to any black -- man or woman -- conjures up all sorts of horror stories in America's history. I'd like to think we could continue to move forward as a nation and leave that past in the past.