Archive for the ‘Right-Wing Rhetoric’ Category

Drug Testing Is Only for the Little People   1 comment

When you read a lot of Help Wanted ads, you begin to notice certain patterns. One thing I’ve noticed is how common drug testing has become–for hourly jobs. In fact, if the employer is a midsized to large company, mandatory drug screening is now the norm for hourly workers. But not for most salaried employees. And the higher up you go, the less likely it is that you’ll encounter a drug testing requirement.

I was wondering why that might be. Are people who make very little money really more likely to spend that money on illegal drugs than people with plenty of discretionary income? That doesn’t seem likely. I admit, the constant stress and fear of not being able to pay your bills can make escape from reality a tempting proposition. Except, of course, that drugs tend to cost money, and it takes a hell of a lot more than a low wage job to finance a drug habit.

Maybe it’s just that employers, like many middle/upper class folks, have a rather low opinion of low income people. Poor people are lazy and have no work ethic. That’s why they’re poor, you see. Plus, they lie, steal, cheat, and they’re probably druggies too!*

It’s also possible, of course, that employers would love to drug test all those professional and managerial types as well, but they’re afraid people with options wouldn’t stand for that kind of privacy invasion. So they focus their ought-to-be-unconstitutional drug screening efforts on people who have few options. My partner and I strongly object to drug testing, but will that keep us from applying for a job that requires it? Sadly, no. Because we desperately need the work.
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Political Hate Speech Jeopardizes Freedom of Speech   Leave a comment

Following the Tucson shooting we’ve heard plenty of talk about the need to tone down the violent, sometimes eliminationist rhetoric in our political discourse. As usual, the media has been pretending that this is a problem both sides are equally guilty of, though that’s not what I want to discuss right now (besides, Melissa has already done an exceptional job setting the record straight).

While most media discussions in the aftermath of the shooting have revolved around the potential of violent rhetoric to propel unstable individuals toward violent action (with an emphasis on gun violence), the actual danger such dehumanizing discourse poses to our democracy goes way beyond the occasional lone gunman. I presently reside in a conservative county in California and there are towns in my county–towns where the Tea Party is especially popular–where I would be concerned for my safety if I was to publicly engage in political activism for many, if not most, progressive issues. Indeed, a friend of mine was threatened with physical violence trying to drum up support for environmental legislation in a city far more liberal than anywhere in my county.

The people I would be concerned about if I was to, for instance, stand on a street corner and hand people information in support of government-run health care, aren’t mentally ill loners but standard issue bullies who have become emboldened by right wing rhetoric and the successes of the Tea Party movement. People who think they’re heroes for “taking America back” from “those people”–i.e., whatever group Beck, Palin, O’ Reilly, Limbaugh, and co. have decided to vilify: liberals, “socialists,” gay people, feminists, undocumented immigrants, etc. We are the enemy and we deserve to die. If killing us isn’t an option because there are serious legal repercussions for that kind of thing, the next best option is to shut us up.
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Predictable   4 comments

As soon as I saw the first post reporting that Gabrielle Giffords had been shot and that Giffords was one of the Democratic representatives “targeted” by Palin, I knew two things were about to happen in the lefty blogosphere.

  1. A slew of angry bloggers and Twitterers would single out Palin as the most pernicious of all right wing evils, hurling misogynist invective as they blame her for the shooting.
  2. A group of Hillary supporters would rush to Palin’s defense, denouncing not just the sexist attacks and death wishes but any and all attempts to connect right wing eliminationist rhetoric in general and Palin’s actions in particular to the Tucson shooting.

No matter that Giffords herself expressed concern about Palin’s crosshairs map back in March.
No matter that when asked, following the shooting, if his daughter had any enemies, Giffords’ father replied, “Yeah, the entire Tea Party.”
No matter that we have seen a marked increase in right-wing violence in recent years (note that the linked timeline documents only gun violence; it doesn’t include incidents such as the head stomping of the MoveOn member at the Rand Paul rally that was widely defended in Republican circles), much of it tied more or less directly to the inflammatory rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, O’Reilly, etc.

No, none of that mattered. Anyone who speculated about the effect Palin’s rhetoric and crosshairs map may have had on the shooter was no different than people calling her a c*nt and wishing her dead.
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Posted January 18, 2011 by Sasha in Palin Apologists, Right-Wing Rhetoric, Sarah Palin