In the very midst of the Paris bloodbath Friday night, Salon Magazine published a shameful piece suggesting that the blame for such horrific terrorist attacks falls on the “incendiary rhetoric” of America’s conservative movement and “right-wing media” for using strong language against progressives.
Such rhetoric, Salon warned, “does not float in the ether of the public discourse, harmless and unacknowledged. No, it does in fact lead to action.”
In a bizarre comparison, the author of the rambling essay, Chauncey Devega, said that conservative criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement necessarily leads to violent uprisings like the one in Paris, and therefore should be censored. Such critiques “are implicit threats and overtures to violence as racial authoritarian fascists are a clear and present danger to democracy and freedom. Thus, they must be eliminated by any means necessary,” he wrote.
In what can only be called disgraceful opportunism, Devega makes use of the Paris carnage to draw conclusions for American free speech. Violence and terrorism are not the result of ideology and jihad, he suggests, but rather are a foreseeable consequence of open criticism of one’s opponents.
“Real terrorists have killed people in the streets of Paris. The right-wing media needs to take note of that fact and moderate their rhetoric and abusive language accordingly,” he said.
Among the avalanche of angry mail that Devega received for his insulting essay, one astute reader called him out as a “narcissist,” noting that he was exploiting real human suffering and tragedy to “whine about his manufactured victimhood.”
— Mary Magdalen (@Gr8LakesCzarina) November 14, 2015
Meanwhile, as he shrilly condemned the supposed hateful language of conservatives, Devega lashed out at presidential hopeful Ben Carson, propagating the destructive myth that any African American conservative cannot be a true black. Because he doesn’t play the liberal game, Carson’s “primary purpose,” Devega writes, “is to disparage black Americans and to excuse-make for white racism.”
Unwilling to recognize that it is only the conservative media like Breitbart News who have the courage to consistently call Islamic terrorism by its name, Devega decries “American right-wing’s casual habit of using violent language to describe their foes, and to gin up fear and anxiety among the movement conservative base.”
Because of their bluntness and honesty, Devega contends, conservative media “should be ashamed given the death and destruction that terrorism actually reaps in practice.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome