Same As It Ever Was

by Will on October 2, 2010

From the book on Frances Perkins that I’m studiously working my way through:

As the debate intensified, Frances herself became the subject of investigations… Conservatives whispered that Frances was really a Russian Jewish immigrant named Mathilda Watsky, masquerading as Frances Perkins…

Anti-Semitism, meanwhile, grew more visible. An anonymous flyer bearing a Star of David showed up around the country.It featured a list of names, including Frances’s, implying she was Jewish. Frances was incredulous, then infuriated, by the tactic. The false reports “proved that I was a Jew, and that if I were a Jew, I was also a Red, and if I were a Red, I was protecting Bridges [a west-coast labor leader falsely accused of Communist affiliations],” Frances said later.

Perkins also said, with regard to these idiotic attempts at smears: “If I were a Jew, I would make no secret of it. On the contrary, I would be proud to acknowledge it.” A good woman, through and through.

This kind of paranoid, baseless accusation looks familiar enough to us 2010 people, right? This is why I get annoyed by news stories seeking to “explain” the “Tea Party” “movement”. Allow me to briefly explain this “movement”. Basically, our country contains a fringe of nutty white people of modest but sound means who feel threatened by people unlike them, and who say loony, stupid things when people unlike them are in power. They’ve always been around. They feel like the country is theirs and theirs alone, even though they’re a minority and have always been one. ┬áThe best thing to do is to politely ignore them, because what they’re saying is nonsensical, idiotic, and harmful to the most vulnerable among us. It cannot be the basis for any reasonable dialog. But newsmen are lazy and have no shame, so instead “Idiots Are Angry!” becomes not just one story, but many.

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