Friday, January 14, 2011

AGAIN. Words MEAN things

Words really mean things.  Just like "blood libel" does not generically mean "false accusation," the word "pogrom" does not mean "attack."

The Washington Times doesn't seem to get that.  In fact, while defending Sarah Palin's speech, where she used the term "blood libel" incorrectly and offensively, the Times uses the word "pogrom" exact same incorrect, offensive way.

What the hell is a pogrom?  A pogrom is a government sanctioned or condoned raid or attack on a minority, typically on their village or homes.  While it can be used to describe raids against many religious and ethnic minorities, it is most commonly used to describe those raids that occurred in Russia in the early 20th century on Jewish villages and shtetls.  Have you seen Fiddler on the Roof?  Where Anatevka is trying to celebrate a fucking wedding and the Russian soldiers tear the place apart?  That's a pogrom.

It's not a plain old attack.  It's a very specific kind of attack, meant to drive out or eliminate a minority.  It's not fair play in any sense--a pogrom does not occur as retaliation towards the pogrom-victim's earlier actions.  A pogrom is NOT when people criticize a public figure for knowingly and offensively misusing a loaded term.


Having two terms, both related to Judaism, misused within days of each other is really, really obnoxious, and it gets me fucking pissed off.  Words mean things, people.  And for the last time, if this isn't evidence that Jewish people are still disrespected in US politics in 2011, I'm not sure what would be.

No comments:

Post a Comment