Monday, March 22, 2021

Turn Down the Silencing, I Can't Hear Myself Think


It really struck me, on this one, where the Dumbest Senator, Ron Johnson (United Russia–Wisconsin) complains about the treatment he's been getting for his amazing trick of explaining how he wasn't scared of the 6 January Capitol insurgents because he knew they were all good people who would never break the law (as they were flagrantly breaking a large number of laws and threatening to murder the vice president and Speaker of the House and whatnot), in contrast to those awful people from the Black Lives Matter, bad people presumably who break the law whenever they get the chance (though I don't know of a single example except Bree Newsome climbing that flagpole, and I'd offer to punch anybody who criticizes her for it but she could probably do it more effectively).  When he said, you know,

“And mainly because I knew that even though those thousands of people that were marching the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people that loved this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break a law, and so I wasn’t concerned," Johnson told The Joe Pags Show, which airs nationally from WOAI in San Antonio, Texas.

"Now had the tables been turned, now Joe this will get me in trouble, had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.”

OK maybe to the extent that an antifa exists and has any members some of them may have set trashcans on fire and thrown some kind of missile at a cop, but we actually know of a comparable protest in Washington in June that started a small fire at St. John's Church and knocked down some barricades outside the Treasury building, but it didn't invade any buildings at all:

But the crowd that gathered that day was peaceful: A pastor stood in front of St. John’s handing out “free water and prayer.” A group danced, a woman played guitar, and families with small children walked by to see the crowd. The pandemic was in full swing, and protesters came with masks, hand sanitizer, granola bars, water bottles and cardboard signs: “End racist police violence,” and “Black moms want to breathe.”

“No justice, no peace” read the sign that 17-year-old Aly Conyers carried among the crowd. James Mattocks set up an easel to paint, sitting beside a barricade that separated him from rows of officers in riot gear.

Maybe it was the granola bars that frightened Johnson off. But he was well aware that what he said was going to "get him into trouble", and if he was really worried about that he could have silenced himself.

Instead, you see, he chose to say the thing, and then when he got criticized to complain that he was being "silenced", but come on, man, EVERYBODY WHO CRITICIZED YOU REPEATED THE WORDS YOU SAID.  As I just did above, for that matter, because I always like to document stuff.

He wasn't silenced at all! He was megaphoned! And it strikes me that what they're really complaining about, to the extent they're really complaining at all, is that we're feeding his expressions into the wrong places, where they make him look bad. And that's always the case with all this silencing and canceling: nobody's silencing anybody. Racist drawings by a less enlightened youthful Dr. Seuss will continue to be available online or at the library, and you will always know what incredibly stupid thing Ron Johnson said as long as he is in the Senate, at least. The purpose can only be in the first instance to work the refs, so that

  • the racist subjects you are trying to communicate with get the message loud and clear, but
  • the high-flown media you depend on get that they should say the message might not have been racist at all, and
  • the people who noticed the racism are effectively silenced

That is, in classic Fascist form, they are complaining in the plain intention of silencing you and me.

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