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48


L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 48, June 15, 1999

The Compassionati Speak

by Mike Arst
mikea@halcyon.com

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

          This from Rick Tomkins' recent e-mail:
          "Vin Suprynowicz grew up in a nice Politically Correct Democratic family, fine folks who taught him that it was wrong to steal or to hate people for being different from them. He still feels that way."
          This is true of me as well--same kind of upbringing (and in an anti-gun household, at that). My mother was an uncompromising civil libertarian ... unfortunately, however, she had the short-sightedness to be virulently anti-gun. I was able to talk her out of voting for the ghastly initiative 676 here, even so. The "pitch" was that the cure was worse than the disease, in terms of the law's predation on civil liberties.
          But I wonder what she would think if she were alive now and reading all of the vilification and demonization of the NRA and of gun owners in general. She'd probably be cheering.
          Freaky stuff happening. No doubt you've read about the Makah whale hunt, which elicited so much anger from animal-rights people. Last Sunday, the major Seattle paper carried a double-page spread of letters to the editor. Most of the responses were unfavorable toward the Makah.
          But in an article elsewhere in that issue, the paper noted that many of the letters went well beyond merely "unfavorable." The Compassionati have let this incident give them excuses to vilify the Makah in graphic terms. I don't recall ever having seen unfettered racism like this in print within one of our newspapers. Really vile Indian-as savage stuff has begun appearing. The people who, a few months ago, were probably thinking of Indians as paragons of spirituality and harmony -- as one columnist put it, as people whose fantasy-selves suited the emotional needs of the white person of the 1990s -- have abandoned their Birkenstocks and bracelets in favor of steel-toed boots and brass knuckles.
          There were some letters in which people expressed outright genocidal fantasies about the Makah -- their revenge for the whale-hunt. One guy wondered if he couldn't please buy a license to hunt Makah Indians. A woman and her daughter wrote in -- asking that only their first names be used, lest they be "scalped" (I am not making this up)--saying that "we" ought to be able to take the Makah's land away from them if the Makah are going to take "our whales". A man wrote that in response to the whaling, now he feels hatred for all Indians. Another said that his forefathers killed a "Redskin" any time they saw one, and he himself would like to follow in his ancestors' footsteps, too.
          We read this stuff with our jaws hitting the floor; we felt ill about it.
          A bunch of the Compassionati in this town attended a candle-light vigil for the dead whale a couple of days ago; the local news carried a brief shot of a woman with tears dripping down her face. (Republican Congressman Jack Metcalf showed up, no doubt hoping to lick a few votes off the rotting carcass of common sense.)
          (When we're done mourning the whale, let's go back to dropping bombs on Kosovo, Congressman. The relentless forced march of humanitarianism must not be delayed.)
          Some weird widespread feeling of personal victimization seems to have been projected onto that whale -- and in the aftermath, the "compassionate" people have, with apparent pride in their higher consciousness -- and perhaps even with glee -- given themselves leave to smear shit all over the Makah tribe (which went on a kind of war-footing in its reservation, due to all the bomb threats and other death threats).
          That this would be happening at a time when the Compassionati are also gleefully speaking of gun owners and gun-rights supporters as if we were evil incarnate -- and at a time when Rosie O'Donnell figures aloud that gun owners should simply be put into prisons -- does not surprise me.
          There is some larger connection in these sudden upwellings of viciousness from the ranks of The Anointed. It makes me think of the hysterical enthusiasm among many countries' populations at the time that their politicians were whipping up excuses to start World War I.
          Why this is all occurring so suddenly is perplexing ... and more than a little frightening.
          Methinks the Waco holocaust was just a shot across the bow.


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