The shootings in Alexandria two weeks ago, the subject of my previous post, unleashed (as I noted) a wave of fake news by the right-wing press about left-wing violence. As I also noted, the Alexandria tragedy is, thus far (knock on wood) an isolated cased, in contrast to the waive of shootings by white males of young, mostly male, mostly African-American over the past eight years. And, by the way, does anyone doubt for a second that every one of those young African-American men was, effectively, a surrogate for Barack Obama? That's what so-called "stand-your-ground" laws are really all about; standing one's very white ground against the progress of the oppressed.
But never underestimate the paranoia of the American right, or its talent for self-publicity, no matter how hypocritically or stupidly executed. This summer's Public Theater productions of Shakespeare in Central Park included a recently-ended production of "Julius Caesar" done in modern dress, with Caesar and Calphurnia made up to look like the Trumps. This led the conservative noise machine denouncing the Public Theater for encouraging violence against the First Family and conservatives in general, and even to an incident in which people attempting to peacefully watch the production almost had their night ruined by a pair of Internet trolls looking for their 15 minutes of fame.
Why all of this? Well [spoiler alert], Caesar is of course assassinated in the play. But anyone who has even seen or read the play knows that its point is not the endorsement or glorification of assassination, but the exact opposite. Conservatives used to revel in their knowledge of the classics; now they revel in their utter ignorance of them, as in the case of the trolls. Corporate sponsors, unfortunately, are not much better; two of them withdrew their support for the production after the "controversy" surfaced. It's not much more encouraging to know that the captains of what's left of American industry don't know how to read, either.
But perhaps the richest irony in all of this is the fact that, not too long ago, a modern-dress production of the same play was done with a Barack Obama stand-in as Caesar. Not only was their no right-wing outrage over this, but one of the corporate sponsors of that production was one of the ones that withdrew their support from the Public Theater production. Not to name names, but it'll be a very cold day in July before I fly on Delta Air Lines again.
Once again, it's OK if you're a Republican, and you're the oppressor, not the oppressed. Never forget that. They sure as hell don't.