Home > Can You Imagine? Double Standards and Doublethink

Can You Imagine? Double Standards and Doublethink

by Open-Publishing - Wednesday 12 January 2011

Media-Network Religions-Beliefs USA

Can You Imagine? Double Standards and Doublethink


By June Terpstra, Ph.D.

As Sarah Palin whines about liberals blaming her for the recent Arizona tragedies, thus focusing those tragedies on her rather than the victims and their families, I ask you to imagine pundits and politicians saying what she has said about so called terrorist tragedies. In a recent video Palin says, "After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event." Has the American media, military and government done nothing but blame Islam and Muslims for the last ten years? Since September 11 we listened with shock and then sadness to the irresponsible statements from people like Palin Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Savage, Coulter, and Ingraham apportioning blame to all Muslims.

Palin also said, "No-one should be deterred from speaking up and speaking out in peaceful dissent"by being intolerant of differing opinion and seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults." Really, does this mean that the oppressed Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghani or the American anti-war advocate can now speak and be heard without being called a terrorist or terrorist supporter? Is she advocating diversity or even, god forbid, multi-culturalism?

Palin also has attempted a very controversial doublethink strategy by reintroducing the term, "blood libel" which historically some used to reference a myth that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood in Passover matzo. The Zionists want an apology because, like the term holocaust, they believe it should only be used for their propaganda. However, I would like to introduce that term for all Muslims and those from invaded and occupied lands fighting for their liberation. They have been "blood libeled" with the label of "terrorist".

Doublethink, according to George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eight-Four, means:

... the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. ...To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary.

The media is full of Doublethink stories today about the alienated, perhaps bi-polar, maybe schizophrenic Jared Loughner who would have been arrested if he were Black, Latino or Middle Eastern when he ran that red light before shooting six people in Tucson, AZ. Can you imagine stories about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed being a lonely bi-polar guy who could have been saved if someone had just said hello or given him a hug as was suggested at a memorial service in Tucson yesterday about Loughner?

The discourse of the media and political establishment’s response to the recent attacks in Arizona is a fascinating study in double standards and double think methodologies. In their coverage of alleged attacker, Jared Loughner’s parents they recount that his, "Mother ’almost passed out right there’ while father sat in the road and cried". Can you imagine hearing this about Mohammed Atta’s parents? No, they are Muslim and do not have any humanity to discuss in US media.

We are also being treated to a discussion on the political opportunities President Barack Obama faces in his national memorial service for the dead of the Arizona shooting tragedy. Somehow I missed this media discussion about political opportunism during the ten years of unending September 11 memorials.

I would like to turn the double standard around using some of the quotes that William Rivers Pitt reminded me of today in his article, "The Wrath of Fools". For example, Ann Coulter’s, "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."( Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02) Can you imagine a journalist such as Helen Thomas saying her only regret is Mohammed Atta did not go the White House or the CIA plantation at Langley? After all, a Lebanese-American such as Thomas cannot even call a European occupier a European without being censored.

Finally, one of my favorite quotes: "Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God’s Law and the disenfranchisement of White men" (State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01). To which I must reply that the two things that have almost ruined the planet are imperialist white supremacist males and all those who follow them and their perversion of Christianity and democracy. Every problem that we face today can be traced directly to their departure from their humanity and their laws by using any means necessary to disenfranchise every-one else.


June Scorza Terpstra, Ph.D. is an activist educator and university lecturer in Justice Studies, Criminal Justice and Sociology. She has founded numerous programs for homeless, abused, youth and oppressed people in the USA.