“B” is for “Moron”

Ashley Todd and her scarlet letter

Never before have I been so pissed about my website being down. Yesterday, when I made my usual rounds of the Net’s preeminent hate sites, I came across a huge (HUGE) headline on the Drudge Report. Apparently a McCain volunteer had been viciously “mutilated.” She was a 20 year-old white girl, brutally attacked by a huge, dark skinned (of course) black man. He mugged her, and when he saw her McCain bumper sticker he flew into a rage, held her down, punched her, kicked her over and over again, and then carved a “B” (for “Barack”) into her face, to “teach her a lesson.”

 I’d heard this story before. We all have. Countless times. Only sometimes it’s a young white mother whose kids were stolen by a large black man (only later come to find out she was a little bit off in the details: her kids were actually sitting at the bottom of a lake where she’d put them days earlier).

I try to suspend my cynicism when I hear about things like this, because these sorts of attacks do occasionally happen. Thugs and monsters come in all colors, creeds, and shoe sizes. But then I got to the part of the article where it said she hadn’t gone to the hospital. And the part where her friend drove her around for a while until they found the place where the attack supposedly occurred. And the part where her photograph showed the “B” carved BACKWARD in her cheek, as if whoever had done it had been looking in a mirror.

But my website was down, so I couldn’t point out any of this. So I went to sleep, feeling 100% sure the hoax would be uncovered by morning. And sure enough it was. She made it up. This 20 year-old College Republican member from Texas, Ashley Todd, made the whole thing up. Reality wasn’t helping out in the whole “Obama and his supporters are scary, dangerous traitors” routine, so she had to do something. And who can blame her? She was raised in an era where her favorite party made a practice of fabricating their own facts when the real ones weren’t advantageous for them.

But at least she could’ve carved the “B” foreward. I hope that “B” she’s going to be carrying around for the rest of her life is a scarlet letter that’ll remind her, from now on, not to be such a moron.

On the bright side, when she’s out of jail, she’s got quite a career ahead of her in the Republican Party.


Discussion (5)¬

  1. Ken says:

    Even more disturbing than the original story was how far some of McCain’s fans took the story and ran with it. The comments section of the Houston Chronicle was especially ugly with comments about how things would be Obama as President. Not only was a hypothetical black man presumed guilty, so was Obama. The racism was only thinly veiled.
    I had always defended McCain’s character–but he’s made it impossible. There are instances when things go so terribly wrong that the needs of the campaign have to be put aside and the candidate has to speak out. McCain has a moral/Christian/American responsibility to speak out. If he will not risk a few votes to speak against bigotry now then I have to assume that he will always be governed by his fears and never rise to the task of meaningful leadership.
    Confronting ignorance and bigotry isn’t a mere campaign tactic to me. This is the world my daughter has to live in and I often regret moving back to Texas to raise her. If McCain can not rise to this challenge he’s not worth a damn to me. His honor seems forever lost. I’m left feeling that if he would run from this fight he’ll run from any tough fight.

  2. Darrin Bell says:

    If McCain wants a “game changer,” or even if he just wants to finish out this campaign with dignity and honor, here’s his chance. Give a major speech acknowledging how the Rwpublican Party has benefitted from the support of racists ever since Nixon’s Southern Strategy. Then say “no more,” and denounce the bigots, the race-baiters and the politics of racial division. Give a major speech declaring the southern strategy a part of a shameful, dead past. Say the GOP no longer wants the votes of bigots. “Don’t come to our rallies. Don’t vote for us. Don’t even call yourself an American, because that is not the America I fought to protect.” I guarantee you enough independents would swing his way to turn the election around. And more importantly, it would be good for the country.

  3. Ken says:

    Wouldn’t that be great. I fear that McCain remains too afraid of his new best friends in “the base” to stand up to the agents of intolerance that he once dared to scorn.
    I don’t know if it would win the election. However, it would cleanse his soul and contribute to the beginning of the end of bigotry. With or without the presidency his place in history would be bigger.

    Colin Powell tried to give him the message. When McCain chose to answer the “Obama’s an Arab” statement he never thought to tell his audience that there’s nothing wrong with Arabs. McCain just doesn’t get it. That is why he’s not qualified to be president. People argue that he’s not a bigot. Maybe not, but he allows bigots to feel at home in America. And what would it cost us to launch a war against bigotry? It doesn’t require massive government spending and it wouldn’t even slow down his tax cuts for the wealthy. It would only require candidates or presidents willing to speak up.

    With all his flaws LBJ was willing to see his party lose the South in order to advance civil rights. Johnson did the right thing and risked his base. McCain is not willing to do that much. So… with McCain we get Johnson’s stubborn clinging to a war minus LBJ’s political courage. There’s really not that much left to admire.

  4. Ken says:

    As if we didn’t need even further evidence that the anger in campaign has real consequences we learn about these looser that intended to kill Obama and a hundred black people. These conspirators are losers beyond the membership of the GOP. However, McCain and Palin have to understand that some of the anger they spew turns into the hatred that the worst of society feeds on.
    McCain and company need to understand that this isn’t some kind of game and that they have responsibilities beyond generating applause lines for their failing cause. I know they feel like they have noting to loose since they’re already behind but it’s clear that their are interests greater than their own.
    The path for McCain seems even clearer today. Call these bigots out and tell them they have no place in America. If “Country First” is to have any meaning at all McCain, Palin, Limbaugh and the rest of the far right need to consider that their is more to country than waving a flag.

  5. swb338 says:

    What’s surprising to many is that the police are becoming much more sophisticated since the first incident, which was the guy who shot himself and his pregnant wife for insurance money and blamed it on a “black man”.

    In that incident, the police ran loose and harrassed a good number of black people before the truth came out.

    Maybe because of that, or because of their own history, it was a Southern police department that scrutinized Susan Smith for very subtle inconsistencies in her story and mannerisms and within 2 weeks got her to confess what she did and where the bodies were.

    Then, in this case, they took one look at the backwards “B” and the interview transcripts, considered the political situation, and had her take a lie detector test. Instead of this coming out after the election, she got turned around within 48 hours and the McCain camp has egg on their face for calling her.

    I hope that people can learn a lesson from this. People can only get away with this crap if the police are onboard and in high-profile cases they probably won’t be. If they aren’t, there’s no way you’re sophisticated and intelligent enough to get away with it.

Comment¬