For the record, because facts and context matter, Martin Bashir did not actually say “someone should defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth.” All night long, twitter has been inundated with conservatives screaming about “sh*tting” in liberals’ mouths as revenge. This is not what he said, but rarely can we have a discussion with conservatives that doesn’t begin with their outrage over allegedly being treated as poorly as their leaders treat others.
I’m not defending what Bashir said, but I am defending context and facts. Bashir inferred the mode of punishment as an example of understanding what slaves were subjected to.
Bashir’s comments were in response to Sarah Palin’s comparing slavery to the national debt. Jake Tapper was appalled and asked her if she wanted to dial it back, since millions had died, been tortured and raped in slavery. Nope. She is not one to be “politically correct”, she proudly told Tapper.
Well, this incensed the highly evident humanity within Martin Bashir, who’s been the target of conservative racial hatred in the past. He wanted to point out that no, in fact, the national debt is nothing like slavery. And since words did not sink in with Ms. Palin, he laid out exactly how slaves were treated, which involved being disciplined by urinating and defecating in the slave’s mouth.
That apparently is a-okay, or just like the national debt, until someone says Sarah Palin should try that if she doesn’t believe slavery is worse than the national debt. And then it is the worst thing ever, much worse, probably, than slavery could even think of being and that’s why Martin Bashir had to quit his show on MSNBC but Sarah Palin is still allowed to deny that slavery was any different than the national debt.
Here is what Bashir said, courtesy of the very conservative and very outraged Newsbusters. TO WIT (I don’t condone calling Sarah Palin an “idiot” for many reasons – not the least of which is it’s not true, but even if it were, there are worse things to be said about her that matter more):
BASHIR: It’lll be like slavery. Given her well-established reputation as a world class idiot, it’s hardly surprising that she should choose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone who knows anything about its barbaric history. So here’s an example.
One of the most comprehensive first-person accounts of slavery comes from the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood, who kept copious notes for 39 years. Thistlewood was the son of a tenant farmer who arrived on the island of Jamaica in April 1750, and assumed the position of overseer at a major plantation. What is most shocking about Thistlewood’s diary is not simply the fact that he assumes the right to own and possess other human beings, but is the sheer cruelty and brutality of his regime.
In 1756, he records that “A slave named Darby catched eating canes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s-h-i-t in his mouth.” This became known as Darby’s dose, a punishment invented by Thistlewood that spoke only of the slave owners savagery and inhumanity.
And he mentions a similar incident again in 1756, this time in relation to a man he refers to as Punch. “Flogged Punch well, and then washed and rubbed salt pickle, lime juice and bird pepper; made Negro Joe piss in his eyes and mouth.” I could go on, but you get the point.
When Mrs. Palin invoked slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms that if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.
He apologized for this, but that wasn’t good enough for Ms. Palin, who is never so pleased with herself and her ability to raise money off of her feigned persecution as she is when she can stab the “lamestream” media, to which she belongs, in the heart.
“if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.” Yes, that infers that she should be a candidate for being treated like slaves were, but Palin herself has told us that slavery is just like the national debt. If defecating in the mouth is so offensive, then perhaps slavery wasn’t the grand old time that the Republican Party would have everyone believe.
It can’t be both no big deal and the most offensive thing ever to even suggest. If only Sarah Palin could quit being a martyr for a few moments in between inciting hatred and racial division and perhaps give a pause and consider that slavery is not actually anything like the national debt. But she will never be able to get past her own festering ego for long enough to consider an experience she has not had. And that’s precisely why Martin Bashir tried to spell it out. But of course, Palin isn’t listening. There’s persecution to be mined, after all.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.