Waving the Bloody Shirt: Then and Now

According to Wikipedia, and what I learned in public school, the term "Waving the bloody shirt" is a pejorative phrase, used to deride opposing politicians who made emotional calls to avenge the blood of soldiers that died in the Civil War.
In other words, it's a metaphor for unhelpful, grievance politics.

Except that wasn't true.
The origin of the term was far different.

Representative, and former Union general, Benjamin Butler of Massachusetts, while making a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in April 1871, allegedly held up a shirt stained with the blood of a Reconstruction Era carpetbagger who had been whipped by the Ku Klux Klan. While Butler did give a speech condemning the Klan, he never waved anyone's bloody shirt. White Southerners mocked Butler, using the fiction of him having "waved the bloody shirt", to dismiss Klan thuggery and other atrocities committed against freed slaves and Republicans.

And even this isn't exactly right. The "carpetbagger" in question was a school teacher who went to South Carolina to teach former black slaves how to read. For that he was whipped almost to death.

That is totally flipping the situation on it's head. Sort of like making the bully out to be the "real" victim in an assault.
But it does show that conservatives have always been good at flipping the script.

That got me thinking about Kyle Rittenhouse.
The right-wing likes to point out the "crossing state lines" and the backgrounds of the people who got shot. Or how the victims were all white, thus showing that Rittenhouse wasn't racist.
And it worked! Even some on the left have fallen for this.

No one talks about the fact that both of the men Rittenhouse murdered were unarmed.

Think about that for a moment. How has that fact been overlooked, or at least minimized?
One of the victims actually got shot in the back (something that every western movie I've seen will get you hanged).

Just imagine if an armed BLM protestor had murdered two unarmed, conservative counter-protestors.
Do you think the media would just ignore this fact?

Yet now Rittenhouse is some sort of victim-hero, according to Tucker Carlson.
Those who say otherwise are just waving bloody shirts.

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I'm merely talking about the political spin being used.

I like how this video shows that if Rittenhouse was shot and killed by a BLM protestor, that the BLM protestor could have plead self-defense and probably won, using the exact same law.

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Politicized stories always get weird. One of the people who were shot minutes before threatened to kill him and the other hit him with a two foot board with a pound of steel at each end. The third pointed a gun at him. Also he had been chased for a block, knocked down and was laying on his back.
Contrarily I discount the Tucker interview completely. He was obviously coached by a lawyer with a political agenda. The most likely scenario IMHO is that he was a 17 year old living out a byronic fantasy that went out of control - like it was all but certain to. He's clearly an idiot - he took a rifle to a protest - but he's not necessarily a right wing killer.

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On to Biden since 1973

@doh1304

One of the people who were shot minutes before threatened to kill him

Rittenhouse testified that he knew the guy wasn't armed. That he threw a plastic bag of clothes at him, that didn't hit him.

and the other hit him with a two foot board with a pound of steel at each end.

AKA a skateboard. If those are deadly weapons then I know a group of 6-year old kids that can be considered potential murderers.
And the guy who hit him probably thought that he was an active shooter, like most of the people who were chasing him at this point. (and he would be right)

Here's the thing: virtually everyone knows about your points. I wonder how many people are even aware that Rittenhouse's victims were unarmed?

The third pointed a gun at him.

This guy I won't defend. And he also didn't die.

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@gjohnsit gun in hand pointed up to the sky, along with the other hand up in the air, is not exactly sending a death threat.
I ran across a murder case in Texas that ruled the black pepper a parent poured down their kid's throat, which caused the kid's death, was assessed to be a deadly weapon.
Anything on your coffee table, dish, house plant, ash tray, can be found to be a deadly weapon. Including a skateboard.
A 17 yr. old kid with his convictions, and willingness to carry a military grade gun to a protest, is a propagandized little kid.
I hate the verdict, but it boils down to this: what was his motive to be there, heavily armed, when most kids his age are trying to find a girl for funsies on a Friday night?. And what does it mean for protests in the future? No matter how he innocently defended himself, he would not have taken a military grade weapon that he obtained through hoops, if he didn't think it would be handy.
Caveat: I read virtually nothing about this case until it was happening. I did not know BLM was involved.

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@on the cusp

what was his motive to be there, heavily armed, when most kids his age are trying to find a girl for funsies on a Friday night?. And what does it mean for protests in the future?

Unfortunately, it means a whole lot more right-wing people are going to declare themselves vigilantes, like Rittenhouse did, the next time there's a protest that they don't like.
And then some of them are going to do whatever they can to provoke the crowd so that they can get a chance to shoot into that crowd. It's so f*ckin obvious.

But hey, skateboards are deadly weapons, and someone did some looting, so it's no big deal.

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Pricknick's picture

@gjohnsit

AKA a skateboard. If those are deadly weapons then I know a group of 6-year old kids that can be considered potential murderers.

My choice of weapons will never be something another sees as a weapon.
I could force you to ride a skateboard, which may be manslaughter depending on your skills, or I can hit you with one which would be murder with no skill.
Your statement is one of the worst analogies I've ever read.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick
If a skateboard is a deadly weapon then a spoon is a deadly weapon. Virtually anything is a deadly weapon, and thus the term deadly weapon is meaningless.
Which makes the idea that assault rifle being a deadly weapon, now equal to the danger of a skateboard.

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@gjohnsit
I am unfamiliar with Wisconsin law, but either he could not be also charged or the jury was not allowed to convict him of some version of manslaughter for carrying an AR-15 to a protest. He should not have walked, but it was probably the prosecutor's fault for overcharging rather than misconduct by the jury.
I had a similar argument argument over the Dan White trial. The "twinkie defense" was legitimate - his change in eating pattern showed mental deterioration. But he told a friend he was going to kill Moscone, took a pistol out of a drawer, loaded it with bullets from another drawer, drove across town, convinced a group of workmen to allow him to climb through a window (rather than go through a metal detector) and kill someone. He was clearly not "diminished." The jury was just plain wrong. Rittenhouse had no such obvious deviation from objective reality.
Rittenhouse was a 17 year old confronted by a clearly violent and unhinged adult. He ran, was chased and attacked. And as for your heated to the point of silliness 6 year old with a skateboard, I am 64 and have Parkinson's - but in my hands a skateboard is a deadly weapon. He f-ed up real bad, but not by pulling the trigger, it was was too late for that. It wasn't the jury's fault.

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On to Biden since 1973

@doh1304

And as for your heated to the point of silliness 6 year old with a skateboard, I am 64 and have Parkinson's - but in my hands a skateboard is a deadly weapon.

In that case I stand by my statement