Glenn Beck & The Roots Of Fascism
America is a democracy, and has freedom of speech. But lately some of that speech has been back with fascist rhetoric. After Sarah Palin ‘targeted’ Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the latest figure to be singled out for hatred is Frances Fox Piven, a 78-year-old leftwing academic who has become the target of Fox News host Beck and his legion of fans.
Why? Beck sees her as a threat to the American way of life, mainly because over forty years ago her husband wrote a paper on providing welfare payments for the poor. Beck says this is part of a decades-old conspiracy to take over the country that culminated in the election of President Obama. His language has provoked a tidal wave of death threats against both Piven and her academic colleagues at the City University of New York.
The threats appear on Beck’s news website, The Blaze. “One shot… one kill,” says one. Others are sent directly to her email address or those of her colleagues. While Piven shrugs off the death threats, she is well aware of the problem in the light of recent attacks and shootings. “I don’t know if I am scared, but I am worried,” she told the Observer newspaper. ‘He is a very neurotic and peculiar type of person. I don’t think he is capable of sane discussion.’
Beck now backs his rants with presentations on blackboards and with puppet shows (presumably to aid the illiterate). But they have real-life repercussions. Last year Byron Williams stocked a truck full of guns and bullets with the stated intention of attacking liberal groups in San Francisco that Beck had mentioned.
But by choosing such a vulnerable target, Beck has given the professor a way of fighting back. Beck has an entire TV network and a global media giant behind him; Piven is an elderly professor. But, for the first time in a long while, she is in demand. “At last now we have a megaphone,” she said.
That book cover at the top is real, by the way. Yes, that’s Beck in a quasi-Nazi uniform. It’s not something you’ll see on the bestsellers lists here. BTW, if you decide to look at the book on Amazon, be aware that it will screw up your recommended reading list in a very disturbing way!