Congressman Hank Johnson says calling Jewish settlers "termites" was a "poor choice of words"


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/26/congressman-hank-johnson-says.html


#2

I love Hank Johnson. No one else worries about the threat of Guam capsizing, that’s for sure!


#3

Ahhhh, Hank. Box. Of. ROCKS.


#4

you guys know the difference between name-calling and a simile, right? because your headline implies that he called settlers “termites” which is not true.


#5

Really, really, really getting sick of the worthless political (cl)asses in general.

Since when did an apology become the standard grammatical period following everything a politician says?


#6

Hmmm.

“You’re vermin.”

vs

“You’re like vermin.”

Either way you look at it, that’s still offensive and lacking in basic human respect; regardless of any use of similes, metaphors and/or hyperbole.


#9

He sounds like an idiot… Though I am sure there some BBers will agree with him about the Jewish settlers.

Fun fact, House legislators serve two years. He won his first election in 2006. Like many people, he ran unopposed some years. So for nearly 10 years this guy keeps getting rubber stamped. Even AFTER his Guam comments.


#11

Maybe he meant they are great at building structures?


#13

You’re not a concern troll. You’re like a concern troll.


#14

Curious what language is ok to use for the settlers and their supporters who are causing a lot of problems.

All the harsh words some of us use for Police officers are a result of the fact that they seem to be enacting violence without accountability. So most of us are willing to overlook some rhetoric and name calling.

How is that different from the settlers?


#15

There are probably better words to call settlers than “termites.” How about calling them “settlers?”


#16

Ever since we started electing people who thought they could just say whatever horrible thing pops into their little head. But if you listen closely, you’ll find that many of our leaders do not need to apologize following everything they say, because they are not saying horrible things.

The secret is treating others with respect.


#17

You mean actually affording other human beings the tiniest modicum of basic respect, regardless to how much material value they may or may not have, simply because they are, in fact, human?

Too much like right; it’ll never happen.


#18

Somewhere there’s a ST:DS9 GIF about this that I just haven’t found yet.

I don’t have a lot of respect for religious zealots and land grabs, but I’m perfectly willing to acknowledge their basic humanity. Johnson, who is a bit of joke by all accounts, needs to learn that context matters. In this case the historical context of comparing Jews and others to pests right before various genocidal acts. I believe that in calling for justice, you need to exemplify it. It’s not too big an ask for a congressman. Non-apology apologies don’t exactly make you the bigger person either.


#19

What, that they’re gradually stealing more and more Palestinian land, resources and homes, and basically no one in a position of effective power is doing much of anything to stop it? I do agree with that, actually. Don’t you?

The “termite” metaphor is ideed offensive though. Maybe rust is better? Anyway, it’s not quite as bad, it seems to me, as what I’ve often heard is a common Israeli epithet for Palestinians – “cockroaches” – but still, yes, definitely bad.


#20

Well, I suppose it worked for those who drove away or outright murdered Indians in the U.S. and then took possession of their land. All has been forgiven in their case, I guess. Maybe it eventually will in this one too. I mean, who cares about populations of weaker people. As Trump would probably put it, they’re just “losers,” I guess. History will eventually forget about them, or maybe, if they’re lucky, think back on them as “noble savages.”


#21

Rust is an erosive process. Iron oxidizes and becomes friable, leading to cracks in the grain that rust the underlying iron further on exposure to air, leading to further cracks and more rust. But at its heart is the gleaming metal, if only you can renew the surface. That requires work and sacrifice.

Okay, I like this metaphor.


#22

Illegal occupation under the 4th Geneva Convention.

Hundreds of examples of “settlers” enacting violence and destruction on Palestinians sometimes with the documented aid of the IDF and having zero accountability.

The report accounts detail things I’ve heard before from my great grandmother about what happened to her family for generations until they landed in Poland and were lucky enough to get out of the ghetto before it was too late.

You can say “Settlers” I’ll say “cossacks”.


#23

reductio ad absurdum is not legitimate rhetoric. it was a meaningful simile, your restatement is not. Not to mention that the settlers are killing the peace process and some are actually murdering Palestinians.


#24

god forbid you should examine your own standards for describing something. tell me how this is concern trolling, again? I’m calling you out for sloppy journalism, Mark.