I keep a page on this site that lists the criteria under which posts are allowed. I am adding one, and it is unusual enough that I will explain its creation and existence.
A comment to my post about the Chap!-JMDD fracas suggests she is the victim of a “public lynching”. The more I think about it, the more the phrase bothers me.
First, it is bad grammar. There is no such thing as a private lynching. Any lynching I have heard of was carried out in public. It was not carried out under color of law, but it was done in public. In fact, that was part of the M.O. of a lynch mob…to commit this violent act in public to frighten people from imitating the victim’s act.
Second, a lynching means someone has been killed, not criticized. Criticizing a candidate for public office (or, for that matter, a nominee for appointed office) is hardly a lynching. That candidate or nominee is not being taken from their home by a mob, outside the possibility of any protection by the authorities, for the purpose being tortured and ultimately killed by some terrible and painful method simply because the mob doesn’t like what you did or because they don’t like the way the law is handling things.
If you want to see a lynching, stroll down to the Fairfax Library or Amazon.com and get a copy of Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, take a look at the picture of a real victim of a lynching and the reasons they were subjected to this action, and tell me that JMDD is the victim of a “public lynching”. Search the web for the story of Leo Frank and the end he came to, and tell me that candidates for public office face anything like he did.
It is bad grammar, it is hyperbole verging on demagoguery, it is inaccurate, and I will have no more of it.
You can say someone is being slandered, libeled, subject to character assassination, etc., and all will be well. But as of 10:15PM on 10.28.2007, the term “lynching” or “public lynching” as a term used in expressing an opinion will not be accepted on this blog.
My joint, my rules.
And now, back to the latest political mess…