Take a potshot at the powerless, and you too can win a medal of valour



“To align yourself with the powerful and then take aim at the powerless takes not one ounce of valour. To prop up prevailing hierarchies and orthodoxies rather than challenge them demands not a scintilla of bravery. True, like Summers, you may run into trouble. But just look who’s covering your back. With the prevailing winds of war, prejudice or the state on your side, the odds are with you. Since the privileges you are defending are inherent in the commentariat […] your worldview is constantly being reinforced. It may still be the right thing to do - the weak should not be protected from criticism nor the strong denied praise solely on the grounds of their relative material strength. But those who choose Goliath’s corner cannot then claim underdog status once David gets out his slingshot. Take the Danish cartoons. They were first printed in a country that supports the war in Iraq, where the far-right Danish People’s party receives 13% of the vote and where, according to the Danish Institute for Human Rights, racially motivated crimes doubled between 2004 and 2005. […] These cartoons did not appear in a vacuum. In publishing them the editor of Jyllands-Posten had illustrated not just an insensitive Islamophobic jibe but a racist mindset that has consequences for Muslims worldwide. He had a right to print them. But to do so in this context was an act of bigotry, not bravery. Underpinning this peculiar notion of courage is the feeble-minded obsession with political correctness - the ultimate refuge of the baseless argument and the clueless commentator.” - story