Anyone familiar with the 1939 Cary Grant film Gunga Din knows that our word “thug” comes from “thuggee,” word for members of a Hindu fundamentalist movement dedicated to sneak attack and murder.
Here in the US, it is now being applied to secular, openly-active pie throwers.
Do a Google search on “Horowitz,” “Coulter” (two `victims’), “pie” and “thug.” You will find dozens of hits for right-wing sites decrying the pie-throwers as `thugs.’
This is one of them:
Pie-throwing thugs attacking conservative speakers on college campuses are motivated by left-wing hatred, says free-speech advocate David Horowitz, who warns that the incidents could escalate to serious injury.
It all began last October, when two young men threw pies at conservative pundit and author Ann Coulter.
On Wednesday, March 30, William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, was attacked with a pie during his speech on U.S. foreign policy at Earlham College. A week later, Horowitz had a pie thrown in his face at Butler University.
Most recently, Pat Buchanan was attacked by a whacked-out college student while giving a speech. The young thug covered Buchanan’s face with salad dressing. He screamed, “Stop the bigotry!” and almost hit him with the bottle. And last February a protester threw his shoe at former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle.
Here is another one:
…throwing a pie at someone is assault. And those students should be expelled by Butler and arrested by the Indianapolis Police Department.
In response to my last post on this issue, someone emailed me:
Reactions from two of the victims have been particularly interesting.
In his “From the Desk of David Horowitz” column, Horowitz recounted in the first paragraph that:
Only six or seven paragraphs later does Horowitz, in what is essentially a fund-raising piece, mention that the attack was with a pie.
Ann Coulter weighs in with this description of the aftermath of her pie-ing:
Ah, yes! Respond to attempts at humor (no matter how misguided) with violence! That’s becoming the American way.
Which brings me to my real point:
There are American thugs now, yes. But they aren’t the pie throwers. And the real thugs are being continually excused by these very same people who are so “upset” by a few kids with chocolate cream and lemon meringue.
Remember Rush Limbaugh‘s May 4, 2004 reaction to the stacked bodies at Aub Ghraib? Let me refresh your memory:
LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we’re going to ruin people’s lives over it and we’re going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I’m talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of need to blow some steam off?
And then there’s Eric Rudolph:
‘When one of these extremists puts out a call to action, oftentimes others do try to follow in their footsteps,’ said Vicki Saporta, head of the National Abortion Federation, which represents 400 US clinics. ‘He clearly is speaking to the extremists who believe in justifiable homicide.’
Reuters reported Thursday that Mr. Rudolph pleaded guilty to the bombing of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, as well as to attacks on abortion clinics and a gay nightclub. Rudolph said “abortion, gay rights and the federal government” motivated him to attack the targets listed above.
In his statement to the court, Rudolph said:
Now those are the real thugs.