June 13, 2006

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Fat Nick

TNR's Leon Wieseltier, in writing about the absurdity of those who don't believe the fanatical president of Iran really wishes to "wipe Israel off the map," ties it to a recent tabloid trial in New York:

Indeed, even as this discussion about the benign meanings of malign words was taking place about Tehran, it was taking place also about Queens. Yes, Queens--Howard Beach in particular, where a local fiend called Fat Nick Minucci was on trial for assaulting a black man. Fat Nick had no nuclear centrifuges, he had only a baseball bat. When he approached his victim, he called him a "nigger," but his lawyers insisted that he meant nothing negative by the term. "A form of benign address," as the Times reported the judgment of an expert witness; or "nigger" in the good sense. The jury did not fall for the socio-linguistic extenuation, and it found Fat Nick guilty of a hate crime. It heard "nigger" only in the bad sense. And we hear "wipe" and "off the map" and "out of time" only in the bad sense. If we cannot make the world less perilous, we can at least make it less stupid.
I vote for immediate U.N. sanctions, if not a full-scale invasion, of Fat Nick.

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 13, 2006 10:00 AM
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