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February 07, 2006

Julian Bond Mixes His Inflammatory Metaphors

Finally, Fayetteville State University has released audio of what Julian Bond said in his speech. Turns out that not only does Bond use inflammatory speech, he mixes his inflammatory metaphors.

Hours after his speech, the Web site for World Net Daily published an article in which it quoted Bond as saying, “The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side.” The comment quickly spread on the Internet and prompted sharp criticism from conservatives including Rush Limbaugh, who mentioned the report on his radio show Friday.

According to a recording of Bond’s 45-minute speech reviewed by The Fayetteville Observer, he referred to the Confederate flag as a swastika.

“Their (Republicans) idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side-by-side,” Bond said in a series of jabs against conservatives, getting applause from the audience of about 900 people.

The comments as reported by World Net Daily and other online forums had circulated so widely that, by Friday, Fayetteville State University issued a news release including a statement from Bond.

“I didn’t say these things I’m alleged to have said,” FSU quoted Bond as saying. “There is no one in the audience who can say I said them.”

WND had to get its information from people who attended the speech and probably weren't taking notes. Turns out, they gave Bond more credit than he deserved. Bond's denial was categorical, but in fact he did use the swastika imagery. Now that we have the words themselves, it appears he bumbled in his attempt.

But people are still trying to cover for him.

The criticism has been equally harsh against newspapers and television networks, with conservative organizations and Internet bloggers accusing the media of ignoring offensive remarks. On Monday, World Net Daily posted another article citing FSU’s news release. The site says it verified Bond’s comments as originally reported by talking with people who said they attended the speech.

[Carol] Wood, of the University of Virginia, said three people contacted administrators after hearing about Nazi comments. The university has been in contact with FSU and called the misquotes “outrageous.”

“We had no doubts that this was wrong from the beginning,” Wood said. “How quickly somebody can put a fabrication up and have people believe it — it’s just the way the world is now.”

Yeah, it's truly "outrageous" that when people heard the word "swastika" they immediately thought of Nazis. Please. This wasn't a fabrication by listeners. If anything, it was a gracious mis-hearing of otherwise poorly worded hate speech.

A (43 megabyte) MP3 recording of the speech can be found here.

Posted by Doug at February 7, 2006 05:10 PM

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