, 05.12.2020 07:24 AM

My latest: the first casualty of pandemics is history

It is a sunny day in August 1986, and the interview with Canada’s High Aryan Warrior Priest is wrapping up.

His name is Terry Long. At the kitchen table on his acreage outside Caroline, Alberta, he looks like any other farmer. But he’s not.

Long has just spent several hours telling me how blacks are mud people, and how Jews are the literal spawn of Satan, and how Jesus Christ was not a Jew.

The interview over, and safely taped, I demur.

“Sorry, Mr. Long, but Jesus was a Jewish rabbi at all relevant times,” I say.

Long gets up and retrieves a book from his living room. He hands it to me. “It’s our bible,” he says. “The Christian Identity bible. Jesus wasn’t a Jew.” He taps the cover. “It’s right in there.”

The Calgary Herald photographer assigned to the story was Larry MacDougal. Larry drove us back to the newsroom while I marvelled.

“Jesus isn’t a Jew anymore, just like that,” I said to him, snapping my fingers. “Print up your own bible, and make him into a sword-swinging Christian warrior.”

Which the “Aryans” did.

I was reminded of that long-ago encounter, this week, when I posted the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus in the United States – on the day in question, around 72,000 (by the time you read this, it is much more than 80,000). The number came from the Johns Hopkins CSSE.

A women immediately responded. “It’s a hoax,” she tweeted.

I was stunned, a bit. I blocked her. Others – Donald Trump fans – also started to claim, directly or by innuendo, that the Johns Hopkins figure was a hoax.

Like, you know, Terry Long and Jim Keegstra and Ernst Zundel used to say the Holocaust was: a hoax. And, if you didn’t believe it, they had their own historical reference books to prove it. Just like they had their own bibles.

Before the virus started to kill off thousands of us, Donald Trump literally said it was “a hoax,” too, conjured up by his political enemies. Fret not: it would disappear “like a miracle,” he said. It would be gone by Spring, he said, when it was warmer.

When all that turned out to be a lie, Trump said malarial drugs would cure it. When that was shown to be a lie, too, he mused about injecting people with disinfectants, or bathing the insides of their bodies with light.

Nobody needed to say any of that was a lie, however. Even Trump’s most ardent followers wouldn’t agree to inject bleach in themselves.

Joe Biden didn’t help matters, either. Despite being isolated in his basement TV studio in Delaware, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was wiping the floor with Donald Trump. Ten points ahead in every battleground state, without having to shake a single hand.

Donald Trump was losing, big time. So, what did Donald Trump do?

He did the only thing he had left: he embraced the Terry Long strategy. Like Zundel and Keegstra and all the historical revisionist Hitler freaks do, Trump’s winged monkeys simply commenced bleating that the coronavirus death toll – a death toll made inarguably worse by their hero – was a hoax.

A hoax.

Scott Jensen, a Trump loyalist and Republican state senator in Minnesota, stated that Corvid-19 numbers were being diabolically inflated by Trump’s enemies. Soon enough, Fox’s Laura Ingraham and Infowars started repeating Jensen’s false claim.  Qanon came next, asserting that a fake death toll was designed to cause “mass hysteria” in an election year.

Donald Trump, the Troll-in-Chief, promptly picked up the revisionist refrain.  Trump retweeted those who claimed that Trump’s enemies were inflating the death toll to “steal the election.”  

And now, of course, pandemic truthers are everywhere.  It’s a “plandemic” and a “hoax.”

Do the Corvid-deniers represent a real threat? Could they get away with such an evil lie?

Terry Long, with his hand on his very own bible, would likely say they could.

 

 

9 Comments

  1. Paige says:

    There’s them damn ravens showing up on your autocorrect again.

  2. Paige says:

    Between the ravens in your pandemic and the glorious photo of the turkey vultures, maybe you are operating under a bird curse.

  3. Do you think Trump will call for the ordering of new caps in massive numbers? You know the ones: Make America Thin-Skinned Again!

    Guess that’s what happens when you can really dish it out but funny, actually can’t take it…

  4. Mark says:

    The world has, over the past few years, become one in which it is easier and easier to create one’s own reality and truth. With state of the art video and photo editing, a small, virtually-tied planet, and a sometimes suspect public education system, this is not surprising. What is surprising is the number of people who can be led astray by charlatans who masquerade as populists, and those who carry their message.

    • PK says:

      It’s a war for the truth – so it will never be. As with everything else, these days, the truth is lost to perception management.

  5. Mark D says:

    Apologies in advance for the off-topic comment, Warren, though it is not unrelated to your opening story.

    Did you ever get a chance to interview Derek Black?

    I would love to listen to a coversation between you two. For those not familiar with Mr Black, he was the dauphin of the hate movement in the U.S.

    Then a group of Jewish students at his local college recognized him and instead of ostracizing him, invited him to join their regular weekly Sabbath meal. He accepted their invitation and over the next two years, in response to their kindness and questioning, he came to recognize the errors of the hate movement.

    Black is now a PhD student who teaches others how to help people out of the hate movement. Warren, I would love to listen to you interview Black on how to help people who are either caught up in the hate movement, or being influenced by it.

  6. Gilbert says:

    All the president needs is Chinese statisticians, and the numbers will look a lot better.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “All the president needs is Chinese statisticians, and the numbers will look a lot better.”

      Speaking of the Chinese, Canadian public opinion has taken a brutal turn (only the Saudis are less popular with us now). “Only 14 per cent of Canadians have a favourable view of China. Only 12 per cent of us want closer trade ties with China. Only 14 per cent of us think it would be a good idea to allow Beijing’s “national champion” telecom giant Huawei to get in on Canada’s 5G (fifth-generation) internet connectivity infrastructure.”

      Trudeau had better start paying attention and get on board with the rest of the civilized world:

      “When it comes to the coronavirus catastrophe, 84 per cent of the Angus Reid poll’s respondents say Beijing has been neither transparent nor honest about the “COVID-19 situation” in China.”

      Are we still the only western democracy espousing (as China does) that the WHO should do their own ‘internal’ investigation, rather than the independent international investigation demanded by *every other nation*?

      I’m sorry…this is not leadership that Canadians should be proud of. Trudeau has made some good moves, but this threatens to undo everything he’s accomplished.

  7. Pipes says:

    Seems to me, The Donald is waiting for herd immunity and therefore what he said is kind a true and he, being a sociopath has no empathy for the thousands and thousands and thousands of people who he sees as collateral damage. Just look at him and you can see his Darwinistic instincts. Anyway, what do I know of such things……………stay well WK.

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