When is the word “savage” not racist and offensive?
In Tunisian citizen Souhir Stephenson’s “Tunisia, a Sad Year Later,” published last Wednesday in the New York Times, she wrote: “Tourism is dwindling. Who wants to vacation among bands of bearded savages raiding embassies, staking their black pirate flag over universities or burning trucks carrying beer?”
“Bearded savages.” This appeared in the Times just six weeks after the paper ran a piece calling my American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) subway ads “potentially inflammatory” and quoting Muneer Awad of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) calling me “a bigot and a racist” for the ad, which reads: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”
Indeed, this ad touched off a nationwide firestorm, with pundits and activists all over the country excoriating me for using the word “savage” to describe Islamic jihadists and supremacists. CNN “journalist” Mona Eltahawy was actually caught in the act of spray-painting over the ad, and was arrested, after which little act of fascism she had the gall to claim that she was merely exercising her freedom of speech.
What is the difference between the New York Times’s use of the word savage and the AFDI use?
Or Hillary Clinton’s, for that matter? In a statement on September 12, she used the same word to characterize those who had attacked our consulate in Benghazi and murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American officials: “This was an attack by a small and savage group — not the people or Government of Libya.”
Is Clinton’s use of the word savage offensive?