Over in MPSIMS Satan posted a link to “the 100 Most Influential Southerners of the Century” and someone commented:
This led me to a rather scary train of thought. I was just shy of 20 when Ray killed MLK. Up to that point the TM seemed to see the civil rights struggle as something being pressed by a few activists, or at least that was the press coverage. From that moment on, there seemed to be a paradigm shift in public attitudes. Suddenly it was a Good Thing that one ought to be supportive of. And today racism is pretty well hidden.
Very much the same sort of thing apparently happened during WWII. Being anti-Semitic was not automatic grounds for the snub direct prior to the war, though it was not exactly kosher. But when the news of the Holocaust hit, boom…it became the mark of true evil to be anti-Semitic.
I see something very similar happening today with Matthew Shepherd’s death. The fact that gay people have a right to live their own lives, regardless of what you or I may think of their sex lives, is suddenly a Cause to be supported.
The thread title is from an old Catholic line I do not remember the entire quote of, but which amounts to “The blood of the martyrs is the fertilizer that makes the faith grow” (though it’s expressed a bit better than that…Tom, got the real quote?)
I’d be very interested in what people think about this tendency for shocking deaths to cause a shift in public opinion.