Oh. Em. Gee.
I was tempted to blog about this the other day, when I was angry. I didn’t, and that’s a good thing. Out of the moment, I can be more rational and actually use my grown-up words, instead of something along the lines of: “Friggin’ fraggin, stupid head! Blaaargh!!!!!!”
There are very few things that get me in a smoke-coming-out-of-my-ears, I’m gonna hurt somebody up in herre kinda mood, but rewriting history is one of them.
A little background info: I’m a historian. My particular expertise (yes, I think I can call it that now that I’m writing my thesis and am almost done with the whole graduate degree experience) is in the American Revolution.
Imagine, for just a moment, the horror I experienced when I heard this:
Oh holy crap! This has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with being a friggin’ fraggin’ stupidhead!!!! Oh, dang it. I got all emotional anyway.
P.S.: Brian Williams, the real life version involves lanterns and a whole lotta other details she killed too. This seriously frustrates me to the point that I can’t do anything but huff and puff about the idiocy. Why bother even writing a blog about it? - Probably because it demands attention.
Here’s the quote:
“He who warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
I think my head is going to explode!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On his ride, Revere said, “The Redcoats are coming,” not “Hey British, you don’t get to take our guns away.” (((rolls eyes)))
Of course the midnight ride has been morphed into something along the lines of American mythology, with the phrase “The British are coming,” at the center, no matter how incorrect the “quote” may be. Revere would never have distinguished the Redcoats from the Patriots by calling them British – the colonies were still under British control, and most colonists considered themselves British. That would have been like riding like a madman just to say, “We’re coming, we’re coming.” On second thought, maybe Palin saw similar commentary and it confused her…
Anyways the point is, it’s American myth, but you at least owe it to the nation to get something as simple as the midnight ride correct. When you’re touring the country in a painted up bus. On national television. In Boston, where the Revolution spent its infancy.
I really can’t defend this woman. What is she trying to do? Hopefully not run for office again. I mean, she’s got a reality TV show (which everyone knows you have to do if you want people to take you seriously. You know, if a sex tape doesn’t do the trick) and she’s makin’ crap up on the fly? It makes my brain hurt…
In short, if you want to keep me happy, and if you don’t want to look like a fool on national television, thou shalt not rewrite history.
UPDATE: There’s been some talk that perhaps Palin was right because Revere supposedly “warned” the British once he was captured of something. I’ll cite one of my go-to sources: Six officers captured Revere, but soon let him go, since they had bigger fish to fry. Revere told one of the officers who captured him “that the British would ‘miss their aim,’ because he had alarmed ‘the country all the way up’ from Boston.” (George F. Scheer and Hugh F. Rankin, Rebels & Redcoats: The American Revolution Through the Eyes of Those Who Fought and Lived It. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 1957.)
This sounds like more a threat than a warning, AND it was not said with bells clanging, guns shooting and on the back of a horse. Revere didn’t warn the British, he warned the Americans, and there was no mention of anyone taking away anyone’s arms. Sorry, Sarah. Try again.