Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Thursday, August 05, 2004

Package deal
Written by: Beck

A lot has been said lately critical of potential First-lady Teresa Heinz Kerry. The criticism has ranged from attacking her many ill-considered "outspoken" comments to caricaturing some rather unflattering images of her. Defenders of the Kerrys argue that John Kerry is the person running for office, not Teresa Heinz. I think that's a fair point, as Heinz has certainly given no indication that she would be an activist First-lady such as Hillary Clinton sought to be in 1992.

Nonetheless, when you get one, you get the other, and Kerry's choice of a spouse says a lot about Kerry the man, for good or for ill. While many of Heinz's comments (e.g. "shove it," "four more years of hell," and something vague involving Wendy's chili that I don't especially want to get into) have received a lot of media play, the more important things she has said have not. By more important things, I mean the scripted contents of public addresses she has given.

I can't say I honestly blame the woman for telling a reporter to, "Shove it." Sure, it's unprofessional, but I have to imagine she was voicing the words that thousands of people in the political spotlight before her have dreamt of telling the paparazzi. But what of her speech at the DNC and elsewhere? Todd of Clowning Glory, back from more than a month long hiatus, has done the research. The picture he paints is not a pretty one. Not by a long shot.
One can easily understand why an individual like Teresa Heinz-Kerry, whose family prospered on the suffering of so many others, might feel a bit guilty about it [ed: read the whole article to find out what guilt he's talking about]. After all, unlike her parents, Heinz-Kerry was born into the racist culture of colonial Mozambique – she didn't choose it. So, if she'd stopped there in her speech, by simply condemning the brutality of the Salazar-tyranny and praising American democracy, she might have steered clear of la-la land.

But she didn't.

Her clear implication was that she and her family suffered under Salazar when the reverse is true: her wealthy clan prospered in colonial Mozambique at the expense of the black population. To be clear, members of the Simoes-Ferreira family were not prisoners of the regime; they freely chose to immigrate to the East African colony and were free to go anywhere in the world their money would take them (as Heinz-Kerry's Swiss and South African education clearly illustrates). There were small, if well-organized, Portuguese communities actively opposing the fascist dictatorship while living in self-imposed exile in Europe, and the Americas. Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s family was not among these Portuguese pro-democratic patriots fighting for liberty on the Iberian peninsula as well as justice and independence for the colonies.
There's much more to the original article--the character flaws stem well past one minor incident of misrepresentation. So go read the whole thing already.

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