Rachel Corrie and her Dedication to Peace

CuriousLurker9/04/2012 12:44:26 pm PDT

re: #57 Bob Levin

Perhaps I should ask, in popular culture, what does the symbol of Rachel Corrie mean?

After having had some time to reflect, I’m going to take a stab at what I think she may symbolize in pop culture, at least for many: The young idealist who was once only a common person, suddenly transformed into a heroic figure, a legend, by fearlessly standing up to an unjust establishment and losing her life in the process.

She was American, young, female, white, well educated, articulate, and brought up in a traditional two-parent middle class home in a relatively small town. For many Americans—and probably many Westerners in general—she was the quintessential girl next door. It’s very easy for people to relate to her, to imagine their sister, niece, daughter, friend, or girlfriend in her place. Her parents are sympathetic as well—what parent can look at them without imagining the horrible pain of losing a child?

Seeing photos of her standing in front of a massive bulldozer is immediately reminiscent of the man who faced down the tank in Tienanmen Square. It’s iconic. It’s David and Goliath. Combined with her girl next door familiarity, that makes her an extremely powerful symbol. Remember, I’m not talking about moral equivalence here, I’m talking pure optics, emotional reaction to what is seen.

The ISM couldn’t have been handed a better martyr if they’d special ordered one. I have no doubt that Ms. Corrie’s death must have been viewed as a PR disaster of nightmarish proportions by the IDF/Israel.

Okay, I think I’ve exhausted this subject now.