Anti-Palin Faux-troversy of the Day: The Black Bracelet
posted at 6:19 pm on February 10, 2010 by Legal Insurrection
I thank Yale Graduate School student Eric Robinson for his service to the country in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Robinson’s hit piece on Sarah Palin, Palin’s bigger blunder, leads me to believe Robinson has succumbed to the New Haven funny water, either that, or he is spending too much time with Bruce Ackerman over at the law school.
Robinson writes that Palin has shown contempt for the memory of fallen soldiers by wearing a black metal bracelet (see photo) with the name of her son living son Track on it:
The name on her black memorial bracelet — one, like the gold star, a demonstration of a friend or associate who was killed in action — is that of her oldest son, Track. Track served honorably in Iraq, and both he and his parents should be thanked for his selfless service to his country. He is also alive.
Commemorating Track’s service by wearing a a black memorial bracelet which is reserved for those dead or even a red bracelet for those missing in action, demonstrates a horrifying contempt for those who gave their last full measure of devotion or an almost unbelievable ignorance of the importance of symbols in American history.
Unfortunately, given Palin’s reputation and frequent public statements, I assume it is the latter.
Needless to say, this gotcha is making Robinson something of a hero. Political Carnival proclaims: “Not only did she mega-embarrass herself again, she did it tastelessly… Barbie wears live people. And the humiliation continues….” Taegen Goddard’s Political Wire has picked up the story, as has James Joyner (neither one expressed a view on the propriety of wearing the product).
It may be that wearing a black wrist band with a fallen soldier’s name on it is a common method of honoring that soldier, but a simple internet search demonstrates that that is not the exclusive use of black wrist bands.
The Trophy House sells a black metal bracelet which it calls the Soldiers’ Deployment Bracelet:
Let the world know that your loved one is serving abroad in the United States Armed Forces.
These bracelets are currently available in two styles. We have the silver bracelet, made of highly durable .05 gauge scratch-resistant stainless steel. And the black bracelet made of black aluminum.
The engraving on the bracelet includes the soldier’s name, the unit served in, and the date of their deployment. These bracelets are guaranteed not to fade. Wear it with pride while your loved one defends our liberties and freedom!
To make the leap from Palin wearing a commonly available deployment bracelet to Palin having contempt for fallen soldiers is both a bridge too far and a bridge to nowhere.
Just because an item is used for one purpose, doesn’t mean that such use is exclusive to that purpose. I hope they teach such concepts at Yale, because you will need them when you enter the real world, and even more so when you enter politics.
Cross-Posted with updates at Legal Insurrection Blog