Book: Fabricating Difference
Chapter: 3. The Power of Persecution and Martyrdom in Modern Discourse
This essay seeks to analyze the use of persecution and martyrological language in American political discourse by attempting to historicize ideas about early Christian martyrdom, to which politicians and the media often implicitly refer. Attempting to understand the work done by pointing to an imagined narrative of consistent persecution allows us to pay closer attention to the ways in which groups further distinguish themselves from one another while also unveiling the very real, situated, and material dimensions at play.