X

Let's Stop Saying, 'Don't Drink the Kool-Aid'

Considering 900 people died, it's more than a little offensive: Meghan Daum
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2011 1:42 PM CST

(Newser) – Judging by how often it gets thrown around these days, "Don't drink the Kool-Aid" seems to have become a "staple of self-righteous public discourse," writes Meghan Daum in the Los Angeles Times. It's a trendy way to ridicule people who blindly follow a particular ideology. It's also time to give this phrase a rest, writes Daum. Remember that it comes from the 1978 tragedy in which more than 900 Americans drank cyanide-laced punch (it was Flavor-Aid, not Kool-Aid) at the behest of the messianic Jim Jones in Guyana.

story continues below

"There's something grotesque, even offensive, about comparing public figures or members of opposing political parties or nonviolent activists to followers of a deranged, murderous cult leader," writes Daum. Tomorrow is the 33rd anniversary of the Jonestown massacre. "Maybe it's worth marking the occasion by trying not to say 'drink the Kool-Aid' for at least a day." Click for the full column. (Read more Jonestown massacre stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X