Saturday, January 8, 2011

"The Mecca For Prejudice And Bigotry"

By now, most have heard of the senseless violence and mayhem which occurred today in Tucson, Arizona. A deranged young man walked up to U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords while she was having a public event outside a local store and shot her point blank in the head. Fortunately, Giffords survived the attack and early reports are that she made it through surgery and was able to recognize her husband and other family members.

Unfortunately, the gunman, Jared Loughner, was hellbent on being as destructive as he could be and went on to shoot a eighteen other people, killing six of them. Among the fatalities is U.S. District Judge John Roll and a nine year old girl who was there as a reward for being elected to the student council.

While no official motive has been going, we do know that the gunman was probably suffering from some sort of mental illness. We also know that he hated the government and among his favorite books was "Mein Kampf."

As tragic and horrifying as this event is, it was also all too predictable. Across the country, but especially in Arizona, there has been a growing disregard for civil discourse or even basic respect for fellow men and women. Judge Roll himself had already been the subject of death threats by the intolerant bigots of the right regarding a case he heard which pitted illegal immigrants against an Arizona rancher. In fact, most news articles regarding today's terrorist attack show the growing number of threats across the nation. And don't forget that the last two days have had news of mail packages for elected leaders exploding and spewing an unknown substance.

Pima Sheriff Clarence Dupnik spared no words on putting today's nightmare in perspective:
Mr. Dupnik called the shooting a "very sad day for Tucson" and a "horrendous, horrendous, senseless, unbelievable crime." And then he blamed the crime on the rhetoric -- presumably political rhetoric -- in the country.

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government," he said. "The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

Mr. Dupnik said it is time for the country to "do a little soul searching."

He added: "The vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business ... This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in."
Here is a link to a video of his press conference. His sincerity is quite telling. You see none of the calculative word choices that someone like our own Sheriff Clarke.

Indeed, many people keep referring to Sarah Palin and her PAC, which specifies Representative Giffords as a "target" and that people shouldn't retreat but reload. Eerily, ten months ago, Congresswoman Giffords spoke about the hatred and death threats aimed at her.

Arizona has been worse than most areas in regards to their bigotry towards Hispanics and poor people. Things have gotten so bad that their own state government have told poor people that they aren't worth the expense to keep alive.

But as heart-wrenching as today's horrific events are, the reaction from too many on the right are egregious.

By far, the majority of the right is back-pedaling, saying that this shouldn't be made political and that we should all only pray for the family.

I have two real problems with this crap coming from them.

First of all, they are the ones that have been spewing this hateful rhetoric for two years now. So many of them have spent so much time and energy into pouring gas onto this already blazing fire.

Secondly, if the gunman's name hadn't been Jared Loughner, but Julio Lopez, these same people that are calling for people to step back would have been leading the charge trying to determine if he was an illegal alien. And if he was, they would really begin to howl. It would have been just as bad if the gunman's name had been Jamale Lofton. The racial comments would be spewing like a volcano's eruption.

If you don't believe me, look at the right's reactions to the news earlier this week regarding the drunk driver who killed a woman on I-94 or the incident last weekend at Mayfair Mall.

Life is hard enough on a lot of people. We don't need these bullies spewing their hateful rhetoric making things worse than they already are. But if they feel they need to do it, at least be adult enough to face the consequences for the irresponsible and reprehensible behaviors.


  1. Umm, capper, for someone who spews hate against the right and especially against Scott Walker, you have no standing to talk about conservative supposed hate speech.

  2. "supposed hate speech"?

    Someone is in denial.

  3. Thanks for hitting it n the head capper. Don't let up on them, as the hate-mongerers must face consequences for what they have been doing.

  4. I can't wait until they charge this guy and announce they will seek the death penalty...(And personally I believe they will) then we will see all of our "kinder, gentler, progressive" counterparts coming out of the wood work saying how unfair it is right?

    Look I agree that this was politically motivated, BUT I don't think that the hours and minutes after a national tragedy of this scope is the right time to engage in it...

    And I do find it telling that the first words out of the right leaning blogs are typically lets keep the families in our thoughts and prayers....while the "progressives" have been saying "See, the evil right did this..."

  5. Michael- Wrong. The cons are trying to be quiet and be PC in the hopes that the media finds a new hobby and the memory goes away. Because that strategy has worked well for them when someone inevitably takes their brutal rhetoric to heart.

    Not this time. The blink test often works, and it does here. Let's not wait for the next preventable tragedy to have the long-overdue discussion we need. Sometimes raw emotions lead to the best solutions, because you don't have time to make up excuses and BS on what really happened.

  6. Jake: I think it could be argued (either way) That RAW emotion is what led to this...The way I see it right now is that his raw emotional hatred of politics in general and apparently Democrats in particular....coupled with obvious mental illness led to this tragedy.

    And you mean to tell me that your very first thought was NOT to say a little prayer for the victims?


  7. Frankly Chris, this is just f*cked up. The guy was mentally screwed up, and did a horrific thing. To blame other people because of "fiery" rhetoric is just pure BS.

    You're simply trying to score cheap political points on the bodies of innocent victims, and that is shameful.

  8. "And you mean to tell me that your very first thought was NOT to say a little prayer for the victims?"

    My very first thoughts were that of shock, anger, and outrage. I guess that makes me abnormal or something.

  9. "My very first thoughts were that of shock, anger, and outrage. I guess that makes me abnormal or something. "

    That's pretty much what I felt, other than a little less shock, because this was quite predictable given the tone and incitement that Tea Party candidates and radio have been feeding for the last couple of years.

    Sure, I wished the best for the victims and their families, but my immediate reaction was "you b*stards!"

  10. @Dan, when have I ever advocated for or used violent language. Here's a hint: Never.


    The guy probably won't get the death penalty due to his insanity. But if Arizona is like Texas and doesn't understand mental health issues, I won't cry for him either.

    But we were praying for the end of the rhetoric for years, while the right mocked us for it. And considering that this is only the latest in a long string of violent acts tied in with the over-the-top rhetoric from the right, the teabaggers, talk radio and Faux News, I for one am damn sick and tired of it.

    If the right wing extremists don't want to take ownership of their behaviors, that's just too damn bad. But this crap has to stop! How many nine year old girls have to die before you understand that?

  11. Eight years. Eight years the left spewed some of the most horrific, hateful rhetoric ever imagined against George W. Bush, and now you have the stones to sling that mud at the Tea Party?

    If we're not supposed to condemn all Muslims because of the actions of a few of them, and we shouldn't cast aspersions on immigrants (legal or illegal) based on the actions of a few, how can you blame the Tea Party as a whole for the actions of one man, who, from all indications, had nothing to do with the Tea Party?

  12. And for eight years, the right were after Clinton and his family. For the last two, it was Obama. But how many times have you heard of a gun-loving, government-hating liberal killing six people and injuring 13 others? How many left wing radio and TV pundits have called for assassinations? How many times do we have to go through this before people realize how they say something is just as important as what they are saying?


    Read and weep, asshole.

    Too bad the county didn't fire you, loser.