Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notes
Saturday, January 08, 2011
IN THE CROSS HAIRS
You can click on this picture for a better view. It is from Sarah Palin's political action committee web site during the recent election where she "targeted" Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) for being taken out. Palin urged followers to "reload" and "aim" for Democrats. Notice the gun site cross-hairs for each candidate on the list. Apparently since the shooting in Tucson, Arizona today of 18 people, including Rep. Giffords, Palin has taken this graphic down from her web site.
Palin, and much of the right-wing in the U.S., has recently been celebrating the joys of guns and routinely used shooting metaphors and violent images when they talk about their political opposition. There can be no doubt that the right-wing in this country is fostering a violent political culture. Thus it is sadly no surprise today when this killer goes on the rampage and kills six people, including a nine-year-old girl.
At one campaign event held by Rep. Giffords in August 2009 the threat of violence led her aides to call the police after one attendee dropped a gun. In last November's election she was hounded constantly by Tea Party members, some of whom were photographed firing rifles at a shooting range while wearing her Republican opponents campaign T-shirt. The Republican governor of Arizona has encouraged armed vigilantes to "patrol" the border between Mexico and Arizona as part of her anti-immigrant policies.
Pima County sheriff, Clarence W. Dupnik offered an emotional indictment of the state of political discourse. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately, I think Arizona has become sort of the capital, we have beome the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry,” he said. “There’s reason to believe that this individual might have a mental issue, and I think that people who are unbalanced might be especially susceptible to vitriol.”
Any self respecting politician should be calling for a scaling down of the aggressive violent talk in U.S. politics today.
We don't yet know much about the killer except that he has had some "anti-government" ideas on the Internet and that he had been rejected for military service.
I am indeed worried that we are going to see more of this as the economy continues to collapse and more "angry" people turn to violence. The worst part is that politicians like many on the right, including Palin, are making a living encouraging this political violence.
The public must speak out loudly against this violent culture that is deep in America's core.Below is a video from 2010 where Rep. Giffords was interviewed after her office was attacked because of her vote on health care.