2011/01/10

Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) shot, survives, but six others dead

A federal judge and a nine-year-old girl are among the deceased from that attack. Newsworks reports that a granddaughter of former Phils manager was also among dead. A suspect is in custody.
More coverage: Heroism from an intern | One Anti-Authoritarian Perspective on the Hierarchy of Violence
I received a very heartfelt note on Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot today.

Federal judge John Roll and five others are among the deceased from that attack.

Yes, unfortunately, Giffords was one of the Congresspeople “targeted” by Sarah Palin who “jokingly” and “light-heartedly” put rifle cross-hairs above several Congressional districts back during the 2010 campaign.

Fox News demonstrated unequivocally that they were all-to-aware of that graphic. When someone mentioned Sarah Palin's name at a vigil, they quickly cut away.

A blogger from Crooks & Liars says: “In one of the most remarkable press conferences I've ever seen, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik called out for an end to the violent rhetoric that leads to acting-out by people who are 'unbalanced' not once, but three times.
Calling Arizona a 'Mecca for prejudice and bigotry', Dupnik spoke sharply about the rhetoric coming from radio and television sources."

Eliminationalist rhetoric explained.

A reprinting of Clinton's speech after the Oklahoma City bombing.

Update: And of course, in what's clearly force of habit, a member of the traditional press corps calls out for calm and civility in the language of false equivalence:

"...we've already heard from some members of Congress who have been on our air earlier today saying that they do hope that this is a wake up call, a wake up call for both parties to try to get out... get the word out their to their supporters, to constituents, to maybe even the blogosphere, which is not easy, to tone it down a little bit."

Of course, it's not a call for the Republican Party, which is broadcasting virtually all of the hatred, to tone it down. No, it's a call for "both side" to tone it down, because, you know, both sides are equivalent and both sides are expressing eliminationist rhetoric.
-------------

Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake concludes


that the fellow who shot Giffords was a lone wolf who was acting on his own and that there's no evidence that Arizona's toxic, hate-filled climate, fueled by the demagoguery of the Republican Party and Fox News, played any significant role in egging him on to do what he did.
Still, it's most interesting and instructive to see how right-wingers reacted to being accused of fostering a climate of hate in which Loughner might have felt that he had been given permission to shoot someone that he disagreed with politically.

Contextualizing the shooting


James and Dave make good points about the hierarchy of violence, and I can't say I disagree, but I'd like to add that the right-wing, Sarah Palin-esque, ie. fascist camp that had been attacking Rep Giffords and reportedly making threatening phone calls, was in fact criticizing her not being racist and militaristic enough.
Certainly the support for the militarization of the US-Mexican border is indefensible, and in the corporate news, we never hear about the many deaths of immigrants trying to cross the US-Mexico border. Or, for example, how bad working conditions are for undocumented workers that many die because of this, while many more suffer terribly --I consider this to be state violence as well, since I think all the anti-immigrant hysteria is pumped up to make immigrants (particularly those without papers) as vulnerable as possible, so that immigrants can be maximally exploited in the workplace.
That said, I see this attack in the context of how the right wing has been stoking and resurrecting this country's dark history of lynch mob style racism and anti-Left violence. Sarah Palin's open appeals to racism and anti-Left sentiment during the presidential campaign against Obama honestly shocked me because the appeals to racism were much more overt than I'd expected. Many obviously hated him simply for being Black (notably Obama has bent over backwards to accommodate white racism, even criticizing Jimmy Carter for describing the Tea Party as racist). A Reuters article reported a few weeks after the election that there had been a mountain of death threats against Obama in the last months of the elections, that escalated in the last few weeks leading up to the 2008 election, and Reuters cited the Secret Service as officially attributing it to Sarah Palin.
My point here is that during the 2008 election and post election the right has become even more overtly fascist, and this shooting should be seen in the context of this. Rep Giffords was hated by the right wingers because she did not support SB 1070 and supported mainstream immigration reform. This was too much for them. Even though radicals think she should not support militarization of the border and the many murderous Drone attacks, she was considered too far left by the Tea Party crowd.
And, this, I think is quite significant.

No comments: