My first FB post on Saturday:
I've decided that I'm a coffeetarian. I just finished worshipping at my coffee shrine (my morning latte) and I am filled with light and love. And lots of nervous energy!
Then, as the news came in about the shooting in Tucson:
I have to rant here - WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE!!!! Are we moving into sectarian war here, like in Iraq? What political end could possibly justify this shooting? Do we now need to profile for conservative wingnuts, and put them in camps? Are they purposefully creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, to start a culture war? This is abominable!!!! If the GOP and every TP leader doesn't come down hard on this, they are complicit.
Guilty as charged of over-reaction and blame-throwing. Maybe I should have had a little less coffee.
But as we backtrack and re-assess and try to come up with conclusions, there are still a few points I want to make, before all is cleaned up nice and pretty.
1. The lack of gun laws in Arizona made this possible. Semi-automatic weapons belong in war and law enforcement, not in the hands of any unstable individual who can walk into a store and buy one. If the shooter had to stop to reload, the judge, the child and the community outreach person might still be alive. If both sides in Congress don't realize that this is something that should be done in response to this shooting, then we need to start calling them to insist on it.
2. It is ONLY on the Right that violent insurrection is being trumpeted, no matter what the trolls and apologists say. I don't know the stats, but I am sure that upwards of 95% of hate-speech, personal threats, gun-waving and actual attacks are made by the right-wing. Making up shit is the specialty of Fox and the Tea Party. I don't feel we have anything to apologize for, Olbermann notwithstanding. Liberals are pro-government, pro-policy solutions, pro-tolerance, pro-diversity and pro-gun regulations, by definition. Not to mention pro- helping people in need. Even if the current crop of legislators are more pro-corporation than the country needs, still, they are not unhinged like Bachmann et al.
Where are the hate groups on the left, Where are the left-wing militias? If there were any, I'd hear of them. I admit, I loved the Weathermen in college. I admit, Gotta Revolution was my favorite song in the 60s - but that was effing 50 years ago! And the world was a vastly different place. I admit, I get really angry at the right-wing and their hate speech. But I don't ever act on it and I wouldn't ever exhort someone to act on it. I feel like spitting on Palin's shoes, not threatening her life (not that I would bother to get close enough to do it, or really why expend any bodily fluids on her at all). Sure, that makes me a violent liberal.
And if I were in public office - a position of extreme responsibility - I would understand that my words would be taken seriously by all. That is where the GOP, Fox, the Tea Party and so-called religious leaders fail. That is how they are complicit, no matter how hard they deny it.
So, was I guilty of over-reaction? Check. Did I toss blame around and endorse extreme government reprisals when I should have waited to see what was true? Double Check. I only reprint my statement to point out that I am capable of anger and knee-jerk reactions, like anyone. Guilty as charged. I apologize to all of you for that.
But am I equally to blame for hate speech that proposes taking the law into our own hands? Did I make statements that were threatening to individuals (other than spitting on them)? Did I support government overthrow? Did I propose gun use or bomb use? Did I threaten to stalk or sexually abuse those who disagree with me? No, I don't think so. Our own OS trolls did that in spades, far, far more threatening and disgusting, far far more reactionary - when it wasn't their representative or their political party that was attacked. So I want to take a stand here for liberals. No matter what the politics of the shooter in Tucson, we didn't whisper in his ear, or give him tacit permission to take matters into his own hands. We are not guilty of that.