Sunday, January 09, 2011

Anger, Revisionism and Terrorism

People who know me, either in real life or maybe just online, know I have a bad temper.

In response to a particularly egregious court verdict in 1995, I wrote the following:

In response to my anger, I won't go out and get a gun. I won't bomb a building. I won't hack my parents or husband or child to death. I'll just write, talk and keep writing and talking until this passes.

The mass shooting by a domestic terrorist in Arizona on January 8 makes me very angry for a number of reasons. Its chilling effect on societal freedoms. Its sheer waste. Its reason for happening.

I do not believe the Tea Party is completely culpable for this event, but they are partially responsible. Ultimate, the shooter himself is responsible for buying a legal semi-automatic weapon (with help from the NRA and the Republican party for keeping gun laws so loose), taking it to a public event, trying to kill Gabreille Giffords, a moderate Democratic Representative, then spraying the audience with the gun, killing at least six and wounding a total of 19. A Federal judge (ironically, who'd ruled against background checks for gun buyers), a 9-year-old child (ironically, born on 9/11/01) and four others were murdered in cold blood - but seem to have been "collateral damage."

So how is this not a terrorist act? If an Islamic man did this, Americans wouldn't hesitate to call this an act of terrorism. They'd scream for vengence.

But if people point out:

that the Arizona shooter was an anti-government type [[who praised Palin -- the Palin comment may be a rumor; I was wrong to have included an unverified rumor]]

that Sarah Palin had marked 20 Democratic Congressional
representatives for electoral removal - by using the
cross-hairs symbol (this graphic was, of course,
removed from Palin's Website by late in day on 1/8,
but we should never forget that it was up for many
months and was seen by many thousands if not
millions of people) [[her later "surveyor's symbols" comments have been generally denied by surveyors]]

that Jesse Kelly, Gabrielle's opponent in the 2010 election,
held a campaign event that was advertised with
this line: "Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office
Shoot a fully automatic F16 with Jesse Kelly." This
archival calendar item was removed on 1/8.

that the atmosphere in Arizon is so poisonous that even the
sheriff of Pima county has said that political vitriol
was partially responsible for the shooter's rampage.

We're accused of politicizing a tragedy.

I don't believe that. The same people who think America should be run by the Tea Partiers also don't hesitate to blame Obama for every problem this country's had over the last two years, seeming to forget that the wars and the economic catastrophe started in the Bush administration.

[[Added later]] And, frankly, I think many Tea Partiers would love to see a revolution in this country - but don't have the legitimate political clout to do anything more than be obstructionists and cause problems locally.

So should we thank them for the reassurance that the attempted murder of Congressional Representative who'd been "targeted" by Palin and the Tea Partiers and shot by an anti-government white guy who then kept shooting is in no way political and is in no way terroristic?

I have a bad temper, and another thing that brings it out is revisionism. Usually, if I've gotten mad or been wrong about the wrong person/thing online/in real life, I've never gone back and re-edited my Website or my life. When real people are involved, I've often had to apologize. Sometimes, I've said, "I was wrong about X." Sometimes, I've changed my behavior about X. But I will always admit to and own my anger - I might have been wrong, but I won't lie about it. But it's amazing how quickly the Tea Partiers have been scrubbing their old publicity to make it seem that they never tried to equate guns with removing people from office.

I don't hear or see the Tea Partiers apologizing for any of the inciting speech they've been engaged in. Because they will never take any responsibility for their part in this act of domestic terrorism. [[Added later]] The one good thing about this horrific event was the way that Sarah Palin has finally demonstrated that she is completely unelectable, and most Republicans may finally realize this. Her attempts to make herself a victim in all this is simply appalling. She's done nothing but demonstrate she has no grasp of history. Eight years of Bush should have proven that it's dangerous to have an ignorant person as president.

A few months ago, I attended the Rally 4 Sanity in Washington. It was a great day for people who want to try to find solutions to our country's problems rather than encourage constant vitriol.

After an event like the Arizona terrorism incident, we do have every right to be angry. But I don't think we should be eterally angry. We should try to channel our anger in rational ways, not in terroristic ways.

[[Added later]] I was relieved to see the rational way many Arizonans welcomed President Obama to Arizona when he attended a service in honor of the shooting victims. I hope many of them become more politically active so Arizona has more balanced leadership.


Keeba Smith said...

Mrs. Mann,
This is neither hate mail nor an angry response, but just one that I deem a commonsense point of view. It shouldn’t matter that I mention that I am Black, but for the moment, it does.
When the O.J. Simpson case was decided, I was neither sad nor glad as I felt that the decision was based on the jury’s findings. When the Casey Anthony case was decided, I wasn’t sad or mad, but again felt that the jurors had done their job.
We, the voice of public opinion, condemned O.J. and Casey Anthony BEFORE that had been given the opportunity to be judged before their peers. That has occurred and whether we like the outcome or not, we must appreciate the fact that the judicial system worked fairly in BOTH cases. I say this because the jurors in either case didn’t find them guilty because we did or did not want them to, but that they didn’t have the evidence to ALLOW them to.
I was SO sure O.J. would be found guilty because I felt that a “White system” often works against a Black person. I’m glad I was wrong; not because a Black man was acquitted, but that a Black man received a fair trial.
Days before the verdict was read in the Casey Anthony trial, I knew that if the jurors voted based on the evidence and not with their hearts she would be found not guilty. In my office, I think I was the only one who was not surprised. I never thought “the system” worked in favor of a White person, but that it worked as a sign of justice for a woman [of ANY color].
I believe the jurors in both cases did their jobs and it is my hope and prayer that everyone in these divided states receives the same unbiased verdicts from all juries.
In the O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony trial, I can honestly say and feel that the system works. However, I didn’t say that I believe they’re innocent. (smile) I just believe there wasn’t enough evidence to prove their guilt in the stated charges.
Mrs. Mann, I don’t know you, but after watching “In Cold Blood: The Charles Stuart Case” I ran across your site, and found it intriguing. Anyway, I don’t believe you’re any more racists than I am, however, I have inherited some of my Father’s not so likeable traits. (Ha!) I am not a people-person of any sorts of race. Often people see me as a cynic whereas I know I’m a realist. (smile)
Anyway, SOME Blacks hate when Whites think O.J. should have been found guilty, however I see it as difference of opinion. In my opinion, O.J. received a fair trial and based on the evidence, the jurors found him not guilty. And if I were one of the jurors in his trial, Casey Anthony’s or any other [trial], I would have to do my job no matter what the public may think.
Thanks for allowing me to ramble.

Laurie Mann said...

I still feel the evidence demonstrated both were guilty. In the case of OJ Simpson, when people first said he might have committed the murders, I was appalled. But once people started talking about the evidence, it convinced me he was guilty. I also think Casey Anthony was guilty.

By the way, I don't believe everyone brought to trial is guilty. I know sometimes cases against people are fabricated. This seems to happen more to defendants who are poor or who are minorities