Gunned down on the streets of Arizona

I was appalled to read about Arizona Congresswomen Giffords being shot in the head on the street while meeting with her constituents (along with a number of other people, several of whom were killed). I suppose her desire to be available to any of the people she was representing made her vulnerable to attack by somebody who didn’t approve of her politics.

The only emotion I can express other than grief and dismay is disgust: wow, what patriotism! Gunning down a public official in the street? (To say nothing of all the other innocent people – including children – that were hurt or killed.) That sure showed a lot of respect for all our democratic principles, such as committing ourselves to a politics of transparency and openness in an (well, at least theoretically) equal-access public sphere. I can’t say I’m not a bit shocked (and infuriated) by this. (Though, surprised? Unfortunately I can’t say that I am.)

But although this is a terrible, terrible thing to happen, our response to it matters gravely. If in some afflicted person’s mind this act was an act of war, then we must indeed counter the message behind it – but we must do so non-violently. Does this make me furious? Yes, of course. Do I want to lay at least partial blame on the foulmouthed preachers of hate, or the prattlers of religious violence and intolerance pretending to be politicians (Sarah Palin, yes, I’m thinking of you) – or indeed, an entire political party that could barely mask an underlying hatred and the threat of political violence during an election season during which, for the first time in history, a Black man became a credible contender for President of the United States (and how much more infuriating to the rabid-right fringe that he actually won)?

Yes, we have to fight back. We need to fight against intolerance, hatred, and violence – but I’d say it is imperative that we do so non-violently. My way? Well-articulated opposition, massive sub-bass frequencies and underground resistance. G.O.P., you aren’t ready.

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2 Responses to “Gunned down on the streets of Arizona”

  1. atymins13 Says:

    Thank you very much for writing this. I am tired of the Republicans and Tea Partiers in Congress calling actions like these ‘isolated incidents’. It might have been isolated early on, but we can now clearly see the trend. Conservative hate rhetoric is ruining political discourse in our country, and those politicians need to be held responsible. I am ashamed at Sarah Palin and her cronies, and I would hope for an apology soon. There are no words to describe how angry I am right now.
    Thank you.
    Check me out at…
    http://southpawreport.wordpress.com/

    • akivamegatech Says:

      Thanks for checking out my blog and for your comment. The crucial thing about political discourse in a democracy is that the ability for dissent and disagreement should be part of its very fabric. I can disagree with you (or anybody else) as vehemently as I like without having to resort to guns, or any other method of violence.
      I think accountability is needed. We are a nation that is deeply committed to radical freedom, and nowhere more so than on the question of free expression. But the critical thing for anybody of any political position whatsoever is to be given the chance to speak. I think we must ask ourselves why the person who did this chose not to confront Giffords with a well-worded question but with bullets. Conservatives with moral conviction must challenge themselves to bring the hidden violence in their party’s discourse to the harsh light of day.
      P.S. Just visiting your site for the first time – very nice, and well-designed. I’ll add you to the blogroll under the “revolution” header (the politics section) if that’s OK.

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