Skip to content

I Don’t Know What to Call You

January 8, 2011

This afternoon, a beautiful energetic young woman named Gabrielle Giffords was shot at a

Another Victim of Political Hate Mongering

political rally in Tuscon, AZ. She would have been 41 years old this coming June and had narrowly won re-election to the US House of Representatives in November. She was a Democrat, pro-choice, an advocate for health care reform and a critic of what she saw as overzealous immigration laws. She was the first Jewish Congresswoman elected by Arizona and was married to astronaut Mark Kelly.

She was also one of the prominently “cross-haired” politicians on Sarah Palin’s notorious congressional “hit list.” According to reports, four others have died because they were with her.

I’m still in shock. I vividly recall the admonitions from political commentators on the left when the SARAHPAC map came out. I also recall the dismissive commentary from the right about how the progressives had no sense of humor and why they were stretching when they raised objections to rhetoric like “take ’em out” and “they’re in our sights.”

I believe that the progressive democratic agenda is better for the country than conservative republican alternatives. I hold these beliefs strongly, but I do not berate or dehumanize those who feel differently. Yet every time I try to engage those who disagree with me in a conversation about the merits of alternative issues I’m met with ad hominem slurs and invitations to move to Russia if I don’t like it here.

What do I call you then, you speakers of hate and purveyors of fear? To give you a label is to engage in your own dismissive behavior. To answer you with reason and calm discourse is to invite your further abuse.

Today I am distraught. It was not a single assassin who strode into that rally on a peaceful Saturday afternoon in Tuscon and fired a gun at a beautiful and articulate young woman because of her beliefs. It was a deliberately generated wave of emotion that has swept over the political landscape and has now colored our streets with blood.

Your metaphor has become the reality and its name is murder.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: