Sunday, January 09, 2011

Some People Are Just Fucking Nuts

While we were standing in our backyard yesterday, deciding on where we were going to put the new foundations for our old sheds, we heard sirens screaming in the near distance. We knew something was wrong and only found out minutes later, when my sister-in-called to tell us that our Congresswoman had been shot.

After getting more information, we found out that nineteen people were shot. SHOT. Just two miles from where we stood. Of the six people that died, one of them was a 9-year-old little girl who knew my brother's family and my nephews. It was horrible news.

I'm not really going to write much about the incident here, since it's being covered everywhere, but to me it really is about political rhetoric; how people process what they hear and how hateful speech coming from the right actually does affect people more than they think.

Bill Clinton gave a speech last year marking the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombings. He said, “The words we use really do matter. There’s this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike.” The writer of the article went on to say that you “never know exactly what hate speech produces, but why risk its interaction with underlying mental illness?” Mental illness or not, it doesn’t take much for someone, for instance, to take stupid Sarah Palin’s “cross-hairs” map seriously.

When you have MILLIONS of people (three to FIVE million) people listening to you everyday, reading your website or watching your television show, you do have a certain level of influence. It's unfortunate, and beyond comprehension, but people listen to Glenn Beck. They quote Bill O’Reilly. They show up to rallies put on by Sean Hannity. And they consider voting for Sarah Palin.

Our Sheriff Dupnik described Arizona as a “mecca of prejudice and bigotry”. From Jan Brewer on down, the hatred from the right doesn’t stop. From an article in our local paper, "Trent Humphries, co-founder of the Tucson Tea Party, says his in-box has been jammed since Dupnik’s remarks with messages telling him he has blood on his hands or that he and his family should have been the ones killed.”

See what I mean? In the wake of this tragedy, Teabaggers are saying the Sheriff’s family should be killed. Seriously?????

More people should follow Sheriff Dupnik’s lead and PUBLICLY denounce hate speech and violent political rhetoric. Right-wingers can deny it all they’d like, but all you have to do is watch video from a Tea Party rally to hear the disgusting way people talk, inciting hatred without anyone stepping up to tell them it’s wrong.

In the same article talking about Bill Clinton’s comments, I read that “Conservatives like to argue that these are isolated incidents carried out by lunatics and therefore carry no big lessons (unless the perpetrator is Muslim, in which case it’s terrorism); liberals view them as opportunities to address various social ills.”

That’s the damn truth. It’s NOT an isolated incident. All these little “isolated incidents” they speak of, are the result of SOCIAL ILLS.

And we should ALL be addressing them. Because the nuts aren't just the ones with the guns.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
7am In Beantown
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Taking A Moment To Enjoy Nature Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
Pull Up A Chair
4 YEARS AGO:
Brad Blows
5 YEARS AGO:
Expressly American

8 comments:

tannedon said...

Oddly enough I was thinking about partisan politics this morning when I woke up. It occurred to me that each one of us has developed our political leanings from our upbringing and our life experiences. Sort of like prescription glasses, the older you get the stronger your glasses get. The trick is, you have to take those glasses off, yes things will be blurry to you, but maybe if you squint real hard you might be able to see things a different way. Salena and I have never met, and are polar opposites in our political views, but that does not mean a thing to me. We have struck up a very viable friendship. She has shown unbelievable kindness and support to my family and I will never be able to thank her and Ed enough. I don't view her through "my glasses" and I don't think she does me either. I guess that makes us a microcosm of what I wish the country could be.

The Daily Rant said...

Tannedon: Thank you for saying this. And I agree. I think we have struck up a viable and valuable friendship.

Your family has become part of my life in that I now interject stories about the "kids" or wonder where they are and what they're up to, or I say "Kendall's mother said..." when talking to my own mother.

I don't view you through a political pair of glasses and don't think that you need to be like me to be liked, loved or accepted. I have many friends and family members who share the same political views you do.

I wish the country could be as you described, and I'm sure people who have relationships like ours, think it is. The bigger problem is the people who have the ear of the nation and with their television shows, reach millions. They really need to temper what hatred they put out there. This is not a "free speech" issue. Just because speech is free, it shouldn't be used to spread hate and dissent among people.

A friend of mine just said in an email to me last night, "Words are powerful, that's the basis of spin. Say something long enough and loud enough and it is fact."

Not only is that true, it's also a bit frightening.

Jeni said...

Remember the old line we were often taught as children when others were picking on us or in some instances, even bullying us -"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." My Mom used to tell me that all the time and wanted me to practice that theory but somehow, it was too much of a bitter pill to swallow because name-calling, "simple" name-calling also hurt and it hurt a lot. Fast forward then to the verbal abuse that existed in my marriage and the ramifications of that on my own state of mind and I realized -again-how difficult it can be to deal with something like harsh words. So yes indeed, words are a very powerful entity and should be used very carefully! Who knows what issues lurk in others minds that can easily then be turned and twisted simply by our words and look at the havoc then that this has the potential to create.
You are spot-on with this post and I hope if even just a few people read this and understand how easily they can turn a situation into something terrible simply by a few poorly chosen words, then that is a good accomplishment for you.
Peace!

Anonymous said...

maybe your sheriff should try telling the truth....the killer never listened to talk radio according to his best friend....get the facts straight b4 you run your mouth...

The Daily Rant said...

Anonymous: The Sheriff DID tell the truth - Arizona is a mecca of prejudice and bigotry.

The point was that hate speech and violent political rhetoric should be PUBLICLY DENOUNCED - specifically and especially by leaders in politics or the community.

And I didn't SAY that the killer listened to talk radio. I said that right wing talk radio keeps the hate alive. They revel in it. They directly incite it.

Why don't you try to COMPREHEND what I wrote before YOU run YOUR mouth??

Anonymous said...

did you say that and believe it when you and the democrats and people like micheal moore were bashing bush and were openly calling for his death?

Anonymous said...

Michael Moore never called for Bush's death nor did any democrats that I know of.
-Ron

The Daily Rant said...

Thank you Ron. I thought the same thing and was looking online and Googling like crazy trying to find something, but I couldn't find anything.

Maybe Anonymous can provide us with that information?