Friday, June 19, 2009

Sara at Orcinus says it far better than I could.

I have struggled for a long time to know how to address, coherently that is, the craziness that has sent insane people into the streets to kill innocent folks, folks they thought God wanted them to kill.

Sara, writing at Orcinus this morning, says it far better than anyone I have heard yet. You can read her words here.

I read her and her partner Dave quite often and find them to be well-informed, thoughtful, and perceptive. Also bitingly cogent and with a minimum of snark.

5 comments:

Joel said...

She does make a few good points, and her lack of snark is commendable. I'm also pleased to see that she doesn't advocate using government force to silence conservatives. I hope that attitude spreads.

I noticed something about this paragraph:
On the right, it's actually hard to name a single major voice who hasn’t called for the outright extermination, silencing, harassment, or killing of liberals. Rush. Bill O’Reilly. Ann Coulter. Sean Hannity. Laura Ingraham. Michelle Malkin. Michael Savage. Glenn Beck. Bernard Goldberg, who has been cited by at least one assassin as the inspiration for his actions. Michael Reagan, just yesterday. This kind of eliminationist language is stock in trade on the right. A lot of them literally cannot get through the week without it.

Not a single link to be found in it. The only one of those that has ever even joked about killing liberals (as far as I can tell) is Ann Coulter. I'd be very interested in seeing some statements to back that up.

Sara wants to hold groups like Operation Rescue and the Minutemen responsible for people who (in the former case) were never associated with the group or (the latter) were being removed from the group for advocating violent or illegal behavior. I don't know much about the Minutemen, but I do know OR has always spoken against violence. How loudly do they have to say it before they can be heard on the left?

As for Von Brunn, I don't see how any case can be made that he was a right-winger, unless the term is so redefined that it can't apply to ordinary conservatives. It's not right-wingers taking to the streets and shouting "Death to Israel." This guy hated Christians almost as much as he did Jews. Yet somehow we egged him on.

I'm not so concerned about what Sara thinks of conservatives. She and I won't agree on most points, which is fine. But I do worry that people will hear things like that and find justification in it for silencing conservatives by government censorship.

ogre said...

How loudly do they have to say it before they can be heard on the left?

When they say it loudly enough--and often enough--that it's clearly for internal consumption, and people like Scott Roeder and others hear that... and not the someone's got to stop those people, since the law won't message that they're hearing constantly.

"Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?" was not an instruction either. But it led, demonstrably and directly, to the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Conservatives need to be aware--very aware--that their words aren't empty air, and that when people hear violent words wrapped around hate-filled ones... there will be consequences.

Lack of links: Remember Rush urging riots in Denver?

But more to the point, Sara's words are "it's actually hard to name a single major voice who hasn’t called for the outright extermination, silencing, harassment, or killing of liberals."

Not *just* killing.

But there's Rush's (or was it O'Rielly? I think Rush) use of "cockroaches" to refer to liberals--a remarkable echo of Radio Rwanda's language... which resulted in at least 800,000 deaths. Hate speech matters.

Sean Hannity's "I advocate parents using FORCE AND VIOLENCE against Superintendent Paul B. Ash..." (here: http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/81839/ )

What would you describe Malkin's posting of individuals home addresses and phone numbers in long rants against them as? Mere tangential information or distributing information that the more lunatic sort will use for death threats, burning crosses, etc?

I'll leave the rest. Michael Savage ought to be an easy case....

bstr said...

Dear Kit, this is not a comment on your post. it is a request. the Edmonds UU is presenting readings from "Heavenly Discourse" for a summer service (8/9) by CES Wood. i should like to quote from your service of oct.21,2007 pg.three, bottom two para. for promotion. ben stewart

ms. kitty said...

Hi, Ben, of course you can! I'm honored to be quoted. Now I have to go look and see what piqued your request!

Joel said...

When they say it loudly enough--and often enough--that it's clearly for internal consumption, and people like Scott Roeder and others hear that... and not the someone's got to stop those people, since the law won't message that they're hearing constantly.

Actually, they're not hearing that constantly. I don't imagine you have much direct experience with the pro-life movement, but I have, and I can tell you that the emphasis is very heavy on (a) changing laws and (b) changing popular opinion about abortion. Not only are most (though not all) pro-lifers members of religions that frown on murder, but on a more practical level, nobody wanted to see another Paul Hill. As long as the abortion industry is both profitable and protected by law, there will always be doctors willing to participate in it. We're not naive enough to think Tiller was the last, or even close to it.

Believe me, Ogre, if there were any toleration of violence within the pro-life movement, we wouldn't have gone this many years between doctor shootings. These people do believe strongly that murder is unacceptable.

On the other side of the coin, the violence against pro-lifers continues unabated, even though seldom reported. My wife used to pray in front of a clinic (not shouting, not waving signs), and she spent a lot of that time with guns pointed at her. Would you hold Planned Parenthood responsible if one of those guns had gone off?

As for your other examples:
Michelle Malkin should have taken down the information when the original posting site did. Of course, her personal information was immediately posted online as well, resulting in death threats against her family that forced her to move and switch her kids to another school. Meanwhile, an article was just posted last week calling for her to be raped, and the response from liberal journalists was that she had it coming. Was that hate speech, or just desserts?

I couldn't find any instance online where Rush referred to liberals as cockroaches, except one passing joke where he described Obama as the giant mutant cockroach and other roaches scurrying away from him. Everywhere else it was liberals calling him a cockroach who needed to be squashed. At the Denver convention, the Democrats were the ones who rioted. I think it's safe to assume they weren't following Limbaugh's lead.

It wasn't Hannity who talked about taking up arms; it was Hal Turner. Who is now rightly in jail for saying the same thing about the Connecticut legislature. (And I say that as a member of the church that that legislature was trying to outlaw.)

Thing is, Ogre, there's a lot of angry rhetoric going around. It stands to reason; if you don't get angry about injustice, you should be. I know you favor gay marriage, yet I'll bet you didn't go spray-painting Mormon temples last fall. Are you to blame because the people who did do it agree with your position? If someone got angry enough at Prop 8 to open fire, would you be to blame then? Would Perez Hilton? Or Pam Spalding? And would we be justified in trying to make the pro-gay-marriage speakers shut up for fear of causing more violence?

Of course not. Reasonable people talk, and vote, and then talk some more. They don't kill. When they do, we jail them.