Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cross-hairs

Sarah Palin needs to take responsibility for posting the map that marked home districts and named the members of Congress who voted for health care with bullseyes shaped like the cross-hairs of a gun sight. Today, her violent incitement came to pass with the shooting in Arizona of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and the killing of six others, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old who were standing in her audience outside a grocery store in Tucson. Just a regular Saturday morning torn apart by gunshots. Thirteen more were wounded by the fire and a young man described as "a fringe character" was arrested. Hate is ugly. And today it was deadly, too.


There it is, the fateful map with Palin's signature for good measure, like marching orders. And there is Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' name, four down on the left. The woman was shot point blank in the head while at a meet-and-greet this morning. She is now fighting for her life, while the right wing disavows any part in her shooting. They forget the rhetoric of hate and the crescendo of fear they have recently conducted like a doomsday symphony. What in hell did Palin and Beck and the Tea Party and Limbaugh and Boehner and the rest of that chorus expect?

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Update on Sunday morning: News reports are that Congresswoman Giffords is responsive and "able to communicate" nonverbally.

An aide for Sarah Palin issued a statement saying her map had nothing to do with guns, it was all a big misunderstanding. Never mind Palin's earlier description of the map as her "bullseye list" and her tweet that said "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: 'Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!' Pls see my Facebook page." Her Facebook page was where her map was posted. As of today, it's still there.

It is emerging that the shooter was possibly an untreated schizophrenic, which as Radish King notes in the comments, circles back to the need for easily accessible health care for those who are mentally ill. This is who Sarah Palin's 'Reload!" mantra is most likely to incite to senseless violence. This is why we need to be more responsible in our public discourse.

And finally, the dead. Among them was an aide to Giffords who was engaged to be married. A federal judge who came by to say hello to the Congresswoman. And 9-year-old girl who had just been elected to her school's student council, whose neighbor brought her to meet Giffords because she thought it would inspire the bright third-grader who was interested in public service. 

In a cruel irony, this little girl was born on September 11, 2001 and was featured in a book called Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11. A short life bracketed by tragedy. Her name was Christina Taylor-Green. Her sweet face is below. 


14 comments:

  1. tragic and deplorable

    thanks for the critically thinking post

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  2. One of my neighbors is on that map. Allen Boyd. He comes to our plays.

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  3. mouse, i'm enough of an optimist to hope this will bring about a cooling of the hate rhetoric. and i'm enough of a pessimist to think it is going to be very hard to climb out of the deep hole we have dug for ourselves.

    Ms. Moon, I am sorry. I hope the Arizona shooting was an isolated thing by a singular mentally ill young man (reports are now coming out that he was very disturbed and likely schizophrenic). It has sure been a brutal few days.

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  4. Palin is insane and terrifying. I get a very bad feeling every time I see her or read anything she's written. The shootings in Arizona are heart rending but as you wrote the young man was most most likely mentally ill (that's kind of a given isn't it?) which circles back to the need for health care for the mentally ill easy accessible health care (I can tell you that trying to navigate DSHS is a nightmare.)

    Our Governor has closed the free clinics in Washington leaving thousands (Seattle is popular with homeless people because the weather is usually temperate and there are lots of densely wooded parks where they can find room to sleep) of street people without their medication. I've been a mentally ill street person. All the people I knew on the street were sick in one way or another most of them had been in and out of institutions their entire lives. It was many years ago but I don't think things have changed that much.

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  5. Rebecca, thank you for this piercing comment.

    Glad you're not in the woods today, and i mean that literally. Figuratively, well, you never know which side of the bed we'll wake up on.

    Hope your Sunday is improving every second.

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  6. A very moving post. But I despair for America when idiots like Palin are reverred by some. Couldn't happen in the UK, or could it.

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  7. This post is very well written. I couldn't agree more with your words. Tragic.

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  8. Hi Ken, so nice to see you here. Congrats on you Blog of Note selection!

    Rotton Mom, such as sad story. Thank God there are happier things happening closer to home!

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  9. Thank you for stating the truth with such eloquence.

    Palin is so frighteningly narrow minded that she is dangerous. Regardless, I have difficulty believing that after this tragedy she could still see the cross hairs on this map as marking targets symbolically.

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  10. Thank you for this very bold post. I hope that you're not just preaching to the choir and that all those who laud the likes of Palin feel shame tonight.

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  11. This is the first I'm seeing of Palin's 'hit list' She's a terrifying woman - highly unintelligent and people adore her. I remember a couple months ago she was applauding a senator for being elected and got his state wrong. She claimed he was from Pennsylvania, but he was from Delaware or something. It just goes to show how much she opens her mouth without knowing.
    What do people have against health care anyway? I don't understand why so many people are opposed to every one being insured...?
    Thank you for the post - for opening up free discussion, for calling out against the hate these people spew.
    -Rachel

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  12. I will share this with you..I had not yet heard of Sarah Palin when she first came on the scene. I sat down to breakfast and the newspaper had her face on it. I glanced at it and I jumped and shuddered, literally. I screeched "who is this woman?" Mike told me what she was doing..I have never been so frightened of a face in my life as I am of that woman's. Her face is dangerous...I'm terrified of a person like her that is such a media hog and please pardon my language here..but she has been called masterbatory fodder for her political whims and party. Heaven help us!

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  13. sorry, Angella if my comment was too strong...but the woman terrifies me and I feel too strongly about it.

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  14. So many of us have had a visceral negative response to this woman. I keep wishing she will leave the stage quietly. She is, I agree, terrifying. Why does she get so much air time??

    Not a peep out of her this week, though.

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