I have written several times about the rhetoric from the GOP candidates and how it feeds hate. Unfortunately, Friday we saw another example that hate causing harm. Since the attacks, the GOP candidates have spoken. Well, they have kind of spoken.
The only one so far who has called this attack at Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs a “domestic terrorist” attack was, surprisingly Mike Huckabee. The problem is that in his statement, he also tried to “justify” the attack when he mentioned that it took place at “Planned Parenthood where millions of babies die.” The rest of them are “praying for the victims” or complaining about “left-wing media bias” against conservatives for causing the attack by their rhetoric.
The real cause of this attack is still uncertain. Yes, it was reported that the shooter mentioned “no more body parts” in a police interview after the attack. If that is true, it is a clear reference to the bogus videos a right-wing organization put out last summer. If that is true, then those who produced those videos should be held accountable for this attack as well.
Ever since those bogus videos were released there has been a huge increase in arson and bombing attacks at Planned Parenthood clinics. But somehow, the media isn’t covering those attacks very much. Which means their silence may have also led to this attack.
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered about this particular attack. Why did Dear attack the clinic? What were his motives? How was he able to get his gun? These are all valid questions. The fact that Fox News tried to divert the attack from what it was by suggesting it may have been “a bank robbery gone wrong” only adds to the questions.
Conservatives are saying the videos must not have had anything to do with the attack since Dear didn’t kill any of the clinic personnel. They leave out the part that he tried to enter the clinic, but couldn’t get past a locked door. No one knows how many more people would have been killed if he had entered the clinic fully.
There are some very disturbing things that are coming out. I don’t know how accurate they are, but these details Dear are almost darkly poignant. Dear has a long history of what are delicately called “brushes” with the law, including charges of animal cruelty, domestic violence, and an arrest after being accused of hiding in the bushes and peering at a neighbor. Which is why we must ask “how did he get his gun?”
The real problem we are facing is not just the rhetoric from GOP candidates. It is also their stance on issues that rile up their “base”. It is the hate they are injecting in the political process. It is complaining about “criminals” and “mentally ill” people shooting others “yet refusing to include universal background checks in the purchase of guns. Something that could actually help keep guns out of the hands of people like Dear.
When a Muslim kills someone, it is an obvious act of “terrorism.” We cannot allow refugees into the country because they “may be terrorists.” Yet, the GOP won’t close those loopholes that allow terrorists to purchase guns easily in this country without even having to go through a background check.
I guaranty that if Dear resembled anyone who might be a candidate for “profiling” at an airport security check point, their rhetoric would be all about “terrorism.” But, since this attack took place at Planned Parenthood, Dear is just “deranged” or a “murder” but not a terrorist.
When candidates use “debunked” videos as fact, when candidates openly lie on a debate stage (Carly Fiorina) about the videos and what they contain, they are feeding the hate. Hate makes people act and use what is being said as “justification” for their actions. I would say the same thing if any Democrat said similar things. Feeding hate in order to get votes is just wrong.
As I said, this is not an isolated case. Workers at abortion clinics have been harassed and threatened for years by the “religious right.” They have been victims of “domestic terrorism” for years. The people who post names and addresses of those who work at these clinics are trying to get them injured or killed. There is no other reason for posting that information. Who else would be interested in where a nurse lives? Only those who wish them harm.
Yet, these same GOP candidates don’t have a problem with this practice. Their words and actions approve of it. They are just as guilty as those who post the information in hopes someone will act on it. When they do, these same candidates “will offer prayers” for the victims. The victims they caused!
As I said, there are still a lot we don’t know about this attack. We don’t know what the reason for it was. We don’t know exactly what led Dear to kill three people and shoot several more. However, where he made his attack speaks volumes to his motives regardless of what everyone thinks.
I predicted that violence will increase as this election cycles moves along. The attack at Planned Parenthood is not isolated in this uptick in violence. There have been mass shooting in New Orleans and other cities. Today the University of Chicago cancelled classes because of a threat of gun violence.
Yes, the violence is increasing and the GOP remains silent about it. The violence is taking people’s lives, and the only thing the GOP can say is that we “pray for the victims.” While they “pray” more people are becoming victims and the GOP blames the victims for their plight.
Until these candidates own up to their complicity in these tragic events, it will continue and it will get worse. Whether you are spreading hate about abortion providers, gays, Muslims, African-Americans, atheists, liberals, or anyone else, you are promoting violence.
Sorry, but so far the real “un-Americans” in this election are on the GOP side of the aisle. If they keep up their hate speech, the “shirts” will continue to march and we are all in danger of becoming a victim.