Monday, 10 January 2011


Approaching the massacre in Arizona from very different perspectives, both Randy and Soraya have made valid points. Soraya is correct to stress that if the the assassin was a Muslim the entire nation would have raised hell about "Islamic Terrorism in our homeland" and the Obama administration would have suffered the political consequences. Politically, the US would have moved farther to the right, providing ample ammunition to TEA PARTY fanatics and anti-Islam elements of all shades in an already anti-Islam environment.

If the assassin was black or Hispanic, his identity would have been a major issue, whereas a white Anglo-Saxon male receives the fully justified label 'mentally ill' without the ethnic stigma attached. This is the reality of America, and in fact the reality of Europe, had this taken place in any European nation.

Randy makes the point that the Liberals and the Liberal media are guilty for promoting violence through their own aggressive rhetoric against their political opponents. To prove his points, he offers examples of statements that a number of Democrat politicians and commentators have made about right-wingers like Sarah Palin and organizations like the NRA, the organization that Liberals love to vilify. I agree with Randy that indeed this is exactly the case as he outlines it.

A mentally deranged individual (white Anglo-Saxon male) kills six people and injures 14, including a young elected official of Congress, and immediately the biased Liberal media takes advantage of the tragedy to bring down the TEA PARTY movement and vilify America's holiest institutions, namely, the NRA and the Republican party. How dare the Liberals (mis) behave in such biased manner amid a national tragedy, not realizing the Conservatives would never imagine to do so if the assassin was a Muslim or black and had carried out the exact same acts targeting a Republican congressman?

The reality is that the Liberal establishment will and it should take advantage of this tragedy just as the Conservative establishment would have done. That Rep. Giffords will live - thank God - the Democrats will definitely have an even stronger case against the TEA PARTY for the massacre in Arizona. Why would anyone expect the Liberal establishment to behave any differently than the Republican opposition? After all, we have a presidential election in 2012 and the Democrats proved weak in the November 2010 mid-term election.

In my view, the larger and the only issue is VIOLENCE IN AMERICA that transcends political parties; violence that has long historical roots; violence that is ubiquitous and it seems to be a part of how conflict is resolved, not merely by those who are mentally unbalanced and easily obtain a gun to shoot their way out of their misery, but by an entire country that has evolved increasingly into a police-military state owing to the war on terrorism and the meaningless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which the US has lost and have contributed to the global economic contraction.

Randy is right that violent rhetoric is a part of some Liberals and certainly of some rappers who use song as a vehicle to convey a message of social protest in a manner that glorifies violence,often for its own sake. VIOLENCE SELLS because it is a part of commerce - it is in video games that young children play, in schools, in the internet, motion pictures, TV that everyone watches, in best selling novels, in magazines, in newspapers (both Liberal and Conservative papers), in foreign wars that the US is engaged, in the war on terrorism, and in the manner the police treat minority suspects.

Violence is at the heart of American commercial culture.  An integral part of society, the CULTURE OF VIOLENCE injured 14 people, it killed the nine-year girl, the judge, and four other innocent people in Arizona.  In the past few decades, there have been many incidents of individuals - from postal workers to college students and unemployed men -  taking a gun (readily available) and deliberately or indiscriminately shooting at people for they are the products of a culture of violence it glorifies in direct and subtle ways.

If Randy Black is trying to find the real villain in this tragedy, he will not find him either in the Liberal or Conservative establishment, he will not find it in the NEW YORK TIMES or in Michelle Obama complaining about blacks' right to secure jobs merely because of their skin color instead of competing on merit. The answer to the transparent puzzle is in the deleterious culture of violence that characterizes America more than any other civilized nation on earth. At 90%, (no advanced country comes close)  the US has the highest per capita of gun owners in the world, and the highest prisoner population per capita in the world at 715 per 100,000, while Canada has 116 per 100,000, and Norway 64 per 100,000.

1 comment:

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