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Friday, July 24, 2015

Extreme Political Views

Some months ago, when the Pam Geller inspired shooting happened in Texas, I wrote a blog post about the many terrorist acts in America since 9/11. Not surprisingly (to those not desperate to live in an alternate reality), the overwhelming majority of those attacks have been tracked to right-wing hate groups or those who follow right-wing 'media.' Then last month I did a piece for my Dear Media: series about the fact that we are never informed of the terrorists who don't meet the very narrow definition of the terrorists we want to believe in. As I wrote both I felt like my writing was irrelevant. And both times, I was pretty much right.

The same week as I wrote my Dear Media piece last month, we had the tragic massacre in South Carolina. Again, no one told us that the killer was a terrorist. The media literally tripped all over themselves to determine whether or not he was a terrorist because it seemed like maybe he was, but they didn't want to be too hasty in assigning labels.

When we, as a society, are desperate to tell ourselves that we live in a post-racial era, we ignore racism to feed our need to hold onto our irrational and childlike fantasies. We do the same thing when we see repeated acts of terrorism and allow them to be called anything else. When the terrorist is a white man he is, undoubtedly, suffering from mental health issues. He is always a lone wolf, as well. It is curious that the shooter who killed 5 Marines one week ago suffered from documented mental health issues but very few outlets reported that information. The obvious correlations to his family having come from Kuwait were identified almost immediately and since then we have only been offered supposition based on where he really visited while he was in the Middle East last year.

We will never find a way to stop these events from happening if we limit our definition of a terrorist as one who comes from another country or worships another God. Earlier this month a white man from Tennessee was let out of jail after having been arrested plotting a massacre of Muslims in New York state with an undercover FBI agent and others. The judge determined that,"(The government) has not shown by clear and convincing evidence defendant's release would pose an unreasonable danger to the community or any particular individual," even after his own attorneys admitted he posed a genuine threat. Lest there be any confusion as to how extreme his plans were, these were his recorded words:
“When we meet in this state, the people we seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them, and we will burn down their buildings. If anyone attempts to harm us in any way, our stand gunner will take them down from 350 yards away. The standoff gunner would be me.”
Last night another white man who has been inspired by right-wing rhetoric attempted a mass killing. He was able to kill 2 women and injure 9 others then eventually killed himself when the completion of his plot had been foiled. We were immediately informed by the media of his mental health diagnoses. I have yet to hear a major media outlet tell us about his political views, however. I have heard that he was 'extremely political.' I have heard that he had 'radical political views.' But no one has explained what those views are. Sadly, as with our desire to really just not know about racism and gun violence, no one wants to hear about where these ideas are bred, manipulated and disseminated throughout our society.

Here we see that he was in a Facebook group called "I Hate Liberals." I will quickly admit I am in a Facebook group called "I Hate Republicans." I will then advise that I have never heard of a flaming Liberal committing extreme violence in defense of or because of their views. If anyone sends me information, I will update and cite right here, I promise.

In the Raw Story article herewe learn that he had very extreme views of the US Government and the fears which are presently being offered by the right-wing radio hosts like Michael Savage, Alex Jones and the like. Below he said that death is soon coming on the 'financially failing filth farm called the US." When people can ask themselves the question, "How will we be able to identify those with extreme views before they commit such atrocities," but then refuse to answer the question with something along the lines of, "They are all listening to the same constant drone of hateful rhetoric," we will continue to allow our citizens to be taken out, one by one or two by two, by those whose hatred is fed in these protected institutions of right-wing hate and propaganda.

 Of course, those who are willing to believe and follow these spin doctors tell themselves that those on the left hate America. This came just one week before he determined that we were living in a 'filth farm' which deserved to soon die. I will gladly assume that the people who passionately follow the hate on the right are suffering from mental health issues. I don't say that to be mean. I suffer from some pretty profound issues, myself (of course, my personality points inward instead of out; a clear difference between left and right). If you can be led to believe in myriad conspiracies passed around and find your way to a place where you think that random people should die and further justify your own right to kill them, you are not in the right frame of mind, regardless of your national origin or your religion.

Until American society embraces the actual definition of terrorist and allows themselves to see that the same talking points Isis are offering to those who join them are those dog whistles (if only using different words) being sent out by our right-wing propagandists while instilling similar fears, we will continue to have no way of dealing with these issues because we refuse to answer the questions we are asking ourselves.

What an absolute clusterfuck we allow ourselves to endure instead of admitting our own complicity and tolerance of what we create.

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