It’s not a joke anymore. Violence erupted outside a Trump rally in St Louis and a rally later in the evening was canceled, supposedly over security concerns. Where violence inside these rallies has long been ignored the act of it spilling onto the streets has suddenly caught the attention of nearly everyone. This is scary stuff.
Nevermind that it’s been at a boil for months. Somehow, a line was crossed.
This will unquestionably change the nature of the Presidential race, but it’s unclear exactly how at this point. Will it crystallize Republican opposition? Will it escalate by engaging the left? What will the average voter think of this? What will the media report?
The fiery election of 2016 just had a lot of gasoline dumped on it. It’s no longer even remotely predictable.
Another week, another shooting. This one at a Planned Parenthood clinic, leaving three dead. The shooter, as is so often the case, was a white guy – a European-American – who in this case muttered, “No more baby parts” as he was led away. The reports that Planned Parenthood sold aborted fetuses for cash, long proven to be false, may have pushed him over the edge but that may be beside the point.
He was in a murderous state of mind. And that state is remarkably common among people of European descent.
Where we often site “Islamic Extremists” as being particularly violent, history tells us that those of us who come from European stock are much worse. It’s time we confront this problem and stop assigning the characteristic “violent” to others.
Another terrorist attack by Islamic fundamentalists strikes at a great Western institution. More than fragile human bodies, the target is picked out of revenge and the sense of fear it is supposed to instill. But this time, it was not a seat of power or finance that was hit – it was our values.
Free expression is a central value throughout the western world, only accepted after centuries of struggle and violence. It is something that we hold as a “certain unalienable right” at the core of who we are as a people. What exactly that means, however, has been an important question long before these anti-Western reactionaries committed their despicable act.
As we digest the news from the Newtown, Connecticut shooting there is not a parent who is not ravaged deep in their soul at the horror of this event. The reaction so far tells us that this one is different – that this rampage will be the one that finally changes things. I have thought of many things that I want to say to add to the discussion, but all of them feel inadequate.
Let me try to find just a little to add.