Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A killer of a different color

Because I tend to read a lot of "alternative" news sources, it took me a little while to realize that the MSM has not been giving much coverage to the recent killings at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist church on Sunday. That is to say, they covered the event, and moved on.

But what if the killer was not named "Jim" but was instead named, oh, I don't know -- Abdul? Kamal? Hussein? I suspect we would be seeing stories nightly about how this shooting spree was planned and carried out. We would hear about every move the man made.

Instead, this is what we get from the Washington Post:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., July 28 -- An out-of-work truck driver accused of opening fire and killing two people at a Unitarian Universalist church apparently targeted the congregation out of hatred for its support of liberal social policies, including its acceptance of gays, police said Monday.

A four-page letter found in Jim D. Adkisson's SUV indicated that he targeted the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because "he hated the liberal movement" and was upset with "liberals in general, as well as gays," according to Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV.

Oh, well then. And at the end of the story:
Court records from neighboring Anderson County indicate Adkisson threatened violence against his spouse several years ago.
Instead of simply reporting this case as one deranged individual and moving on, the MSM needs to look at what makes a white man in America feel oppressed. Rather, who makes this member of the most privileged sector of society feel oppressed. But perhaps that is asking too much, given the shades and genders of MSNBC, CNN, FOX, CBS, and ABC. We all saw how threatened the white male anchors were by the successful primary run by Hillary Clinton -- people like Jim Adkisson are listening and reading, and believing these people.

I believe in free speech. But I also believe in responsible speech. And when the hatemongers of the right wing feed on sick and distraught individuals like Jim Adkisson, they have lost their right to free speech. IMHO.

From the Christian Science Monitor:
"There's a whole category of mass killers who are seeking vengeance against a group of people who they feel are taking away their birthright, their opportunities, and making it difficult to succeed," says Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, author of "Extreme Killing." "They don't see themselves as criminals, but ... as striking a measure of justice, winning one for the little guy. This case may show that [Jim Adkisson] perceived that society has been bending backward to favor disenfranchised groups so they're trying to get some justice for their own victimization."


Mary Ellen said...

Hate speech is coming from everywhere, not just the right wing, IMO.

Free speech is supposed to be a right in this country, but with that--as you and many have said, with free speech should come responsibility...AND accountability.

I didn't think about the fact that this guy might be given a pass because he is white but I think you've hit on something important. When you think of it, how many people associate terrorists with guys like Timothy McVeigh who was responsible for the death of 168 people with his bombing in Oklahoma? Not much said about that white guy. Granted, there was a lot of news for a few months afterward, but when the word "terrorist" is brought up, people automatically think of Muslims not a white American.

Also, William Ayers, who was the founder of the Communist Weatherman Underground still is not in the least bit sorry for his part in that group. I guess building a nail bomb to use on innocent people is accepted in this long as you aren't a Muslim.

When Ayers was asked if he had any regrets about what he did in the past, his answer: "I don't regret setting bombs" and "I feel we didn't do enough", and, when asked if he would "do it all again" as saying "I don't want to discount the possibility."

In a PBS interview when asked about his past he said, "I’ve thought about this a lot. Being almost 60, it’s impossible to not have lots and lots of regrets about lots and lots of things, but the question of did we do something that was horrendous, awful? ... I don’t think so. I think what we did was to respond to a situation that was unconscionable."

So, if he thinks that a situation is "unconscionable", it's ok to kill. Isn't that the same thought pattern as the guys who flew into the Twin Towers in NY on 9/11?

....and this guy is still walking free as a bird and accepted into society as a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and good friends with Barack Obama--the guy who is running as a Democrat for President.

The point I was trying to make is that there is hate being spewed from the right, but when a guy like Ayers is giving interviews about how it's ok to throw together some nail bombs that are to be aimed at innocent people because it's all about the "cause", I think we can't pin this on the right's coming from all sides, right-left-and everything in-between.

Oh...and let's not forget about Keith Olbermann who made the comment about guys who should bring Hillary Clinton to some back room and come out alone in order to "convince" her to drop out of the primary race. What the hell...why not rough her up a bit to make her see the light? This came from the left, the "progressive" left.

Sue J said...

Mary Ellen, what you say is very true. I guess I pointed out the right-wing because that's who Adkisson was reading. But there are many so-called "progressives" in this country who have been just as hateful and spoken violently about those with whom they disagree.

Hate speech is vile, no matter who's spreading it.

Anonymous said...

Some of the mainstream media took great pleasure in mocking Air America when it got its start. Now they have an opportunity to point out that hate speech has consequences and they're ignoring it.

That's not to say that each side has its extremes, but the right has had such a lock on this nation's media outlets - especially radio - for so long, this was bound to happen.

Adkisson is a domestic terrorist, but you don't hear him being called that. His choice of weapon was a gun. What if he'd strapped a bomb to himself? Would the media be more apt to call him a terrorist then? Likely no, since his name isn't something foreign and his skin wasn't dark.

In rural America, people have few entertainment and information sources. Broadband is almost impossible, so we even have to take expensive measures to get internet. I buy XM radio because the radio sucks so badly. Now, if my only choices are right-wing hate speech reinforced by FOX News, how is my worldview impacted?

I'm angry. I'm broke. I need someone to blame. Rush, Glenn, Bill-O and Sean tell me who to blame. I have ready access to guns.

I'm a ticking time bomb.

Yeesh - sorry about that.

Sue J said...

And when your food stamps are running out, is it really such a wise idea to spend your money on a shotgun and 76 rounds of ammo?