I wonder how many people have to die before people realize words have power.
How many mothers, fathers, unarmed civilians have to die before people understand that some rhetoric isn’t just inflammatory, it’s lethal? I’m convinced that as long as domestic terrorists are sad white men using guns, the GOP won’t be too worried about whoever they kill—at least not worried enough to do anything about it.
Americans like bombers. Bombers are easy to blame, easy to hate. They’re extraordinary. You make a bomb purposefully; you have to look up how to make it. No one casually becomes a bomber.
But guns seem to be more American than America itself. We’ve made our lifeblood out of gun powder and sweat. Guns never kill people (they just expedite the process).
There’s a reason why black men who open carry get arrested and white men get questioned. A quick Google search will show you case after case of people obeying the law getting shoved to the ground and arresting for exercising their right to bear arms.
In reality, the right to bear arms is a white thing. Black people can own guns, but at their own risk. If they get shot with their own gun? “They deserved it. They were probably criminals anyway.” A white person shot with their own gun? “That’s a tragedy.”
Do we blame guns or bad rhetoric or the person who slaughtered so callously? The answer is they’re all to blame, in different portions.
The Center for Medical Progress (a misnomer at best, a right out anti-choice lie at worst) released videos that spread lies and made abortion providers even more targeted than before.
Violence against abortion providers isn’t new by any means. Dr. Barnett Slepian was murdered in his home in 1998, Dr. George Tiller was murdered during his church’s worship service in 2009. One of the doctors in the videos from CMP was forced to flee her home and hire around the clock security.
The GOP has made slamming Planned Parenthood a daily game. Carly Fiorina swears up and down she saw a fetus being murdered outside of its mother’s body in the CMP video, despite the fact that that footage exists nowhere. In the aftermath of the attack in Colorado Springs, she blamed “typical left-wing tactics” for linking the shooter to anti-abortion rhetoric.
If the shooter sounds like anyone, he sounds like her, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson. Even Mike Huckabee declared this man was a domestic terrorist.
And all of this is before you even delve into the hypocrisy of a pro-lifers that often tries to defund contraceptive services while supporting war and the death penalty.
These videos and political rhetoric have created a fireball of hatred and fury that caused a man to kill three people over some donated tissue.
Words are powerful and dangerous. I can shout from the roof tops how I feel about things, but I must acknowledge what my words can do. Fiorina and her lot are wholly unready to accept accountability for the hate they’re flaming, and the next victim could very well be someone you love.