Gunmen carried out two assassinations in the United States in 12 days proving that “home-grown” terrorists are ready to act out their hatred of women, African Americans, Latinos, immigrants and people of Jewish background.
On May 31, Dr. George Tiller was shot to death while worshipping at his Wichita church. Tiller’s accused assassin is Scott Roeder, a violent, anti-abortionist who had made repeated death threats against Tiller. He was the fifth physician assassinated, victim of a 35-year campaign of terrorism against women’s reproductive rights. Tiller’s Wichita clinic has now been closed.
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly routinely referred to Dr. Tiller as “Tiller the Baby Killer” and once stopped just short of blurting what he would do “if I could get my hands on” Tiller. His rabid incitements reflected the extremist ideology of Fox owner, Rupert Murdoch. In an interview with AP, Roeder boasted, “I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortions remain legal.”
The shooting death of Security Guard Stephen T. Johns, a Black man, at the Holocaust Museum in Washington has also been traced to the extreme right. Arrested in the murder was anti-Semite, James von Brunn, who had resided with the Aryan Nation white supremacists at Hayden Lake, Idaho. In his car, police found a notebook with a handwritten note, “You want my weapons—this is how you’ll get them. The Holocaust is a lie. Obama was created by the Jews.”
The federal government spends billions of tax dollars deporting undocumented workers, not one of them a “terrorist.” But law enforcement at all levels has been AWOL in protecting against domestic terrorism.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that the “economic recession, the election of America’s first Black President and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white power militias.”
Republican right denounced her timely report as an “attack” on veterans, anti-abortionists, and anti-immigrant crusaders. Some even called for her resignation.
The latest venom comes from actor Jon Voight who denounced President Obama at a GOP fundraiser as a “softspoken Julius Caesar” that America must be “freed” from. “Bring an end to this false prophet, Obama,” Voight ranted, sounding like Brutus. It is a federal crime to threaten violence against the President.
The accused assassins should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Abortion clinics, doctors, their staffs, and their patients must be protected. But the best answer is to defeat the hatemongers politically. Boycott Fox News. Demand Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, latest target of hate. Build maximum unity to win healthcare for all, employee free choice, “green” jobs, immigrant reform, an end to wars, and a more inclusive, tolerant democracy in our country.