Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dylann Roof's Accessories

Repug denial of the true cause of the massacre in Charleston has reach the level of not just enablers, but accessories. Before, during and after the fact.

Yesterday, conservative politicians again went out of their way to assure us that the perpetrators of such atrocities are lunatics, even as the would-be leaders tiptoed carefully and visibly in the press so as not to upset the very confederacy of lunatics they have found so politically useful, have carefully cultivated as their political base, and now themselves fear to confront.

If we cannot talk about race hatred and violence in this country, maybe we can talk about that.
Aurin Square takes accepts that challenge:
But the Charleston church shooting that left nine African-Americans dead while they prayed is not an inexplicable tragedy. It simply took white rage and racism and conservative political race-baiting to their logical conclusions. It echoes a disturbing trend in right-wing media inflaming fringe factions, encouraging maximum armament, and then turning around after a tragedy and saying “we had no idea this would happen.”

On Wednesday night, South Carolina’s governor Nikki Haley trotted out a boilerplate statement, calling the shooting a “senseless tragedy.” One could excuse this choice of words as a rushed assumption issued in real time, but as more and more details about Dylann Roof surfaced, conservatives refused to face the music. One by one, politicians and pundits acted like this terrorist act was one of life’s great unsolvable mysteries.

“We don't know the motivation of the person who did it," Rudy Guiliani said yesterday. "Maybe he hates Christian churches. Maybe he hates black churches or he's gonna go find another one. Who knows." Donald Trump, in a tweet yesterday, said the crime was “incomprehensible.”

Last night, a Wall Street Journal columnist wrote: "What causes young men such as Dylann Roof to erupt in homicidal rage, whatever their motivation, is a problem that defies explanation beyond the reality that evil still stalks humanity. It is no small solace that in committing such an act today, he stands alone."

At this point, Roof’s bigotry has become clear in myriad ways. Yet as late as this afternoon, when cornered by a reporter and asked if the shooting was racially motivated, presidential candidate Jeb Bush said “I don’t know.” This means Bush is either incapable of basic logic, or he has willfully decided to blind and deafen himself to one of the nation’s biggest problems.
Given the history of the South, along the rise of both active shooters and gun access, we can't call what happened Wednesday night a “senseless tragedy.” In fact, the Charleston church shooting is full of savage sense. Thanks to complicity at best, and outright racist at worst, the “inconceivable” is still feasible. The fear tactics that were once localized in the dark backwoods of our political landscape now reach every phone and laptop. Today, xenophobia and bigotry are the daily platforms from which many conservatives speak to their shrinking base. The Charleston shooting is not a random act of violence, but part of a long litany of history culminating in a painful present.

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