Damn, I Hate Being Right!11 February, 2009
In late July, I posted about a gunman in Tennesse who killed two in a Unitarian Church. In that blog, I wrote this:
Unfortunately, I have my suspicions (based, I will admit, on stereotypes) and I am disturbed by this attack. A Unitarian Church in Kentucky Tennessee shot up by a gunman. Hmmm. What could be the motive? Well, this is the last paragraph of the article:
The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church is a community that meets to worship and work together for social change, according to the church’s Web site. Since the 1950’s, the congregation has worked for desegregation, racial harmony, fair wages, women’s rights and gay rights, according to the Web site. The congregation also has provided sanctuary for political refugees, fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the ACLU.
I really hope that the socially progressive stance of this church is not a motive. I hope it’s not, but, as I said, I have my (stereotyped) suspicions.
As the comments came in, it appeared that my fears were well-founded. Damn, I hate being right.
On Monday, James Adtkisson, the Knoxville gunman, released a four-page ‘manifesto’ (full text here (pdf)). Here are some ‘highlights’:
“Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country & these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them….
“This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg’s book. I’d like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible to me. I couldn’t get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It’s the only way we can rid America of this cancerous pestilence.”
“I thought I’d do something good for this Country Kill Democrats til the cops kill me….Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is to kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I’d like to encourage other like minded people to do what I’ve done. If life aint worth living anymore don’t just kill yourself. do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.
Is it just me, or does it sound like he took Fox News talking points (the ones they recieve from the GOP and sprinkle into every story, political or not) and then ramped them up by a factor of about 1.2? It sounds like a decade of conservative talk radio, conservative fiction (sorry, opinion pieces by the likes of O’Reilly), pseudo-history and blaming the ‘other’ for ones own life.
There is some good news, though: he was sentenced to life in prison.
I have sympathy for Mr Adkisson (and his victims and families). He needed psychiatric help. He needed medication or hospitalization. Instead, he was fed a steady diet of right-wing conspiracy mongering preying on his percieved victimhood. I have no sympathy for the hate-mongers on the right.
Here’s a question, though. Suppose that James was named Muhammed? Would Faux News be carefully ignoring the manifesto? or would they be running it six times an hour? Or suppose Adkisson was a liberal atheist who shot up an evangelical church and then wrote the same manifesto (with, of course, conservative replacing liberal)? How would the ‘liberal’ media have handled the story?
Insane conservative obsessed with being a victim kills two in a liberal church, a one-day story. Insane liberal or Muslim? At least a month of stories every time another step is taken in court.