On NPR yesterday, Daisy Hernandez, co-editor of Colonize This!: Young Women on Today’s Feminism, told her reaction and the larger reaction of the Latino community to the attempted assassination of Rep. Giffords on Saturday:
My eyes scanned the mobile papers. I held my breath. Finally, I saw it: Jared Loughner. Not a Ramirez, Gonzalez or Garcia.
It’s safe to say there was a collective sigh of brown relief when the Tucson killer turned out to be a gringo. Had the shooter been Latino, media pundits wouldn’t be discussing the impact of nasty politics on a young man this week — they’d be demanding an even more stringent anti-immigrant policy. The new members of the House would be stepping over each other to propose new legislation for more guns on the border, more mothers to be deported, and more employers to be penalized for hiring brown people. Obama would be attending funerals and telling the nation tonight that he was going to increase security just about everywhere.
In short, the only reason the nation is taking a few days to reflect on the animosity in politics today is precisely that the shooter was not Latino.
In November 9, 2009, this is how The Wall Street Journal contextualized the Fort Hood mass shooting that had taken place three days earlier: Muslim Population in the Military Raises Difficult Issues. It said:
The push to boost Muslim representation has proven to be a double-edged sword for the military, which desperately needs the Muslim soldiers for their language skills and cultural knowledge, but also worries that a small percentage of those soldiers might harbor extremist ideologies or choose to turn their guns on their fellow soldiers.
I think Hernandez has a point, don’t you?
Unlike Loughner, who apparently existed in his own crazy bubble devoid of context or politics (Palin yesterday referred to him as “apolitical“), Hasan, who the WSJ disclosed had “said he had “no religious preference” and didn’t identify him as a Muslim” in his official military record, was the poster child for the military’s Muslim problem within three days of the shooting.
I thought when people did this sort of killing they were simply – how did Palin put it? – “a single evil man”. Because as she argued, “Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state.” Unless your skin is brown, I guess.
Here is the WSJ from today (Jan 12) defending Rep. Michelle Bachman’s use of the phrase “armed and dangerous” against Paul Krugman’s claim that such rhetoric is “eliminationist.” The article says this:
Dick Morris published a column Monday titled “There Are No Politics in Murder.” Morris is right, of course, but his sanctimony grates on anyone who remembers that he did not practice what he now preaches. As we noted Monday, Morris was the mastermind of Bill Clinton’s effort to capitalize politically on the Oklahoma City bombing.
Huh. I’m sure that article about Muslims in the military wasn’t political at all, right?