Wednesday, June 10, 2009

domestic terrorism

Earlier today, 88 year old James Von Brunn, an anti-Semite and white supremacist, walked into the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., less than one mile from the White House, and opened fire with a .22-caliber rifle killing security guard Stephen Tyrone Jones. Von Brunn was immediately shot by other guards on duty and he is now in critical condition with wounds to the head.

Von Brunn has had a long and well-documented history as a white supremacist and anti-Semite. As well as having his own despicable white supremacy website, he was arrested in 1981, and convicted in 1983, for attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board with a knife, revolver and sawed-off shotgun. He served six years in prison.

Today's reprehensible and politically motivated shooting takes place not even two weeks after the killing of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in his church in Wichita, Kansas. Threats of violence against abortion clinics have increased greatly since president Obama's inauguration this past January. The far-right, militant, pro-life tactics against abortion clinics, clinic workers, and their clients have escalated at a staggering rate and, still, local law enforcement officials continue not to treat these threats as serious. Every time any violence against clinic workers or abortion providers is carried out it represents a failure of law enforcement.

In April, the Department of Homeland Security released a report focusing on right-wing extremism. The report warned of exactly this type of terrorist act yet it was so heavily mocked and criticized by the far-right that Janet Nepolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security, was made to apologize to veterans. The report singled out veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as susceptible to recruitment to far-right extremist groups.

People are being gunned down in churches and museums by politically motivated nut-jobs! Who are we worried about offending and why?

These recent acts of violence are terrorist acts. Plain and simple - there is no other word for it. Just because these unspeakable acts of violence have been carried out by good ol' boys who call themselves Christian doesn't make them any less terrorist than the Taliban. These depraved, immoral criminals believe they are involved in a Jihad for Jesus!

Imagine if Dr. Tiller's murderer or today's Holocaust museum shooter were named Mohamed or Akhmad rather than George or James. This country would be in a full-swing, code-red, lock-down tizzy. Network news reports of these recent murders aren't referring to these gunmen as terrorists, however, they're calling them pro-life activist and anti-Semite, respectively.

What more needs to happen before federal protection around women's health clinics becomes standard operating practice? What more needs to happen before the mainstream news media has the balls to call this burgeoning movement what it is?

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