The Republican reaction to the church massacre in South Carolina has been beyond belief. I feel almost more shell-shocked by the conservative reaction than by the shootings themselves. I feel bad saying that, but it’s true.
The murders say a lot about one man. The reaction indicts the entire Republican apparatus, from voters to elected officials. I have been unable to find a single sane Republican reaction.
A case in point is Rick Perry’s claim that it was an “accident.” Forget for a moment how somebody accidentally shoots nine people to death. Rick Perry is a man who wants to be president. But he can come out with something like this.
Of course, an aid would later claim Rick Perry saying it was an accident was an “accident” too.
Perry went on to say,
This is the MO of this administration, any time there is an accident like this — the president is clear, he doesn’t like for Americans to have guns and so he uses every opportunity, this being another one, to basically go parrot that message.
Also, I think there is a real issue to be talked about. It seems to me, again without having all the details about this, that these individuals have been medicated and there may be a real issue in this country from the standpoint of these drugs and how they’re used.
Right. Let’s not draw the obvious conclusion that, if what you say is true, people like this should be not able to have firearms. Yet you and your party oppose placing any limits at all on firearm sales.
Dylann Roof didn’t kill those people by overdosing them. He SHOT them. With a GUN.
Think rather about Rick Perry’s own state of mind, and that of the demographic he is appealing to. Where do they come up with these explanations? Do they actually sit down and think about what response they could make that has nothing to do with the facts?
Is this the best they could come up with? If they seriously think their cockamamie explanation can fly, they, and their supporters, are a scary bunch who should at this instant lose their right to run for public office and their right to vote.
We know that the shooting was racially motivated because the guy they arrested for murdering those people says so.
As Richard Cohen, President of the SPLC, said in a statement,
A white man who admires apartheid walks into a black church and kills nine people. According to an eyewitness, he says that he has “to do it” because black people “rape our women” and are “taking over our country.” It’s an obvious hate crime by someone who feels threatened by our country’s changing demographics and the increasing prominence of African Americans in public life.
Where is the accident here? Where is Fox News’ evidence that this was an anti-Christian shooting? Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch wrote yesterday,
The pundits at Fox News, where many of the GOP leaders get their talking points, were in agreement. Steve Doocy said it’s “extraordinary” that the police called the attack a hate crime since it was “was a white guy apparently and a black church,” positing that the attack was the result of the shooter’s “hostility towards Christians.” Brian Kilmeade said the shooter “hates Christian churches” and Elisabeth Hasselbeck called it an “attack on faith,” all the while ignoring the shooter’s explicit mentions of race.
Such willful ignorance is criminal. And that’s just scratching the surface.
How about Fox News’ token black man, antigay hater E.W. Jackson. Where is his evidence when he claims the shooting was caused by “growing hostility and antipathy to Christianity and what this stands for, the biblical worldview about sexual morality and other things.”
No. There are people out there looking for black people to kill them. All the time. Every day.
How do you miss that?
The killer didn’t say he was going after Christians. He said he was going after blacks. And he said why.
Facts, folks. Facts. Even bigots should be able to read and understand facts. Far from even admitting black people were killed because they were black, conservatives didn’t even want to admit the killer was white.
“But this guy doesn’t look white!” exclaimed the blonde, white-skinned columnist AJ Delgado of the Miami Herald.
In what world does he NOT look white?
The response by “Gary” is almost worse than her original comment: “I agree he looks light skinned [sic] black or some type of mixed. Plus he set [sic] in the church meeting for almost an hr.”
Oh, because white guys can’t sit in a black church with black folks. Dylann Roof actually said he “almost didn’t go through with it because everyone was so nice to him,” reported NBC News — before deciding to “go through with his mission.”
How does any of this leave Jeb Bush in any doubt that the killings were racially motivated? Yet he won’t say so. Even the guy who they say pulled the trigger says so. But Jeb can’t.
He can’t because his supporters – the racist Republican base – won’t hear of it.
Or Red State’s Eric Erickson saying it is transgenderism that is to blame.
Really? How do you figure that? Where, anywhere near that shooting, were transgenders involved?
In a Washington Post op-ed yesterday, SPLC’s Cohen wrote,
Earlier this year, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a study of domestic terrorism incidents, including successful attacks and plots foiled by law enforcement, over the past six years. We found that such an incident occurred every 34 days – far more often than most Americans imagine.
That’s nearly once per month. Domestic terrorism once per month. When was the last terrorist attack by Islamic extremists? How often have we had those? When has ISIL ever launched a terrorist attack in the United States?
When was the last time the conservative, corporate-owned, Republican-apologist mainstream media talked about the problem of domestic terrorism?
But Republicans won’t even admit the racist nature of the Charleston shootings, let alone that it was an act of terrorism. White people don’t do terrorism. White people are mentally ill. It’s not their fault. It’s drugs. It’s an accident.
It’s liberalism’s fault. It’s Obama’s fault.
The Republican Party needs a time out. The GOP is a hate group, not a political party. They have disqualified themselves from the American political scene. This latest act of violence and their reaction to it, is just the latest piece of evidence.
Terrifyingly, it won’t be the last.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.