Friday, June 19, 2015

Jeb Bush Doesn't Know if the Charleston Shooting was Racially Motivated

     Here Jeb is giving new meaning to the word obtuse. However, the agnosticism about whether race played a part is symptomatic of the entire Right wing response to the terrible and senseless tragedy.

     This despite all the incontrevertible evidence.

     I mean reading this I'd like to ask Jeb what would make him sure. Or if there is any act of violence that has ever happened on US soil that he believes was racially motivated? 

     This is the man who the GOP will likely run to be President of the United States. 

     "As more becomes clear about the motives of the man believed to be behind the Charleston church shooting, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was hesitant to connect Dylann Storm Roof’s alleged actions to any racial prejudice."
     "The question came after a speech Bush made at a Faith and Freedom Coalition summit in Washington."

     "I don't know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes," Bush said in his remarks. "But I do know what was in the heart of the victims."
Soon after reporters noted the line, Bush spokesman Tim Miller said on Twitter that "of course" the former governor thought the attack was racially motivated.

     Of course. So why does Jeb have such a hard time saying what his spokesman said. Because the GOP base still can't admit that racially motivated attacks on black people ever occur?

     The GOP still has a hard time going as far as saying that this senseless violence was:

      1. Racially motivated

      2. An act of terrorism. 

      It's ok to call it horrible but this is chalked up to mental illness or abstract human evil-that of course in no way is facilitated by such easy access to firearms. President Obama has the answer to this: is there no mental illness in any of the other advanced countries who don't have the epidemic?

      "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 candidateJeb 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."

     "After all we’ve found out about Dylann Roof, how can we still say we “don’t know” why this happened?"

     "The survivors from inside the church claimed Roof said African Americans “rape our women” and are “taking over our country.” His statements are deranged fiction, but they don’t live in isolation. They exist not only on a historical continuum of racially motivated violence, but within a current narrative of white people “losing the country” and the reactive violence of rural militias and domestic terrorists. Republican governors’ complicity in fostering a dangerous cocktail of political bigotry and easy-access guns has never been clearer than after this latest mass shooting. While it is true that bigots and violent people will always exist, a persistently racist culture nurtures small-minded hatred, and politicians provide them with tools to realize it."

    "It is no secret that one of the baubles of the conservative movement is the Confederate flag, which appeared on Roof’s license plate. It is a symbol of white supremacy and slavery, and it is also a symbol that is a part of South Carolina's official government as the flag flies in the capital. When questioned about her state’s continued support for it, Governor Haley shrugged it off."

    "South Carolina hasn't exactly left its racist history behind. Haley has consistently sided with more guns, fewer voting rights, and fostering a conservative culture of fear and suspicion. Last year, she signed a new and even more expansive bill for concealed weapons and easier access to guns in her state. She was applauded by the NRA for this bill. In an age where abortion clinics are bombed, elementary school children are gunned down on a cyclical basis, and lone gunmen have unlimited access to machine guns, the idea of expanding gun rights seems inconceivable, especially in a state where a gun-related death happens every 14 hours."

    "Meanwhile, South Carolina was one of the first to add more restrictions on voting after the Supreme Court cut away at the Voting Rights Act and Republicans continue to pursue new voting rights restrictions aimed at black and Latino citizens. South Carolina is also one of the only states not to have a hate crime law on the books."

     "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."

     No it's way more convenient to talk about Islamic terrorism that look at this homegrown variety. After all, Dylan Roof lives in a state that still embraces the Confederate flag. We saw above how lax the gun laws are-and some are going as saying that the lesson of this is that we need even more guns on the street as the violent criminals can't win if we all pack heat. 

    No wonder they don't want to talk about guns, white racism. or homegrown terrorism. It hits way too close to home.  Clearly this is not an export to the state of SC but is homegrown all the way. 

     At the end of the day it comes down to this: do we want to solve this problem or not? If the answer is yes then this is one time when government is a big part of the answer. If it's no then go ahead repeating all these libertarian platittudes that government is not the answer and that it's too bad but the guy was mentally ill and evil so we just have to live with these outbursts every few months. 


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