By the time I get to Arizona

Yesterday, an old classmate made mention in one of my posts that I was singling out Arizona due to the actions of “one crazy” and that not only did that one person not signify the whole of Arizona, but that his actions were not politically motivated.

What?????

In polite conversation, I like to remain polite, but this isn’t polite conversation, so my only reaction is “Are you on crack???”  When a congresswoman and judge, both of whom have received threatening calls as well as other threats of violence, are shot during a public appearance, it is nothing short of political.  Anyone who can’t recognize that are either short sighted or ignorant.

But, perhaps, I am unfairly singling out Arizona for persecution.  Hmm…well what does one of their own have to say about the political climate there?

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik had this to say:

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” said the sheriff. “And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Whew!  I remember when that sad distinction was reserved for Bombingham.

So of course, the questions is why?

Why would someone do such a thing?

Well, while reading all of the editorials and stories on these events, one question jumped out at me:

Is Violent Rhetoric Behind the Attack on Giffords?

This question quickly came upon the heels of all the free publicity that Sarah Palin garnered yesterday, very little of it positive.

Does this step over the line, and could it incite people to violence?

Sarah Palin posted the above map on her site during the health care debates. To make a long story short, in addition to this graphic, she also posted the names and addresses of these politicians, and make note of the crosshairs.  So, does this go too far, and was she intentionally attempting to incite people to active opposition (possibly even violent) against these individuals?  Even if not intentional, does she bear responsibility as a politician and public figure?  Some are saying yes.  Of course some are saying no.

I think Gary Hart, a Scholar in Residence at the University of Colorado put it best in an editorial he posted yesterday:

“We all know that there are unstable and potentially dangerous people among us. To repeatedly appeal to their basest instincts is to invite and welcome their predictable violence.”

Much like other states in the southern region of the United States, Arizona has a long history of prejudice, bigotry, and as clearly seen in their recent measures to “fight” immigration, intolerance.  I don’t plan on gracing that place with my presence anytime soon.  And I hope whatever purpose and principles those right-wing nuts down there are fighting for, implode and come crumbling down.

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