There are all sorts of attempts on the part of the ultra right wing extremist Republicans and fellow travelers to claim that their endless hate rhetoric hasn’t been aimed at encouraging their followers to assassinate Democratic Party figures as well as progressives.
What has been ignored in all this has been the endless stream of hate coming from the ultra right wing neo-Christian/Christo-Fascist movements inciting violence against LGBT/TQ people as well as advocating the denial of basic equal rights for LGBT/TQ people.
Then there is the close association between Republican politicians and the racist organizations such as The Minutemen and the various white racist organizations that patrol the border.
Add to this the historical revisionism regarding slavery and the causes of the Civil War with attempts to white wash the conservative violence of the 1960s that produced lynchings, murders beatings and white conservative involvement in church bombings.
Nor should we forget the massive amount of conservative encouragement of violence on the part of such organizations as the Concerned Citizen Councils, the KKK and the John Birch Society.
I must admit that last year when Sarah Palin unveiled her map of Democratic Congress people who were in her “Cross hairs” I looked at it and saw it as a reference to the cross hairs of a rifle scope. I found it in extremely bad taste and thought that it encouraged violence and even suggested to her followers that they should go out and assassinate Democratic congresspeople, senators and candidates.
I hadn’t really thought that much about it until after Saturday’s attempted assassination and murders by an alleged terrorist in Arizona.
Then on Sunday there were all sorts of attempts by people in the Palin camp to deny the marks on those maps were actually cross hairs:
Alaska Dispatch: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/blogs/palin-watch/8205-palin-staffer-calls-using-tragedy-to-score-political-points-qobsceneq-
Palin staffer calls using tragedy to score political points ‘obscene’
“We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights,” she said.
“It’s surveyor’s symbols,” the interviewer Tammy Bruce suggested. Bruce, a Palin supporter, describes herself as “a gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, Tea Party Independent Conservative. ” Her show is promoted as a “chick with a gun and a microphone.”
Mansour agreed. She said that the graphic was contracted out to a professional. They approved it quickly without thinking about it. “We never imagined, it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent,” she said. Rather, she said, that it was simply “crosshairs that you would see on a map.”
There is “nothing irresponsible about our graphic,” she said.
She did not, however, mention the “don’t retreat, instead- RELOAD!” Palin tweet that went out shortly after the graphic was posted on both her Facebook page and SarahPac’s website, directing them to the graphic. The tweet turned quickly into a Palin mantra. Many, even then, urged her to stop using such violent rhetoric. If she heard them, she did not retreat.
The graphic remains on Palin’s Facebook page but was removed this morning on SarahPac’s website. Mansour said that removing it did not constitute a “scrub” of Palin’s site, as some had been alleging. She said that someone from SarahPac contacted her this morning, and was wondering if it should be taken down given the circumstances. She said that because the midterm elections had passed, it shouldn’t have been there anyway.
But then we have this video:
From You Tube via Slate: http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2011/01/09/palin-spox-targets-on-sarahpac-map-were-actually.aspx
Here’s the map From The Washington Post:
Quote from Slate: http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2011/01/09/palin-spox-targets-on-sarahpac-map-were-actually.aspx
Among the people who gave the impression that these were targets: Sarah Palin. When she announced the list in a tweet, she wrote “don’t retreat, instead – RELOAD!” I’m not an expert surveyor, but I’m not sure what sort of tools need reloading. Jonathan Martin points out that after the election, Palin tweeted about her success (18 of the seats went to the GOP) by saying “remember months ago ‘bullseye’ icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin’ incumbent seats?” Throughout 2010, when Palin was criticized for the target map, she either didn’t respond or mocked the “lamestream media” for interpreting her gun metaphors as calls for violence. At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, for example, she got big applause when she said “Don’t retreat, reload — and that is not a call for violence!” The media wasn’t going to force her to stop using the gun line.
From The Washington Post: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/01/palin-staffer-nothing-irrespon.html
Giffords herself criticized the target map when her office was vandalized last year.
“For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action,” Giffords said in an interview with MSNBC.
There is a surveyor’s symbol that resembles the circle used on Palin’s map. (You can see it on the lower right-hand side of this U.S. Geological Survey guide to topographical map symbols). However, Palin herself referred to the targets as a “‘bullseye’ icon” in a post-election tweet.
And so on and so on. Like every thug or bully who has ever been busted. Deny, pretend non-involvement point the finger at someone on the left and say but they did this that and the other thing in the 1960s, as though violence against property is the same as violence against people.But as I looked at that map I couldn’t help but notice something else:
Yes they do look like surveyor’s marks as well as mechanical drawings marks.
But when one adds in the rhetoric used by Palin and others in the ultra right wing extremist camp it seems reasonable to assume those map cross hairs are not surveyor’s marks or mechanical drawings over lay points.
But as they say the devil is in the details. Look closely at those cross hairs on Palin’s map. Are they really rifle scope cross hairs. Compare them to actual rifle scope cross hairs at the right.
The reticule cross hairs do not extend outside the circle.
The closer I looked at the cross hairs on Sarah Palin’s map the more I thought there was something odd about them Then this morning there was a photo on Escheton that reminded me how where I had seen that peculiar form of cross before.
The photo was of a flag at a white power gathering.
Then It dawned on me I had seen it in the publications of the Southern Poverty Law Center and it was definitely associated with Aryan Nation and other neo-Nazi groups most notably Storm Front.
So I did a search on symbols of the ultra right wing/conservative/neo-Nazi movement where I discovered the flag often used by Storm Front and other neo-Nazi white power movements.
Perhaps… Except, way back in the late 1950’s early 1960s there was a popular book by Vance Packard called Hidden Persuaders which talked about subliminal messages.
Here we are in 2011 and I’ve studied enough to understand things like semiotics, the language of symbols and how the right wing speaks in a from of Orwellian “newspeak”, using coded terms meant to convey racist messages.
Just as “family”, “family values” and “traditional” are all code words meant to mask hard core hatred of LGBT/TQ people of such magnitude that most would be appalled and consider anyone espousing such an attitude to be a full fledged fascist if not a Nazi.
In this language equal rights become, “special rights”. Standing up for equal treatment of people of color becomes playing the race card.
The people who fill the lowest paying of jobs that are often the dirtiest and most dangerous are always referred to as “Illegal aliens” rather than undocumented workers. The racist stereotypes so obvious, the advocating of violence so obvious, or just below the surface that it is no surprise to find the people espousing such hatred often have connections to hate groups.
Here is the problem. Are we to just assume an innocent mistake on the part of Sarah Palin’s people, when the right wing propaganda machine is so well financed that it can hire some of the best and most talented sales people in the country? People who have studied psychology as well as semantics and semiotics and who know very well how to tap in to the rage, racism and hatred of the ultra right wing that is the hard core base of the Republican party. Including those involved with strange Dominionist cults, Aryan Nation and the KKK who actually use the Celtic cross shown in those tiny markers on their flags.
It is time to stop these preachers of ultra right wing violence and tell them they are not going to steal our heritage, erase it and replace it with lies.
This is not the Confederacy. This is not Nazi Germany and we will not stand mutely by like the good Germans who said nothing and did nothing to prevent the rise of the moral monsters of the Third Reich.