Let’s lower our voices for Christina

Christina Taylor Green

The most heartbreaking image for me in the shooting attack that seriously wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others is this photo the family circulated of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the youngest of the six who were killed.

This child who was born on 9/11 loved her country and cherished our peaceful political traditions so much that she recently got herself elected to the student council and went to Giffords’ event to meet her congresswoman and get some pointers.

Now she’s gone because of an act of political violence as senseless as the one on the day she was born.

Nobody knows at this point what motivated the suspect, but as an attack on a political target, it’s forcing a long-overdue national reflection on the increasingly hateful nature of the politics by which divergent groups of Americans relate to one another.

The question is whether it’ll be productive soul-searching that brings changes in some of the extreme things we say and do or just a continuation of the poisonous posturing on a new front.

If what happened to this beautiful little girl, a good congresswoman and the others doesn’t serve as a wake-up call that we’ve cranked up the hate way too far, it’s hard to be optimistic that anything ever will.

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11 Comments on “Let’s lower our voices for Christina”

  1. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    When I was told about the shooting yesterday, I did not say: A-HAH – Al Qaida!!! as I did when SigOth woke me at 5 am HI-Time back on September 11, 2001. This time, I said, “Oh carpola!!! A political nutburger!!”

    Unfortunately, the Trash Slimeballs and the Grim Dorks of the Universe are probably dancing into a frenzy – ogf course, behind closed doors.

    What a beautiful little girl – and what a sick, sad and sorry excuse for a human being is the guy who took her out.

    BTW – where are his parents?

  2. charles Says:

    Debate don’t hate.

  3. Earl of Sandwich Says:

    Good thoughts, Dave. And Amen.

  4. Michael Says:

    Sen. Dick Dubrin, the second-ranking
    Democratic leader in the Senate,
    on Sunday cited imagery of crosshairs
    on political opponents and Sarah Palin’s
    combative rallying cry, “Don’t retreat;

    “These sort of things, I think, invite the kind
    of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people
    to believe this is an acceptable response,” Durbin
    said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,”

    Written in Maui News 1/10/11

    Motivation came from words and ideas.
    Lunatic fringe created a lunatic infringe.

    Tomorrow is 1/11/11.

  5. MynahBlog Says:

    Trying to find a “political” lesson in this senseless act of violence is waste of time. Too much sugar wasn’t the reason, violent video games weren’t the reason…and overheated political rhetoric certainly was not the reason.

    The actual reason is the illogical compulsions of a diseased and damaged mind.

  6. Richard Gozinya Says:

    I’m with MynahBlog on this one. Really sad stuff all around. What bothers me most is to see certain folks on both sides of the political spectrum trying to make political points out of this. That path leads only to more divisiveness.

  7. ppcc Says:

    Looking at the FACTS, it appears politics was SECONDARY to the underlying reason why Loughner shot and killed people. Information from an online CBS article.


    * …had five run-ins with Pima Community College campus police and was placed on suspension for violating the student code of conduct, which later led to his withdrawal from the school.

    *…he had filmed a video on YouTube that claimed the college was illegal according to the U.S. Constitution.

    *…seized a letter addressed to him from Giffords’ congressional stationery in which she thanked him for attending a “Congress on your Corner” event at a mall in Tucson in 2007. Saturday’s shooting occurred at a similar event.

    *….Other evidence seized from his home included an envelope from a safe with messages such as “I planned ahead,” “My assassination” and the name “Giffords” next to what appears to be Loughner’s signature

    *….Several people who knew Loughner at community college said he did not engage in political discussions – in fact, he didn’t talk much at all, and when he did classmates cringed.

    “He made a lot of the people really uncomfortable, especially the girls in the class,” said Steven Cates, who attended an advanced poetry writing class with Loughner at Pima Community College last spring.

    *….Loughner read a poem about bland tasks such as showering, going to the gym and riding the bus in wild “poetry slam” style – “grabbing his crotch and jumping around the room.”

    When other students, always seated, read their poems, Coorough said Loughner “would laugh at things that you wouldn’t laugh at.” After one woman read a poem about abortion, “he was turning all shades of red and laughing,” and said, “Wow, she’s just like a terrorist, she killed a baby,” Coorough said.

    “He appeared to be to me an emotional cripple or an emotional child,” Coorough said. “He lacked compassion, he lacked understanding and he lacked an ability to connect.”

    His time leading up to the shooting, revealed Loughner had NO political views or discussions while he was in community college and more of a concern for people around him was his “creeping out” females in class. Combined with Loughner’s saved thank you letter hand signed by Rep Gifford on her stationary in 2007, you wonder if in his twisted mind he had some kind of imaginary fantasy relationship with Rep Gifford. It is also possible he hooked up with white supremacist or other fringe factions and they found a mentally unstable patsy or pawn who was willing to kill people for whatever reason. FACTS show Loughner had serious mental issues and NOT some “soldier”* for the Republican party or Sarah Palin.

    * Actually Loughner was rejected by the US military when he applied.

  8. Kolea Says:

    While I appreciate the desire that this tragedy not be used for political gain by one side or another, I think it would be a mistake to divorce this one young man’s actions from the political climate which has been consciously inflamed through a log pattern of deliberate and irresponsible acts.

    I watched the guy’s YouTube videos. He is an unhinged nut. But in his paranoia to explain the world, he has fastened upon certain Far Right ideas about the unconstitutional nature of the government and how violence “against tyranny” is justified. And what constitutes “tyranny” on the right today? From comments on our local blogs and the S-A discussion board, apparently the worst thing the federal government can do is limit insurance company profits and try to increase healthcare coverage.

    For his efforts, Obama is routinely denounced as a “socialist,” sometimes as a “fascist.” A what is th proper response to “fascism”? Well, would it have been wrong to assassinate Hitler or Mussolini early, before the full horror of their policies came to fruition? Please don’t censor me for saying this, but I think it is inevitable that current right wing rhetoric has lead to political murder. Obama has received many times more death threats than any other previous president. This is not unrelated to the rhetoric used against him and encouraged by professional rightwing operatives, media figures and high-level GOP candidates.

    Every social movement has its fringe. People who believe in more extremist versions of what might be more politely articulated by its more moderate members. While most members can process careless rhetoric as metaphor, putting out lists of opponents with crosshairs drawn across their names strongly implies the correct resolution of the “problem” is to shoot them IF only someone brave enough and dedicated enough would take the initiative. Surely that is a “logical” conclusion for a madman to draw?

    Rep. Giffords had already been targeted by the rightwing for her support of “Obamacare” during the 2010 election, when she was opposed by Jesse Kelly, a Tea Party Republican who encouraged people to fire M-16s at one of his campaign events as a sign of their commitment to the cause.

    Sharon Angle, the Arizona GOP candidate for US Senator said if conservatives can not win through the ballot box, they may have to resort to “Second Amendment remedies”! Is it far-fetched to draw a connection between such irresponsible rhetoric and the actions of this young man? Hadn’t the Tea Party effort to elect Jesse Kelly been thwarted at the ballot box by Giffords’ victory? So wasn’t the next “logical” step to resort to the “second Amendment remedy” Angle had legitimized?

    Just as the hot rhetoric on the extreme of the anti-abortion movement and the publication of the names of doctors who provide abortions led inexorably to the bombing of clinics and murder of doctors, the recent devolution of the “conservative” movement has taken the same path.

    It may be early to be able to see how much the murderer’s thinking was influenced by a conscious identification with hard right rhetoric, but I would suggest it would be wrong to ban efforts to piece together the connections.

    And while I appreciate the call for “both sides” to lower the flame on the political rhetoric, most of the craziness and hatred is being fanned on one side and any fair referee should assign the responsibility, such as it is, accordingly. It is NOT “both sides” which are carrying guns at their rallies or drawing crosshairs on their opponents. One side is CLEARLY more responsible for the breakdown of civil political debate in this country. And they deserve to be called on it.

    As some conservatives USED to be found of quoting, “Words have consequences.” And they USED to call for “accountability” as well. Today’s “conservatives” are often irresponsible reactionaries. William F. Buckley and other conservative leaders drove the John Birch Society from “respectable” conservative circles some 50 years ago. I see no major conservative figure willing (or able) to serve that same function today. This shooting, and others to undoubtedly follow, are a predictable consequence of their inability to self-police their movement.

    Let’s hope this tragedy will lead to some honest soul-searching and of holding people to account. If not for past rhetoric, for future irresponsible language.

  9. Richard Gozinya Says:

    My goodness! Such an abundance of words and paucity of facts.

  10. Michael Says:

    Imagine the sadness of
    those victims who died on
    9/11 before
    Christina’s birth only
    to see her death, Ten Years After.

    RIP Christina
    One Less Face of Hope.

  11. shaftalley Says:

    william f. buckley was a paranoid neocon who encouraged and embraced a strong expanding right -wing gov’t. and a military-industrial complex to fight communism.

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