June 1st, 2009

conrad

The shot

Political violence is frightening and enraging. In the case of Dr. Tiller's death this week, the violence was explicitly religious and terrorist in intent. What's worse is the behavior of political and media leaders who supported and gave a voice to dangerous extremists. That's an institutional problem and those people must be called to account.

But let's remember everyone else who got shot in the U.S. last week. The others weren't politically controversial, well-known professionals. Some of them were jerks or screwups, others were children or retirees or just unremarkable people walking down their streets. And many of them were victims of explicitly terrorist organizations: street gangs doing local ethnic cleansing, corrupt police forces, mafias.

And these people are written off too, by the same politicians and media authorities. They generally don't exist, and when they are mentioned at all it's assumed that they were up to no good and therefore deserved what they got. No one deserves a death like that.

There were a lot of them. This small sampling locally gives some idea.

So don't let the outrage from Dr. Tiller's death stop. Keep it rolling, because the powers that be need to keep hearing that we don't approve of anyone's murder, at all.
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