Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Right-wing terror continues
Tom Tancredo, the former US Representative of Colorado's 6th District, who, in true Republican form, loved to stoke up fear of immigrants (and especially immigrants of a Latino nature), must either feel proud or chagrined right about now.
Law enforcement officials in Pima County, Arizona, arrested Jason Bush (34), Albert Gaxiola (42), and alleged ringleader Shawna Forde (41) as a result of an investigation into a home invasion that left Raul Flores and his young daughter dead, and his wife wounded. Flores is rumored to have been involved in narcotics trafficking. Investigators speculate that the three accused killers were seeking money.
The trio is alleged to have dressed as law enforcement officials and to have forced their way into the Flores home. It is believed that, after exchanging gunfire with Flores and his wife, the accused killed the girl as a means of silencing a witness to their crime.
Bush, Gaxiola, and Forde have all been charged with first-degree murder. All are part of an anti-illegal immigration group based out of Washington state --a group loosely associated with the "Minutemen." You know? Those self-appointed yokels who drive out into the desert along the Mexican border with their binoculars and beer coolers, and pretend that they're "protecting" this country's sovereignty?
Other "Minutemen" groups have publicly condemned the murders and gone out of their way to distance themselves from the accused. Apparently, Shawna Forde is fairly well-known among the xenophobe crowd, and is widely acknowledged as being unstable. Fair enough.
But, tell me: when the rhetoric that has been thrown around by Tom Tancredo (check this video) and Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich is as vile and shrill as it has been, was it not inevitable that something like this was going to happen?
Hatred and fear are potent political weapons. The Republican scream machine has been blaring hysterically for so long that those of us who find it odious and ridiculous tend to forget that there is an element of society that actually believes it. And within that frightened and despairing element are unstable, fringe personalities for whom the election of Barack Obama and the turn away from so-called "conservatism" are sure signs that the end of the world is near.