Juan Cole: “As usual, when white people do these things, the mass media doesn’t call it terrorism.”

“Jared Lee Loughner, the assassin of Federal judge John M. Roll and five others and attempted assassin of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-AZ), was clearly mentally unstable. But the political themes of his instability were those of the American far Right. Loughner was acting politically even if he is not all there. He is said to have called out the names of his victims, such as Roll and Gifford, as he fired. As usual, when white people do these things, the mass media doesn’t call it terrorism.

…the right-wing Muslim crackpots and the right-wing American crackpots are haunted by similar anxieties, about a powerful government in Washington undermining their localistic ideas of the good life.”

Juan Cole | White Terrorism

If the assassination attempt of Rep. Giffords doesn’t vindicate Janet Napolitano’s DHS Rightwing Extremism report, issued in April/2009, I don’t know what does. However, to many people the report was valid all along. The rightwing and mainstream media will now begin their “both sides do it” arguments / hypocrisy — but the fact is: both sides DO NOT do it:

Left wing “extremists” tend to damage property, or chain themselves to trees, or let animals out of cages, or chase whaling ships. No murder involved.

Right wing extremists kill people to make a statement, such as doctors who provide abortions or government workers (i.e. Oklahoma City, IRS building in TX, and now a congresswoman talking with her constituents in AZ) or symbolic kills, like the murder of the security guard at the Holocaust Museum.

It’s insulting to the American people for the GOP and the mainstream media to not denounce and reproach  the extreme rhetoric that passes for ‘Christian Conservative Patriotism’ in America today. Here are some examples:

Before it’s scrubbed… Palin’s tweet in March/2010: Commonsense conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead RELOAD!”
.
  • Before it’s scrubbed… Palin’s tweet in March/2010: Commonsense conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead RELOAD!”
  • Michele Bachmann wants Minnesotans ‘armed and dangerous’ against Obama energy policy
  • Sharron Angle Floated ’2nd Amendment Remedies’ As ‘Cure’ For ‘The Harry Reid Problems’

And the extreme rhetoric of Tea Party supporters!  (Many pics at LGF):

Don’t forget the ‘patriots’ who started openly carrying their firearms to (Democratic) political rallies in 2009 — for the first time ever. What was the new message there?

There is no equivalent on the Left for this type of extreme rhetoric and dog-whistling to violent action. Democratic politicians don’t say symbolically violent things like Palin, Bachmann and Angle have. There is no equivalent on the Left to the ranting insanity of Beck or Limbaugh. You don’t see progressives carrying signs that suggest violence if they don’t get their way or arming themselves publicly, simply for purposes of intimidation.

And you definitely don’t see left wing extremists hating the government, worrying about currency backed by gold and the ‘second’ Constitution (see 3:32), or targeting a Democratic Congresswoman and a federal judge for assassination (among many other innocents) at a grocery store.