Among the six killed and 14 wounded in Tucson, Arizona was 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green. I saw her parents talking about her on a TV interview. My heart went out to them. I was trying to imagine how hard that interview must have been to do. The parents must have been torn between wanting private time to grieve, and yet wanting to tell the world about the beauty and wonderment that was their daughter. Dad and Grandfather both worked at jobs in Major League Baseball. Dad talked about how much he loved watching Christina play second base on an all boy’s Little League Baseball team. Her father talked about how competitive and tenacious she could be at sports. Christina had told her parents she wanted to attend Penn State and make a career of helping those less fortunate.
She was featured in a book called “Faces of Hope” that chronicled one baby from each state born on 9/11/01. Imaging watching a movie about a girl born on 9/11/01, the day terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people. At the end of the movie the nine-year-old girl is killed by a terrorist at a supermarket. You would think the whole premise of the movie was too far-fetched.
The parents comments about Christina hit me hard as she sounded like my daughter, the Mac. Yes, Mac was twice as old but she also played second base on a softball team. Mac also played some Jr. High Basketball and a decade of soccer. In soccer she played on mostly boy’s teams. Like Christina, Mac was very competitive and tenacious at sports. Mac was the kind of athlete that a coach would never ask to play harder, as she was always playing at 100%. Watching her make dangerous dives as goalie to stop goals, scared Mrs. E and myself. Like Christina, Mac took some interest in politics. She went to downtown Warren to see John Kerry when he ran for president. She also drove to YSU to see Hillary Clinton, when she was campaigning for president. Like Christian who wanted a career helping others, Mac is studying to be a nurse so that she can help others.
Mrs. E and I drove Mac back to college this past weekend. In the car I was listening to WTAM 1100 AM from Cleveland. The radio host, Bob Frantz was talking about the Arizona shooting. Mac started asking me questions about the shooting. It would have choked me up to tell her how much Christina reminded me of her. Frantz was doing what the rest of the right-wing talk radio hosts were doing. That was circling the wagons to protect guns, the Tea Party, the GOP, Palin, right-wing radio, and the hate speech that may well have pushed the shooter over the edge. Franz’s major villain was Pima County, Arizona Sheriff Dupnik. Sheriff Dupkin had pointed out that Arizona is a Mecca of bigotry and hate, fueled by hate speech from right-wing media and right-wing politicians.
Some callers mentioned the shooter sounded like a right-winger, some mentioned hate speeches by Palin and the Tea Party. These callers were all cut off. The callers that blamed the sheriff, Homeland Security and the government were given unlimited time. I found most of the callers to be very hate filled scary people. A couple of callers suggested the shooter was a Manchurian Candidate. The conspiracy as they saw it, was that liberals and the Obama Administration brainwashed the shooter to do mass murder. This way the government could claim guns, right-wing radio and the Tea Party were to blame. Thus, the government could close down radio stations, ban guns and lock up Tea Party members. These callers were obviously paranoid and disturbed like the shooter. Their calls to Frantz must have really been pleas for mental help.
Along with physical health care problems our country is faced with mental care issues. Yet, we have a new GOP congress that wants to take health care off of 30 million people. They are saying, “I’ve got my health care, f-you” to 30 million fellow Americans. To me that seems like greed and a hate crime
I dropped my daughter off at college thinking about Christina’s death and Frantz and his callers’ hate. I know Christina’s parents are wishing they wouldn’t have let her leave the house the day she was shot. I realize the Mac is an adult now, and I have no choice but to let her go her way. It’s hard being parents in such a dangerous time. Mrs. E and I made the couple of hour drive home in peace with the radio off. I wish in life it was just that easy to tune the hate out.
Examples of right-wing hate speech.
Examples of violence inspired by right-wing hate speech.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.