Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh with an assist from three others. That bombing was carried out in part as retaliation by McVeigh for a percieved slight at Ruby Ridge in 1992. That bombing is an example of the material outcome of hate speech of the kind we are seeing increasingly today by Republicans, Teabaggers and the like. One hundred and sixty eight people were killed by McVeigh and his right-wing conspirators, including 19 little children (there was a day care center at the facility).

On this day, it is important to remember that acts of aggression are not all acts of violence, but acts of violence are often preceded by acts of aggression. It is possible that those spreading hate speech in the United States today are protected in doing so by the Constitution. But they are not ‘protected’ from severe criticism and social ostracization. They are also not protected from our efforts to teach and engage in reasonable dialog.

Some related blogging:

Ostracize Josh

A man from Rogers, Minnesota…a small town in the Sixth Congressional District represented by Michele Bachmann…went through the trouble of strapping on his Glock .40 caliber handgun and dropping his Kel Tec 380 in his pocket before visiting the site of President Obama’s talk last Saturday in Minneapolis. His name is Josh Hendrickson and both handguns were loaded.

From Graduate School to Prison: What is the rational argument for ELF or ALF?

…The phone message from John’s father simply implied that something really bad had happened. So I tried to contact him but was only able to leave a message. Eventually, I got an email back that gave me nothing more than a cypher. According to the cypher, if I followed a certain procedure, all would become clear, and once that happened, would I please write a letter of support….

The Black Forest Inn: Anarchists 2; Scientists 1

…a gentleman who at that time frequented the Black Forest and still frequents the neighborhood pulled a .357 magnum pistol out of his pistol-hiding place and put one bullet into the forehead of one of the ladies and another bullet into another lady’s chest. Bam. Bam. He double tapped the Avedon.

Is Hate a Crime?

It’s time for another one of those posts in which I take an argument that’s been getting repetitive (very repetitive) and put the whole thing in one place in the hopes of moving forward instead of arguing in parallel.

Comments

  1. #1 Bill James
    April 19, 2010

    Ruby Ridge was a perceived slight?

    Randy Weaver – Wikipedia

  2. #2 MadScientist
    April 19, 2010

    Yep, that moron Bachmann, Palin, the teabaggers – they all remind me of those muslim clerics in Asia who promote murder in the name of their god, like Abu Bakr Bashir who blames all of Indonesia’s problems on the evil USA. Unfortunately the “righteous” will never admit to being wrong; they’re too keen to murder and go to heaven. These people are the equivalents to the foreign terrorists; the only distinction (which may not always be a distinction) is that they’re primarily white.

  3. #3 Westbob
    April 19, 2010

    It was claimed to be done in retaliation for Waco, where more children died than at OKC. And the difference is that the children at Waco were killed by taxpayers money(that’s my money and yours too).
    However, the whole thing was some type of black-ops. There are too many loose threads pointing to that.
    I know you don’t want to hear it, but They Are Lying to You About the Oklahoma City Bombing

  4. #4 Jason
    April 19, 2010

    Westbob,
    I believe you may want to read the Denialism blog. It can provide you with useful tools for critical evaluation of such claims.

  5. #5 Lorax
    April 19, 2010

    Shorter Westbob:

    The OKC bombing isnt that big a deal because more children died other places, anyway it is a big deal because the government did it.

    Shortest Westbob

    Ild like to comment, but Im off to check myself into the loony bin.

  6. #6 dean
    April 19, 2010

    even shorter westbob: ignore the facts that show the lunatic inside the building at waco burned the building himself – it’s more fun to blame “black ops and the ebil guvmnt”

  7. #7 plutosdad
    April 19, 2010

    lewis lies and says everyone was yelling the N word, even though videos of the incident have no instance of that word yelled. Is that not lying in order to foment hate?

    A code pinker bit the finger off a couner protestor.

    People showed up at anti war rallies with “Kill Bush” signs all the time, did any of you care? No you roll your eyes at it, but when it’s someone you disagree with “OMG theother side is crazy!!”

    conservatives are the same way, speech is dangerous when it’s the “other”

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    April 19, 2010

    plutosdad, no, there is not a symmetry between the left and the right in this area, and no amount of illiterate sputtering by you is going to change that reality.

    Reality. I know it bites, plutosdad, but it is your only chance. Embrace it. Learn it. Love it.

  9. #9 Pete
    April 20, 2010

    “Facts” about violence? sure. If Clinton/Reno hadn’t savagely killed all those babies McVeigh would never have been provoked. BTW. Ever heard of the Environmental Liberation Front? Black Panthers? Greenpeace? John Kerry spouting about killing women and children in the middle of the night? Animal Liberation Front? PETA? SEIU?

    ummmmmm……….Weather Underground anyone?

    Ah yes. The peacnik left indeed.

    Kind of pathetic that the Tea Party folks scare you enough to induce this level of whining and hand wringing.

  10. #10 Stephanie Z
    April 20, 2010

    Pete, I just have to tell you how much I appreciate that you ask whether Greg has ever heard of the ELF right off the bat. It really goes to show that you read the post and didn’t just come here to cut and paste your normal response whenever someone mentions McVeigh.

    By the way, do you feel the appropriate number of babies have been killed in response to other babies dying, or should we alert people that you need a few more to really feel the world is balanced?

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