And So it Begins: Political Violence in America (part 1)
I plan to write in more detail some of my thoughts on the shooting in Tucson this past weekend. I’m sure that regular readers of this blog will recognize as an underlying theme my continually expressed concern that the violent, eliminationist rhetoric that has gripped much of our political discourse (especially on the right) will eventually lead to political violence. Maybe the shooting in Tucson was just such an event; maybe not. So far, we don’t really know what the shooter’s motivations were.
However, as we begin to learn a bit more about Jared Lee Loughner and some of his beliefs, the analysis of his YouTube videos performed by Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center is worth reading: Who Is Jared Lee Loughner?. Is Potok right? I don’t know. But few people understand right-wing hate groups and their conspiracy theories better than Potok and his colleagues at the SPLC. So, when you hear pundits try to guess what Loughner’s motives were or listen to people bicker as to whether he was left-wing, right-wing, or just crazy, keep Potok’s analysis in mind.