Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today's must-read blog

Check Glenn Littrell's post, Thought Of The Week: The Role Of Fearful Rhetoric.

One thing I want you to consider while looking at and pondering the words and actions of the right in its various manifestations: the overarching theme is violence. Sometimes it is manifest in threats of interpersonal violence (e.g., Senatorial candidate Sharron Angle's talk of "second amendment remedies" to deal with political enemies, targets aimed at political candidates by Palin's PAC) or actual interpersonal violence itself (e.g., Dr. Tiller's assassination late last decade). These threats and actions are one means to an end: maintain and expand the already gross organizational and structural violence that exist as a reality for many of us.

Let me rehash a quick definition of the terms organizational and structural violence:

We define organizational violence as physical harm (including death) resulting from decisions made by those acting in an official capacity. The decision to go to war in Iraq, with the ensuing casualties is but one example. Bureaucratic decisions made by government and corporate officials to ignore legitimate worker safety concerns also shall be considered organizational violence. Structural violence refers to physical harm (including death) suffered by a particular group of people who do not have access to the same services and benefits as the rest of society. Deaths caused by lack of access to health insurance and health care would be viewed as structural violence - the same would be said about deaths caused to black Americans who are systematically denied access to necessary health care.

It is worth noting that the "liberty" that many on the right harbor fantasies of violent revolution over is one that would be its antithesis for the vast majority of us, including restrictions on reproductive rights (reintroducing both organizational and structural violence against American women), the imposition of a narrow form of Christianity upon the populace (with the ensuing discrimination against anyone not belonging to the "right" church), and an interpretation of the Constitution that would leave vast swaths of the population disenfranchised. 

As I see it, whether we're dealing with the wingnuts who hide up in isolated compounds or their slightly more mainstream (I use that term loosely, only to the extent that they get tons of air time and print space) Tea Partiers, we're not dealing with people who respect a democratic society. These are enemies of freedom in any meaningful sense of the term, and it is up to those of us who still have a voice and the fortitude to shine a light on them.

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