Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Hate Speech and Death Threats in Tucson

Hate Speech or Freedom of Speech?

I am writing this to protest an editorial in the Arizona Daily Star that incites violence by name calling and making insinuations against a specific group. I think this comes under hate speech.

An inflammatory unsigned editorial veted by the Arizona Daily Star viciously connects two unrelated circumstances and then proceeds to flay the Pima County Republican Party for it. Such specious logic would be laughable if such journalistic bias had not resulted in a death threat against Republican candidates and members.

The Star used the following descriptors against the entire Republican Party of Pima County:

"Crass, insensitive, vulgar, displaying a lack of empathy or compassion, dumb-founding, offensive, callous, boorish, thoughtless-all words that would fit." or how about "But Shaw proves again that the county party isn't concerned with the people who lived through the Jan. 8 rampage, the families and friends of those who were killed or the community that has been dealing with the loss and grief."

I think that is an unfounded attack on all Republicans in Pima County and I think this fallacious connecting of our local Republican Party to the Loughner shootings is inciting violence, as evidenced by the recent death threat generated by all the publicity around this vicious linking to the Republican Party. The first paragraph of the editorial mentioned the GOP raffle and the next brought up the Loughner shootings, as if the two were related.

Civility? These individuals are using a tragedy perpetuated by a madman for their own political ends as a smokescreen to cover up all the criminal investigations concerning Rio Nuevo and the city. Whipping up raw emotion and using it to strip the skin from somebody who had nothing to do with it is contemptible. And, according to the Arizona Daily Star, we must have 'done' all this before because 'again' indicates a prior occurrence. I feel they are inciting violence against a particular group.

Such outrage over Glocks: The NRA raffled off Glocks right here in Tucson just last month, Police carry Glocks, Glocks are used in shooting competitions and Gabrielle Giffords owned a Glock. I wonder why the Democrats and the Star didn't take on the NRA about the Glock raffles right here in Tucson a few weeks ago? Was the Pima GOP a better target?

Jeff Rogers, head of Pima Democrats, has been hate mongering and he must think this latest emotional blast over the shootings during elections will get more votes for Democrats. At what cost? Will someone else be shot due to all this hate mongering and insinuations and death threats against Republican members and candidates? I think that Jeff Rogers and the Arizona Daily Star are indulging in hate politics and that the community is being hurt as a result.

It is probably too much to expect an apology or even a cease and desist order, so I find it necessary to call this situation to the attention of law enforcement, due to the death threats against Republicans and their candidates. 

Tucson AZ September 6, 2011