Thursday, June 11, 2009
Yesterday, on the Mall in DC, a very cowardly man attempted, perhaps the most cowardly of acts. White Supremacist James von Brunn walked into the Holocaust Museum, a building dedicated to tolerance, with intentions of opening fire on hundreds of innocent tourists. Thanks to the brave and swift actions of museum security, this ingrate wasn't able to fully carry out his mission, which we now know included taking out a list a Capitol Hill lawmakers. Unfortunately, one brave soul, security guard Stephen T. Johns. was gunned down, shot and killed before he could even reach for his weapon. He leaves behind a wife and a young son who looks just like one of my nephews. All because some asshole can't come to grips with the fact that "his country" is changing.
We'll talk about von Brunn in a moment, but I don't want to brush Johns aside. As trivial and generally disrespected a career as a security guard is in the eyes of many, reality is had Johns' colleagues not jumped to action, this might have turned into a far worse act of domestic terrorism. A $20/hour job without the actual rights of a real cop is humorous to some, but this guy literally gave his life to save others. I am pretty sure the Holocaust Museum and its many benefactors will take care of Mr. Johns' family financially, but I am hoping AverageNation™ will not just sit around and wait for someone else to honor one of our own. Mr. Johns is an American Hero. Let's treat him as such. No fund has been set up in his honor as of yet (oddly, the museum's site only has a small blurb about Johns at the moment) but when it is established, I will post a link here, and I really hope you guys will join me in supporting this man's family.
As for von Brunn, I know I shouldn't put such things into cyberspace, but I really hope this idiot dies. He doesn't deserve to stand trial, he doesn't deserve a day in court, he doesn't deserve the opportunity to try and justify what he attempted to carry out, he doesn't deserve a grand stage for further broadcasting his narrow minded hatred. He deserves an eternity in Hell.
In a broader sense, I'm wondering exactly what the hell is going on in this country right now. The election of a Black President was supposed to solve all that ails us and unify the country, although I should note that the candidate himself never made such claims. In fact, Obama himself publicly refuted such claims that he would be the magic bullet repeatedly, most notably in his Philadelphia speech on race. It's the media, the blogs, the rest of us that wanted to believe it would, who projected all these hopes on a man who's nothing more than a shrewd politician, and honestly never promised to be anything other than that.
This year alone has seen a spate of hate fueled killings, each more vile and disgusting than the next, each seemingly rooted in some level of intense hatred that's finally rearing its very ugly head with increasing frequency. It would take an idiot to not somehow draw a correlation between the outbreak of hate-related domestic terrorism and the ascent of Obama. Either an idiot, or a Fox News talking head. Oddly, none of the networks three primetime opinion shows even mentioned this act of terrorism last night, not once. I suppose the feelings of complicity could lead you to pretend something doesn't exist. It wouldn't be the first time, and won't be the last.
But blaming Conservative chatters, gun control, free speech, etc. is merely window dressing. The real problem is that America has a small, let very existent culture of hatred that's never truly been eradicated, but always exists there, just below the surface. I see it when I go home and Confederate flags still gracing the back window of pickup trucks cruising Main Street. I know the Klan is still very active, albeit largely considered toothless, in my neck of the woods. And while I don't necessarily blame Conservative talk radio for such actions, anyone who listens to the folks who get riled up and call into such extremist shows as The Savage Nation and The Wilkow Majority knows these nutjobs are very much alive and well.
I have no solution for this, but the gubb'ment is well aware. But when a Bush-ordered report in right wing domestic terror threats (which followed a less publicized report on left wing nutcases weeks earlier) was released by the Department of Homeland Security awhile back, some idiots saw this as an attack on Conservative free speech and the Obama administration apologized pulled the report. Instead of capitulating, the DHS should have disseminated this info to local authorities as was originally planned. Who knows, had the warnings been truly heeded, von Brunn might be locked up (again) right now, and Johns might be headed to his kid's soccer game.
Instead, we have a brave family man killed in cold blood, and a heartless piece of human excrement clinging to life support.
I hope someone pulls the fucking plug.
Guard Killed In Holocaust Museum Shooting [CBS]
Museum Slay Suspect Had List Of Lawmakers [CBS]