05 June 2003

Timothy Burke Says it Just Right

Burke, a professor of African history at Swarthmore, has an excellent post on the American terrorist Eric Rudolph's vocal North Carolina supporters. An excerpt:

Eric Rudolph appears to have had the aid and sympthy of more than a few people in the area where he conducted his fugitive existence. It also seems there is broad agreement among pundits and bloggers that this is a vexing thing. Am I wrong in thinking, however, that conservative commentators have had, on average, only a small proportion of the vehemence they would have had about such sympathy in comparison to what would happen if there were a number of people spotted in Santa Cruz, California with “Go Osama!” t-shirts on? Andrew Sullivan is quite clear that Christian fascism and intolerance is as bad as any other form—but where is the equivalent of his “Sontag Award” ? Where is the red meat feeding-frenzy over signs in Murphy, North Carolina expressing support for Rudolph? Where is the pulpit-pounding? Where are the bills in Congress proposing to rename Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer "Liberty"?

I think there's a segment of our population--a fifth column, if you will--that believes that Rudolph's murderous behavior was OK because it targeted abortion clinics and gay nightclubs, and made anti-federal government statements. Burke is correct: the right has not responded to this terrorism with any vehemence at all. Conservative commentators and bloggers had much more to say when Americans on the left suggested that Americans should look to themselves in order to at least partially understand terrorism from abroad. I remember the squeals of outrage and protest then--where's the outrage on the right now?


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