Demonization and Dog Whistles

EXHIBIT A – Demonization

If you even doubt for a second that anti-abortion hate rhetoric fueled the assassination of Dr.Tiller yesterday, I invite you to watch an Operation Rescue propaganda video about Dr.Tiller (fetus porn alert), an exercise in demonization that is absolutely depraved in its vileness.

And there’s nothing atypical about it, it just encapsulates the kind of rhetoric anti-choice extremists engage in on an ongoing basis, day in, day out, year in, year out.

Does anyone really believe that this kind of thing, on top of the constant hate rhetoric being puked out about Dr. Tiller every single day for years wouldn’t be enough to flip the batshit switch on someone who’s already unhinged?

EXHIBIT B — Dog Whistle

Courtesy of Alison at Creekside and TGB, here’s Randall Terry in the aftermath of yesterday’s terrorist killing, reiterating the “Tiller the Killer” theme and urging anti-abortion freaks to continue using the same tactics they’ve always used (including murder, one assumes):

It’s significant that in his delusional rant Terry seems far more concerned with the reaction of the White House than he does with the murder that one of his little army of terrorist freaks committed.  Make no mistake:  that’s a dog whistle, and I hope the Secret Service caught the play.

Predictably, anti-choicers are scrambling to “denounce” and distance themselves from the killing of a man they routinely demonized day in, day out, year in, year out, to just such an end.  They’re calling it the work of a “lone nutter”, an anomaly, a one-off, but nothing could be further from the truth.  In reality, Tiller’s murder is part of a long-standing pattern with ominous implications:

In March 1993, three months into the administration of our first pro-choice president, Bill Clinton, abortion provider Dr. David Gunn was murdered in Pensacola, Florida. That was the beginning of what would become a five-fold increase in violence against abortion providers throughout the Clinton years.

Today’s assassination of Dr. George Tiller comes 5 months into the term of our second pro-choice president. For anyone who would like to believe that this is a statistical anomaly, a coincidence that doesn’t portend anything, again, you are wrong.

During the entire Bush administration, from 2000-2008 there were no murders.

During the Clinton era, between 1994-2000 there were 6 abortion providers and clinic staff murdered, and 17 attempted murders of abortion providers. There were 12 bombings or arsons during the Clinton years.

During the Bush administration, not only were there no murders, there were no attempted murders. There was one clinic bombing during the Bush years.

One can only conclude that like terrorist sleeper cells, these extremists have now been set in motion. Indeed the evidence is already there. The chatter, the threats, the hate-filled rhetoric are abundant.

It’s true:  since Obama took office, the volume has been turned way up.  Add to that the fact that anti-choicers are not getting anything they want — their ballot measures failed, Obama’s appointments are sailing through congress, and their little protests of his speech at Notre Dame were ineffectual.  They know that their best chance to get their way, the Bush era, is history.  It should surprise absolutely fucking no-one that they’ve, once again, taken it to the next level.

While I am a staunch supporter of free speech even for douchebags like Randall Terry, there’s a fine line between legitimate free expression and  incitement to commit murder in the form of ongoing harassment and hate propaganda against an individual.  It’s time to look at whether organizations like Operation Rescue cross that line.

18 Responses to “Demonization and Dog Whistles”


  1. 1 deBeauxOs Monday, June 1, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Randall Terry’s video wasn’t scripted spontaneaously yesterday – it has all the earmarks of a work in progress, ready to launch at the appropriate moment.

  2. 2 JJ Monday, June 1, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I’m sure the basic script was written when they shot Tiller the first time.

    They all knew this would happen eventually… When Dr.Tiller was in court awhile ago, even I wondered how he managed to stay alive for so long with these fanatical idiots stalking him 24/7. That’s what makes them culpable — they knew how it had to end, but they kept on with the hate propaganda anyway.

    Want to know what they’re really thinking about Dr. Tiller’s murder? Have a boo at Twitter (#Tiller and #tcot). Tweets of pure hate!

  3. 3 Bene D Monday, June 1, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Is it true there are are two physicans left in the US willing to help women like Gretchen Voss?

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2004/01/25/my_late_term_abortion/

    The language has been so hi-jacked (partial birth abortion is not a medical term) and by Roman Catholic natural law theory that I like Dave genuinely fear.

    “I’m sorry he’s dead but..” is chilling.
    There is no but.

    I went to write about Canadian anti-abortionist react at religious right alert last night and actually wound up nauseated.
    Wierded me out, I actually had a physical reaction to the ignorance and anger.

    I deleted the post.

    While ‘but’ needs to be intelligently exposed and ethically denounced, I had my fill after seeing Suzanne rationalize in her comment section. I commend everyone that took time to point out her lack of reasoning.

    I don’t know how you do this JJ.

    My adoptive mom was a nurse and as a kid I used to sneak out and listen to the grownups. I didn’t fully understand some of what I was listening to, I do remember talk about the abortion wards. I am grateful I was given the opportunity to learn medical and ethical reasoning. These doctors and nurses had great empathy for women – so many died. WWII had flooded hospitals with wounded soldiers and I heard lots of stories about them; to this day I remember the empathy and frustration of medical people doing the best they good for women who had few choices.

    As a society we cannot go backwards.
    I will not bow to anti-abortionist disgust, ignorance and lack of empathy. It’s difficult sometimes.

    As a journalist I reached the point where I refused to cover any more ‘pro-life’ groups, they became exhausting soul sucking assignments. There is a level of ignorant zealousness many exhibit and I lost tolerance and objectivity.
    At some stage ideology becomes so toxic personal boundaries have to be re-set. I realized that again last night when I scrubbed the post.

  4. 5 deBeauxOs Monday, June 1, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Terry, once he stepped out from behind the podium at his press conference tried to interest a reporter, any reporter, in providing him with a free lunch, preferably something really hot and a little crispy.

    http://scathinglywrongrightwingnutz.blogspot.com/2009/06/really-hot-and-little-crispy.html

    As JJ never tires of saying, you couldn’t even begin to invent What-The-Fuckery of this magnitude.

  5. 6 Bruce Monday, June 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Let us never refer to these selfish, desperate spawns of manufactured hate as Pro-Life ever again.

  6. 7 J. A. Baker Monday, June 1, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Well, Gingi The Unhingied has deigned to respond to the Tiller assassination. It’s the usual mishmash of lies, name-calling, blame-shifting, and shitting-on-the-victim’s-grave that we’ve come to expect from The Unhinged One. I felt nauseous about halfway through and couldn’t finish the terrorism-enabling dreck. Anyone care to see if you can do better?

  7. 8 900ft Jesus Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 5:44 am

    compare that murder to this, just out today:

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090601/Military_Shot_090601/20090601?hub=World

    Military recruiter killed in Arkansas shooting

    “A man with “political and religious motives” killed a soldier just out of basic training and wounded another Monday in a targeted attack on a military recruiting centre, police said…Thomas said Muhammad, previously known as Carlos Bledsoe, would be charged with first-degree murder, plus 15 counts of committing a terroristic act. Thomas said those counts result from the gunfire occurring near other people.”

    The article also says the attack was not part of a broader scheme, so this isn’t being lablelled a terrorist act because the murderer belongs to a terrorist group.

    So for this muslim (I,m guessing) who killed someone in the military, 1st degree murder and 15 counts of terrorism, justification given that the gunfire occurred near other people.

    This reasoning fits exactly the murder of Dr. Tiller – 1st degree because it was planned, and terrorism because the gunfire occurred near other people – churgoers, at that.

    Any guesses as to who will get the stiffer sentence and whose murderous act will indeed fall under terrorism?

    It is terrorism, the murder of those who perform abortions. Meant to instill terror.

  8. 9 mj Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 9:42 am

    I’m pretty sure Refused would not have given permission for their music to be used in the first video. . .

  9. 10 JJ Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Bene D – That post at your place was top-drawer, man! Outstanding.

    The abortion rights situation can be tiring, especially for those of us who fought it the first time around — you figure it’s over, but noooooooo. I’m so glad there are young people stepping up to the plate. Because pushing back can get tiring — we spend so much time constantly debunking lies and propaganda, it’s just exhausting after awhile. Especially when something like this happens: but that’s what they do when they’re losing.

    The last couple of days has been particularly draining — I was shocked stupid on Sunday, then enraged, then yesterday, reading some letters that Andrew Sullivan posted from women that Dr. Tiller has helped, I just broke down in tears (which I’m about to do again, just thinking about it).

    Dr Tiller was demonized because his specialty in late term abortion was so easy to play for shock value to the ignorant and uninformed. The truth is, late term abortions are never “abortions of convenience” — they’re personal tragedies. They shouldn’t even be called “abortions”, IMO.

    Thanks for those little anecdotes from your past — interesting what we recall and how it shapes us. I can definitely see how covering anti-abortion groups would be a soul-sucking enterprise, I feel that way myself sometimes.

  10. 11 JJ Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    JAB – Yes, deBeauxOs posted that at Dammit Janet. Terry’s a fruitcake of the highest order, and rotten shit-eating scum. It doesnt surprise me that he can’t keep from running his vile mouth off this week — none of them can. They’re all basically saying the same thing when they say “We’re sorry about that BUT…” (See my post that links to Bene D’s post on that — it’s awesome.

  11. 12 JJ Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    deBeauxOs – I’ve got some crispy fucking wings for him

  12. 13 JJ Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Bruce – Yep, I am done with that. Not that I usually used that term anyway, but occasionally I did, because that is what they’re known as. NO MORE. They need to become known as anti-abortion again.

  13. 14 JJ Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    JAB – I actually ran across that on Free Republic (what was I doing there? Reading all their despicable comments about Dr Tiller.)

    She’s obviously trying for the notoriety she managed to achieve with her other piece of shit post, but this one isn’t working. It lacks the “magic” :lol:

  14. 15 JJ Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    900 – Yet another religiously-motivated domestic terrorist attack.

    I suggest all religious people go and read Bene Diction’s post and give it some serious thought. It applies as much to Muslims as Christians or any other faith. DO NOT allow your faith to be highjacked by fucking idiots.

  15. 16 JJ Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    mj – If they just used it without permission, this would just be typical behaviour for them — anti-choicers get caught all the time using music without the owner’s permission. And wordmarks! And Dr. Seuss rhymes! Stealing for Jesus!

  16. 17 Samual Friday, July 31, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Great read, deff worth a subscription


  1. 1 Frank Schaeffer: “This is what helps unhinge a society.” « bastard.logic Trackback on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

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