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.