As most probably know by now, there was a domestic terrorist attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs yesterday afternoon. Three people were confirmed dead, including one police officer. The suspect, who was taken alive, is a white male that apparently carried out his attack with an assault rifle. All signs point to right-wing terrorism, an issue that the GOP cannot bring themselves to admit exists.
After recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Mali and Beirut, there have been calls from the GOP demanding that President Obama and Democrats use the words “Islamic terrorism” or “radical Islam” when discussing ISIS/Daesh and other Islamic terrorist organizations.
While I certainly have no problem using the phrase “radical Islam” to describe ISIS/Daesh, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and the other terrorist organizations that have carried out attacks around the world recently, I want to know why the GOP refuses to address recent incidents in the United States as “racist attacks” or “right-wing terrorism.”
The shooting yesterday was an attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic by a white man, not a Muslim or Syrian refugee. The Black Lives Matter shooters in Minneapolis recently were apparently radicalized via racist forums online, and we wait to see what the story behind the Planned Parenthood killer was.
These are not isolated incidents. While much of the attention recently has been on the massacre in Paris by ISIS terrorists, there is a long history of violence and murder in the United States by radical and racist groups going back at least to the Know-Nothing Party of the 1840s and 1850s.
It shouldn’t be any surprise that this shooting comes after months of a renewed smear campaign by the GOP against Planned Parenthood which is based on heavily-edited and false videos produced by the anti-choice group Center For Medical Progress. This organization has been tied to the Operation Rescue organization, a radical group which has a long history of harassing abortion providers and women’s healthcare.
Via Right Wing Watch:
The “direct action” movement that Operation Rescue and CMP represent originated with dissidents from the National Right to Life Committee, which after the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was the main organization working to overturn the decision and outlaw abortion through legislation. Early “direct action” protesters abandoned this legislative strategy and instead focuses on attacking legal abortion at its source, harassing abortion providers and patients and sometimes physically preventing women from entering abortion clinics in what became known as “rescue” missions.
As part of this strategy, Operation Rescue now advises activists to use a wide range of methods, including covert ones such as the “sting” operation Daleiden carried out, to gather information on abortion providers (and sometimes patients) in order to harass them at their homes and workplaces or to make their clinics expensive to operate. (Source)
Obviously, most people who are opposed to abortion do not actively promote violence against clinic operators or the women who seek their services. Many do feel that shooting healthcare professionals, engaging in harassment or vandalism including arson are justifiable – a sentiment that was widely shared back when I was a young adult involved in the anti-choice movement.
Planned Parenthood offers a number of healthcare services, and abortions are a very small percentage of what they do. That hasn’t stopped the “pro-life” right-wing which has ramped up their campaign against Planned Parenthood since 2010 when Republicans seized control of Congress once again.
So why can’t the GOP refer to attacks like these as “right-wing terrorism” and demand their followers denounce violence, just as they’ve demanded President Obama use the phrase “radical Islam” when referring to ISIS/Daesh?
The answer is simple. If Republicans make this demand, they’ll be seen as traitors to many members of the far right who seem to believe violence against a woman’s right to choose is justified. Remember, these are the same people who think it’s ok for a young black man to be shot for resisting the police, but they’ll make excuses for the Planned Parenthood shooter who killed a cop and wounded four other members of law enforcement.
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