By: Randy Edwards
Re: Molly Ivins on OKC Bombing
By Molly Ivins
Austin -- "Who are these people?" Glad you asked. I'm in regular
correspondence with them myself. Here's a billet-doux that arrived just last
"Molly Ivins: We have a strong response to leftists, feminazi, elitist media
persons such as yourself. You are an enemy of the White race, the White
family unit and White America. You will be defeated along with your agenda of
social subversion and decay. The People of Cincinnati and of the Nation have
rejected your agenda and your clown prince Clinton. We are taking our nation
back and we are ready to deal with you and your ilk by any means necessary!
WE DESPISE YOU AND YOUR KIND!!!"
Follows a small sticker in black, red and white with a swastika and the slogan
"WHITE POWER!" Also appended: a copy of a column I wrote with "Commie Fag
Lover" scrawled across my picture and some uncharitable and unprintable
suggestions on it. Just a regular piece of fan mail in the daily life of a
leftist, feminazi, elitist media person like myself.
Except for the piercing logic of calling someone a "feminazi" in a letter with
a swastika pasted on it for identification, this is pretty impressive.
This is one of the less loony pieces of White Power mail I receive. The ones
about the supposed invasion of this country by the United Nations are truly
far gone in paranoia, not to mention the remarkable theory that President
Clinton is about to import 100,000 Chinese cops to take people's guns away.
Okay, so we more or less know who these people are, but what's wrong with them?
Why would they so completely suspend disbelief as to fall for this stuff?
Who in his right mind could believe any of this? Twenty-five years in the
newspaper bidness have given me a fairly strong faith in the proposition that
if you haven't read about it in The Daily Disappointment or seen it on the
network news, it's probably not true.
Oddly enough, I happen to agree with the White Power nuts on both the Branch
Davidian case and the Randy Weaver case -- gross misuses of government power,
as I said at the time. But don't let them con you into thinking that the
bombing in Oklahoma City is somehow the government's fault. These same cuckoo
birds have been dinging around in the ozone about the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms (known in their literature as BATFAG) for years and years
now. It should also be pointed out that BATF's famous forensic lab cracked
the World Trade Center bombing case and will probably provide the evidence in
the Oklahoma case.
White Power, the KKK, the Lone Star Militia (and related branches) are all
part of the same old racist, hate-mongering bunch of cockroaches who have been
around all our lives. These belly-creeping dimwits are haters, which gets us
into the same old trap: What do you do about hating the haters?
The phenomenal torrent of rhetoric unleashed by the Republican right lately on
the theme that Government Is The Enemy plays right into the hands of the
haters. The more people talk about government as Them, some unreachable,
uncontrollable Other, the more extreme the haters get. I've got news for the
haters: Government Is Us in this country. Well, us and a lot of corporate
special-interest money. (Speaking of corporate special-interest money,
perhaps the timber and ranching interests would now like to rethink their
funding of the increasingly violent anti-environmental groups.)
Does this mean anyone who criticizes the gummint should now shut up, lest we
somehow encourage the scum who are willing to kill children in their blind
hatred? Of course not. But as I have been preaching for a long time: Listen
to the people who are talking about how to fix what's wrong, not the ones who
just work people into a snit over the problems. Listen to the people who have
ideas about how to fix things, not the ones who just blame others.
Do I think the climate of hate speech, hate radio and hate politics
contributed to the torn, tiny bodies in Oklahoma City? I know they did. The
poisoning of the well of public debate by people like Rep. Bob Dornan, now
running for the presidency of the United States, is just as much a part of the
bomb that went off in Oklahoma as the fertilizer that went into it. Hate
speech is fertilizer for bombs.
So should we limit freedom of speech? Of course not. But with freedom comes
responsibility, and people should be held accountable for their words. And
the rest of us have a responsibility, too: to use our own freedom to speak out
against the haters.
The poisonous stew of gun nuts, racists, right-wingers and religious zealots
has been allowed to boil and bubble, heated by paranoia and lies, until it
finally exploded. And it turned out that all the macho fantasies of all the
losers who like to play at war were just the miasma of sick minds -- there was
no enemy. There were only mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters,
brothers, husbands and wives. And babies.