Sunday, April 05, 2009

Whiskey Fire In Binghamton

I've been reading the Whiskey Fire blog for quite a while now. Great snark. Plenty of insight. Always good wing-nut fun making. When a shooter killed 14 people in Binghamton last week, I was surprised to hear that this fun little blog I'd been reading is being written by folks just down the road from me. I felt a little tinge of memory from past tragedies that make us all feel closer together. In this case, we were pretty close already.

I was anxious this morning to see what they had to say about the tragedy, now that it's had some time to really sink in. The post is from Jake T. Snake: Why is the mine still open when the canaries keep expiring? It's a powerful post, and I recommend reading the whole thing, now, because I'm going to quote the end, which is where Robin and I wound up when we talked about this yesterday. Why, if this guy was pissed at people who fired him, or the rednecks (Binghamton is a city of 43,000, of which 80% are white) who made fun of his bad English, did he go shoot other immigrants like himself?

Finally, I think it is instructive that the shooter picked as his victims, not someone powerful like the people who had laid him off, but a group of the powerless like himself. This is the other dynamic that repeats itself over and over, don't attack those in power that are the root of the problem, but rather find someone weaker to victimize and perpetuate the cycle. This also explains the disdain people have for social workers. We help the weak and disenfranchised and in the united states that is a sign of weakness the unforgivable sin.

All the pitchforks and torches talk is a bunch of hot air fueled by psuedo-populists who will pat the back of the next CEO to donate to their election campaign. When the really angry people lash out with their firearms and satchels of ammo hanging around their necks, they don't go after the powerful. They go after the weak, the easy targets, those least able to protect themselves or fight back. Their self-loathing is exposed through their choice of targets.

Take the case of the Pittsburgh cop killer who was so certain that we were going to take his guns that he, whipped into a frenzy by the riot inciters in the GOP and Fox news, decided to take it out on some middle class, under paid cops who were just doing their job trying to keep their community safe from the likes of Wing Nuts like him. Maybe those cops were conservative 2nd amendment types too. He didn't know. He just started shooting at the first easy target to walk up to his house. He used an assault rifle. The cops were sitting ducks. Easy targets.

We're going to see a lot more of this. As Bushvilles sprout up all over the country, as the welfare roles and the unemployment lines get longer, as wages continue to fall, real income collapses, health care is lost, mental illness goes undiagnosed, we're going to see some very angry, heavily armed people lose it. And they won't lash out at Phil Gramm, George Bush, or Dick Cheney. In one of the final, ironic twists of the Bush era, they will take it out on the people who least deserve it.

1 comment:

John Barry said...

Mr. Supak,

Thank you for your kind words and your insight, it is a rare thing.

Jake T. Snake