Thursday, June 16, 2022

Firebombing - Jane's Revenge

I had decided not to comment on the recent assassination attempt on Brett Kavanaugh, on the hope that it was a one-off ill person and not representative of any change in overall sentiment. I did remember, and wondered if anyone was pointing it out, that if the politics were reversed Chuck Schumer's comment "you will pay for this" would be a nonstop discussion by horrified liberals expressing how much they felt "real fear," and worry that the country was descending into dangerous places because Sarah Palin/Donald Trump/some obscure Missouri state legislator had been saying such inciting, dangerously violent things.

But I don't think the New York Times and the Washington Post will be rehashing Schumer's comment, because they don't perceive that his comments might send some crazy person that last step over the edge. We have discussed this many times here. It is not just because they are playing the political game of burying news that makes the political side they favor look bad.  It is also because at the most primitive level, they are not in danger personally, so their warning bells do not go off.  They are not the ones who will be hurt. There is a tendency for all of us to do this.  We get activated when it might be our family, our tribe that is under threat. Then IT'S SERIOUS. When it is our political opponents who are in danger, we make excuses about how minimal the danger is.

I had a friend who expressed real concern about the "violence" of pro-life protestors of a speaker at the college he taught at, because they intentionally slow-moved the exit roads of the speakers trying to drive out, never blocking them, just being sort of intimidating, clogging up the road, and saying uncomplimentary things. As was a daily occurrence at OWS, for example, now forgotten. It seemed worse to him because he might theoretically be a target for inviting them.  Nothing like that ever happened, but the threat seemed closer to home. I do not follow it closely anymore, but I don't think I ever heard one word of fear expressed about campus violence in any other direction.  We are all like that.  But we try to be better.

But Schumer did say "Brett Kavanaugh, you will pay for this," which is an odd statement, because Kavanaugh is not in an elected position and the price that he pays will not be political except in the sense of...what? Not getting invited to Georgetown parties? What other "price" was he thinking of?  Schumer isn't stupid.  He reportedly had SATs of 1600, old scoring (though I think there is some shading on that, some information left out). And now someone has tried to assassinate Kavanaugh. 

And this is not a one-off after all, as I naively hoped.  A pro-life clinic has already been firebombed last week by a group called "Jane's Revenge." They threaten more violence. After decades of working with liberals who see themselves as peaceful people, I know what the response will be.  This will not register. It will disappear from memory, not stick to the wall, because the framework, the schema, is that it is the pro-life people who are violent - based on real but long-past incidents - not their people. It is a subset of the offense/defense, liberal/conservative split I have mentioned a hundred times.  It is liberals who are the violent ones, getting in people's faces, setting cars on fire, throwing stones through the storefronts of conservative groups, strapping bombs to themselves and entering buildings.  The difference has been that they have refrained from human targets, and thus it somehow "doesn't count." That is eroding fast - Counterdemonstrations where armed violence against tiny groups of supposed neo-nazis or other baddies is initiated; Bernie staffers shooting Republican congressmen; attacks on police that are specifically political. And of course the assassination attempts back to Oswald have been much more often from the left - when they aren't just from people who are just ill. 

If it's not you in danger, it gets forgotten, as in Cowslip's Warren.


james said...

It has been going on for a while: This is from last month.

Grim said...

The Intercept has a good piece on this group, by someone sympathetic to them.

It's wild reading for me.

"Was this a false flag? Who but the extreme right, which had looked the other way while its terrorist armies murdered abortion providers, would besmirch the name of Jane, the Chicago collective that provided over 11,000 safe, illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade? This seemed the perfect tactic: A campaign of violence by pro-choice forces would reinforce the picture of abortion advocates as barbarians and justify draconian punishment..."

Who but the right would engage in violence, yes.

"Yet I confess: Their rhetoric speaks to me... Their analysis is correct. The Uvalde elementary school shooting “was an act of male domination and patriarchal violence, meant to make women, children and teachers live in fear. We know it is deeply connected to the reproductive violence about to be unleashed on this land by an illegitimate institution founded in white male supremacy,” reads a call to action posted on the group’s website."

I have no idea what that 'analysis' is supposed to be based upon. As far as I can tell from reporting, the Uvalde murderer was not in any sense a devoted vassal of the patriarchy, or of traditional manhood. I haven't seen anything to suggest he was motivated especially by hatred of women or children. Apparently it 'speaks' to some to think so, though.

Aggie said...

Isn't this what the discourse inevitably becomes, when actions don't have consequences? People that have Conservative ideas, and have the temerity to express them, are subject to immediate identification and singling out, subject to a 'calling out', or worse, depending upon the forcefulness of their rhetoric. Action, followed with consequences that range from simple indirect shaming to active targeted cancellation (in the modern social-media sense). And thus it has been since at least 2016, and to lesser degrees prior to that. The social media platforms unilaterally cancel along partisan lines, with no right to appeal; there's not much doubt about that. Does it take much more to draw a conclusion? The consequence of speaking to Conservative issues carries an active, real downside risk, from complete strangers. The consequence of speaking to Progressive ideas brings the safety and comfort of the herd, the hive. What is the consequence of attending a protest wearing a red MAGA hat? We've seen that on the nightly news, no? What is the consequence of wearing black, breaking windows, starting fires? There have been no consequences for most of those people. The only ones that drew real consequences had to murder someone in cold blood, on live multiple cameras, to finally arouse the interest of law enforcement.

Aggie said...

An acerbic example of the above: