In the early days of the internet the two fastest growing segments were the porn industry and the hate groups. While porn was often purely a mercantile venture, hate was an attempt at giving voice to what had become impolite in our evolving society. The anonymity of the medium allowed people to say whatever they had in mind and put it out there. Finding like minded people became easy and entire virtual communities developed based on hate. Message boards gave way to chat rooms then social media exploded with new ways for people to connect in real time with strangers. While hate groups are near their saturation point their brand of nasty language and attack voices have become main stream for some. For example on Twitter where small minded people, ginned up by members of the right wing noise machine elite, attack anyone who dares challenge their warped view of the world.
Sandra Fluke has become a favorite. The woman who was originally banned from testifying to Congress on contraceptive drugs in health care plans in favor of an all male witness list has been the target of a nasty and orchestrated attack pattern by the minions of Rush Limbaugh. Fluke was called a slut by Limbaugh on his radio show in an attempt to remain relevant. The outcry, the loss of sponsors and the subsequent showing that America has for the most part left Limbaugh at the last rest stop has called out a backlash that is just short of pathetic. Ignorance, when married to anonymity and hate leads to people calling her a prostitute and other unsavory things. In fact they actively seek her out to do this. A form of cyber-stalking. The ignorance is fed by the noise machine that lies so blatantly about virtually everything that some fact-checkers have given up, concluding there is no point to fact check fiction. But while there is no doubt that the right wing noise machine has started to sputter and shake, it still has a following and so as it gets nastier and more hate driven we will see more attacks. Some beyond anything one would imagine in appropriate discourse.
Sandra Fluke put herself out there and is a strong adult. She need not worry about most of the things said about her. While she has had death threats, most is just some person who has not lived up to their dreams of their own self-worth and striking out. They appear to be jealous failures who hate the fact that a smart, active and attractive woman could do so much damage to their hero. It is sad really. But this week we were visited by a series of hateful and downright disgusting tweets that even surprised me.
Gabby Giffords testified in front of Congress on gun legislation. Giffords was the Arizona Congresswoman who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt. A moderate Democrat and strongly pro-gun her story riveted the country for a few weeks as we saw her recover and watched the suffering of those families who lost loved ones, including a nine year old. Giffords recovered since the 2011 shooting but resigned her seat in Congress. Earlier this week she spoke to Congress. Having not recovered from her injuries completely she read a statement, slowly and with difficulty announcing her interest in controlling access to certain types of weapons and accessories that are designed to simply kill people.
Almost immediately the Twitter world exploded with statements like: Retarded Democrat Gabrielle Giffords Exploiting her Shooting Tragedy to Force Americans to Accept Tougher Gun Control Laws! Michelle Malkin, a woman who seems to think she is doing journalism, attacked Giffords and the press because there was a report that the hand written notes used by Giffords to testify were written by her when in fact they were written by her speech therapist. Giffords brain does not function as well as it did before a man with a legally purchased weapon put a bullet through it, but that didn’t stop Malkin and her minions from saying such hateful things about her. Malkin seemed to think it was a ploy for sympathy to post the notes. I don’t know, I think there was plenty of sympathy for Giffords who spoke with conviction while reminded the panel that she and her husband are legal gun owners and have been long adocates of gun-rights. But Malkin and others felt it was fine to attack a woman who was shot in an assassination attempt for the reason she disagrees with their view of the universe and does so by attacking her disability that was the result of her being shot.
This is not okay, spin on policy, questioning of certain people’s motives and even negative rhetoric in a campaign all have a long history in our country’s political landscape. But attacking a person who fought against all odds to find a solution to a growing problem and bring it to her former colleagues only to be attack as a “retard” or “dumb bitch” by small people is not okay. The NRA and other gun advocates should denounce these pathetic and disgusting statements publically or I will just have to assume that they are part of what they believe. In that case we should all pity them for their serious lack of compassion and manners and they have no place in our society. Also I wonder if it isn’t a mental disorder driving this and well, should you really own a gun?