Musings on April 19th, 1995
This blog discusses the Oklahoma City Bombing, touches on Waco and Ruby Ridge and includes a sorta vulgar rant against christians using their gawd as a reason to be terrorists. I also call out christians, or co-called christians on their own terrorism. It meanders a bit, but I didn't clean that up; I left the blog in its original, organic form.
If that sort of thing bothers you, you'll want to skip today's' blog. Thank you.
If that sort of thing bothers you, you'll want to skip today's' blog. Thank you.
April 19, 1995
The Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in Oklahoma City, OK.
I read Addicting Information, and it's a hellava good site if you're curious about the entire world, and a flaming liberal like I am. Thursday I followed a link, and I sat silently, remembering.
I was 17 years old, a senior in high school. We didn't hear about it until after lunch, when the principle announced there had been an accident in Oklahoma. Now, OK City is a long way from po-dunk, red-neck Bangor, Michigan where I lived (the town still has only a yellow-blinking light, and only about 1900 people lived there in 2000). So we had our moment of silence, and the resident Super-Christians (yeah, we had a family, complete with prairie dresses and super long hair) started praying loudly for the safety and salvation of everyone involved... which was moronic, as we knew people had died-- we just didn't know how, or why.
I remember watching the news that night and being horrified! The photo of the fireman carrying that beat up, bleeding little baby was seared into the eyeballs of the nation that day, and still makes me sick to my stomach.
When Timothy McVeigh's statement about Waco and Ruby Ridge came out, I remember being very confused, and having to ask people; see, we'd missed those, being in Germany, and only got AFN's take on them. Either way, the Waco thing sounded like it was ten kinds of fucked up, but damn, get that cultist, child molester! Ruby Ridge was harder. Thinking back now, it's hard to remember what I did, and did not know at the time, so bear with me while I ponder that one.
I knew some militia, survivalist people were living up in the sticks of Idaho, but shrugged it off. I mean, if they were foolish enough to give up their flush toilets and live off the grid, what did I care, right? Hippies have been doing that forever now. Then, some ass holes in the FBI, or BATF (that's before they got all fancy and became the BATFE) shot someone, and that led to a stand off, and then everyone died! Or wait, only one person died? Or maybe it was two people, and everyone got shot! No, wait, Someone died, because a sniper shot her when she was opening the front door, and could have *gasp* shot the kid, too! Wait, no, that's not right, the kid got killed as well! No, everyone died, because they shot down the “black helicopter” and that made the home-made explosives that protected/surrounded the house explode!
Truth to tell, I didn't learn the whole story for years afterwards; I don't know if anyone did. If you're not familiar, start with the Wikipedia page, and go from there. Stay away from any militia pages, anti-government pages, and Stormfront (because I'm sure those white-supremacist motherfuckers still use it as a rallying cry).
Vicky Weaver and her son, Sammy were killed, as was William Francis Degan; two people who lived on the property and one Federal agent. Three too many, yes, but far fewer than I'd heard.
Unfortunately the government fucked up-- they do that, the government has people in it, and if it didn't, then the robot overlords would probably have used us for fertiliser already. (Can I make the request to be used to fertilise flowers, oh Great Ones?) That doesn't make either siege right, they were both horribly, horribly wrong.
Doesn't mean the militia movement was right, either. Those people scare the shit out of me! What little I knew of them was filtered through my mother's paranoia and my Dad's gun thing. Let me try to explain, although it's difficult for me to wrap my own head around it.
My Dad is not a gun nut. He is not even an enthusiast; but he does have a small collection. In the collection are a couple pieces that belonged to his father-- less than a dozen all told, and all of them properly stored and put away. Growing up, I knew where the guns and ammunition were, but I also knew that guns killed, and were not toys-- they were never accessible, either.
My Dad takes the 2nd Amendment to mean that the People are the militia. He figures, if the country is invaded by some outside force (when I was a kid, it was, of course, those Godless Ruskies!) it was up to us to work with the local police, the FBI, the CIA, the Fire-fighters, everyone, and fight back until the Army and National Guard can rescue us. Rather like a built-in freedom fighting force) or like a secondary army, after the Army, and National Guard were defeated, or if they were somewhere else. He explained that this did not mean it was OK to take up arms against the government, “Even if you know they're wrong. We have voting for that.”
He also explained that people who plot and plan and want to invade the government to overthrow it were terrorists. Full Stop. The government was Of the people, By the people and For the people, so if anyone tried to overthrow it, they were going against the People; they were traitors, and deserved to be put to death. That's how it was explained to me, and for many years, that made perfect sense; the Constitution says treason's punishable by Congress (that'd be Article 3, section 3), and Congress has tended to put traitors to death (and look at the Rosenberg's in the 190's).
So, my Dad thought that while the Ruby Ridge thing was a fiasco (“So, they killed his wife and kid, because he wouldn't rat people out? That's not right!”), he thought that the Waco siege was worse (“They're no better than that man claiming he's Jesus! The Government's in the business of burning kids alive, now?”) Yes, militia people who claimed they were going to take back their country (sound familiar, anyone?) needed to be monitored, but you couldn't punish someone for choosing not to be an informant. Informants get murdered.
My Dad thought it was mismanagement, but that the BATF was taking things a lot too far, throwing a fit because Weaver owned guns.
My mother swore up and down that the Weavers in Idaho, and the Koresh-worshippers in Texas were murdered by the government because of something they knew, or did, or wouldn't do! She also taught me the famously mis-quoted and misunderstood line, “the tree of liberty must be watered by the blood of Tyrants”; it took forever before I learned who even said it (Jefferson) and to what he was referring* . For the record, I know she taught it wrong, and it's officially quoted as: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” She never let the truth stand in the way of good propaganda; she was an original Teabagger.
See, I told you, it was complicated! I came to the understanding that both of those were what you'd call a “clusterfuck”. Both groups of people involved were wrong, and both were right, and innocents got caught in the middle-- isn't that always the way! I think a lot of level-headed, fair-minded people felt the same way (and might still). We want to believe that our government, our law enforcement would never hurt people, but we see it happen every day. So we hope it's a one-off, or maybe “just a bad apple” or “miscommunication”. Sadly, that's not usually the case-- often it's power-tripping on both sides of the dispute, and people suffer.
Anyway, listening to people pontificate about McVeigh, and how he was wronged some how, how the government was going to “take over” everything, and ruin the country, how he was going to start the war to bring the “country back” to where ever it was before-- when he was happy with it-- made me want to vomit. This guy, this privileged white guy murdered babies, and he's bitching about the government? Pu-lease, what a fucker!
“I want my country back! I want a job! I don't want to pay taxes for other people to get welfare! Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps like I did! Government lies! They're taking away our freedom! They're going to send the black helicopters to take you away! They're going to take away out guns, and then kill us all! Making my kids go to school with 'those' kids infringes on my religious rights! You're persecuting me!” I could go on, but this hysterical channelling of such venom makes my soul hurt.
I've noticed, though, that these militia-types, these white-supremacist, anti-government, anti-diversity, christianist, groups, they're all like that. If you don't believe me, and if you can handle it, and still maintain faith in humanity, go to Stormfront. Look at any forum thread, any one of them, for oh, five minutes. I'll wait for you.
Need more time to sick up? I can wait, I'm a very patient woman.
OK. The Nazi's are alive and well, and a lot of them live in Idaho! That same race war our modern day Neanderthals want to kick start, so they can rule the US, and kick out anyone not as white and pure and lily-fair as they, is the same kind of shit McVeigh wanted to start. For him, blowing up a building with a day-care in it was merely the first step in this conflict. I guess it was supposed to call his fellow crazy-soldiers to arms.
Fortunately, it didn't work.
Unfortunately these same people are still around, and still agitating in the US. These same people are busy writing signs calling the President a Nazi, and comparing him to Hitler; they claim the government will take away everyone's guns, so that the government can take over-- something, they never tell us what the Gov is taking over. These lovely, ignorant people scream “get your government hands off my Medicare” and can't understand why that's so fucking funny! They complain they're “taxed enough already” when a good portion of them aren't paying any income taxes at all, and they do seem to like having fire-fighters and cops around, and driving on paved roads. And of course, they protest anyone who isn't their brand of christian and call us all “Muslim terrorists” because we disagree; all the while screaming that they have the 1st Amendment on their side, and freedom of religion only means freedom for them to practice theirs, and shove it down your throat. [Quickly, one of these days I'll write about the various encounters I've had with people who like to scream about the 1st Amendment. Not a god-damned one of them has the sense of a domesticated goose! They don't understand it in the slightest, nor do they know how it really works.]
The moment a group of people starts carrying weapons in public to make their “point” or carrying signs that say things like “we came unarmed, this time” is the moment they become terrorists. A terrorist is, “someone who advocates terrorism.” And Terrorism is “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” If you want to check my definitions, I used Dictionary.com.
Threatening people who disagree with you, is terrorism.
Calling on people to kill elected leaders, because you don't like the colour of their skin, is terrorism.
Fire-bombing a Planned Parenthood, or women's clinic, because you're anti-choice, is terrorism.
Protesting with implied violence, because you don't want a group to build a community centre (and screaming about religious freedom all the while) is terrorism.
Want to know what those four things have in common with McVeigh? They're done these days, by christians, or people calling themselves christian. McVeigh was christian too. Loudly christian. White-Supremasicst, Take Back My Country, Christian. Same as these people who are so fucking terrified of a black man being president; the same people so fucking scared of the world changing so that everyone is level, and no one is below others, no one is left behind because of their skin. Yep, they're all christian.
Don't believe me? Google “southern baptist convention”, and tell me why they started. They're christians, after all, right? Have very very large influence on white people, today, and work closely with the RCC; in fact, they formed the religious right.
Did you see it? They broke away, because they used their bible to promote, protect and keep slavery legal. Look at that again: They broke away, and used their bible to promote, protect and keep slavery legal. It wasn't until 1995 that the Convention actually repudiated their position on slavery. 1995.
This is the same group that worked against civil rights. Against desegregation. Against free elections and for voting restrictions that prevented African-Americans from voting (and now, poor, old and anyone who isn't a shoe-in to vote for the GOP). Scared, old white people, who think helping others means hurting themselves.
The very same white people who hold up signs claiming they want their country back.
Who took it, anyway? I surely didn't, but I like where it's been going. We have to go forward, and to do that, we have to be brave enough to call the shit, when we see the shit.
So, let me close this blog by calling the shit that I see.
Christians who fight against freedom for others and couch it in violent, threatening language:
Christians who claim “they hate us for our freedom” when they really mean “we hate them for being different”:
People who think taking your country back is something we can do-- as if time travel is possible:
People who think the government is out to get you, and are actively yelling about it:
Those of you who honestly truly are ready to “take up arms to defend” whatever it is you think needs defending in your narrow, repugnant world view:
Anyone who actively works against equality, justice and then throw around the phrase “real American”
People who think Islam, Pagan, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist and non-christian means terrorist.
You are all fucking terrorists! Violence is Not the answer, and it's not the question! If you threaten us with violence for not agreeing with you, you are a terrorist! Not all those who follow Islam are terrorists, but every single god-damned one of you is! So Stop screaming about “them” and take a good long look at yourselves!
Being a christianist is evil. Your own creed is against you. Shut up, go away, stop trying to overthrow the government of the People. If the Constitution means so damned much to you: Fucking Read It!
Ted Nugent is not right! He's a nasty, rude has-ben who has no right threatening the President. He's a terrorist too, and everyone like him.
Oh, you make me so mad, parading your god, your bible, and the Constitution around as if you know what the fuck you're talking about! The Constitution wasn't founded on that book you worship, and it sure as fuck wasn't based in any way on your religion, or the twisted shit you call religion.
If you want me to respect your beliefs, shut up about them. Stop trying to choke me with them, stop trying to play victim while you're victimising everyone around you, and maybe, possibly LIVE that religion of yours. Show us that you actually know what that book says your Jesus said to do. I'll give you a hint, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbour as yourself.”
You do that, and we'll talk. Until then, this is America, formed of, by and for the people. I'm the People. Therefore, I'm a Real American. If you don't like it, you old, white scared conservative loon, get out-- isn't that what you always tell me?
*in a letter to Smith, Jefferson refers obliquely to the Shay’s' rebellion, and how in most societies rebellions happen every so often. He thought that was a good thing in our country, because the People were using their voice, even if the actual rebellion itself, and the reasons for it, was wrong, what mattered was that the People were making noise, and being heard