Category Archives: Right-wing movements

Lila Rose Uses Tragic Death to Attack Abortion

Winner of most despicable moment of the Values Voter Summit: Lila Rose, founder of anti-choice group Live Action, uses tragic, accidental death of Tonya Reaves from rare abortion complication to attack reproductive rights. Rose doesn’t mention that childbirth 14 times more likely to result in death (and that abortion is safer than getting a shot of penicillin). So, does Rose think that we should ban the right to have children? Yeah, sure.
I’ve been spending the day listening to the Values Voter Summit livestream — because what better way to pass a Saturday than by listening to the major Christian Right annual gathering convened by the Family Research Council? Since the conference started yesterday, we’ve been treated to an array of anti-choice, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant speakers, including politicians such as Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to failed presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, amongst other Christian Right advocates. But, for me, Rose’s comments definitely took the prize for disturbing, inappropriate, manipulative comments.
Rose’s Live Action is best known for its undercover “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood staff, which — usually with the help of heavy editing — attempt to display evidence of law-breaking or behavior viewers might just find distasteful, and then use those isolated incidents to attempt to take down the entire right to an abortion.
 On women’s health and clinic safety: It would be nice if abortions could take place in hospitals, instead of being driven to special clinics by anti-choice advocacy and even terrorism. The ever-decreasing access to abortion is strongly related to the fact that abortion doctors face threats to their life (as with the murder of Dr. George Tiller); clinics face threats of bombings, arson, anthrax, and other violence; and harassment from nonviolent anti-choice protesters disturbs the ability to function of any medical facility they target, while creating the constant fear for staff that it could turn violent.
The U.S. should improve its maternal mortality rates, especially where poverty is a factor — our maternal death rates are higher than many countries, which should be unacceptable to anyone who wants to tout American as the greatest nation on Earth, as is so popular in conferences like Values Voters. But don’t talk hypocritically about protecting women’s lives when you’re keeping abortions from taking place in hospitals, when you’re not working to decrease maternal deaths, and when you’re attempting to force women back to dangerous back-alley abortions that killed thousands yearly before Roe v. Wade.

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Filed under Feminism, Reproductive Justice, Right-wing movements

Fear & Loathing in the U.S.A.: “Patriot Movement” Issues Ultimatum Via Youtube

In a Youtube video that has now been removed, members of the right-wing “patriot movement” warned Obama (“and co”) to “leave now and give us our country back.” If not, “‘We, The People’ will systematically dismantle you, destroy you and reclaim what is rightfully ours.”

“Dead line [sic] for your national response: October 15, 2009.”

And make no mistake about what it is they’re threatening: in a final note to “patriots,” the video says to “Be prepared for when the fateful day of the declaration of war [emphasis added] is nationally announced.”

So, ultimatum and threat of war + people bringing guns to Obama’s speech + the kind of rhetoric directed toward John F. Kennedy before his assassination (except now we can also vote on whether the president should live via Facebook poll) = are you worried yet?

FDR told us, “We have nothing to fear except fear itself.” And that’s exactly what I’m afraid of–people’s fear. The fear of “the other.” People’s fear for their “way of life.” The 9/12 protests: Fear of government. Images that depict Obama as Hitler: Fear.

Fear incited by right-wing pundits and politicians who really should know better. Fear translated into hate.

When people’s fears have been brought to a pitch–conspiracies, demonizing, scapegoating–the danger of violence arises. That’s why Latino organizations took a stand against Lou Dobbs’ fear-mongering rhetoric: to protect themselves. That’s what makes the growth of militia and white supremacist groups across the country so alarming.

Perhaps even more important (and difficult) than health care reform–although that’s a big one–progressives need to figure out how to undermine the power of fear in shaping our current national discourse. It all ties together anyway: With “kill your grandma” rhetoric Democrats are kept from pursing their policy goals.

Under the Bush years, we were conditioned to be afraid with the color alert system (it’s orange today! ORANGE!) and constant Dick Cheney rhetoric about our national security (and then some distractions about how it’s really gay marriage that will destroy America). It’s easier to cause an atmosphere of fear than to dispel it: hence the desperate Republican Party’s continued attraction to these cheap tricks. But Democrats can’t stoop to those same tactics–the 9/11 truth movement show that liberals are capable of whipping up fear and conspiracy theories too.

National security goal #1 should be to work toward civil discourse, against fear–bringing a new meaning to the “war on terror.”

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Filed under Obama, Right-wing movements