I’ve been asked why I have not said anything about the mass murder in Atlanta, and I have no excuse for not preaching to the choir. I’m sorry it’s taken me this long.
Because it is the apparent policy of the United States that everyone can buy a weapon of war designed only for the purpose of killing our fellow human —without any restrictions (really)— we should all expect these killings. It’s insane of course, but there we have it.
Politico’s morning email thingie today begins with some very good commentary; I paid particular attention to the Duckworth quote (emboldening is theirs):
As the country grapples with the massacre of eight people — six of them women of Asian descent — by a white man, the most prominent political figures in the Asian-American Pacific Islander community said we all should have seen something like this coming.
Over the last year alone, members of the community have reported more than 3,800 instances of discrimination and hate crimes, according to advocates. Those have ranged from slurs to violent attacks. But it was the shock of a mass shooting, appearing to be motivated by racist beliefs and linked to the hypersexualization of women in the AAPI community, that finally made it clear to the rest of the nation.
Though AAPI members of Congress and others have pointed to former PresidentDONALD TRUMP’S anti-China rhetoric, especially since the outbreak of Covid, for the spike in hateful incidents, many were calling attention to the issue long before then. But the warnings fell on deaf ears for the most part. The lack of attention until now stems from long-standing stereotypes of Asians, said Sen. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, the second of three Asian American women to serve in the Senate.
“We are the invisible minority in many ways. People don’t see us as a minority.There’s this myth, of course, of the ‘model minority’ that we’re all successful,” Duckworth told Playbook. “But there’s a flip side to that where people don’t understand the attacks and the crimes that are committed against AAPIs and frankly, these crimes are not reported.”
Welcome to being visible, Senator.
If only someone with some clout —like a Senator— would do something about it…
Duckworth sent two letters to A.G. MERRICK GARLAND and FBI Director CHRISTOPHER WRAY this week asking for a review of “hate crimes against Asian Americans … and whether or not they were actually hate crimes and were not reported as such.” She said she spoke with VP KAMALA HARRIS “at length” on Thursday about the issue and expects the administration to do more. The FBI has a database that tracks hate crimes. But the Justice Department notes that while experts estimate an average of 250,000 hate crimes each year were committed between 2004 and 2015 in America, the majority were not reported to law enforcement.
We can track it as a hate crime after-the-fact, but do nothing to stop it from happening. Got it.
And then we get to the navel gazing:
If I were king of the forest, no one would have access to guns at all. But I’m not king of the forest and clearly there is no political will to do anything about this. It’s not that I have given up, but I know that nothing will change. Gee, maybe I’ll sign a petition. /Snark
Also, later in the newsletter:
THINKING SMALLER — “Democrats Are Willing To Rein In Their Gun Control Ambitions To Break The NRA’s Hold On Congress,”BuzzFeed: “Senate Democrats have told BuzzFeed News they are considering curtailing their ambitions on gun reform and pushing a narrower piece of legislation that can actually pass, rather than sweeping reforms that would likely be doomed. The party winning both chambers of Congress plus the White House may have raised hopes for long-sought gun control measures, such as a ban on assault rifles. But Democrats are instead starting to look at smaller measures that can win bipartisan support and break the National Rifle Association’s strong influence over Congress.”
And I am the Czar of all the Russias.
And Eiron did something subtle with putting the very next item here:
BYE BYE FENCE — “Outer fence surrounding Capitol complex to be removed this weekend,”Roll Call: “The outer fence surrounding the Capitol complex will be removed this weekend, according to acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy P. Blodgett, a continued de-escalation of the security perimeter since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.In an email to members and staff, Blodgett said that by Monday, Independence and Constitution avenues will be open for traffic. The inner layer of fencing will remain around the Capitol Square area while the Architect of the Capitol makes security repairs to the Capitol.”
It’s disheartening both that they had to put up that security AND that they don’t seem to realize that kind of security is not available to the rest of us. Americans live in a war zone with guerilla terrorism always in our minds.