Sunday, May 31, 2009

What is the Matter with Kansas?

What is the matter with Kansas? Seriously.... Don't get me wrong, I met some wonderful people when I was in Kansas last year, and in fact, Miguel's family are all normal, regular (at least I hope they are) hard-working, sensible folk. But there was a crazy overtone to the politics there that made someone like me (cranky, bitchy, opinionated) crazy. I was there to witness a insidious racism towards that Muslim presidential candidate, people cheering for foul dangerous coal plants, people arguing that it is okay for a modern industrialized society NOT to have medical care for its population, and a continuing persecution of Dr. Tiller, an abortion doctor.

Tiller had long been a target of anti-abortion protesters. He had testified that he and his family had suffered years of harassment and threats. His clinic was the site of the 1991 "Summer of Mercy" protests marked by mass demonstrations and arrests, his clinic was bombed in 1985, and an abortion opponent shot him in both arms in 1993.

Are we surprised to know that Tiller's killer is a white middle-aged man? Are we surprised to know that the hateful rhetoric of the anti-abortion leadership has spurred someone to murder in the name of the cause? Are we surprised this happened in Kansas?

No comments: