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Has Fox News Demonization of Progressives Claimed More Victims?

Reported by Guest Blogger - July 20, 2010 -

By Aunty Em

Two recent incidents of violence could have troubling implications for those who believe in Social Justice and/or those who support the United States government, regardless of which party is in office. Early in the morning of July 11, 2010 automatic gunfire erupted in San Antonio, Texas, sending a 23-year old man to the hospital with critical injuries. Seven days later, a California man, described as anti-government by his mother, allegedly engaged in a running 30-minute barrage of bullets with 10 Highway Patrol officers. Amazingly, no one was killed in either episode.

In the first incident, nearly 30 bullets ripped through the walls of “Solidarity House,” a non-profit Progressive organization run by the Southwest Workers Union's, some exiting the opposite side of the house. Police are calling it a case of mistaken identity, while SWU leaders believe it was an attack on the organization for its political beliefs.

“Information that I'm getting is that the victim was not the intended target,” said Sgt. Chris Benavides, a department spokesman. “We're still trying to determine a motive.” According to additional information from “mySA news"”

Officials said alleged gang members shot multiple rounds from a semi-automatic assault rifle in retaliation against another man in the same gang. The apparent target was in jail for an earlier shooting, officials said, but it wasn't clear if that shooting was what prompted Sunday's incident.

However, instead of hitting the alleged gang member's house, shooters got the wrong part of the street and shot at the Solidarity House, a residence owned by the Southwest Workers' Union, a non-profit organization that works for equal rights, environmental justice and equal opportunities for low-income workers, residents and families.

MySAnews goes on to say, “The report states that a woman in a nearby house heard the assailants, described as two women and a man, yell her name during the shooting.”

That’s not good enough for Genaro Rendon, director of the group who works for social justice.

“It definitely feels like an attack,” Rendon said by telephone Monday. The neighborhood has had its share of drug and gang activity but “we think this was related to our beliefs and what we stand for,” said Tanya Aguilar-Garduno, a union organizer. […] “We don't know if this was a criminal act like the police say, or whether it was politically motivated because of the positions we have taken on immigration and the (recently adopted) anti-immigrant law in Arizona,” Rendon said. “But we are calling on the police chief and the mayor to do a full investigation to find out exactly what happened.”

COMMENT: It’s important for an investigation to go forward quickly and the results released as soon as possible. So far the evidence is scant (or, at least what has been released so far) that this is related to gang activity. It seems inconceivable that gang members would not know its intended target was already in jail when one considers the effectiveness of gang grapevines; they often know where the cops are before the cops know where they are. With Fox News, and more particularly
Glenn Beck, demonizing Progressives, and those working for Social Justice, as Nazis/Communists/Fascists/Marxists (take your pick) on a daily basis, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that someone pulled a “Scott Roeder” on Solidarity House. To be fair: It’s also possible that it happened exactly as police are saying. However, until a full report is released on this matter, those who are trying to plant a garden co-op in a struggling neighborhood are going to be living in fear for their lives.

H/T People’s World

While there is still much to learn from the San Antonio shootings, there appears to be no doubt about the motives of the gunman in California. Janice Williams has identified the suspect as her son, 45-year old Byron Williams, and says he was anti-government. As ABC's local news reported:

"He's been upset with the direction the country is going," Williams said. "He feels the people of this country are being raped by our government and politicians." She also described a troubled past for her son, having been in and out of jail and shunned by his church ever since being released on parole. Another article, in the San Francisco Chronicle quotes his mother as saying Byron became angered at "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items" from what he saw on tee vee, although she did not identify his station of preference.

It has been standard operating procedure for Fox News hosts to either ignore these incidents (Hannity); twist themselves into pretzels to blame it on leftists (Beck), or to get all self-righteous and play the victim card (O’Reilly). When will they come to realize that their steady drip, drip, drip of overblown, hate-filled rhetoric leads to real life consequences?

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