News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The start of another Kristallnacht?

The Night of Broken Glass...

On the 9th and 10th of November in 1938, the Gestapo, SS and Hitler Youth descended on the homes and business of Jews across Germany in retaliation for the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jewish radical. When it was over, 91 Jews were murdered and over 25 thousands landed in concentration camps. Known as Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, the event was the first step toward the holocaust.

Damage caused by vandalism at the office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Photo from Washington Post courtesy of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

According to the Washington Post, at least ten House Democrats have reported death threats, incidents of harassment or vandalism at their home offices over the past week. Hurling bricks through windows has been a favorite tactic. But some of the vandalism has had deadly potential. "A propane gas line at the Charlottesville home of Rep. Tom Perriello's brother was severed Tuesday after a self-identified "tea party" activist posted what he believed to be the Virginia Democrat's address on a Web site and urged opponents to "drop by" to convey their opposition to his yes vote on the health bill," stated the WaPo article.

While far from the heinous violence of the Nazis, the vandalism and death threats by opponents of health care reform against members of congress exercising their constitutional rights is certainly an echo of the ugly sound of breaking glass.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez


Louis Pagan said...

I'm shocked, but not surprised (if that's possible).

MarkP said...

I hadn't heard about the cut propane line. He's very lucky someone wasn't killed or injured.

Teabagger histrionics reminds me of the militia movement's rhetoric leading up to the Oklahoma City bombing. McVeigh killed the militias after his terrorist act in the 90s. The question is: Will it take a similarly horrific crime to shame the teabaggers into their senses?

Raul Ramos y Sanchez said...

With a 24-hour "news" channel egging the loonies on, I'm afraid you may be right, Mark.

nilki said...

What's most surprising to me is that attacks like these and the man flying his airplane into a fed building are never referred to as terrorist attacks, which is in fact what they are.

Rebecca Coffey said...

I agree with Nilki 100%. Thanks, Raul, for posting this.

MarkP said...

I don't want to be grim but it seems only a matter of time, Raul. During the 90s, in the lead up to McVeigh, we only had talk radio "egging the loonies on." Now we have Fox and the internet, in addition to talk radio. So I have absolutely no doubt that teabagger violence will end in someone's death (or many someone's).

But will it end there? These people are so deluded and out of touch with reality, they may very well resort to blaming others for the blood on their hands.

By the way, nilki is right, they are terrorists and need to be called out as such.

Wally O'Connor said...

Oooh those big bad teabaggers. Give me a break. Some jack@$$ throws a brick through a window and it's Kristalnacht? You've _got_ to be kidding.

What's your publisher's email address? I'm going to pitch a book about a Civil War sparked by the debate over health care.

I can see the book's climax now now: armies of wheelchair equipped medicare recipients rolling into the capital to secure the right to government subsidized hip replacements opposed by a phalanx militant neo-Nazi Lithuanian-American podiatrists.

Hey, it's not as far-fetched as at least ONE of the characters in your book that I can name. Ahem.