It was an ugly scenario. A White racist killed a Black man at a Jewish shrine. At a shrine intended to remind the world of an unthinkable horror, the murder, the extermination of millions of people simply because they were Jewish. Where is the shame?
It happened here at the Holocaust Memorial Museum June 10, an 88-year-old avowed White supremacist and neo-Nazi, an ardent denier that the Holocaust even took place, allegedly took a gun so old to the museum that it could not even be traced, where it is alleged, he shot Stephen Johns, a 39-year-old security police officer in the chest, mortally wounding the innocent man.
The shooter, James von Brunn was shot in the face when other guards returned fire. He has been charged with first-degree murder, which seems to kind because of the depth of hate which fueled his alleged crime. Authorities believe he will survive his wounds.
But his own son has disavowed the shameful act, saying the shooting was unforgivable and he wished his father had died instead of the guard. Erik von Brunn told ABC’s “Good Morning America,” that he and his father shared a bond of familial love, but that they didn’t like each other. The interview followed ABC’s earlier release of comments by the son that his father had long burdened their family with his white supremacist views. His is a powerful disavowal of his own father which should embarrass all his father’s right-wing ideological “fellow travelers,” who carry similar, ugly baggage.
But there are many others who think like the elder von Brunn. They reside in all levels of government, and the corporate world. They were judge’s robes. They administer programs. They are legislators. They are CEOs. They’re on TV, radio.
The Holocaust Museum shooting was the latest example of a surge in extremist violence, as the election of President Barack Obama and the economic crisis have bred resentment in a fanatical, racist minority. Since President Obama’s inauguration, just five months ago, a series of shootings have taken place. The targets have varied from an abortion clinic to a liberal church and police officers. The attacks have been fuelled by a mix of race hate and conspiracy theories. And they have been enabled by popular, “well respected,” racist, right-wing radio commentators and even pastors.Now, some experts are worried that extremists will eventually take aim at Obama himself. Eventually is already now. For example, the Rev. Wiley Drake, a Southern Baptist Convention leader and Pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., has literally been praying for the death of President Barack Obama…openly praying for the president’s death!
Drake is a popular radio host and the former 2008 running mate of American Independent Party presidential candidate Alan Keyes–who is ostensibly a Black man himself. In addition, Drake served as the second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2006-2007.
Recently the Rev. Drake thanked God for the murder of Wichita Dr. George Tiller, a woman’s health advocate and abortion provider. “I am glad George Tiller is dead,” the pastor said on his radio program. He called Dr. Tiller “a brutal, murdering monster” and said he is “grateful to God” that the physician was killed.
The Rev. Drake is a former vice president of the SBC, who was respected enough in that group that he ran for president of the group last year. He said in a recent interview on Fox News Radio that he is praying an “imprecatory prayer” against the President of the United States. Those are prayers that ask for evil or misfortune. That is way, way worse than radio host Rush Limbaugh proclaiming he hopes the president “fails.”
There is now a worry that the President is going to be an assassination target, seriously, simply because of the color of his skin. In papers left in James Von Brunn’s car after the museum shooting, investigators have already found anti-Obama statements. Von Brunn wrote in a note: “The Holocaust was a lie. Obama was created by Jews.”
Von Brunn’s son has denounced his own father, but where is the shame among the right-wing chattering class which emboldens these nutty assassins? Where is the shame? The shame!