A group of GOP affiliated politicians and aides practicing for a Thursday baseball game were targeted by a gunman this morning in Alexandria, Virginia. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise was shot in the hip, evacuated, and is now resting comfortably in a local hospital.
At least three others were also hit, including reportedly two Capitol policemen. No fatalities are reported at this time.
The gunman was also shot during the incident and is now in police custody. He may have fired as many as 50 rounds at the group, over a number of minutes.
You may remember Scalise from a controversy back in 2014 when it was revealed he addressed a white supremacist organization founded by David Duke, the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), back in 2002. Scalise is also a supporter of Donald Trump and a vocal proponent of Trump’s Muslim ‘travel’ ban. So the possibility that this is politically motivated is very real.
This is all unbelievable and appalling. But if it also turns out to be an act of politics-by-violence, let’s not kid ourselves: It will be more of the same. You may remember Jeremy Christian, a man who went on a racist rant on a Portland train, then stabbed three people, killing two. When he appeared in court…
Jeremy Joseph Christian, accused of killing two men as they shielded a woman from his anti-Muslim tirade, shouted: ‘You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism!’
The numbers of violent anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-African American, anti-ethnic minority attacks in this country have skyrocketed since November 8th, when Donald Trump was elected. Trump himself made it clear that these ‘other’ people needed to be disenfranchised as a matter of the New Politics. His politics, national politics, presidential politics – and the country responded predictably.
These routine attacks show no sign of being called out in the open by the national media and condemned the way Scalise’s shooting surely will. But make no mistake about it, this is politics in Trump’s America.
“Free speech or die, Portland! You got no safe place. This is America. Get out if you don’t like free speech!”
Standing behind glass partitions in the defendant’s area, [Christian] continued: “Death to the enemies of America. Leave this country if you hate our freedom. Death to Antifa! You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism! You hear me? Die.”
Nonetheless the brave people who fought off Christian on that train and then lost their lives will never be nearly as heroic as the armed Capitol policeman who took a bullet and then subdued today’s gunman, as long as Fox News has anything to say about it. And they’ll have plenty to say about it in the coming days and weeks, and years, on end.
In these cases it’s always weird to hope after the terrible fact that what appears to be the case is something else entirely, because it’s too late to make any difference. But here we are.