Yesterday, one day after the murder of the notorious abortion doctor George Tiller by a crazed gunman, another targeted killing took place, this time at a US Army recruiting office in Little Rock. The suspect is yet another unhinged lone gunman, Abdu Hhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a 24 year old African American formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe, and a recent convert to Islam. After his arrest, police released a statement that Muhammad “probably had political and religious motives for the attack,” and that he had deliberately targeted members of the US military. One soldier, Pvt. William Long, was killed, while another, Pvt. Quentin Ezeagwula, was seriously wounded.
Here are a few interesting contrasts between the killing of William Long by a crazed anti-military fanatic, and the killing of George Tiller by a crazed anti-abortion fanatic:
- In the wake of Tiller’s death, the leftwingosphere went nuts. Today, Daily Kos and Democratic Underground are still filled with posts attempting to tie Tiller’s Death directly to the influences of Sarah Palin, Operation Rescue, Evangelical Christianity, the Southern Baptist Convention, Fox News, Bill O’Reilly etc. But at the time of this writing, there has yet to be a single mention of Pvt. Long’s death at the hands of a Muslim extremist on the front page of either blog.
- In the wake of Tiller’s death, Attorney General Eric Holder ordered US Marshals to provide protection for abortion clinics nationwide. This order is probably appropriate, considering the continual violence directed at abortion clinics by a handful of radical anti-abortion protesters (bombings, arson, vandalism, etc.). Yet as Michelle Malkin notes, military recruiting centers have also been under continual attack by radical anti-military activists, culminating in yesterday’s tragic death. But so far, no one from the Attorney General’s office has pledged assistance, or for that matter even issued a statement.
- In the wake of Tiller’s death, President Barack Obama said, “I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.” So far, Obama has been silent on the Little Rock recruiting center murder.
As I mentioned yesterday in a comment on WizBang Blue, the overriding factor in the death of George Tiller seems to be his celebrity status, as both a heroic defender of “choice” to liberals, and a notorious killer of innocent children to conservatives. Truth is, we value the life and experiences of certain people far greater than that of others (remember “missing white woman syndrome“?) and as much as they try to deny it, hard-core liberals are probably as bad — perhaps even worse — in this respect as those they routinely smear as “bigots” and “hate-mongers.”
Which brings me to the subject of judge Sonya Sotomayor. Much has been said regarding her insinuation that a “wise Latina woman” would make a better appellate judge because Latinas have a richer — and therefore more valuable — cultural heritage. Liberals have been apologizing for the quote for over a week now, and President Obama himself admitted that Sotomayor should have stated the remark differently. Ann Althouse notes:
Yet it was not an unguarded spontaneous outburst. It was a carefully written speech delivered to a particular audience. Sotomayor was saying the things that would be well-received by her audience. Indeed, I have trouble getting roused by her statement — “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life” — because I’ve been immersed for a quarter century in the kind of law school environment that she addressed. Here, we sympathetically smile and nod at such things. We nurture racial analysis. We create a school of thought and hire people to write about Critical Race Theory. What Sotomayor said was actually a weak, feel-good version of the kind of racial talk that is widespread in the legal academy.
Sotomayor was invited to give that speech, I assume, because she is Latina. It was for publication in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, in a symposium called “Raising the Bar: Latino and Latina Presence in the Judiciary and the Struggle for Representation.” She had to address the topic. She did so in a notably non-radical fashion. She was appropriate for that occasion … I would recommend characterizing Sotomayor’s thinking as “racial” (rather than racist).
When I first blogged here about Sotomayor, I believed (and still do) that Sotomayor’s comment was based more on decades of immersion inside postmodern academia — where it is not only proper but essential to dissect and criticize anything attributable to white males — than on a radical racial or social justice agenda.
Yet Sotomayor’s admission is troubling because it extracts the notion of racial, political, or socially-based preferential treatment out of the miasma of postmodern thought and essentially sanctions it as a legitimate method of adjudication.
The judicial standard that the West has so carefully honed for the last thousand years demands that our courts should treat the deaths of both Dr. George Tiller and Pvt. William Long equally, without prejudice. But the cultural standard that overwhelmingly controls our news media and entertainment empires (and to a great extent, our current government leadership) places a much higher political value on the life and death of George Tiller. If the standard of decision making at the Supreme Court level is reduced to that same kind of relativism, where justices are encouraged to use their own life experiences as a tool to determine the political value of the petitioners in order to award verdicts, then we as a nation will have taken a huge step backward.
Between the time I began working on the draft of this piece, and its final preparation for publication, I felt that it was appropriate to also mention the mystery of Sonya Sotomayor’s lack of a paper trail with regard to abortion. This will become increasingly critical, particularly in light of the death of Dr. George Tiller.
Since Sotomayor is Latino, Roman Catholic, and her personal views on abortion rights are unknown, we may very well be talking about abortion, rather than racial preferences, in her confirmation hearings in the weeks to come. Will liberals still support her if it is revealed that Sotomayor does not unquestionably approve of abortion on demand?
(I also clarified some thoughts in the last paragraph of the essay, and corrected Judge Sotomayor’s first name in my addendum, after this piece was first published.)