Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Future Can Be Different
, the Holocaust Memorial Museum proclaims on its website about its latest exhibit, challenging people to build a community that would stop genocide.
“Many visitors to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum want to transform what they learn about the Holocaust into meaningful action,” says curator Bridget Conley-Zilkic. “This installation helps them understand that genocide remains a challenge and that they can play a part in preventing it and improving how we respond to it.”
Yesterday, one particular visitor to the Museum had an interest in meaningful action, all right, and it wasn't going to be translated into prevention in any way, barring violent re-action to his bullets. The Museum lost a security guard to this man's hate. Many more people would have gone the same way were it not for the actions of security at the entrance.

The Future Can Be Different.

It seems this gunman had already been held to account for an attempt to kidnap the Federal Reserve Board over twenty-five years ago, and hold them hostage for "high-interest rates and the nation's economic difficulties". It seems that, in the years since he was convicted of that crime, his time in prison did nothing to convince him that his violent ways were wrong, it simply convinced him to change his target.

The Future Can Be Different.

Yes, I am aware that our president is African-American. Yes, I know times are economically not the greatest right now. And yes, I know that there might well be more of a tendency towards this kind of violence to be encouraged at these times by some pretty large numbers of "fringe elements" out there....even the ones in our midst. I would encourage organizations like the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the JIDF to keep close tabs on these sites...but we do still need to examine how and when hate can get so twisted and warped that it takes over a certain number of people out there and turns them into gun-wielding ideologues who will convince you of their rightness with the help of the business end of a weapon. We do still need to protect and defend ourselves, every last one of us who would build that community free of genocide.

The Future Can Be Different.
There are no words to express our grief and shock over today’s events at the Museum, which took the life of Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns. Officer Johns, who died heroically in the line of duty, served on the Museum’s security staff for six years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Johns’s family. We have made the decision to close the Museum Thursday, June 11, in honor of Officer Johns and our flags will be flown at half mast in his memory.
Sadly, that future the Museum wants to help build isn't here.

Not yet, anyway.

Update, 6-12: As far as the fringe elements in our midst, I'm with Greg on this one:
(The We Saw That blog) needs to be shunned, marginalized, and removed from responsible discourse, especially now that the wingnuts are deliberately trying to muddy the waters and escape culpability for murdering fuckjobs.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Such horrible news. I wish there was a way to fix this, but as long as we allow freedom of speech, we will have to find some way to tolerate disgusting ideas like racism, anti-science and conspiracy theories. You should take solace in the fact that the kind of idiots and maniacs that shoot up museums, blow up court houses and fly planes into buildings are rare in our world. It would be great if they were rarer or even non-existent, but I'm not sure what it would take to make that happen.

I've been to the National Holocaust Museum, and the story it relates is emotionally crushing--how could anyone do such a thing? How could anyone allow it to happen? And yet, I left knowing that it did happen and it could happen again. If we lower our guard, if we lower our standards of conduct, if we allow ourselves and our leaders to slip morally...

We must not allow it.