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Category: Politics, Violence against Women

Shedding Light on Political Intimidation & Violence

January 10, 2011

Examining recent political intimidation can shed a light on the toxic political and  media landscape in which the Giffords shooting took place. Here are some highlights from the past two elections that paint a broader context and help us analyze this tragedy:
  • In April 2010, Former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin received loud applause at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, while ridiculing the president’s expertise and experience. Palin confronted the media’s response to her inflammatory remarks by telling her supporters, “don’t retreat, reload.”
  • In the last presidential election, we saw shirts that read “Too Bad Hillary Didn’t Marry OJ” and heard media professionals spew misogynist snipes like, “I cross my legs when I see Hillary Clinton. "We saw racist shirts and signs depicting cartoon monkeys while referring to the President as “Curious Barack." Following the health care vote, a throng of Tea Party protesters, supported by several Republican lawmakers called Rep. John Lewis the “n” word and spat on Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver. Tea Party supporters in this same horde yelled epithets at Rep. Barney Frank, calling him a “faggot.”
  • In March 2010, Rep. Clyburn, reported to Keith Olbermann that he received racially offensive faxes featuring images of nooses and messages with racial slurs following his health care reform vote. "If you look at some of the faxes that I got today, racial slurs, nooses on gallows, and I'm telling you, some very vicious language. This stuff is not all that isolated. It's pretty widespread. I hope it's not too deep."