Monday, January 10, 2011


"European reaction to the Gabrielle Giffords Arizona shooting is seen strongly through the lens of the tea party rhetoric and as symptomatic of a superpower in decline and at the mercies of 'radical' politics."

Dear Ms. Palin:

You and your buddies who are all over radio and television preaching negativity are nothing but school yard bullies whose antics have gone too far.

I have no way of knowing if your "targets" in cross hairs on your Web site encouraged the gunman in Arizona to kill six people and injure 14 others, with political assassination of someone YOU targeted as his main intent.

But if you truly think you did nothing wrong, then why did you immediately remove the map of targets with cross hairs from your Web site after the shooting? And it came off your Facebook page soon after. Someone who believed she had nothing of which to be ashamed wouldn't hide the evidence.

You know, if you were a student in school who drew up such a hit list, you would be suspended at the very least but more likely expelled, sent to "alternative school," or whatever was required to keep you from being a danger to other students or from urging others to commit mayhem.

When I was a reporter, I wrote stories about a middle school student in Pennsylvania who had a hit list and was showing it off to other students, some of whom laughed, and some of whom were frightened. Fortunately, the principal found out and the student, who had a troubled past, was removed from the school. I can't tell you where she is because of privacy issues, the principal said to me, but she's gone.

Sarah, you need to attend "alternative school" so you can be taught that denigrating humankind and encouraging violence are not acceptable ways to solve problems in these United States. So, get your book bag, Sarah, clean out your locker, and get ready to learn. The staff at your new school will treat you with all the love and understanding every person deserves. You will learn how to problem solve by building up people, not tearing them down -- because tearing down people doesn't get us anywhere. It just leaves us with shattered human beings who are incapable of helping anyone else.

I have a story for you Sarah. This incident took place some years ago in an elementary school where I was a volunteer. A girl in the fifth grade was attacked by a boy who used a kick boxing move to leave her bruised, while students who were watching laughed and cheered for him. What was this girl's crime? She was too smart for her own good, people said. I even heard parents gossip about the incident and praise the behavior of the boy.

The girl did nothing to harm anyone. She was never violent; she didn't call the other children names; she didn't brag about her good grades. But the other students knew and they hated her for her superior performance because they were insecure and because America is a country that worships the uneducated bully.

Sarah, you are that bully.

Stop it. Stop it now. You have the opportunity to repent and shine a light for Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the other ranters and ravers to follow.

Do it, Sarah. For once, do what's right.


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