At first, I reacted as I would to any friend who'd been bullied, with words of support, all very "you go, girl!" kinda stuff. I wasn't worried.
Hours later, I watched the video of the MoveOn worker getting her head stepped on by a Teabagger in Kentucky. I clicked links that would allow me to download Rachel Maddow's documentary "The Assasination of Dr. Tiller." I started to worry, and I remain so. Very, very worried.
Obviously, this vandal knows that Laurie does not literally kill babies. I've been called this name a few times myself--in the presence of my two young children, no less. No, the term "baby killer" is not meant to be a literal accusation; it is meant to invoke fear. "Baby killer" is a term that successfully whipped a lunatic like Scott Roeder into a homicidal frenzy. It transforms a debate into a fight, a discussion into a brawl, a disagreement into a head-stomping melee that puts someone in the hospital.
It means something to use those words. It means the same thing to Laurie and me as it did to Dr. George Tiller: YOU ARE A TARGET.
I don't mean to suggest that this vandal means to kill Laurie, any more than she (lipstick, remember?) truly believes that Laurie has committed murder herself. But isn't it something that this angry woman didn't write "FUCK OFF"? Nor did she scribble "YOU SUCK" or "I HATE YOU." She chose her words very carefully. She wrote what she did to scare the shit out of someone who put herself in the public eye to protect the rights of others.....not unlike a certain dead doctor from Kansas.
What to do? Here's a few ideas:
- Attend the Rally for Sanity Minnesota, Saturday October 30, in the rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol. I will be speaking on behalf of the Cackle of Rads...er, Minnesota NOW around 12:45-ish, though that may change. Check my Twitter feed for updates: @radicalhw.
- If you have the means, consider making donations to the following: the National Abortion Federation, the professional association of abortion providers in North America; the National Network of Abortion Funds, a group "connecting rights to resources," because a woman only has a choice when she can afford to pay for it; and the radical cacklers at the National Organization for Women.
- Vote next Tuesday like your life depends on it....because it does.