Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Extremism in Action

My heart and prayers go out to the family and friends of Stephen T. Johns, the security officer who was killed this afternoon at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. His actions helped to save so many others who were in the museum this afternoon, and he should be honored for his sacrifice. My heart and prayers also go out to the family and friends of Private William Long, who was murdered at an Army recruiting station in Little Rock, AR at the beginning of the month (this story did not receive the coverage it deserved).

Extremism, regardless of ideological perspective, can breed hatred like that witnessed here in Washington and Little Rock (not to forget Wichita). The suspects in these cases had enablers who parroted things that no reasonable human being would ever believe, but these men did. And they acted. I am trying hard not to lay blame, but it is difficult to ignore the climate that we are in right now. Islamic and white racial extremism were the triggers here. As a society, we must do all that we can to tamp down the effects of outrageous and usually false commentary. If we don't, we will end up with more victims like Mr. Johns and Private Long, and we can't afford to lose people like that.

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