A police officer who was a pastor at his local church. An Iraq war veteran. A mother of two, accompanying a friend. Those were the three fatalities in Friday’s shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
It’s the sixth attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic since July, when anti-abortion extremists who’ve been linked to clinic bombings began releasing deceptively edited videos. Those extremists have fueled outright hate for the organization among right-wing radio hosts, anti-choice state legislators, and Republicans in the U.S. Congress and on the presidential trail—and that culture of hate seems to have fueled this tragedy.
This short video briefly profiles the victims of the Planned Parenthood attack in Colorado and pushes us to re-think what we usually call “terrorism.”
Friday’s shooting was an extreme act of hate-fueled violence, but it’s not just Planned Parenthood that’s been targeted by an alarming rise in vitriol from the right.
Just last week, apparent white supremacists fired at a group of Minneapolis residents who were protesting the police killing of an unarmed Black man. We’re seeing fresh reports of attacks against Muslim-Americans—and people mistaken for Muslim — including a cab-driver who was shot on Thanksgiving by a man screaming about ISIS. And we saw a brutal beating of a protester at a rally for Donald Trump — an incident which the candidate himself incited and then dismissed.
Right-wing extremism is on the rise against women, health care providers, refugees, Black protesters, and more. It’s gotten out of control rhetorically—and, tragically, we’re seeing these despicable acts of violence follow.
We need to stand for compassion and unity in a moment where they both seem in short supply. And we need to call these violent attacks what they are: acts of domestic terror.