Friday, March 25, 2005

The Minnesota School Killings

This horrible event is not getting the same amount of publicity as the previous school massacres. Why the relative silence? Even our president is mum:

After tragedies of a certain order, it's standard operating procedure for the president to make a statement.

But Ceci Connolly writes in The Washington Post: "Native Americans across the country -- including tribal leaders, academics and rank-and-file tribe members -- voiced anger and frustration Thursday that President Bush has responded to the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history with silence. . . .

" 'From all over the world we are getting letters of condolence, the Red Cross has come, but the so-called Great White Father in Washington hasn't said or done a thing,' said Clyde Bellecourt, a Chippewa Indian who is the founder and national director of the American Indian Movement here. . . .

"The reaction to Bush's silence was particularly bitter given his high-profile, late-night intervention on behalf of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman caught in a legal battle over whether her feeding tube should be reinserted."

There's the Schiavo case, of course, and it has all the hot buttons: emotion, anger, religion, difficult ethical questions and so on. Everyone agrees that the Minnesota victims are dead, after all. But so were the victims of previous school shootings and we never heard the end of the "deep" societal analyses on their causes.

No, I don't think that the Schiavo case is enough to account for all that is going on (or rather, not going on) about the latest tragedy in Minnesota. I smell racism here, or classism, or both. Hmm. Maybe I should check what wingnuts like Peggy Noonan are writing on the infinite value of the lives lost here?