There's been a lot of talk over the past few day about whether or not the vitriolic rhetoric coming from Republican and Tea Party types contributed to the horrendous shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and murder of six others.
Now, the only black Republican official in the state of Arizona, a district party chairman named Anthony Miller, announced he was resigning in the wake of the shootings because of "constant verbal attacks," including being called a "boy" and having someone form their hand in the shape of a gun and point it at him.
"I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller said. "I love the Republican Party, but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."
What has Miller done to be concerned about threats you ask? Well, he simply supported Sen. John McCain over the preferred Tea Party candidate.
The Arizona Republic writes:
Miller said when he was a member of McCain's campaign staff last year has been criticized by the more conservative party members who supported Republican opponent J.D. Hayworth. The first and only African-American to hold the party's precinct chairmanship, Miller said he has been called "McCain's boy," and during the campaign saw a critic form his hand in the shape of a gun and point it at him.
Miller also said that someone said: "There's Anthony, get a rope," at one event.
In the words of Jay-Z: I thought this was America, people.
Why should anyone face death threats because they support a candidate that you don't? The threats that Miller says he faced, including being called a boy and having someone make a threatening gesture with their hands formed into the shape of a gun reminds me of something that would have happened to blacks in the South fighting for the right to vote. Behavior like this strikes at the foundation of our Democratic ideals.
And it's not like John McCain is a liberal. Tea Party members, listening to the gun rhetoric of people like Palin, are heading off the deep edge.
The assassination attempt of Giffords and Miller's concerns should be a wake-up call for the Republican Party, Tea Party, Sarah Palins, Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs of this country. Their destructive political rhetoric is endangering people's lives.
Giffords predicted that this over hyped rhetoric would have "consequences" after her office was attacked last year in the wake of the debate of the health care debate.
For Miller, the mass shooting was the final straw. The day of the Arizona shooting massacre, Miller said his wife of 20 years asked if some of the members of his committee would shoot at their home. A few hours later, Miller resigned.
Who can blame him?