Sarah Palin appears to be a little heated these days. The well-known Republican is lashing out at the media in the wake of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords was shot by a gunman who also killed six others and injured 14 people this week in Tuscon, Arizona.
After the shooting, critics noted that Palin had created a map with bulls eye cross-hairs to point out the districts of her political enemies. Giffords' district was one of the spots noted on the map. Long before the shooting, Giffords warned that Palin's words could lead to violence against elected officials, and the criticism of Palin's words grew exponentially after Giffords was shot.
In an eight-minute video, Palin lashed back at the media, claiming that they were being unfair by suggesting that she had anything to do with Giffords' shooting. She went on to use the term "blood libel," which has offended many as being an anti-Semitic remark. The term "blood libel" makes reference to those who believed that Jews killed non-Jewish (mostly Christian) children to get blood for the Passover ceremony. The use of the term has led to anti-semitic behavior and the murder of millions of Jews throughout history.
Palin has been known for a series of very disturbing public gaffes that have led even her fellow Republicans to question whether or not she should be president. She didn't know that Africa was a continent. She accidentally stated that North Korea was a US ally. She has also used nasty and divisive language to create the heated political environment which exists in America right now.
Palin's use of the term "blood libel" is merely a continuation of the politician's use of irresponsible and malicious language that hurts and offends. Gabrielle Giffords happens to be Jewish, which only serves to make matters worse. So, in addition to using conservative political language that many say might have played a role in the Giffords shooting, Palin is now being accused of using anti-Semitic language to defend herself against allegations of playing a role in recent events. This is just a bad week for Sarah.
I've mentioned personally that Palin must look in the mirror when assessing whether or not she contributed to what happened to Gabrielle Giffords. Even if her words didn't inspire Giffords' shooter, they certainly influenced the many death threats being received by President Obama and Democrats who've supported him. Palin can scream and yell about the injustice all day, but nothing compares to the suffering being endured by Gabrielle Giffords and the people who were shot this week. Perhaps Sarah Palin needs to sit down and be quiet for a while, it might be time to retreat.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action Resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.