Guest Editorials

Arizona shooting and class resentment

by Peter Ryskewecz

In the past 23 years, only two U.S. Congress persons have been shot at. Both are Jewish: Gabrielle Giffords, last week in Arizona, and Eric Cantor of Virginia, the new GOP House Majority Leader.

Given the acceptance of class warfare and class resentment — with all its rhetoric and innuendoes — in our popular culture, including the LGBT culture, it is no wonder that some nut-job spins out of control and thinks he can solve the nation’s problems by trying to kill a Jew; as many people perceive the Jewish as “the people at the top.”

(Actually, several Asian-American immigrant groups, including those from India, China, Japan and Korea, make more money per capita in the United States than the Jewish people do today. So, logic says that someday soon, we will be shooting at Asian-Americans.)

Class resentment so permeates our culture — gay or straight — that it has infected nearly all mainstream institutions: universities, public schools, churches, political campaigns, unions, newspaper and media coverage of current events, commencement speeches, music, even conversations on Thanksgiving Day. And sentiment to blame every sniffle in life on the the “rich,” “people with money,” or the “well-to-do” certainly does not stop once you enter the gay community; rather it flourishes in gay papers and conversations at gay bars.

In fact, many of us are so warped by class hatred, we don’t even know that we are warped. We believe that bashing the rich is a virtue.

It may be politically incorrect, but is it any great surprise that mass murderers and serial killers such Adolph Hitler, the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and ‘Son of Sam’ David Berkowitz (who were also considered homosexual by many objective psychologists and historians who evaluated them) were driven by class hatred?

Almost all of us are to blame for tolerating the existence of class resentment in our daily lives, and that surely goes for many gay activists who claim to be egalitarians or champions of the poor. So often, when we speak up for the poor, we feel entitled to slander the wealthy … and by innuendo, that means people who are perceived to make the most money, such as Jewish people or the well-to-do.

Conversely, we should all be grateful for what these industrious and gifted people do to create opportunity and wealth — even if it is just modest wealth — for all people.

Today, those who bash the rich in their daily lives should be ashamed of all the hate they promote, wittingly or unwittingly, and that includes many of us in the gay community who think we are entitled to hate just because we are gay.

And therein lies the lesson of Arizona and the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Peter Ryskewecz is a retired Michigan school teacher and graduate of University of Michigan.

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