There is a difference between the public and the private self, and with Giffords - whom you’re correct in saying that I don’t know personally - I comment on the public self. She may be hard-working and dedicated, but what she has worked hard at and shown herself to be dedicated to is conservative, pandering, racist politicking.
Her objection to SB 1070 was not that it was racist, but that it was impractical. She cheered the deployment of the National Guard to the border, to combat a problem that does not exist. Even though her being shot has been cited as an example of why guns ought to be banned, she herself supports gun rights.
|Image: dustinphillips via flickr CC license|
Note the arrogance of “we” - the assumption that everybody supports the same racist measures that she does.
The Arizona Republic has named Gabrielle Giffords as Arizonan of the Year. Her achievement? Getting shot and not dying.
The article praises her recovery as “a hero’s journey.” I’ve read much praise of her “courage” and “heroism” elsewhere. Logically, this means that the people who died after being shot that day were weak and cowardly.
While what happened to her is undeniably awful, Giffords’ recovery is not about heroism, but about luck, wealth and privilege, about access to as much health care as she needs.
In our culture of emotional pornography, people who suffer tragedy are fetishized. Since being shot, Gabrielle Giffords has been presented as a liberal saint. In reality, she is an ordinary conservative. Her position on immigration is as racist as that of Jan Brewer. Her objection to SB 1070 was not that it was racist, but that it was impractical. She cheered the deployment of the National Guard to the border, to combat a problem that does not exist. Even though her being shot has been cited as an example of why guns ought to be banned, she herself supports gun rights.
I could not help but laugh when, in the aftermath of the shooting - which killed six people, whose names are seldom heard now - I saw some people crying while holding a banner that bore the words Gabby Was Always There for Us. Who is “us?” How was she “there?” If “us” means wealthy white people, I suppose she was.
Her being selected as Arizonan of the Year simply for not dying is an insult to those who died, and to those who die in violent attacks every year, and to Arizonans who have actually achieved something. It would make as much sense to give the award to Paris Hilton.
|Great Eastern Hotel, Glasgow|