Our VoiceNews & Politics

Arizona mourns child targeted by hate

Cloee Cooper • Jan 09, 2011

Saturday morning, nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green was shot, along with 18 others at a public gathering to greet U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona.

Christina-Taylor was born on September 11, 2001. She was waiting to meet Rep. Giffords when the suspect, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, opened fire on the crowd, killing six and critically injuring 13 others.

The exact motives of the suspect are still in question. Reports however indicate that Loughner supports anti-government conspiracy theories linked to anti-Semitic and populist perspectives. Reports also indicate that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was targeted by Sarah Palin during the 2010 midterm election, and that Gifford’s office was tagged with anti-Semitic signs after her open support for the 2010 health care bill.

No one could have foreseen the tragic death of Christina-Taylor at a political event; however, this is not the first time a child has been targeted by xenophobia and bigotry-fueled violence in Arizona.

On May 30, 2009, nine-year old Brisenia Flores and her father Raul Flores were murdered by anti-immigrant leader Shawna Forde in Arivaca, Arizona.  Shawna Forde was identified as a spokesperson for anti-immigrant organization Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Although FAIR denied any affiliation after her arrest.

Shawna Forde was also a former member of Minutemen Civil Defense Corps and helped found the Minutemen American Defense organization (MAD) – both vigilante border patrol groups.

Last night Arizona community members gathered in Phoenix and Tucson at vigils for the victims of yesterday’s shooting. Here is a quote from Repeal Coalition activist Chris Griffin on the climate of fear and disappointment generated by this shooting:

“This was supposed to be the start of a new year, but there is nothing new about it. I am so sick of hate that even the slightest hint of hate makes my stomach turn. I want to start the healing process, but how do you start to heal without addressing the very thing that caused the wound in the first place.”

The events that killed a young girl in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday, January 8, 2011 will never be forgotten. It is time to start a dialogue that will prevent such a tragedy from occurring again.

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