Susan Cunningham had this letter printed in the Saturday Post-Dispatch:


Although I am outraged to learn of the murder of a federal census worker in Kentucky, I am not surprised. There has always been a certain undercurrent of anti-government feeling in America, but that feeling is no longer limited to radical groups who hide in rural areas waiting for some imaginary end times scenario. Hatred for anything to do with the work of “we, the people,” is front and center on hate radio talk shows and at corporate-sponsored protest rallies all over the country.

When radical Republicans like Rep. Michele Bachmann tell people not to fill out the census forms because of some scary government takeover conspiracy, it is only a matter of time before mindless thugs take action. The sad part is that Bill Sparkman was the kind of American we need the most in this country. He loved kids and teaching so much that he went back to college in his 40’s to get a teaching degree. His friends describe him as responsible, patriotic, exceptionally kind and the kind of friend who would give you the shirt off his back. But he won’t be able to help others anymore. In fact, his shirt was ripped from his back and he was brutally murdered for the crime of working for the federal government.

I keep hoping that the rational, responsible Republicans will reappear from their hiding places and condemn the extremists within their ranks. The death of one federal worker may well be the beginning of a horrible chapter in American history. How bad does it have to get before the right wing terrorists in our communities are called to account? Haven’t we learned anything from the Red Scare of the 1920’s or the McCarthy Era of the 1950’s?

Until the silent majority wakes up and speaks up, the situation is only going to get worse.