Jewish Journal

Gabrielle Giffords, Sarah Palin, Facebook & Doing Right By America

by Ilana Angel

January 9, 2011 | 9:23 pm

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

I am heartbroken by the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and the pain and suffering of the victims who passed, those who are in the hospital, and all of their families.  It is an unfathomable time for those involved and dark, dark days for each and every American.

It will be a long while before we know the motive of the shooting and even then we may not know the truth.  It could have been motivated by politics, or religion, or just maybe it was simply the work of a young man who is clearly not well.  Why is a valid question, but one that really does not matter.

What does matter is that the finger pointing and assumptions of Americans is making the entire situation worse.  There is one person who could have, and should have, stood up to try to heal the country and that was Sarah Palin.  I am enormously disappointed in her reaction to the tragedy.

Her Facebook posting from March 23, 2010, “Don’t Get Demoralized! Get Organized!  Take Back the 20!” is the talk around water coolers and while she must be aware that people are talking, her only response was to post her condolences on Facebook and have an aide say it was a “misunderstanding”.

Using Facebook to send condolences when the country is waiting and watching to see what she would do is lame.  Having aides speak for her is lame.  Not admitting it may have been, under the current political climate, a huge mistake, is lame, selfish and frankly, un-American.

That’s not enough Mrs. Palin.  I’m not blaming you.  I am saying a large part of the America population blames you and your map for the killing of innocent people.  You are a powerful political player and you have a responsibility to the country you love, to try to find peace.

Rather than a ridiculous post on Facebook, you should go on national TV and said if anyone “misunderstood” what your map meant, you are sorry and are praying for the victims and their families.  If it was not your intention for anyone to take the targets literally, say it.

Take one for the team, and by team I mean America.  You don’t have to take blame for anything, just acknowledge the map could have directed people the wrong way, and for that you are sorry.  It is the right thing to do.  Some will say too little too late, but it still matters.

I am ashamed and scared of what is happening and the hate is palpable.  As a mother, and a Jew, I am fearful about the future for my child.  How far must the country fall before opinions are put aside to allow us to do the right thing?  When will Sarah Palin man up?

Mrs. Palin, it’s not about blame, right or wrong, politics or religion.  It is about America and what will help begin the healing of a nation. The map you posted was wrong.  After the reactions to what happened in Arizona, you must acknowledge it, and you must do the right thing.

It does not matter what you meant, what matters is how it was perceived.  If you care about the country as you say you do, then say something.  Say something that matters and don’t say it on facebook.  Put politics aside, put America first, and do the right thing.

People will disagree and say you do not need to say sorry for anything, and they may be right, but you are being tied to the tragedy and saying nothing makes it worse.  I have supported you as a woman, and a mother, but I will no longer do that if you say nothing.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families in Arizona.  To those who were lost, God Bless you.  To those who are in the hospital, God Bless you.  To people putting aside their politics and doing what is right for America, I am praying and Keeping the Faith.

*** After reading all the comments, which I appreciate you taking the time to share, I would like to say that I think many of you, from both sides of the political spectrum, are missing the point.  Even if you believe she had nothing to do with the shooting, or the political climate, or the hash slinging, she still needs to say she is sorry.  I agree that Palin will be blamed, hated, and demonized whether she says something or not, so why not just do it then?  If there is even the remotest possibility that it might ease the tension, even for one person, is that not worth it?  Is that not the role of someone who is seeking a national political office?  Even is she has no plans to run for President in 2012, with her popularity and influence, her job is to work for the country, not just her followers.  The shooter was insane.  That has nothing to do with Sarah.  However, she has an obligation to do the right thing, this is her chance, and I do not understand why it has not been done already.  If political agenda’s can put aside, for just a few minutes, and human decency takes priority, then making the apology is a no brainer.

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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