By now everyone reading this blog either knows or has an idea of what happened to Ken Aden’s campaign manager and his family Sunday night. If not, you can either scroll down or click the link (warning: disturbing image) to learn the full story of the family cat slaughtered to send a chilling political message. Well, that act of terrorism is our call to arms, metaphorically speaking of course. Unlike the person or people who did this heinous act, we’re civilized, and we’re going to come together and show Ken Aden and his campaign an outpouring of support they’ll never forget. What was done to Jake Burris’s family was an act of hatred and terrorism, an evil attempt to intimidate Jake, Ken, and all of us that would take a stand for progressive causes here in Arkansas and across the country. Well, today I’m saying let’s show the sociopath that did this that all they’ve succeeded in doing was uniting us and energizing us like never before. So today we’re putting out the call and starting a money bomb for the Aden for Congress campaign. Ken and his staff have no idea we’re doing this, but over the next couple of days we’re going to be asking you guys to chip in and show Ken and Jake Burris and their families that Arkansans, that Americans, will not stand for this.
Again, this was political terrorism, plain and simple. A monster, a human monster, bashed the Burris family’s cat’s head in to the point that an eyeball was dangling from its socket, wrote the word “LIBERAL” on its body, and left it laying on the porch for Jake’s kids to find. Ken showed himself to be a true statesman yesterday, jumping out in front of the passions and fears this incident raised and stood up for his opponent, Congressman Steve Womack, saying he was sure that his opponent and his campaign had nothing to do with it. (Womack’s spokesman condemned the act. Nothing directly from Womack yet.) That said, some of the people on the other side weren’t so charitable. A few of them in the Arkansas Blog threads and elsewhere suggested that Jake may have killed his own cat as a publicity stunt. Think about that. When I talked to Jake yesterday he was sitting at home watching his kids like a hawk, trying to make sure they were both safe and unaware of the reality of what had happened. What kind of a person do you have to be to suggest that at a time like this? What’s more, according to a lot of people from NWA who listen to KURM radio, Womack’s father cracked a joke about the cat not having nine lives, dismissed it as something that didn’t deserve any attention, and cracked that the only reason Aden was putting this out there was because he didn’t have the money for TV ads. (To this point, we have not been able to offer hard proof of the many nasty things that have been alleged to be said by the elder Womack as near as I can tell he makes sure not to keep public recordings, but I don’t doubt the veracity of those stories for a second.) This is what we’re up against. It’s ugly and it has no place in our communities. And it’s all the more reason to rally behind a man who has given his time and energy fighting hunger in Arkansas, worked to bring toys to kids who might not have had a Christmas otherwise, and has been trying to bring hope to a community facing horrific job losses. That’s what this is about-hope versus fear and compassion versus hate, nothing less.
Ken said it better than I ever could yesterday:
“As a former combat soldier, I’ve seen the best of humanity and the worst of humanity. Whoever did this is definitely part of the worst of humanity,
Starting today, we’re going to show Ken and Jake and everyone else watching what the best of humanity can do. So contribute to Aden for Congress and send a message loud and clear-we will not be intimidated, we will not back down, we will stand together, and we will overcome.
Update: There’s a dailykos diary advertising our efforts up. If you’re on dailykos, please recommend it.