“Know This If Nothing Else: This Was A Hate Crime”

Orcinus, February 10, 2009

Photo by J. Miles Cary of the Knoxville News

Progressives around the country can breathe a little easier today: James Adkisson has been sentenced to life behind bars for the deaths of Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger, the Unitarian Universalist martyrs who died during his assault on their church in Knoxville, TN last July.

Many of us intuited at the time that Adkisson’s rampage was exactly the kind of rancid fruit that would inevitably take root in an American countryside thickly composted with two decades of hate radio bullshit, freshly turned and watered with growing middle-class frustration over the failing economy. That suspicion that was verified in the days that followed, when police searched Adkisson’s apartment and found it filled with books and newsletters penned by Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and other right-wing hate talkers.

But yesterday, Adkisson told us himself — in his own words — just how central right-wing eliminationism was in driving him to his shooting spree. Shortly after he was sentenced yesterday, he released a four-page handwritten “manifesto” — which he’d intended to be his suicide note — to the Knoxville News (the full .pdf can be downloaded here). In it, he unleashes the full measure of his hatred for liberals — and encourages other would-be right-wing warriors to take up arms and follow him into battle.

Some choice excerpts:

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