Some Bad Explanations for Arizona

On Monday this week Robert Birgeneau, chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, sent an email to campus about the Arizona shooting. It was, well, an odd email.

According to a piece by Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times:

In the e-mail, sent Monday, Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau condemned a “climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated.”

He continued, postulating on factors that may have motivated Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged gunman in Saturday’s shootings, in which six people died, including a 9-year-old girl, and 13 were injured, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.): “I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons.”

Well the new laws probably didn’t help, but actually I’m pretty sure that was a coincidence since the shooter was irrational and likely schizophrenic and he, as well as everyone shot, was a U.S. citizen.

I disagree with the draconian ethnicity laws in Arizona too, but come on.

Fox News quickly reported his comments, which drew a great deal of negative political response.

Berkeley is on winter break now so there were few students on campus to receive or react to Birgeneau’s statements.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer