Sasha K. Kindred - Staff Writer - News
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul Pelosi. Image originally taken by Paul Morigi.
Early on a Friday morning in the San Franciso Pelosi residence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was attacked by an anonymous intruder and hospitalized.
According to New York Times reporter Amanda Holpich, the San Francisco Police Department received notice of the home break-in at 2:27 AM and swiftly responded to the attack. Although Mr. Pelosi suffered injuries and was hospitalized, most recent reports suggest that the 82-year-old will be okay.
Shortly after the attack, President Biden allegedly called Ms. Pelosi to offer his support and prayers. In a statement, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre asserted that “The President continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family’s desire for privacy be respected.”
Nancy Pelosi’s Spokesperson Drew Hammill says that as of now, “The assailant is in custody and the motivation for the attack is under investigation.” With that being said, most individuals are inclined to believe that the attack was motivated by political reasons. After all, this is not the first time that the Pelosi family has been threatened. In January of 2021, shortly after a stimulus bill was passed in Congress, a group of individuals vandalized the Pelosi residence with graffiti and left a dismembered pig’s head on the nearest sidewalk.
Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi is not the only public figure who has experienced the ramifications of politically-charged violence. Violent attacks and threats directed toward public political figures and their families have skyrocketed throughout the past decade, perhaps as a byproduct of the country’s rising rates of polarization. According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, only around 6% of Americans justified violence for political goals during the 1970s. By contrast, during 2021, 20% of Republicans and 13% of Democrats justified violence in the name of political goals.
This attack is not simply a tragic outlier; it is reminiscent of the much larger national issue of the normalization of extreme political tribalism and politically-motivated violence.