Hate Speech And Shootings: Why Can’t The Right See The Connection?
A few months ago, just after September’s devastating anti-gay bulling suicides that took the lives of at least ten teens, the Public Religion Research Institute released an amazing study that showed sixty-five percent of Americans â€” a vast majority â€” blame churches for the â€œhigher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth,â€ and that seventy-two percent of Americans believe â€œmessages â€©about â€©the â€©issue â€©of â€©homosexualityâ€© coming â€©fromâ€© placesâ€© of â€©worship â€©contributeâ€© to negativeâ€© views â€©of â€©gay â€©and â€©lesbianâ€© people.â€ Additionally, forty-three percent of Americans, a plurality, â€œthink â€©messagesâ€© onâ€© the â€©issue â€©ofâ€© homosexuality â€©coming â€©fromâ€© Americaâ€™sâ€© places â€©of â€©worship â€©areâ€© generally â€©â€©negative.â€
Saturday’s unthinkable tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, which left six dead, including a nine-year old girl, three women in their seventies, and a federal judge, and a dozen or more wounded, including Gabby Giffords, the Democratic Congresswoman for that district, has sparked more conversation around the world about the connection between hate speech, virulent and violent rhetoric, and shootings than I could ever imagine.
From the Tea Party in Tucson, which refuses to tamp down its rhetoric even after Saturday’s massacre, to Fidel Castro in Cuba, to Sarah Palin’s aide’s lie that they never intended her crosshairs map to look like it had crosshairs, (rather, “surveyor’s symbols,”) and elsewhere around the world, people everywhere are talking about whether or not there is a connection between America’s climate of hate speech and the Tucson shootings.
Many on the Left immediately pointed fingers at the politicians and pundits on the Right: Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Sharon Angle, Michele Bachmann, the GOP in general, and others who have peddled their wares of hatred, hate speech, and division upon an all-to-eager to accept the politics of hate as acceptably American “free speech” public.
The Right fought back, just as virulently and hatefully as ever. In fact,Â Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips falsely wrote, “We need to remind everyone, the shooter was a liberal lunatic.” Of course, this is a lie; Jared Lee Loughner, the man who shot nineteen people on Saturday in Tucson, including Congresswoman Giffords, is a registered Independent, showing no signs of being a liberal or a Democrat, or fitting into any reasonable political mold.)
The conversation America is pretending to have now is, sadly appropriately Fox News-inspired: pseudo-“fair and balanced.”
Those on the Right have ponied-up their encyclopedias of Left-inspired hate against Bush, Palin, et al. Those on the Left have ponied-up their encyclopedias of Right-inspired hate against, well, everyone. Gays, immigrants, Obama, Hispanics, Muslims, etc. (Here’s my contribution.)
But the debate we need to have is impossible, and that became crystal-clear to me yesterday when I hear Rachel Sklar debate conservative radio host Steve Malzberg on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
Malzberg was ranting about how Palin had nothing to do with the shooting and there was no way she should be held accountable, while Sklar said Palin’s crosshairs map, which targeted twenty Democratic Congressmen, including Giffords, contributed to the virulent climate and that it wasn’t a “stretch” to say that Palin’s map was “a bad idea.” Sklar met him half way; Malzberg couldn’t even make that connection.
The Right is so focused on protecting their way of life of regulation-free gun-carrying, regulation-free verbal assaults, regulation-free everything, that they have created an expensive climate for the rest of us. And sometimes, the cost of “regulation-free” is death.
But the real question here is, why can’t — or won’t — the Right accept the fact that their own hate speech contributed to the climate and environment of hate that led to Saturday’s killing of six people, and wounding of a dozen more?
And why can’t — or won’t — the Right accept the fact that phrases like, “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” or, “If ballots don’t work, bullets will,” invite and incite the very violence we saw Saturday.
The other important question is why won’t America accept the fact that guns kill, and guns need to be, yes, controlled.
According to Daniel Vice of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, â€œIn a typical weekend in the United States, more people are shot and killed than in an average year in Australia; the same is true in Britain, and other countries that have tougher gun laws.â€
Just look at these all-too-recent headlines from polling giant Gallup:
In U.S., Continuing Record-Low Support for Stricter Gun Control
Fewer Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws
In U.S., Record-Low Support for Stricter Gun Laws
Sadly, America is a very “gun-friendly” country, but not a very “gay-friendly” one.
But if our not very gay-friendlyÂ America can finally make the connection between churches and houses of worship contributing to the suicides among gay and lesbian youth, surely America can make the connection between the hate speech of rabid right wing politicians and pundits — the Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks, theÂ Michelle MalkinsÂ and the Michele Bachmanns, the Rush Limbaughs and the Sharron Angles — and the massacre in Tucson?
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Trump Desperate to Keep Any Possible Criminal Evidence From Supreme Court: Legal Expert
Donald Trump’s decision to allow one of his lawyers to speak before a grand jury on Friday morning, instead of appealing all the way to the Supreme Court, may have been made out of fear of what the justices on the nation’s highest court might see if they reviewed the case.
According to MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, under normal circumstances, the former president would have dragged out a legal fight over attorney-client privilege that would have kept attorney Evan Corcoran from testifying under oath about Trump’s possession of government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort that led to the FBI showing up with a warrant.
As Rubin notes, the fact that Trump let Corcoran testify over three hours raised eyebrows.
“For one, yes, it is indeed unusual, if not unheard of, for a lawyer to be litigating against a party one day and then testifying under court-ordered examination by that same party the next one,” she wrote before suggesting Trump and his legal team were looking at the long game when he might need the predominantly conservative Supreme Court to lend him a helping hand.
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Writing, “Trump has made clear he believes this Supreme Court — controlled by conservative justices, three of whom he appointed — owes him one,” she added, “My hunch is that Trump’s team let Corcoran’s testimony happen because of what’s likely involved in any request to pause, much less, review a crime-fraud-related ruling: the evidence.”
“Put another way, if Trump had petitioned the Supreme Court to stay Corcoran’s testimony and document production, the justices would have seen some, if not all, of what Judge Howell and the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit have already reviewed: proof that Trump misled Corcoran and engaged in criminal conduct,” she elaborated.
Rubin went on to note that Trump would likely appeal any conviction to the Supreme Court, writing, “And for someone whose one last hope, if he is ultimately charged or tried by any of the multiple entities now investigating him, is that same Supreme Court, letting the justices see evidence of his alleged crimes now would be a bridge too far.”
“Trump can’t afford to lose the Supreme Court yet,” she suggested.
You can read more here.
No TX Congressional Republican Will Say If They’re Attending Trump’s Rally in Waco – Will He Have Trouble Filling Seats?
Donald Trump‘s Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.
Experts have been warning for a week that Trump’s choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of “potential death & destruction” should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.
NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts’ concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.
Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town’s GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.
“None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going,” Insider reveals.
“Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump’s inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words,” Insider reports.
“Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle,” Insider adds. “Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump’s 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend.”
READ MORE: ‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses
Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.
Mary Trump, the ex-president’s niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to “sign up” for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.
Let’s fill this venue with empty seats.https://t.co/3tGSfan5iw
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) March 24, 2023
“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,” she also said via Twitter. “It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.”
“But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage,” she said. “We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses
Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.
NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.
“Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post,” Kapur said via Twitter. “When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses.”
“He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter,” Kapur added.
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Jordan, who didn’t need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.
VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.
“The stages of ignoring incitement,” he tweeted. “2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet.”
“Utter cowardice,” declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. “Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is.”
“The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people,” lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.
Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the “extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous.”
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Some tied Jordan’s inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.
“Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts,” attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.
“Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out,” tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.
But Jordan’s Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: “Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?”
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