It’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and for several hours now countless mostly white, mostly male pro-gun, anti-gun control activists have been marching throughout the streets of Richmond, Virginia, claiming to merely be exercising their Second Amendment rights. Many appear to be dressed in military garb, including camouflage, masks, and donning various types of firearms over their shoulders or at their side.
Some Virginians have been so concerned about the possibility of violence that Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and banned guns from the capitol. His ban survived a state supreme court challenge. Some say the ban does not appear to have been enforced.
Thousands are marching, including some white nationalists, far-right militia members, anti-government extremists, and neo-Nazis. As NBC News reports, members of some of those groups from across the country have been planning on attending.
To get a sense of scale here’s a photo from an ABC reporter:
Crowd from above at the Richmond 2A protest @ABC7News
— Caroline Patrickis (@Cpatrickis) January 20, 2020
Many online noted the reception from pro-gun advocates might be far different if the activists were Black instead of white, given the nation’s history – and that of Virginia.
The Virginia Mercury’s Ned Oliver posted this video at 7:35 AM:
Here’s a line of heavily armed rally attendees outside the VA Capitol pic.twitter.com/ze2ZUYf0SR
— Ned Oliver (@nedoliver) January 20, 2020
One social media user asked, “Can you imagine a group of black men walking around with masks and guns?”
Can you imagine a group of black men walking around with masks and guns? https://t.co/aI9fwe6nTi
— Pariah Carey (@weekend3warrior) January 20, 2020
Government ethics expert Walter Shaub offers this insight.
Imagine how Fox News would cover this if these guys weren’t white. Imagine what Trump would tweet. Imagine how much danger they’d be in. But these guys are allowed to silence counter protesters by showing up armed to the teeth after some of their allies have threatened violence. https://t.co/scmDaodgku
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) January 20, 2020
Days ago President Trump essentially endorsed the rally in a tweet and then did so again minutes ago.
The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights. This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2020
Some are asking questions like, “Imagine if Black folks just decided to have a ‘gun rally’ like this.”
Take a look at these responses from social media users.
There's a mob of white folks walking around the streets of Virginia with assault rifles, MAGA hats and trump flags and nobody seems to care, nor think anything bad can possibly come from this.
Imagine if Black folks just decided to have a "gun rally" like this.
— Skoob 🇵🇦🇯🇲 (@TheKidSkoob) January 20, 2020
Imagine if a large group of black men with assault weapons and ski masks were marching in the VA capital.
The privilege on display here is really something.
— Kathmandu🦅💚 (@Kathmandu513) January 20, 2020
— CrazyLikeATiger (@groundedsince87) January 20, 2020
I’m only leaving my apartment for the gym today and already the amount of confederate flag shit I’m seeing for these guns rights people is ridiculous. I’m only commenting so gun nuts will stop the dishonest framing of this issue as an act to protect Black people.
— AdenWare (@AdenWare) January 20, 2020
Imagine if a group of black people lined up outside the capitol with guns 🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/EGzgwj2deH
— Terrence Everett (@IB_terrence) January 20, 2020
Don’t use MLK or any minority groups to promote your fear message. You all know damn well if those were majority black men with their military-grade guns protesting out there, it would be a different story. #VirginiaRally
— mariah loves wonho 🇭🇰 (@ohnoitsmariah__) January 20, 2020
In the 1960s, when the Black Panthers were the ones carrying guns, Republicans were much more sympathetic to gun control. A total coincidence I’m sure. https://t.co/7ELwGC6hmD
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) January 20, 2020
that history here https://t.co/uuJFOkmUjN
— David Dayen (@ddayen) January 20, 2020
What’s happening in Richmond today is not only scary but also underscores that the cruelty is the point. If they just wanted to advance an argument on gun rights, they wouldn’t do it on #MLKDay. The miss being able to openly terrify people, especially black people. #richmondrally https://t.co/Koc8EYoRit
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) January 20, 2020
Image: Screenshot via Twitter
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DOJ Unveils Proposal That Would Make It Harder for Twitter and Facebook to Block Trump’s Dangerous Posts
The U.S. Dept. of Justice has released a draft of its proposal to change federal law, making it harder – and possibly illegal – for tech companies and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to remove, delete, or otherwise block or interfere with content it deems dangerous or objectionable.
President Donald Trump for years has falsely claimed tech giants are censoring conservatives and giving preferential treatment to liberals. Recently, Twitter and even Facebook have appended warning or information labels to some of his more dangerous posts, and in rare cases removed them – as they have done for years to other users.
Attorney General Barr has been working to alter Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites and their owners from liability over content they host – such as readers’ comments – and allows them to make decisions as to what they remove or block based on what those sites and platforms consider objectionable.
Calling Barr’s draft “a rare, legislative proposal,” The Washington Post reports were it to become law, it would allow the federal government to “police” website owners and tech companies’ actions.
“For years, President Trump and other top Republicans have attacked tech giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter for censoring conservatives online, something the U.S. government now may have the ability to police if the Justice Department’s proposal were to become law.”
For example, yesterday nine of the top 10 posts on Facebook were from Republicans or far right conservatives.
The top-performing link posts by U.S. Facebook pages in the last 24 hours are from:
1. Franklin Graham
2. Ben Shapiro
3. Ben Shapiro
5. Ben Shapiro
7. Dan Bongino
8. Sean Hannity
9. David J. Harris Jr.
10. Donald Trump For President
— Facebook’s Top 10 (@FacebooksTop10) September 22, 2020
“The White House,” the Washington Post continues, “has offered little proof for its claims, and tech companies strongly deny them — while Democratic lawmakers contend the administration should focus instead on hate speech, extremism and election disinformation that spreads virally on the Internet.”
Conservative Christian Pollster Calls for Imprinting a Biblical Worldview on Kids 15 to 18 Months Old
Conservative Christian pollster George Barna told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and “Washington Watch” listeners on Tuesday that “spiritual deficiency” in the United States was to blame for its “collapse.”
During a conversation about conservative evangelicals’ influence on national politics, Perkins said that he perceived that the most important thing for like-minded churches to be doing was not necessarily to be discussing political issues, but to be “developing the biblical worldview” in ?the United States.
“If we develop the biblical worldview, helping them become integrated disciples, the pieces fall in place, do they not?” Perkins asked Barna.
“Absolutely,” Barna replied. “That’s why one of the things I’m advocating is that America has a profound spiritual deficiency and that’s what’s produced the worldview crisis that’s responsible for the collapse of American society in many ways. If we clean up that worldview issue, everything else is going to fall into place. That’s really the key domino on the board. And so if we get that right, we’re going to fix a lot of things at once.”
On pseudo-historian David Barton’s ?“WallBuilders Live?” radio show Wednesday,? Barna continued his argument and said Americans must start imprinting the proper “worldview” on children 15 to 18 months old.
“It really does start with our children,” Barna said. “We know that a worldview, no matter which one it is, a person’s worldview is going to start developing at 15 to 18 months of age, and it will be almost fully formed by the time they reach the age of 13, might be reshaped and refined a little bit during the teens and 20s.”
“By the time they hit 30, and what we found is that most people will die believing what they believe at age 13. So we really do have to invest heavily in our children, be very intentional and strategic about that,” Barna said. “It’s got to come from the family, as well as the church. But we have to pay attention to the fact that the culture of America is the biggest shaper of people’s worldview right now. So, we’ve got to turn that around us..”
At the 2017 Values Voter Summit, Barna portrayed the 2016 election as a “Christians vs. non-Christians election” and declared, “God did a miracle for us.”
This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Image: Screenshot via YouTube
An Anti-LGBTQ Billionaire and Roy Moore Donor Has Been Bankrolling a Popular Right Wing Pro-Trump Anti-LGBTQ Site: NYT
The Federalist is a right wing, anti-LGBTQ website whose leaders can be seen on Fox News and the Sunday talk shows.
People for years have been wondering who funds it. Up until now no one knew.
The site’s co-founder Ben Domenech resigned after just three days from The Washington Post over previous plagiarism allegations. He happens to be married to The View’s Meghan McCain, and was a frequent guest on CBS’s Face the Nation. Earlier, his work was removed from Huffington Post, The Washington Examiner, and The San Francisco Examiner after reportedly being paid tens of thousands of dollars to write about the government of Malaysia.
Domenech’s senior editor, Mollie Hemingway, was an anti-Trump conservative who used to call then-candidate Donald Trump “a demagogue with no real solutions for anything at all,” and labeled Trump’s whining “ineffectual and impotent.”
Today, she’s among his biggest fans.
In response to its very non-transparent backing, The Federalist has even found a way to make money off the question. For $24.95 you, too, can join in the “fun.”
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) August 4, 2020
The site is devoted to “owning the libs” and attacking Trump’s critics while advancing the President’s agenda.
But it would seem not just the President’s agenda.
Back in 2014 Media Matters called it “an outlet for often-rabid anti-LGBT talking points.”
And now we know, thanks to The New York Times, that one of The Federalist’s “major backers is Dick Uihlein, the Midwestern packing supply magnate and Trump donor who has a history of giving to combative, hard-right candidates, like Roy S. Moore of Alabama.”
Blue Virginia calls Uihlein “Roy Moore’s #1 donor and anti-LGBTQ bankroller.”
Moore, of course, is the twice-former, twice booted Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who became the twice-failed GOP U.S. Senate candidate. Uihlein supported him even after the multiple, credible accusations of rape and harassment came out against him.
And The Federalist even published an op-ed basically defending Moore, the Times notes.
“The Federalist ran an opinion piece that defended men who dated young women as a practice with a long history that was ‘not without some merit if one wants to raise a large family.'”
Dick Uihlein and his wife have donated millions to GOP and conservative candidates and their super PACs, including “roughly $26 million” during the 2018 election cycle – and that was just the first half of the year, according to The Times.
“Uihlein dumped as much as $17 million” in 2018 into a GOP candidate, Leah Vukmir, who tried to unseat Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, INTO’s Nico Lang reported. The candidate was a “right-wing extremist” who had “a staunch record of opposing queer and trans rights.”
Not only did she have “‘close ties’ to the Family Research Council,” she “favored Russia’s anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law, and backed Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ bill.”
The Federalist appears to echo Uihlein’s anti-LGBTQ agenda, running headlines like “Supreme Court Ridiculously Demands Everyone Pretend Sex Differences Don’t Exist,” “Why Pete Buttigieg Is The Most Destructive Candidate For Christianity,” “Donald Trump Has Done Far More For Gay People Than The Stonewall Democrats,” “4 Times LGBT Media Turned Coronavirus Coverage Into Attacks On Christians,” “Transgenderism’s War On Women Betrays Left’s Claims To Champion Our Rights,” “The Queer Movement Wants To Convert Christians, Not Coexist,” and on, and on, and on.
How much The Federalist receives from Uihlein is not publicly known.
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