The town of Imotski in the mostly-Catholic country of Croatia is getting attention after its leaders decided to burn an effigy of a same-sex couple kissing, and holding a child, as part of a 150-year old annual carnival celebration.
As the video below shows, the figures of two men kissing were lit on fire, and were quickly engulfed by flames as adults cheered and applauded and young children stood and watched. Confetti was thrown, some of the children were unsure what to make of the hateful spectacle, and a few appeared excited. One little girl applauded and then quickly walked off. Several attendees, including children, filmed the event for posterity.
One of the figures burned “clearly showed the face of Social Democratic Party MP Nenad Stazic, who has campaigned in parliament for same-sex couples to be allowed to foster children,” BalkanInsight reports. “His character had also a red star on his forehead, the symbol of former communist Yugoslavia.”
One of the carnival organizers defended the choice of burning a same-sex couple.
“We remain conservative, sticking to tradition. Give the baby to a mother, as the saying goes. We think that’s right.”
But political leaders, including the country’s president, and activists are speaking out.
“The symbolic burning of same-sex partners with a foster child in Imotski is a sad, inhumane and totally unacceptable act in the guise of the ‘Bakova povorka’ festivities,” President Zoran Milanovic wrote on Facebook, according to Total Croatia News.
The organizers who staged this shameful event, in the name of tradition, deserve the strongest public condemnation because of the hatred they have demonstrated toward for others. Intolerance and inhumanity are not and will not be a Croatian tradition,” he added, while pointing out that “many children watched this event, thus witnessing the spread of hatred and inciting violence.”
The nation’s Education Minister, Blazenka Divjak, and Economy Minister, Darko Horvat, also condemned the display.
“The scary scenes from Imotski cannot be justified by carnival customs,” the Rainbow Family Association’s Daniel Martinovic said. “What kind of message is being sent to our children, children who nowadays in Croatia grow up with lesbian mothers or gay fathers?”
Total Croatia News reports criminal charges will be brought against the carnival’s organizer.
Watch – the hateful act begins near the end of the video at about the 1:41:00 mark:
Hat tip: Towleroad
This article has been updated to include a more accurate translation.
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Number of Hate Groups Skyrocket as White Supremacists Lead the Way – Thanks to Trump: SPLC
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a venerable decades-old civil rights organization, has just released its “Year in Hate and Extremism” report for 2018, and finds the number of active hate groups has skyrocketed, to 1020. There has been a 30 percent increase over the past four years, and a seven percent increase in just the last year, as NPR notes. The majority of active U.S. hate groups are now based in white supremacism.
President Donald Trump, the SPLC suggests, is a leading cause of the rise in hate. A search of their report turns up “Trump” 115 times.
NPR notes that “white supremacists are emboldened under the Trump administration and driven by the fear of the United States changing demographics.”
“President Trump,” the SPLC says in its report, “has opened the White House doors to extremism, not only consulting with hate groups on policies that erode our country’s civil rights protections, but also enabling the infiltration of extremist ideas into the administration’s rhetoric and agenda. Once relegated to the fringes, the radical right now has a toehold in the White House.”
“One of the main reasons for the rise of Donald Trump, the electoral success of his bigotry and our country’s rising white supremacy is this: Trump has activated a growing fear in many white Americans who view their power as threatened by our country’s rapidly changing demographics. He is taking advantage of their rage against change. Trump tests us nearly daily with his racism, nativism and hateful policies.”
In 1999 there were 457 active hate groups in America. The number grew steadily to 926, when President Barack Obama was elected. It reached a high of 1018 in 2011, dropping dramatically to 784 in 2014.
Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in June of 2015. That year the number of hate groups mushroomed, to 892, an increase of more than 100. It increased steadily but skyrocketed over the past year, to 1020.
“Anti-LGBT hate groups also now enjoy access never afforded to extremist groups by a modern administration,” the SPLC reports. “Groups like the Family Research Council (FRC) and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) meet regularly with high-level administration officials to further their bigoted policy positions.”
The SPLC’s report also contains a section titled, “The Pence Problem,” pointing to the “vice president’s long career crusading against equal rights for women and LGBT Americans.”
NPR notes the SPLC “found that the majority of hate groups in the United States are driven by white supremacist ideology including neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, which is on the decline, white nationalists, racist skinheads and neo-Confederates. But in reaction to the flourishing of white supremacists, the center says that black nationalist groups are also ‘growing their ranks.’ The center said the groups are often anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT and anti-white but, unlike white nationalist groups, have little support and basically no sway in politics.”
Trump Argues the Effectiveness of Family Separation Policy
Donald Trump signaled his interest in once again separating parents from their children at the border between the U.S. and Mexico, claiming that the cruel policy helped deter illegal immigration.
Speculation about a new family separation policy has been swirling in recent days, prompting a Washington Post reporter to ask the President, who was on the way to a rally in Kentucky.
Trump said that the administration is, “looking at everything that you could look at when it comes to illegal immigration.”
Trump feels that this sort of hard line policy halts illegal immigration. “If they feel there will be separation, they don’t come,” he said.
The President made several unsubstantiated claims to justify the inhuman process of separating families.
“We have people that are trying to get into our country because of how well our country is doing,” said Trump. “You know, in the old days, when the country wasn’t doing well, it was a lot easier. Now everybody wants to come in, and they come in illegally, and they use children. In many cases, the children aren’t theirs. They grab them, and they want to come in with the children.”
He added, “You have really bad people coming in and using people. They’re not their children. They don’t even know the children. They haven’t known the children for 20 minutes. And they grab children and they use them to come into our country.”
There is no evidence of this being true.
Earlier this year, the administration began separating families who were seeking asylum at our southern border, in many cases permanently. A new report from Amnesty International states that more than 6,000 people, including 3,000 children, were separated from their relatives at the border from late spring until mid-August.
Watch Donald Trump’s comments in full, below.
Image via screen capture from video source.
Watch: Trump Calls Women Who Accused Kavanaugh ‘Evil’
President Donald Trump has now labeled the women who credibly accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, including attempted rape, “evil.” Among them are Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick.
Kavanaugh is “a great person and it was very unfair what happened to him,” Trump said Monday afternoon while speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual convention.
“False charges, false accusations, horrible statement that were totally untrue, that he knew nothing about,” Trump insisted. “Frankly terms that he probably never heard in his life. He was this, he was that. He never even heard of these terms.”
The president went on to call it “a disgraceful situation brought about by people that are evil,” but insisted that he and Kavanaugh “toughed it out together.”
Trump describes 53-year-old Brett Kavanaugh as “a young man” and “flawless.”
Trump goes on to describe Ford’s assault allegation as “a disgraceful situation, brought about by people that are evil.” pic.twitter.com/5UHPeobBdo
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2018
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