Anti-LGBTQ hate groups are rapidly growing across America, a result, the Southern Poverty Law Center says, of President Donald Trump’s leadership, including his embrace of those groups. The White House in response has issued a thin statement denying any responsibility or blame – while not even offering to make any changes or to help with the growing danger.
While overall, active hate groups of all types fell slightly in 2019 from 1020 to 940, there was a “sharp expansion,” a nearly 43% increase, in anti-LGBTQ hate groups, the SPLC reports, warning that the “Trump administration has demonstrated a clear willingness to embrace their leaders and their policy agenda.”
“Though Trump promised during his campaign to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBTQ community, he has fully embraced anti-LGBTQ hate groups and their agenda of dismantling federal protections and resources for LGBTQ people.”
Far right wing Christian evangelicals, including anti-LGBTQ hate groups like the Family Research Council, have become emboldened, enjoying what they have said is “open door” access to the Oval Office.
“Anti-LGBTQ groups have become intertwined with the Trump administration, and—after years of civil rights progress and growing acceptance among the broader American public—anti-LGBTQ sentiment within the Republican Party is rising,” the Southern Poverty Law Center adds.
The White House issued a thin statement in response, refusing to accept any responsibility or blame.
“While the radical left has pushed false accusations that LGBTQ Americans are threatened, the president has hired and promoted LGBTQ Americans to the highest levels of government, including positions at the White House, Cabinet agencies and ambassadorships,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told NBC News. “He launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality. … And the president has made the bold declaration that we are committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within 10 years.”
(Note that nearly the entire statement hinges on the President appointing openly-gay Trump diehard loyalist Richard Grenell as his Ambassador to Germany, then installing him – despite his absolute lack of qualifications – as his acting Director of National Security. It was Grenell who launched the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality – which exists in name only. And Trump can say he is “committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within 10 years,” but his policies are likely to make the situation worse.)
The SPLC also issued another dark warning: this hate and extremism “will far outlast this administration,” and not disappear when President Trump leaves office.
“As the country continues to experience white nationalist terror, extremist ideas long believed outside of the realm of legitimate politics are penetrating deeply into the mainstream, spawning public policies that target immigrants, LGBTQ people and Muslims. The Trump administration has installed members of hate groups into government—particularly those with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim or anti-LGBTQ animus—and put in place highly punitive policies that seemed unthinkable just a few short years ago. These political moves will far outlast this administration, as Trump and his allies in the U.S. Senate have pushed through hundreds of new federal judges, many of whom are hostile to civil rights concerns and will serve for decades.”
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Defiant Trump Brags About His Upcoming NRA Speech as Cancellations Mount: Have to ‘Protect’ Second Amendment (Video)
For more than half a century “American Pie” has been an integral part of American culture, but Don McLean – the 76-year old singer who brought the nearly nine-minute song about the death of Buddy Holly and other rock and roll stars to life – has canceled his appearance at the NRA’s annual convention this weekend in Houston. Out of respect for the families of the 21 slaughtered children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, McLean says it would be “hurtful” and “disrespectful” to appear.
Also canceling this weekend are country music stars Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, and T. Graham Brown.
Even the manufacturer of the AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifle used by the Uvalde shooter has canceled their appearance at the NRA’s convention, “due to the horrifying tragedy,” Daniel Defense said in a statement.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has managed to appear as if he’s canceling out of a show of respect. The Republican currently in a tight re-election race is facing not only the horrific Uvalde mass shooting of 19 elementary school children and two teachers but the mounting evidence that lives may have been lost out of law enforcement’s apparent horrific handling of the attack.
Abbott will not appear in person, instead using the time to hold another press conference. He will appear via pre-recorded video.
Donald Trump, the former president who is widely expected to be staging another run for president not only will attend this weekend’s NRA convention, he is bragging about it.
“I’m making a speech tomorrow at the NRA in Huston and it’ll be very interesting,” Trump told far-right radio host Sebastian Gorka, who served in the Trump administration in 2017 and has ties to the alt-right.
“And so yeah, interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly.”
Trump then launched into an attack on Congresswoman Liz Cheney, one of the few Republicans who has openly and repeatedly opposed him.
“But on Friday night, I’ll be in Houston. And we’ll be making a speech and discussing a lot of the things which you would agree to, and you know, you have to protect, you have to protect your Second Amendment. You have to give that Second Amendment great protection, because without it, we would be a very dangerous country frankly.”
Trump on his NRA speech tonight: “Interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly .. You have to give that Second Amendment great protection because, without it, we would be a very dangerous country.” pic.twitter.com/uMOXbzfsrJ
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 27, 2022
‘Font of Misinformation’: Reporter Explains ‘Major Discrepancies’ in Texas Police Account of Uvalde Shooting
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday examined the “major discrepancies” in the police account of the roughly one hour that a teenage gunman spent at the Texas elementary school where he killed at least 19 children and two teachers.
The Texas Department of Public Safety defended the response by Uvalde police, but “Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist said the changing narrative of what happened and how officers reacted was jaw-dropping, and he asked NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian to explain what was so troubling about the law enforcement account.
“It’s really astonishing,” Dilanian said. “Let’s remember, the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is conducting the briefings, they did not respond to this incident. Their whole job here was to investigate and find out what happened and tell the public. They’ve really been a font of misinformation, including from the head of the agency, who sat next to the governor of the state and told the world in a very confident voice that there was a school resource officer who encountered the subject as he came into the school. Then yesterday, we learned that that person didn’t exist. There was no such school resource officer.”
“Then we learn other, new information, that the shooter actually exited his grandmother’s truck, which he crashed outside the school, then fired shots at onlookers across the street, and then essentially was lingering outside the school for 12 minutes, firing shots, before he entered through an unlocked door, also new information, unimpeded, unobstructed, nobody confronted him,” Dilanian continued. “Then we learned in this new — and, again, all this information is coming from the same agency that has provided misinformation. We should take it all with a grain of salt. But according to the latest account, some local police officers, Uvalde police officers, immediately rushed in, which is what the doctrine of mass shooting says they should do. They were met with a hail of gunfire from the 18-year-old with an assault rifle, AR-15, a weapon of war. They were armed, presumably, with handguns. A couple were shot and wounded, the police are saying.”
“Victor Escalon said they made entry, didn’t make entry, retreated,” Dilanian added. “Bottom line, they were out-gunned, treated, then we have this mystery. We have this decision by the police to wait 60 minutes for a Border Patrol tactical team. There’s a lot we don’t know and don’t understand about that, so we should be a little careful. There were police inside the school, we were told, evacuating children, in other parts of the school. But the account is, somehow, the gunman had barricaded himself. They use the word ‘barricade.’ It was two adjoining classrooms.”
“Now we’re learning … that dead children were found in four separate classrooms,” he said. “That’s a thing we don’t understand but, as you know, the doctrine for police response to mass shootings really changed after Columbine. The rule now is go in with whatever force you can. This is a policy from the Texas Police Chief Association, a manual says the first two to four officers should form a team and immediately enter the building. That’s what they did initially. Then, for whatever reason, they didn’t follow up with that. They waited for essentially federal agents, a group of Border Patrol and other police who formed a team, a stack as they put it, went in with a ballistic shield in front, took fire from the shooter — incredible act of bravery — and killed the shooter. There were local police officers involved in that, we’re told. These videos we’re seeing and the accounts of parents screaming for the police to go in while they were standing outside, that has to be explained. There is just no good explanation for why they waited 60 minutes when the doctrine calls for them to go in immediately.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
Watch: Fourth Grade Student Says Uvalde Police Told Children to Yell ‘Help’ – Shooter Shot One Child Who Did
What appears to be an increasingly clear understanding of how police in Uvalde, Texas handled the Robb Elementary School mass shooting – by not going inside for at least one hour – is being made even more horrific by reported actions of police once they finally entered the school.
One fourth grade child spoke with local CBS affiliate KENS 5, describing what happened inside the school at one point.
The shooter “shot the next person’s door. We have a door in the middle. He opened it. He came in and he crouched a little bit and he said, he said, ‘It’s time to die,'” the boy told KENS 5.
“When I heard the shooting through the door, I told my friend to hide under something so he won’t find us,” the child, whose name is not being released, told KENS 5. “I was hiding hard. And I was telling my friend to not talk because he is going to hear us.”
“When the cops came, the cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her,” the boy said. “The cop barged into that classroom. The guy shot at the cop. And the cops started shooting.”
(Transcript via KENS 5, video below appears slightly edited.)
Some have noted that since the 1999 Columbine, Colorado school shooting when 12 students and a teacher were slaughtered, police practice has been to storm the school to not give the shooter time to kill more children, and to allow those wounded to get medical attention to hopefully save more lives. That does not appear to have happened.
Presuming the child’s recollection is accurate, it appears one or more officers telling children to yell “help” may have led to at least one child being wounded or killed.
A fourth grader who survived the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde described how it ended.
“The cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came and shot her. Then the cops barged in.”https://t.co/COaVdedhnv pic.twitter.com/A0VOrNKvye
— KENS 5 (@KENS5) May 26, 2022
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