The Truth about Hateful Rhetoric and Violence

HateSpeechNoHateSpeech

Following two mass shootings over this last weekend, social media is raging with denunciations of hateful rhetoric, and President Trump is the target.  So let’s talk about hateful rhetoric.

We all know Trump’s rhetoric against illegal immigration, and we remember those infamous words about Mexico during the campaign, “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re [their*] rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Someone who might be a white supremacist goes on a killing spree in El Paso, and as the USA Today reported, “[i]nvestigators are reviewing writings shared online in connection with a possible racist motive in the assault, the officials said. El Paso police are investigating the shootings as a possible hate crime.”  And so, he may be a white supremacist, we have no idea if he has any interest in Trump, but we’ll find out.  He’s still alive, and he has a manifesto published.

Following this tragedy, most of the major Democratic Pres. candidates were as quick to blame Trump as to express their sorrow.  Buchanan with TAC covered all of these responses.  The one that stood out most to me was the very first one, from Beto O’Rourke:

Trump “is a racist and he stokes racism in this country…and it leads to violence. …We have a president with white nationalist views in the United States today.” He called Trump’s language about Mexican immigrants “reminiscent of something you might hear in the Third Reich.”

Several others followed suit, and naturally, internet land was raging with similar rhetoric.

So what about that other shooting?  Toledo?  No, Mr. President.  It was Dayton, Ohio.  This time, the shooter described himself as a “pro Satan leftist” who supports Elizabeth Warren.  As of now, we have no idea what his motivation was for the shooting.  He’s dead, so the police can’t interrogate him, and they have not found any kind of “manifesto” so far.

 

The Consequences of Hate

Buchanan’s TAC article explained how hateful rhetoric could backfire on the DNC candidates.

“Yet blaming the massacre in El Paso on the rhetoric of Donald Trump is a charge that could come back to bite his attackers. Neither the right nor left has a monopoly on political extremism or violence. And the hate-filled rhetoric of the left last weekend exceeds anything that’s been used by Trump.”

A pretty good point, but I think Buchanan didn’t consider their plan B, the “Guns” argument as shown in my Flow Chart earlier.  Don’t underestimate the ability of neoliberals to spin, nor the gullibility of their rank-in-file.  So far, most of the corporate media has kept their heads on straight.  They probably don’t want another “Covington” embarrassment.  We’ll see, however, if that continues as hateful rhetoric towards the President escalates.

What’s far worse is the continued violence.  MLK once said “A riot is the language of the unheard.”  He said this while repeatedly and consistently denouncing violence.  Hence, he did not advocate violence, but acknowledged what was driving it.  In a modern context of lone-wolf white male killers, I could reword this as “A mass shooting is the language of the unheard”.  Blacks are an oppressed community.  Lone white males are unheard individuals, socially isolated.  As more young people connect to the internet, rather than to their neighbors, people are dehumanized, and emotional outrage is amplified.  Spewing hatred towards Trump does just as much to fuel this as white supremacy!

Unlike many religious leaders, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, resisted the temptation to get impeded in partisan and ideological interests.  He looked to his moral and spiritual compass, the Christian Orthodox faith, and got to the root of the problem:

His All-Holiness strongly condemns every act of hatred –  racial, religious or social, and also any form of violence and fundamentalism, wherever they come from. Hate and violence, he points out, cause a great deal of pain and fear, and are sometimes the cause of further acts of violence in the form of revenge. In the face of this soaring, dangerous and bloody phenomenon, he notes, every good-natured person must display strong spiritual resistance. He calls on everyone to work, through dialogue and in a spirit of mutual respect, to preserve the good of peaceful coexistence and cooperation, against practices that reinforce fear and the division of society.**

Like Dr. King, the EP knows that hate begets hate; violence begets violence.  His All Holiness, in calling for “mutual respect” and “peaceful coexistence and cooperation”, is stating in more specific detail what Dr. King already stated a half century ago:

“Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

 

Note(s):

*This quote is from a speech, not a transcript, so we don’t know if Trump was saying “they’re” or “their”, but it could be an important distinction. Was he saying that Mexican immigrants who come ARE rapists “they’re rapists”, or is he saying that Mexico is sending their (possessive) rapists?

** As the EP’s comments were originally in his native tongue, the above is a paraphrased summary of the content from the Greek Orthodox Church of America.

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El Diablo is a Nevertrumper

El Diablo Nevertrump1

I can’t believe it took me two and a half years to think of this!  But seriously, when MSNBC, and CNN, and other corporate media outlets bring on war criminals from the Bush era to lament the rise of Trump, this is what they look like!

I’m thinking of doing a short fictional work on here – El Diablo 2020!  We’ll see if I find the time, but essentially, the plot is that nevertrumper El Diablo runs as a Democrat to be the first Otherkin President, and to defeat Trump, which of course is the most important thing of all.  #anybodybuttrump  He’s Satan trapped in a man’s body, and thinks of himself as LGBTQ+ because of the whole “Otherkin” thing.

Political Correctness of the Right

IlhanOmarAtCair

Over the last half decade, I’ve found myself sympathizing more with the right.*  One of the main reasons for this is that many of my classically liberal principles (freedom of speech, religion, thought, expression, etc.) have been championed by the political right, while the left has become increasingly hostile to these core liberal principles.  However, while the right seems to be a better guardian of these principles, I’ve always know that there is one big fat asterisk next to those principles in their ideological platform.  Next to that asterisk, you’ll find “except for Muslims!”  This is also coupled with a double-standard when it comes to political opponents.

Since Trump’s rise, this hypocrisy hasn’t been more evident than with the recent vitriol directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Except for Muslims

I saw this ugly side of the right plenty of times during the Obama era, but with the rise of Trumpian populism, being moderate on LGBT issues, pro-working class, pro-free speech, protective of religious freedom (asterisk!); I figured right-winged political correctness was on the back burner.  It has been.  But now they’re pulling that pot back to the front burner.

Omar gave a speech to CAIR in late March, stating that following the 9/11 attacks, all of Islam has been held accountable by society, and it has become socially acceptable to strip Muslims of basic civil liberties.  Her exact words that have earned her so much hatred were “some people did something…”** by which she explains that it was some Muslims, and consequently, all Muslims are being held accountable.  But that “something” was not the best choice of words, admittedly.  But that has been taken out of context to slander Omar and claim that she is trivializing the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks.  Memes are circulating showing Omar with her hijab smiling, and people fleeing for their lives from the falling towers in the background.  This is absolutely despicable!

You Reap What You Sow

Trump supporters don’t like it when they’re treated this way, and neither do I.  Trump’s words have often been taken out of context and twisted around.  Trump supporters have also been targeted by politically correct SJW’s who want to ruin peoples’ lives over poorly chosen words taken out of context.  Roseanne lost her show because she issued one bad tweet with reference to “Planet of the Apes” about a multi-racial woman who worked for Obama, who is partly African American.  At first glance, most people probably wouldn’t know that she is partly African American.  But the twitter mobs relentlessly pursued her, and ABC, like the cowards they are, cancelled her highly rated, pro-LGBT, pro-racial equality, sitcom.

A few months ago, the Catholic Covington high school boys were targeted by the SJW twitter mobs.  Some of them we wearing MAGA hats, and they had a difficult confrontation with a group of native Americans.  At first, they were accused of bullying these native Americans.  People were demanding they be expelled from school; they were being compared to 1950s segregationists; memes were circulating with one of the boys’ face calling it “punchable”; and then the truth came out.  The boys had actually been harassed for hours by a small group calling themselves the “Hebrew Israelites”, and they were subjected to racial and homophobic slurs.  The native Americans came along late in that confrontation to diffuse the situation by playing their drums and chanting.  It was an awkward situation for these teens, and some of their behavior deserves a reprimand.  But they did nothing to deserve the backlash they got.

Trump supporters hate it when this happens to them, and I’ll continue to defend the right of my dear deplorables to express their grievances in this free country, in the face of Antifa savagery, twitter mobs, doxing, deplatforming, etc.  Free speech is not “white privilege”; it is an American right!

Ilhan Omar’s Rights as an American Citizen

I know there are some who simply don’t see Muslims as Americans.  I hear comments like, “I don’t wish them any harm; I just want them to go back from where they came.”  However, many are natural born American citizens.  Others, like Omar, are naturalized American citizens.

Twice now Ilhan Omar’s words have been twisted around and taken out of context by Trump supporters who are rightly angry when this was done to Roseanne, to those Covington High School teens, and to Trump himself.  First, Ilhan Omar dared to question the influence that AIPAC has on American foreign policy.  Questioning AIPAC has been equated with “anti-Semitism”, because they represent the state of Israel, and if you question a lobbying group that represents the views of about half of Israel’s population, that apparently makes you an anti-Semite.  Omar’s hijab likely only adds to the stigma.  However, as old time conservative Pat Buchanan rightly stated in Omar’s defense, Omar’s questions of dual loyalty are very consistent with American tradition and past leaders.  Questioning the influence of AIPAC does not equate to hating Jewish people any more than would questioning the influence of CAIR equate to Islamophobia.

And now, Omar again is having her words twisted around to suggest that she doesn’t think the 9/11 attacks were a big deal.

As an American citizen, Omar has every right to expect religious freedom, and every right to peacefully voice her grievances.  She has every right to question American foreign policy, as well as the influence of any foreign nation on that policy, including but certainly not limited to the state of Israel.

I hope nothing happens to Omar

Omar reports having received death threats as a consequence of this.    As a public official, her words and actions are subject to scrutiny, but this should remain peaceful.  She has done nothing to deserve death threats, or worse!

Aside from that, there’s a second reason I hope nothing bad happens to her.  I can already see how the PC left will use any harm against her for their own agenda.  They will hold it up as further evidence that “hate speech” is not free speech, and claim that a peaceful society has an obligation to suppress such speech.  They’ll repeat their circular arguments that tolerance doesn’t mean tolerating “hate” because “hate” is intolerance, and you can’t tolerate intolerance.  The rights the PC left rightly demand for Omar, they will deny to my dear deplorables.

I hope that those on the #trumptrain will heed Mr. Buchanan’s wisdom, and defend Omar’s basic rights as an American.  Continue to criticize her policies as you see fit, but please stop standing by while her words are twisted around and she is treated the same way that so many of us have been treated.  Let’s be better than that!

Note(s):

*I’m still an old school progressive, fellow traveler on the #trumptrain unless and until the Dems start representing working people again

**You’ll find the remark in question about 15 minutes into this video

Dismissing Security Experts, Trump Invites Putin To Pentagon

TrumpWithPutin

 

Emboldened by the Mueller report’s lack of finding evidence of collusion, Trump is suddenly becoming very chummy with Putin.  Against the strong advice and dire warnings from security experts, the intelligence community, and Sec. of State Mike Pompeo; President Trump will be dining at the Pentagon with Putin.  The menu will include several Russian classics, including caviar, Pelmeni (a Russian meat pie), Borscht.  The White House chef expressed concerns due to his lack of expertise in such unusual cuisine.  But Trump replied, “You better get used to it.”

In a display of diplomacy and trust, President Trump will then lead Pres. Putin through some of the most high security areas of the Pentagon, and discuss mutual cooperation to defeat any last remnants of ISIS.  A Russian Orthodox shrine will also be erected in Putin’s honor.

GNN’s Tim Acoster was able to catch Trump on his way to greet Putin’s arrival and asked, “Mr. President, why are you ignoring your security experts and even the Sec. of State?”  To which Trump replied, “I don’t need to follow their advice.  I’m a pretty smart guy.”

 

Criminal Justice Reform is happening! Thanks Trump!

Trump is doing so much good lately I just can’t write the blog posts fast enough!  So I’m making this more of a shout out.  President Trump just signed into law the First Step Act, which aims to reform our overcrowded prison system by addressing recidivism, releasing many non-violent offenders into parole, and focusing more on education and rehabilitation.  It’s about redemption, rather than just punishment.

I wrote on this subject more extensively in 2016 during the campaign.  “Can We Finally Get Criminal Justice Reform In 2017?

(Update!  I made a crucial mistake in the next paragraph regarding the Congressional Black Caucus.  As it is my practice to correct my mistakes, rather than cover them up, I’ll leave my original words, but rectify my error in the notes at the end with the corresponding asterisk)

The “Congressional Black Caucus” initially opposed it in its early stages.  They insisted that the bill do something substantial.  Thanks, in part to this, the final version of the First Step Act takes significant steps to reduce recidivism and release non-violent offenders.

The NAACP has expressed their support for this final version, while also expressing some reservations.  Now I will agree that it doesn’t go far enough.  We need to address mandatory minimums and harsh sentencing also.  But as George Orwell would say, a half a loaf is better than no loaf.

I’ll also point out that the First Step Act being less than perfect did not stop the principled Van Jones from supporting it.  Van Jones has little nice to say about President Trump, and has called him racist and worst.  But Van Jones knows that a good idea is a good idea, regardless if it comes from the left wing, the right wing, or a chicken wing on a string at burger king.  That’s why I’ve always respected him.

So, in conclusion, this is a victory for criminal justice reform, but not THE victory.  Let’s keep the momentum!  This is great, but we need more.

But for now, thank you Mr. President for doing more to combat institutional racism than any president since LBJ.

Note(s):

*I previously made a terrible mistake when I quickly wrote this shout out.  I was misled into believe that the CBC did not support this, which I blamed on blind partisanship.  However, the CBC only opposed the early House version, which was a much weaker bill than the final version.  Kushner, Van Jones, and many in Congress carefully considered the CBC’s requests for improvements and implemented many of them, winning the CBC’s support.  This is their statement on the final version.   https://cbc.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=970

Trump is making peace, and “liberals” hate him for it!

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These are crazy times!

In 1972, Democrat George McGovern ran against then President Nixon on a peace platform.  McGovern (D) was the hippies’ candidate.  McGovern’s supporters were often chastised as “communists” and told to “go to Russia!”

In 2004, Kerry ran against Bush criticizing him for Iraq.  Around that same time, Betty Castor (D) ran against Mel Martinez (R) in Florida for a US Senate seat.  Martinez ridiculed her for calling the US the “global bully”.  Republicans loved putting their Bush/Cheney bumper stickers on their pickup trucks, right next to the “How do you like US now!” with images of bombs falling on the middle east.  Can anyone have imagined then a Republican President leading the charge towards peace, while Democrats chastised him and claimed he was doing it to help Russia?!

Yet here we are!  A few months ago, Trump made an important first step towards peace with N. Korea, and Rachel Maddow chastised him for it and claimed he was doing it to help Russia.  Now, Trump has announced that we will be withdrawing from Syria, as ISIS has been defeated, and surely enough, the “liberals” are chastising Trump for “helping Russia”?

How did we get here?

I have two theories.  1.  “Liberals” hate Trump so much, they will simply oppose anything and everything he is for.  2.  “Liberals” were never really advocates of peace, but of globalism.  It’s unilateral warmongering that they oppose, not warmongering in and of itself.

So, either the “liberals” are blinded by their hatred of Trump, or they are prepared to inflict mass suffering and death on people in the Middle East who did NOTHING to us, just to test out their far-fetched theories of globalism and “nation-building”.  I’m leaning toward #1, the hate theory.  The reason being that Trump is also trying to pass a rather substantial prison reform bill right now (The First Step Act).  Despite the fact that African Americans have for decades lamented racial injustice in the criminal justice system; the entire Congressional Black Caucus (all Democrats) opposes this bill that Trump supports.*

Just in case you think the entire American Left has gone insane, let me reassure you.  There’s a few principled ones left on the left.  Jimmy Dore never fails, and he has said that Trump’s recent announcement is good news, and has called out so-called “liberals” for their hypocrisy.  “Trump has so completely ruined Liberals brains that they now publicly cheer on war and military confrontations with Nuclear powers”

And no, Dore is not shilling for Trump.  He also criticized Trump for not also cutting military spending and re-investing it in America.  You see, Dore has these things called principles.  It’s something I vaguely remember liberals having many years ago, like, early Obama era (pre-Libya).

Another principled lefty, Cornel West, warned us about this two years ago.  He warned us of the Democrats’ hypocrisy.  “…when you actually look at the reinforcement of the new Jim Crow…that occurred under Democrats; it would persist under Hillary Clinton.”  Given that Clinton’s very loyal Congressional Black Caucas is unanimously opposing Trump’s efforts to roll back the new Jim Crow, it seems West was right.  On this matter of peace abroad:

“Can you imagine Russian troops in Mexico and Canada?  What would US response be?  Well that’s very much what NATO troops are vis a vis Russia…but that kind of provocation for Russia that has nuclear arms is the kind of thing that Hillary Clinton supported, and her connections to the Robert Kagans and Henry Kissingers are just frightening!”

I haven’t been able to find Cornel West’s take on Trump’s recent announcement, but I’d be eager to hear it.  West has described the Trump administration as “neo-fascist” on multiple occasions, but he is not afflicted with blind partisan hatred.

Despite a handful of principle, it looks like most of the American “left” would rather hate Trump than give peace a chance.

**TrumpObamaHaveInCommon

 

Note(s):

*Since posting this, the CBC supported the final version of the First Step Act, and I and so many others are grateful for their insistence on a truly substantial bill before passing, rather than just a symbolic gesture.

**I’m not sure where Mr. Chase’s politics are, so I’m not putting him in with West and Dore.  I just shared his post because it’s clever and adds some perspective to this lunacy.