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How Media Downplays Trump Inspired Killings

Understanding click bait models is key to educating the persuadable Trump voter

Kris LaGrange's picture
Aug 13, 2019

We here at UCOMM love recycling Cathy Young’s opinion pieces, but it’s naive to assume she picks the headlines. Her words are syndicated nationally and most of the time she is right on point. A recent piece of hers called out both the left and the right to stop finger-pointing blame after the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, with a subtitle that says “It will take the left and the right to stop dehumanizing, poisonous rhetoric.”

When you read further into the piece, it's pretty damn obvious that the El Paso shooting was Trumpian charged. The Dayton shooting was far from politically motivated, but in order to catch the eyes of the reader who tends to lean right, headline editors chose subtitles like the one quoted above to attract that right leaning reader.

We all know crazies in our life, whether it is an auto mechanic who hates blacks and browns (I know like 3) or the bible thumping hypocrite who hid their daughter’s abortion. Crazy people exist in all societies, not just in our very unstable American one and yes, some crazy people do exist on the left. Sad that we call folks who want free college, unions, and Medicare-for-All crazy, but we do that subconsciously to normalize the closed minded Trumpian citizenry. We want them to feel comfortable in this alien nation with the hopes that by November 2020, enough innocent people have died for them to realize that maybe Trump wasn’t a good choice after all.

When you read the opinion piece below see how Cathy Young, through the power of the pen, lowers herself to their level in order to try and make sense of it all. After reading her words, re-read what I just wrote above and ask yourself this question;

Are you one of Cathy’s targets?

The rising threat of political violence

It will take the left and the right to stop dehumanizing poisonous rhetoric.

The horror of two mass shootings within a day — in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 3, then in Dayton, Ohio, shortly after midnight on Aug. 4 — has given way to political finger-pointing.

The revelation that the El Paso suspect, 21-year-old Patrick Cruisius, had posted a racist screed about defending America from immigrant invaders led many to blame anti-immigrant rhetoric from President Donald Trump and his supporters. Then, commentators on the right tried to turn the tables by pointing out that the Dayton shooter, 24-year-old Connor Betts — killed by police about 30 seconds into his shooting spree — was a fan of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a supporter of far-left antifa activism. If Trump is to blame for El Paso, they say, then Democrats should be blamed for Dayton.

To some extent, this equation is a crude and self-serving tactic to exonerate Trump. The Dayton shooting, unlike the one in El Paso, was not explicit terrorism. Betts, who had a history of troubled behavior, left no manifesto and did not target a specific group the way Cruisius allegedly targeted Mexican-Americans and Mexicans nationals; he fired into the crowd outside a popular bar. (The victims included his sister and a male friend.)

Nonetheless, the rush by mainstream commentators to declare that the Dayton shooting was unrelated to the gunman’s left-wing views is premature.

 

Exploring right-wing anti-immigration rhetoric as an influence in the El Paso shooting is legitimate. The suspect’s manifesto focused on immigration as “invasion” and demographic “replacement.” These themes have been prominent in the commentary of pundits like Fox News stars Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. Trump repeatedly has talked of invasion; at a rally in May, he responded with friendly banter to a suggestion to shoot border-crossers.

It’s not racist or fascist to oppose illegal immigration. But such talk is irresponsible — especially from the president.

Nothing said by Warren or other mainstream Democrats comes close to encouraging deadly violence. But the increasingly visible far-left fringes of the “resistance” are another matter.

While it’s unknown whether Betts had ties to antifa, his Twitter trail shows he was a passionate supporter of such activism. (The account was deactivated after the shooting, but screenshots and archives remain.) In recent months, he seemed increasingly preoccupied with armed struggle and violence against “Nazis” and “fascists” — terms antifa defines broadly enough to include most people on the right — as well as wealthy people.

Nonetheless, the rush by mainstream commentators to declare that the Dayton shooting was unrelated to the gunman’s left-wing views is premature.

 

Exploring right-wing anti-immigration rhetoric as an influence in the El Paso shooting is legitimate. The suspect’s manifesto focused on immigration as “invasion” and demographic “replacement.” These themes have been prominent in the commentary of pundits like Fox News stars Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. Trump repeatedly has talked of invasion; at a rally in May, he responded with friendly banter to a suggestion to shoot border-crossers.

It’s not racist or fascist to oppose illegal immigration. But such talk is irresponsible — especially from the president.

Nothing said by Warren or other mainstream Democrats comes close to encouraging deadly violence. But the increasingly visible far-left fringes of the “resistance” are another matter.

While it’s unknown whether Betts had ties to antifa, his Twitter trail shows he was a passionate supporter of such activism. (The account was deactivated after the shooting, but screenshots and archives remain.) In recent months, he seemed increasingly preoccupied with armed struggle and violence against “Nazis” and “fascists” — terms antifa defines broadly enough to include most people on the right — as well as wealthy people.

The FBI is looking into violent ideologies as a possible factor in the Dayton shooting. Whatever the outcome, it’s time to stop condoning dehumanizing and violent political rhetoric — on the right or the left.

 Cathy Young is a contributing editor to Reason magazine.

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