Tag: violence

Joe Walsh issues death threat against President Obama and Black Lives Matter activists

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post contains a screengrab of a death threat made by a former elected official against the current President of the United States. The author of this blog post strongly condemns violence and all threats of violence.


Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), who represented parts of the Chicago suburbs for one term from 2011 to 2013, took to Twitter to declare a race war and issue a death threat against President Barack Obama and activists of the Black Lives Matter movement. Walsh has since deleted the tweet, but here is a screengrab of it:

It’s worth noting that the death toll last night’s mass shooting in Dallas, Texas is, as of the writing of this blog post, at five.

Walsh has (rightfully, in my opinion) received a lot of criticism online for threatening to kill the president, with lots of people calling for WIND-AM, a Chicago radio station that employs Walsh as a right-wing talk radio host, to fire Walsh, as well as for the Secret Service, which is legally responsible for protecting the president, to detain Walsh:

Joe Walsh, who was voted out of office in 2012 after repeatedly making vile, rude, and bigoted remarks, declared a race war against America and the values America stands for, and he also threatened to kill President Obama and people who are active in the Black Lives Matter movement, a non-violent movement that seeks reforms to law enforcement and criminal justice practices that are discriminatory against black people. WIND-AM should fire Walsh immediately, and all appropriate law enforcement agencies should detain Walsh, and, if it can be proven that Walsh was plotting to kill anyone, he should be arrested and charged with all appropriate crimes. Walsh is a disgrace to my state and my country.

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BREAKING NEWS: Police officers shot at Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a breaking news event. Information may change rapidly.


Multiple members of the Dallas Police Department (Dallas PD) and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) police forces, as well as a 37-year old woman by the name of Shetamia Taylor, were shot at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, Texas. Five of the officers who were shot have been killed, and two snipers, whose identities are not known at this time, are believed to be the perpetrators of the attack:

Violence against law enforcement, or, for that matter, any person, is NEVER acceptable. While there is a ton of institutional racism in this country, and it’s true that law enforcement officers have killed black people in situations in which they would not kill a white person (think of the deaths of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, LaQuan McDonald, Tony Robinson, Eric Gardner, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castle at the hands of law enforcement), committing acts of violence does not do a damn bit of good to advance the Black Lives Matter cause. The Black Lives Matter cause is a cause that I strongly support, but I absolutely oppose all forms of violence. If you’re going around shooting police officers, you’re just as evil of a person as the police officers who killed people like Alton Sterling and Philando Castle.

While a motive for the shooting of the Dallas police officers is not known at this time, I strongly suspect that someone had every intention of disrupting what, up until the shooting, had been a peaceful protest, in an attempt to make the protesters that did not engage in violence of any form look bad.

WISCONSIN STATE REP. MELISSA SARGENT: “We must work to end the rape culture”

REPUBLISHER’S NOTE: Below the horizontal line is an op-ed, originally published by the Madison, Wisconsin-based newspaper The Cap Times, that was written by Wisconsin State Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison). The op-ed has been republished to this blog, as it appeared on The Cap Times’s website, with permission from Representative Sargent.


A young woman woke up not sure where she was.

She was covered in pine needles, her hands and elbows bloody. As she laid on a hospital gurney trying to put the pieces together, doctors performed one invasive procedure after another to determine what had happened. She was told — hours later, after she was finally allowed to shower — that she had been sexually assaulted and was found unconscious behind a dumpster.

By now, many of you have heard about this brutal rape on the Stanford campus. The power of social media allowed millions of us to read the chilling testimony that the victim read aloud to her assailant in court. And like me, I’m sure you were horrified by the light sentence — at most, six months in the county jail and three years’ probation — that the judge gave to the Stanford student. Not even a slap on the wrist.

This case is the definition of our society’s rape culture.

This made me think back to a few weeks ago when I was visiting a middle school in my district. I was talking to a young woman about her college plans. This seventh-grader said she has just read UW-Madison’s campus climate survey, which showed that one in four women will experience sexual violence during their time on the Madison campus. She told me that she felt she had to choose between her safety and her ability to pursue higher education.

This is wholly unacceptable.

As women, we are taught almost from birth that we have to be careful, and take extra precautions for our safety. There is a strict set of unwritten rules for women: Don’t walk alone, don’t drink too much, don’t wear that skirt. We live in a culture that views rape and sexual assault as inevitable, as something that “just happens” to (a certain kind) of woman, as something that can be prevented if we as women just follow that laundry list of unwritten rules — and always as something that is the victim’s responsibility to stop.

These attitudes are all part of rape culture. We live in a world where everyone from the media, to teachers, to school administrators, to many elected officials contribute to and normalize sexual violence against women. The media debate whether a rapist’s sentence will ruin his life — rather than talking about the lifelong impacts for the victim.

Sexual assault isn’t something that happens somewhere else, to someone else. It’s happening right here — to us, our sisters, our friends, our daughters. And it’s happened to me.

Every parent should know that this is what our children are being taught. Our daughters grow up hearing that if a boy hurts her, it’s love. Our sons grow up hearing that “boys will be boys” is an excuse for their actions.

Every parent should be acutely aware that this is the world their children are growing up in. While Brock Turner’s six-month sentence seems like such a far cry from justice, in actuality he is receiving more punishment than 97 percent of rapists, who face no jail time at all.

We must teach our children to do better to stop this community of inaction. We must stop victim-blaming altogether. And we must say that rape is rape — no excuses, no justifications.

 

Donald Trump is inciting violence against Hispanic people

Scott Leader, a 38-year-old white man who allegedly assaulted a homeless Hispanic man in Boston, Massachusetts, cited Donald Trump as his justification for violence:

Police said Scott Leader, 38, told them it was OK to assault the man because he was Hispanic and homeless.

“Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” he allegedly told the police.

Leader and his brother, Steve Leader, were arrested yesterday. The attack occurred as the Leader brothers were going home after attending a baseball game at Fenway Park. It’s not known at this time whether the person who was assaulted is an undocumented immigrant or not. Slate magazine described the attack as follows:

…The brothers say the Hispanic man threatened them, but a prosecutor described the attack as “unprovoked” and the man reportedly told police that he was woken from sleep because the two brothers were urinating on his face. He suffered a broken nose and was reportedly struck several times in the head area with a metal pole.

Donald Trump’s absurd crusade against immigration isn’t just racist and un-American. It has now resulted in one documented instance of a Hispanic person being physically assaulted by white racists. What is even worse is that Trump, when notified by the Boston Globe of the Leader brothers’ attack, praised the attackers as “passionate” about his candidacy:

Trump, told of the alleged assault, said “it would be a shame . . . I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

While Trump is probably never going to be charged with inciting violence, he’s clearly inciting violence against Hispanic people and not strongly condemning hate crimes that his supporters are committing.

I spent over two weeks in a mental institution in Indiana when I was 9 years old or so

For those of you who have been following the Wisconsin gubernatorial race extensively, you may have known about a TV ad which the campaign of Democratic candidate Mary Burke is either currently running or has run which features Erin Forrest, the chairwoman of the Jefferson County (WI) Democratic Party who entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and served probation in order to get domestic violence charges against her dropped.

Normally, I would write a blog post on The Prairie Badger, my blog about Wisconsin politics, and criticize Forrest for effectively blacklisting Scott Michalak, a unsuccessful Wisconsin State Assembly candidate in 2012, over some sort of domestic violence issue that Michalak had in which I’m not familiar with the details of, when Forrest had domestic violence issues of her own not long after the 2012 elections in Wisconsin.

However, I’m going to do something completely different instead.

I’m guessing that nobody who is reading this blog knows about this part of my past, but, when I was 9 years old or so, I spent a little over two weeks in a mental institution in Vigo County, Indiana. I spent a little over two weeks in a mental institution when I was an elementary school-age child because, when I was, if I recall correctly, a fourth-grade student at a public elementary school in Westville, Illinois, I frequently acted in a violent manner toward people around me. Because my behavioral issues were so severe, my parents sent me to Charter Behavioral Health (now known as Harsha Behavioral Center) near Terre Haute, Indiana.

I don’t credit spending two weeks in what could best be described as a minimum-security mental institution with improving my behavior, as my behavioral health slowly improved as I grew older to the point that my only behavioral health issues are ones usually associated with people who, like me, have Asperger’s syndrome, such as being obsessive about certain subjects that I’m interested in and having difficulty properly communicating with people. Additionally, I would never act in a violent manner toward anyone nowadays. However, the fact that I once spent time in a behavioral health institution is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

I cannot, in good conscience, write a blog post criticizing a political figure for hypocrisy when it would be hypocritical for me to do so. That’s why I felt the need to admit that I once spent time in a behavioral health institution when I was a child.