Hate Crimes and Hate
The comment string this morning on Darryl Fears' and Marc Fisher's profile of James W. von Brunn, the suspect in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting, is both rich and disturbing. Rich because of the quality of many comments; disturbing because of the hate and blatant racism in some of the others.
A story like the tragedy yesterday that took the life of brave guard Stephen Johns inevitably results in these kinds of comments. Certainly the majority decry the event. There must be a dozen howls about the outrageous quote from von Brunn acquaintance John de Nugent, who said, "The responsible white separatist community condemns this. It makes us look bad."
But there is a sick minority that, if not actually supporting murder, expresses great dislike for people who don't think and look like them. There are, of course, predictable debates about our constitutionally protected abstinence from intelligent gun control laws, and many versions of Rodney King's famous question, "Why can't we all just get along?"
We'll start with leilaash, who wrote, "The 'responsible white supremacist' community is complaining that this incident makes them look bad??? They do that all by themselves. You can't exactly hope to maintain a squeaky clean image for the public when your group is based on a doctrine of hatred!"
exco asked, "Did I stumble into a Kurt Vonnegut novel? Surely these characters are fictional:
- An 88-year-old gunman.
- A former Reagan White House aide turned white supremacist/turned FBI snitch.
- And John De Nugent, white supremacist. He's concerned that von Brunn's act of cold-blooded murder might make "responsible" white supremacists look bad.
Responsible white supremacists???"
The story also quoted de Nugent as saying the von Brunn's Social Security had been cut, which caused rankcon to say, "So this ANTI-GOVERNMENT type had no problem taking the money of hardworking Blacks like me and my spouse. Talk about irony!"
steveboyington wrote, "...The sad thing is the attention this gets will likely INCREASE interest in the whacko fringe right blogs."
BlueTwo1 wrote, "...Naturally, we wouldn't want to deprive any wrong headed citizens of their lethal weapons. Especially not anybody with a previous felony conviction."
And TerryOakland said, "One thing connecting all these frothing murderers: all of them come from the ranks of the gun nuttery. You never find supporters of sensible gun control (See: "well-regulated militia") opening fire on people in churches, museums, schools, etc.
You can always count on that when news breaks about a gun-toting murderer killing Americans: the shooter wasn't a liberal."
medogsbstfrnd asked, "Where did he buy his guns? who supplied them? and really, when is this nation going to have a sober and sane discussion about gun control? If you will let them, the NRA will be content to arm every insane, racist, supremacist, right wing terrorist in the country. It's time to stand up to them and the bloated fascist radio goons who propagandize for them."
But marnie4bama argued, "This man is a felon thereby making his acquisition of ANY firearm ILLEGAL. He broke EXISTING gun laws, plain & simple. Increasing gun legislation wouldn't have prevented his access to the ILLEGAL weapon he used today... More gun control is not the answer. Try enforcing the laws that already exist."
And drgirl said, "Yes, NRA its true, it isn't the gun that kills, its the laws that allow wackjob, hothead loners to get the guns that kill."
Slager21 replied, "The NRA is a public service organization which strives to train people to use fire arms in a responsible manner and generally they accomplish this. There is no evidence that von Burnn is associated with the NRA.."
algasema wrote, "If someone denies the holocaust and wants to deport all the Jews and African -Americans, he is called a nut and a racist, and rightly so. But if someone walks around shouting the hate slogan, "no amnesty for illegals" and wants to deport 12-20 million Latinos, he is taken seriously. Go figure."
RealityCheckerInEffect said, "How about a litle context and proportion?!
One wacko shoots a guard. Sad, but hardly an epic occurrence. After all, how many shootings were there in DC last week? But it's a nutty white guy and a "hate crime"...so the media will be running wild with this story for a while. See how many young black males die in DC before this story peters out...."
rkerg wrote, "A few weeks ago it was a doctor who performed legal abortions, today it is a guard at the holocaust museum. It seems that the republocult is VERY unhappy and its fearless leaders on the radio are continuing to fan the flames."
mharwick warned, "...What happened here today happens to Israelis on a daily basis. It happens to all who the Jidadist Islamofascists deem Infidels... If we continue to allow soft borders and public trials in our courts for battlefield terrorists we are going to see more of the same kind of attacks here in America. Another 9/11 and worse is what they want to pull off. They will do it if we drop our guard."
Nutty conspiracy post of the week:
kingfish20815 wrote, "An 88 year old guy living in Annapolis gets to DC and finds the Holocast Musecum and carring a rifle and by himself - doesn't this seem just a little bit unlikely. Suprise, suprise, the hate speech bill is going to reintroduced next week ammended to a must pass bill. How can a brave politican not vote for it after this."
patrick3 asked, "What's the difference between James von Brunn's insistence that the U.S. be a Christian nation and Benjamin Netanyahu's insistence that Israel be a Jewish nation?"
To which heatherczerniak replied, "The difference is that Israel was originally meant to be a Jewish nation, whereas the US was never meant to be a one-religion nation. Even the USA's founding fathers thought so. It's called history, patrick3, and you should read it before you try to inject thinly-veiled hate speech of your own into a discussion."
remigius wrote, "Isn't it strange that that the FBI were not interested in him with his openly racist ideas and possession of guns ?If ever there was a dangerous person, this man was it.What kind of secret service have we ?"
To which Cobalt1 replied, "The Article clearly shows that the authorities, and the Southern Poverty law center had him on their radar. But due to that pesky thing called our Constitution, we can't just go around arresting folks who we think will go off the deep end..."
And Bitter_Bill said, "Cobalt1 you make a lot of sense."
GoodAmerican accurately observed that "There are quite a few White separatist that write comments on WaPo venting their spleen almost on a daily basis. You had your 15 minutes of glory with this nut."
We'll close with Frigistan, who wrote, "Hate and paranoia is a dangerous combination. I think everyone in this country needs to take a deep breath."
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