Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

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."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  June 11, 2009; 6:08 AM ET
 | Tags: Guns, Holocaust, White Separatists  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Virginia Democrats Solid for Deeds
Next: Time Out

Comments

Why was Stephen Johns braver than a man who was hit by a bus, and how do we know who shot him? How do we know who shot James von Brunn? We may never know.

Posted by: markoller | June 18, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

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."

Islamofascist is a term used exclusively by Zionazis.

Posted by: markoller | June 18, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

mjkoch wrote: "I deplore the right wing bigotry of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Pat Buchanan and cannot watch or listen to them but I find that left wingers love targeting the right while they espouse anti-semitism against Jews and conspiracy theories about 911 against their own government."

Anyone who pretends that our government is not to blame for the World Trade Center demolition and the Pentagon bombing is an accomplice to the atrocity. The Al Qaeda kamikaze jets of 911 is the biggest most preposterous hoax in hisotry. Even the jet crashes are laughable in slow motion. Download

http://killtown.blogspot.com/2007/05/why-they-didnt-use-planes-to-hit-wtc.html

http://killtown.911review.org/2nd-hit.html

Then download "Netanyahu Feels the Heat" "Washington Post." Wait for "View All" to appear and click. The URLs do not work.

Posted by: markoller | June 18, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I wrote my epic Holocaust book, "Jacob's Courage" in the hope that readers might be enlightened about the horror of being a Holocaust victim. None of us can imagine the depth of constant degradation, humiliation and terror that Jews experienced during the Shoah. One might have suspected that the world would change after witnessing the extermination of 6 million innocent men, women and children, only because of their religion. Alas, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur are testimonials to our continued fear and hatred of people who are different. Only when we learn to velue the differences among us will such blind hatred cease.

Posted by: csw18 | June 14, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

If Adolf Hitler were alive today, he would probably accuse his opponents of HATE SPEECH!

Posted by: markoller | June 14, 2009 4:00 AM | Report abuse

As a Jewish American I have observed much more anti semitism from the left than ever existed from the right in this country. I deplore the right wing bigotry of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Pat Buchanan and cannot watch or listen to them but I find that left wingers love targeting the right while they espouse anti-semitism against Jews and conspiracy theories about 911 against their own government. Although I voted for Gore and Kerry and was an enthusiastic supporter of Obama, I found the vitriol from the left every bit as nasty as that from the right. Bush was a very bad President but the hatred that came from the lips and pens of the left was revolting. One would have thought they were speaking and writing about Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot of Cambodia.

The left wingers lambast the Fox News commentators and Limbaugh, Beck, and Coulter while at the same time keep silent or justify the recent comment by Reverend Wright that the reason he has not spoken with President Obama since he became President is because “Them Jews won’t let me get near him.” The truth that the left wing refuses to own up to is that anti-semitism in the Black community is prevalent and common place. The Democratic Party is the only party I have voted for the past forty years but I find much more anti semitism in that party than exists in the Republican Party.

Yes, the Republican Party is going to be a minority party for a generation if they keep up their obsession with denying rights to Blacks, Gays, Women, and Hispanics and denying global warming exists, and yes, most of their most prominent spokespersons spew anger and hate but before the Democrats cast all their aspersions and blame towards the Republicans they need to ask themselves why they defended (and still defend) the anti-American, anti-semitic tirades and sermons of Reverend Wright and support, justify, or excuse acts of hatred and terror by groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and why they have a problem with the words “Islamic terror.” The Democrats continue to try and convey to the American people the feeling that there is no such thing as terrorism or hatred against any group if you are not a member of the Republican Party. The sad truth is that although the idiots on the right like Coulter, Beck and Limbaugh get all the publicity they do not have a monoply on hate speech, rhetoric and bigotry. Democrats need to look in the mirror. The left is no better than the right when it comes to bigotry and hatred.

Posted by: mjkoch* | June 13, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

As a Jewish American I have observed much more anti semitism from the left than ever existed from the right in this country. I deplore the right wing bigotry of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Pat Buchanan and cannot watch or listen to them but I find that left wingers love targeting the right while they espouse anti-semitism against Jews and conspiracy theories about 911 against their own government. Although I voted for Gore and Kerry and was an enthusiastic supporter of Obama, I found the vitriol from the left every bit as nasty as that from the right. Bush was a very bad President but the hatred that came from the lips and pens of the left was revolting. One would have thought they were speaking and writing about Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot of Cambodia.

The left wingers lambast the Fox News commentators and Limbaugh, Beck, and Coulter while at the same time keep silent or justify the recent comment by Reverend Wright that the reason he has not spoken with President Obama since he became President is because “Them Jews won’t let me get near him.” The truth that the left wing refuses to own up to is that anti-semitism in the Black community is prevalent and common place. The Democratic Party is the only party I have voted for the past forty years but I find much more anti semitism in that party than exists in the Republican Party.

Yes, the Republican Party is going to be a minority party for a generation if they keep up their obsession with denying rights to Blacks, Gays, Women, and Hispanics and denying global warming exists, and yes, most of their most prominent spokespersons spew anger and hate but before the Democrats cast all their aspersions and blame towards the Republicans they need to ask themselves why they defended (and still defend) the anti-American, anti-semitic tirades and sermons of Reverend Wright and support, justify, or excuse acts of hatred and terror by groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and why they have a problem with the words “Islamic terror.” The Democrats continue to try and convey to the American people the feeling that there is no such thing as terrorism or hatred against any group if you are not a member of the Republican Party. The sad truth is that although the idiots on the right like Coulter, Beck and Limbaugh get all the publicity they do not have a monoply on hate speech, rhetoric and bigotry. Democrats need to look in the mirror. The left is no better than the right when it comes to bigotry and hatred.

Posted by: mjkoch* | June 13, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Suppressing 'hate speech' has nothing to do with tolerance. This is a message I received on the "Why the Jews?" blog.

ItsTimeForUniversalHealthCare wrote:
markroller should be arrested by the FBI for intentional repeatedfed violation of Federal and State hate-speech laws.

If they don't enforce the law, who will???

Markroller is clearly trying to incite hatred of Jews.

Its an open and shut case.

If Markroller's posts aren't anti-semitic hate speech, what is???

Will the FBI and other authorities stand by idly and watch him break the law and do nothing until yet more Jewish-Americans are murdered by anti-semites?

How can the WP and any authorities that monitor these boards even think of allowing markroller to post anti-semitic diatribes when the guard who was cut down by an anti-semite at the Holocaust museum isn't even cold in his grave yet???

Markroller, you think that inciting murder is some sort of fun game, don't you???

I hope people who take things more seriously "take you off the air" before you incite any more mayhem.

Maybe if you become a famous enough anti-semite the Mossad will deal with you directly, as they do with any direct terrorist threat.

If that's the only way to stop you from inciting murder of Jewish children, so be it.

You deserve it.

Posted by: markoller | June 13, 2009 4:00 AM | Report abuse

A Christian abuse problem all over again

Pro-Lifers should look at abortion the way Catholics look at symptoms of sexual abuse. Symptoms are not the problem, but a sign of deeper issue. Symptoms of priest sexual abuse include: suicide, alcohol, drug abuse, etc. Abused women, exhibit similar behaviors and often turn to abortion.

Pro-Lifers ignore abuse of women the way Catholics ignored abuse of children. Pro-Lifers need to admit something is wrong in society the way Catholics admitted something was wrong in their church. Catholics blamed children for symptoms of abuse. It was double abuse. Pro-Lifers do the same.

Christians turned their back on abuse and created an environment in which healthy children turned to suicide. Pro-Lifers turn their back on abuse toward women and healthy women turn to abortion. Making abortion illegal won’t solve the problem. Women will only turn to back-street abortion providers in the same way abused Christian children found ways to commit suicide.

Posted by: June21 | June 12, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

kszimmerman, yours is an insightful comment. My own sense is it's not for a lack of an ability to articulate a point that leads certain posters to stoop to ad hominem attacks and baseless arguments. I feel strongly it's for lack of having a grounded point to make. I realize that sounds judgmental, but after reading tens of thousands of comments, it seems those who have a solid point, make a solid point, while those who don't, naturally can't. It really is about that simple.

Having gotten away with ungrounded diktat, having never been called upon by like-minded friends to explain themselves or define their terms or make their case with logic, they're not so much unprepared to make their case as unprepared to have a case.

Faced with a rebuttal, they're unmoored not by ignorance, but by reliance on facile habits of self-deception. The ability to make distinctions is tendentious with opinion given dogmatically and solid facts rejected as mere "opinion". Figures of speech are meant literally. Effects are taken for causes. Circular reasoning abounds. Straighten all this out and what do you have? Nothing. People naturally make sense if they have facts and logic on their side. If they don't they can't, imo.

Posted by: jhbyer | June 12, 2009 4:05 AM | Report abuse

lejeune421, thank you for posting, for your service to our nation, and for bearing witness to the Holocaust. I agree WaPo attracts an awful amount of hate speech, undoubtedly because they're the only major national newspaper that allows comments on news reports. I applaud them for that. P

Problem is, reportedly, only about 5% of readers comment, but seemingly 100% of the nutcakes. Many claim to hate WaPo, yet they read it. It's better to be informed of their myths and nonsense than otherwise, I think. Plus we can rebut them, for what it's worth. I've learned a lot about how not to think :).

Posted by: jhbyer | June 12, 2009 3:11 AM | Report abuse

TerryOakland, finds it amazing that all gunmen who murder are "gun nuts" which is like saying rapists invariably have genitals. D'oh. As for "liberals" not committing such a crime, its not for lack of guns. Lots of liberals own guns, including me. So what?

As for gun control, since this guy violated gun control laws, he makes a case for their futility - not their need.

I haven't had time to read but can't understand how he got a rifle past museum metal detectors.

Posted by: jhbyer | June 12, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

It's "hate speech" to be against amnesty for illegal immigrants? Nice try, Open Borders Post. Your shameless obeisance to the Open Borders Lobby defames the real victims of hatred and anti-semitism. Funny, I don't seem to remember any hand-wringing editorials about the racist Latino gang that was busted by the Federal government for deliberately ethnically cleansing black people our of the LA suburb of Hawaiian Gardens.

Posted by: MaryJessel | June 11, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

From joy2: "Generally, they are uneducated people who lack the verbal skills to express a point of argument, so they naturally turn to personal attacks, threats and violence."

I wouldn't say it's exclusively the province of the uneducated. You are correct about people lacking verbal skills, but I think it's less about debate skills per se and more about a healthy capacity for emotional expression.

Part of a.) as with Bly, a general culture that teaches men that emotional expression is weakness, and b.) a political culture on the far right that sees any admission of fallibility, *even the natural course corrections that might be part of adapting to a changing environment*, as weakness. This has worsened in the past eight years, rather than improved.

In short, there is an extreme version of conservative culture that lionizes violence, sees change as weakness and thus fears change. So at some point, it's not such a significant step further to begin to see violence as reasonable reaction (a reaction of "strength") to change. Especially when no healthier reactions are available.

Posted by: kszimmerman | June 11, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Hate seems to travel faster than a speeding bullet.
Violence begets violence and willful ignorance is deadly.
Reading the comments on the shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, spewing so much venom in every direction, was chilling. Just chilling...

Posted by: 2belinda | June 11, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

kszimmerman asked "Could you imagine so casually making the connection between political opposition to something and violence?"
-------------------------------
Generally, they are uneducated people who lack the verbal skills to express a point of argument, so they naturally turn to personal attacks, threats and violence.

Posted by: joy2 | June 11, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Remember the "return to the wilderness", white male empowerment movement of the 90s? Kind of an unfortunate twisting of the Robert Bly Iron John thing? Well, the question is, where did it go in the 00s? That whole movement seemed to disappear as soon as someone they considered one of their own returned to power.

And now that those kind of people are out of power again - people who feel that they don't have adequate avenues of expression for their anger when prone to feeling "shamed" (as Bly actually rather thoughtfully puts it, http://www.pbs.org/kued/nosafeplace/interv/bly.html), expect to see more public outlets for their anger. Comments at the Washington Post being first and foremost.

For example, on the 4/12 article "Liberated Agenda in D.C." comments, from civilrightist after I openly expressed concern that the far right was coming apart at the seams: "Remember, we are armed and will not stand for your socialist ideals, good luck taking my gun away."

Or from the 4/8 article "D.C. Gun Exception Alarms MD Officials" comments, from lefande: "The 'liberals' love to point to the recent upsurge of mass shootings. Funny how that upsurge came about since January 20. There is a lot of frustration and anger out there."

Could you imagine so casually making the connection between political opposition to something and violence? American terrorism is a very real concern.

Posted by: kszimmerman | June 11, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Virginian said "You libs crack me up. Joy, what do you think the Fairness Doctrine is?"
------------------------------------
The Fairness Doctrine prohibits one entity from owning the majority of outlets. Take a look at Clear Channel for instance, they hold a monopoly in many large cities, so all you get is the same canned muzak, no local news and the same right-wing point of view on every station they own.

Posted by: joy2 | June 11, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama's former pastor has spewed some pretty vile anti-Semitic remarks recently and, if I was a betting man, I am sure he and 90% of his congregation are Democrats of the the liberal variety.

This Von Brunn was, hopefully soon he will be expired, a hate filled nut job. The only label he needs is racist.

By the way the Oklahoma city bomber didn't use a gun and neither did jeffrey dahmer. Hate will find a way to express itself so we have to be vigilant.

Posted by: charladan1 | June 11, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

joy2 wrote:
"I certainly don't believe in censorship, but I do think the Fairness Doctrine needs to be reinstated."

##############

You libs crack me up. Joy, what do you think the Fairness Doctrine is?

Posted by: _virginian_ | June 11, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't surprise me that white supremecist groups are seeing a boost in membership. The top factor is the constant barrage of hatred that is spewed out on AM radio airwaves. I certainly don't believe in censorship, but I do think the Fairness Doctrine needs to be reinstated. It has been a steady decline into the ugly mud since the law was revoked by the Reagan administration. An appalling example of the ugliness that has taken over is Reagan's son Michael, who advocated on his radio program that "we should put grenades up Muslim babies' butts and light 'em."

Posted by: joy2 | June 11, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

DOMESTIC TERRORISM, fueled by racism, hate and disregard for human life, can be easily defined:

Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck, Michelle Maliken, FAUX NEWS in general, and all the other right-wing radio talk shows. Supported by the so-called GOP with it's idiotic and false "core values, lead by airheads like Palin, Boehner, Michelle Bachman, and all the other rethug morons.

They cater to equal minded low life racists with IQs like their own: BELOW 10.

The rise in violence by domestic terrorism is rising since America elected an intelligent President OF COLOR.

It really must hurt badly to realize that this President is so much more intelligent than all of the GOPers together.

Unfortunately, about 20% of adults in this country belong to this group of morons.

And one thing is for sure: The 24/7 and constant mongering of fear, hate and racism is a well planned strategy, lead by the fat and ugly oxycontin addict Limbaugh; and they cheer the result as well as the Chairman of the pro-life terrorist organization "Operation Rescue"

Posted by: mackiejw | June 11, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

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?"

You are misinformed. James von Brunn didn't want the US to be Christian. He felt Christianity is a hoax. Look it up, Hitler felt the same way. To them, Christianity is another "jewish" plot.

Posted by: diahann1 | June 11, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Mr. Feaver, I guess you didn't feel like it was necessary to take a true cross-section of opinions, did you?

Good work cherry-picking all of the anti-gun, anti-NRA, and (inexplicably) anti-conservative talk radio posts out there.

Posted by: _virginian_ | June 11, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The media attention to the murder of the security guard at the Halocaust museum has been far greater than was given to the recent murder, by a Muslim, of the young soldier at a recruiting station. Why is this so? I have the distinct impression that should the liberal media moguls and their leagues of teeth-gnashing followers find a link between the museum killings and a white supremcist group, they would have a collective orgasm that would rival the eruption of Mt Vesuvius and we would enter an million year age of extinction and ice.

Posted by: cecil91 | June 11, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

lejeune421:
What a story you have to tell!
My husband is a military brat, and a 33-year retired veteran of the U.S. Army and the Texas Air National Guard.
He grew up the son of a drill instructor, Sgt. Major Fred Allen, with the 82nd and the 101st Airborne, who got into the 82nd Airborne at the end of World War II (he initially was trained for infantry as a gliderman under General Patton) and made the Army his career, retiring in 1963 while serving on General Westmoreland's personal staff.
When I first met my father-in-law, having been told he was "tough" and used to run a 10-mile march "backwards" to urge on the Airborne recruits.
I kidded him that he must know how Ginger Rogers felt, except that she did it backwards in high heels.
He laughed and that set the tone for our relationship.
Thank you, LeJeune, for your fine service and your comments.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | June 11, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The amount of bigoted, racist rants in the comments on Washington Post is very, very high.
I read comments generally on 3 newspapers: The Washington Post (my home page), The Houston Chronicle and The New York Times.
The amount of ranting posts on the Washington Post overcomes the amount of ranting posts on the other 2 newspapers by a large factor.
These rants began escalating from the moment the 2008 campaign triggered during 2007.
Hillary Clinton was the first target, but soon overtaken by Barack Obama's status as the number one target.
It's been an amazing run to watch this phenomenon.
There are many more people out here who verbalize this tripe than I would have believed possible, back in the '80s, when I began to take an interest in political discourse.
Von Brunn's wife is correct -- these views are a social "cancer."
They are inoperable (beyond reason) and completely toxic to sane debate.
As the months have rolled by, I have come to learn who is who on the Washington Post comments and every once in a while, I get caught by surprise, when someone I thought was rational, suddenly pops up, and begins ranting and raving because their initial political stance is overcome by events and by debate.
It's much more prevalent than I would have believed possible.
It's also sensitized me to pay more attention to discourse among my friends.
And I'm much more sensitized to the manner in which reports in the media are fueling this display of hatred.
It's an interesting study, and a sad commentary on the state of the American electorate today.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | June 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It would be a grave mistake to overlook the hateful comments by Fox News commentators and their guests on a daily basis. Bill O'Reilly, Sean Annity are the ones who always push the envelop , especially with respect to the doctor who was killed last week and the current administration. One can recall how a Fox commentator publically advocated for the assassination of the current president. Also, the right went on a witch hunt last month when Homeland Security put that memo on domestic extremists and terrorists. I don't see the right advocating to waterboard these people. The Republicans are on a "crusade" just as they were before Tim MCVeigh blew up the fed building. Always talking down the government as the enemy of the American people. They pushed Mc Veigh then and they are pushing their members of the lunatic fringe to go into war against the US government. That's the RNC party today, (R)ush, (N)utt and (C)heney.

Posted by: fgerald0204 | June 11, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Frigistan, who wrote, 'Hate and paranoia is a dangerous combination. I think everyone in this country needs to take a deep breath.'"

Fortunately, we did take a deep breath - it was the last national election, but large ships turn slowly and people need time to adjust. Some adjustments are painful, and some of the nuts will freak out, but I feel as though America will be a better country within the next couple of years if we keep our eyes on the serious work of being a successful society.

Posted by: mobedda | June 11, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't post comments very often on WaPo's comment threads, because of the nasty tone comment threads often seem to take, and because so many of the "regulars" seem to be from various far-out points on the lunatic fringe compass. But there is one theme Doug Feaver picked up from the comments on this story that is factually incorrect, and should either be ignored or affirmatively rebutted:

Von Brunn is a convicted felon. Under existing Federal law, he is already prohibited from possessing any firearms. See 18 U.S.C. §922(g). Under Federal law, felons who possess firearms at any time already face mandatory MINIMUM sentences of up to 15 years in prison (depending on factors like prior criminal history). His name is almost certainly in the NICS instant background check system, which should stop him from purchasing firearms from any licensed dealer. Most responsible Second Amendment advocates support prohibitions on firearms ownership by violent felons and mentally disabled persons - in fact, after the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho, somehow slipped through the NICS database cracks, the NRA supported enhancing the mandatory NICS reporting requirements to close that loophole.

And needless to say, murder is illegal. And possessing an unregistered rifle in D.C. (whether you're a resident or not) is also currently illegal. People who are using this tragedy to call for even stricter gun control - whether they do so in good faith or as a transparently cynical ploy to advance a broader lobbying agenda, like D.C. Councilmember Gray - miss the point that Von Brunn is a poster child for the proposition that making an illegal act even MORE illegal is fruitless. Piling law on top of law doesn't deter criminals. The only people deterred by additional restrictive gun controls are law-abiding citizens.

Posted by: zippypinhead1 | June 11, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Darn right there is a "constitutionally protected abstinence" against gun control and it's a big part of why yahoos who believe the government should control the people are allowed to spew their brand of nonsense.

Posted by: benminer | June 11, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for wading through the comments and picking out the most thoughtful ones to publish here. It's really a racist cesspool out there.

Posted by: csdiego | June 11, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I too am surprised at the amount of hateful and often racist like postings by readers in the Washington Post comments yesterday soon after the story appeared on the Washington Post on line story of the shooting. Obviously , there is more than a lunatic fringe increasingly at least on the internet. I a m a veteran of the Usarmy who was drafted and served from 1953 to 1955 during the Korean war conflict. I am a member of the American Legion and Veterans and Foreign Wars . I was among others, a member of the all American 82nd Airborne Division. I received the highest public service award by the Secretatry of Labor. I am a Holocaust survivor.

Posted by: lejeune421 | June 11, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Is there such a thing as living too long?

Posted by: bb211 | June 11, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Hate is the glue that holds the Right Wing together.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | June 11, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

There have been three political/religious/morals based killings in the last few days.
Late-term abortion doctor George Tiller, Army Pvt. William Long and security guard Stephen Johns.

The media coverage of the shootings has been overwhelmingly about the killers of Tiller and Johns. Anti-abortion groups and white-supremacists get the liberal media's attention while the Muslim terrorist who killed one soldier and wounded another gets scant coverage. Why is the outrage focused unevenly"

I curse all three murderers equally, but the media certainly does not.

Posted by: spamsux1 | June 11, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

There aren't enough shrinks and therapists to treat the millions and millions of Americans who are seriously mentally ill.

Posted by: ravitchn | June 11, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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?"

The difference is one man is the leader of a nation and the other is some guy from Maryland. I'm not saying anyone is right, I'm just pointing out the obvious difference.

Posted by: nmoses | June 11, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company