Pretending It’s Not About Race

In the wake of the horrifying killing of nine black people at an African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina by a rather obvious racist, the Republican presidential candidates go to great lengths to pretend that it’s about anything other than race. Like Lindsey Graham:

He continued: “I can’t explain this. I don’t know what would make a young man at 21 get so sick and twisted to kill nine people in a church, this is beyond my understanding.”

“Do you think it’s a hate crime or do you think it’s more mentally disturbed?” one of the co-hosts asked Graham.

“Probably both,” he replied. “There are real people out there that are organized to kill people in religion and based on race. This guy is just whacked out.”

“But it’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them,” Graham added. “This is a mean time we live in.”

Really? You think he shot them because they’re Christian? Is there some trend toward killing of Christians rather than by Christians in this country?

And Rick Santorum, who immediately tied it to this fake “religious liberty” nonsense:

Speaking to AM970 radio host Joe Piscopo, Santorum said that it was hard for him to believe that “things like this can happen in America.”

“It’s obviously a crime of hate,” he noted. “We don’t know the rationale, but what other rationale could there be. You’re sort of lost that someone would walk into a Bible study at a church and indiscriminately kill people.”

“This is one of those situation where you have to take a step a back and say — you talk about the importance of prayer at this time, and we’re now seeing assaults on religious liberty we’ve never seen before,” the candidate noted. “So, it’s a time for deeper reflection even beyond this horrible situation.”

Okay, first of all…speaking to Joe Piscopo? Who the hell would talk to Joe Piscopo for any reason whatsoever? And nice job, Rick, you managed to make the totally absurd connection to your favorite pet issue. Because it must really be about those poor, persecuted Christians and not about the legitimately oppressed and attacked black victims. Oh, I’m sorry, I just “played the race card.” How long before Obama gets blamed? Oh, I’m sure it’s already happening in the right wing fever swamps.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • llewelly

    Now Graham is saying the confederate flag is “part of who we are” .

    That is the problem.

  • Hoosier X

    I haven’t seen the shooting blamed on Obama yet.

    But an NRA board member blamed one of the victims because he voted against “concealed carry.”

    And one of the MRAssholes blamed feminism and false rape accusations.

    It’s not politically correct to suggest the fault might lie – partially at least – with a racist fanatic who got hold of a gun too easily.

  • John Pieret

    How long before Obama gets blamed? Oh, I’m sure it’s already happening in the right wing fever swamps.

    E.W. Jackson, COME ON DOWN!

    … Jackson told radio host John Fredericks that the shooting may have been a result of the “growing hostility and antipathy to Christianity and what this stands for, the biblical worldview about sexual morality and other things.”

    Just in case it wasn’t clear what Jackson was talking about, he went on to claim that gay people, President Obama and liberals in academia are the ones destroying these traditional values.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ew-jackson-charleston-shooting-result-anti-christian-climate-created-gays-obama#sthash.5h193ZAM.dpuf

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Plus, this never would’ve happened if it wasn’t for you Liberals and your Gun Control, stopping Good People from carrying guns in church. Then the story would be about the under-reported and unrelenting Black-on-White Violence in this country.

  • ragingapathy

    Never mind that the lone survivor has related the story of what the killer said – just like the killer wanted her to, letting her live in order to do so. Never let facts get in the way of a good martyrdom narrative.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    “But it’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them,” Graham added.

    I haven’t seen anything yet about the religious inclinations of the shooter. But I couldn’t see an atheist intent on shooting a bunch of people for racial reasons putting up with an hour ob bible study first.

  • alanb

    This is clearly a false-flag designed to start a race war and take away guns from white people. (I have, for real, seen that.)

  • raven

    But it’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them,” Graham added.

    That should disqualify LIndsay Graham from any elected position right there.

    It isn’t even remotely true in the USA. In fact, xian terrorism has been a problem in the USA for decades. Timothy McVeigh avenging the Branch Davidians, MD assassins, xians torching family planning clinics and mosques.

    I can’t count the number of death threasts I’ve gotten from xians. I can count the number from Moslems or atheists. They are…zero.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    Sorry. I’m still a little flabbergasted that Joe Piscopo is now a talk show radio host.

  • eric

    @9: I’m kinda flabbergasted there are still AM radio stations.

  • whheydt

    Re: alanb @ #7….

    The (presumed…reports are that he has confessed) perp has had at least one “friend’ state that he said he wanted to touch off a race war. (Now where have we heard *that* before?)

    While there have been statements from his uncle, we haven’t heard anything from his parents, nor have we heard anything about his upbringing. Any bets on his having been raised in a fundamentalist Biblical-literalist environment? Perhaps even home schooled (at least, prior to high school)? Given that it has been reported that his father gave him a handgun for his 21st birthday (and note that that was *after* a couple of arrests!), there appears to be some serious familiy disfunction in his background. None of that has come out yet.

  • Alverant

    I’ve read how some people are blaming Obama because in the past he said racism is a problem in the US and that got the racists angry enough to shoot people.

    I thought the GOP was the party of personal responsibility.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    raven ‘MD assassins”

    Is that anything like Assassin MD, the 1989-93 CBS drama about an assassin who healed people in his spare time?

  • dhall

    Rick Perry is calling it an accident, and placing the blame on drugs. So, the alleged shooter was whacked out on drugs and just somehow accidentally killed nine people. The right wing is collectively ignoring the shooter’s own words, and typing themselves in knots to avoid the obvious.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/06/rick-perry-charleston-massacre-was-an-accident-caused-by-drugs-not-guns/

  • dhall

    Tying, not “typing.” Whoops.

  • John Pieret

    And, of course, Alex Jones knows … just knows … that it was all set up by the government to foment a race war so they can impose martial law and make Obama dictator-for-life … or something.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/alex-jones-charleston-shooting-government-plot-start-race-war-persecute-conservatives

  • D. C. Sessions

    Modus, MD is “Mogen David.”

    Explains everything, doesn’t it?

  • Hoosier X

    I thought the GOP was the party of personal responsibility.

    I’ve heard that but I’ve never seen any evidence of it.

  • grumpyoldfart

    American politicians tell those bullshit stories because they know their audience loves the way it sounds.

  • marcus

    Cross-posted from Pharyngula

    You folks are apparently not getting the “real news” from Fucks.

    This was a religiously motivated attack against Christians!

    Todd Starnes makes that very clear in his article.

    Chinn tells me the attack on the pastor and parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the worst attack on an assembled congregation in American history.

    Violence directed against the church has been growing over the past decade,” said Tim Miller, the president of LionHeart International Services Group. “My fear is what we saw in Charleston is one incident of many more to come.”

    “Church security really matters,” he told me. “Churches are becoming more and more a major target. Dealing with this is really important.”

    It does not identify the congregation as African-American anywhere in the article, obviously that point is irrelevant.

  • raven

    But it’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them,” Graham added.

    It shouldn’t be hard to find those xians. The US is 70% xian.

    Graham has just demonstrated that he is a idiot.

  • llewelly

    I thought the GOP was the party of personal responsibility.

    It is the party of making other people take responsibility for problems mostly caused by the right.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    When the Rev. ML King was shot in Memphis, that was clearly a crime against religion.

    Five years earlier, the four girls killed in that church bombing? An assault on Christianity.

    At last, we have a motive to explain all those mysterious attacks on, ah, certain citizens over the last half-century and more!

  • Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    How long before Obama gets blamed? Oh, I’m sure it’s already happening in the right wing fever swamps.

    To verify and illustrate, the first WSJ Charleston article had commenters blaming President Obama and Al Sharpton. The reason? They divide us by talking about race.

    The unabashed efforts to deny root causes such as racism and America’s gun culture have conservative Christians stating shit like this from Gov. Bobby Jindal:

    “There can be no trying to understand or explain away this evil behavior” . . .

    The informed are well aware that conservative Christians are history deniers and can’t confront what science confidently predicts about the future. So we shouldn’t be surprised that they’re also too cowardly to confront what is also happening in the here and now.

  • caseloweraz

    DHall: Rick Perry is calling it an accident…

    An ACCIDENT????????????????????

    Words fail me.

  • caseloweraz

    OP: “But it’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them,” Graham added.

    Observe the process of rationalization as it takes place. Ignoring the bare facts of the crime, what the killer said while committing it, and everything he told his friends over the previous six months, Graham pivots to persecution of Christians.

    Graham would have us believe that Roof drove 100 miles to Charleston to find some Christians to kill because he couldn’t find any in his own city.

    And Rick Perry? He apparently (and absurdly) claims Roof was so messed up on drugs he was not responsible, and therefore the whole thing was a sad accident. Some accident, planned six months in advance and carried out by a man so drug crazed that he could drive 100 miles, sit quietly for an hour with a group of people, kill them while telling them why and leaving one survivor to pass on his message, and finally drive off normally to be picked up 200 miles away.

  • sugarfrosted

    @20 Fox New’s morning show did the same thing. They didn’t mention that it was a black congregation except once (twice if you count the ticker) and even then it was obliquely and just to reject that race was the motive.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    Alex Jones needs to get with the times. False flag operation? The real smart folks know it never actually happened, it was all fake. It’s all a plot by (your target of paranoia here).

  • Doc Bill

    Bill Maher got it right when he said there are 300,000 churches in America and only 400 Whole Foods. Seventy percent of the population is Christian and over 80 percent of politicians. Who’s persecuting Christians? Hindus?

    Fox Noise said the guy was “targeting Christians.” Well, why didn’t he just go to Target where 7 out of 10 people he could shoot would be Christian.

    But all this cockfloppery aside, do watch Jon Stewart, Thursday, June 18, for a very sobering monologue and a wonderful discussion with his guest Malala Yousafzai, who is inhumanly articulate and poised.

  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    “I can’t explain this. I don’t know what would make a young man at 21 get so sick and twisted to kill nine people in a church, this is beyond my understanding.”

    How about a lifetime immersed in the insanity of Fox News, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the bigots, including the ones who raised him, educated him and hung out with him. Then incubate well with gun culture, and hand him a gun for his birthday.

    That might do it.

  • Mobius

    @#15 dhall

    Tying, not “typing.” Whoops.

    I don’t know, “typing” works too, in a way.

  • sabrekgb

    Never let a tragedy go to waste…

    It’s clever, really, to reframe it as an attack on a church, instead of an attack on black people. This allows those who would like to do so to use such “persecution” for their own ends, without having to share in any of the actual danger.

    Racism makes me sad. So do horrible people being in positions of power and saying dumb things.

  • John Pieret

    caseloweraz @ 25:

    Rick Perry is calling it an accident…

    An ACCIDENT????????????????????

    No … no … He “misspoke” … or maybe he was thinking about another accident … or something else he can’t remember at the moment!

    http://www.businessinsider.com/rick-perry-misspoke-about-charleston-shooting-2015-6

  • k_machine

    Obviously Obama’s fault, since he hasn’t turned every church into a concrete bunker yet. An armored society is a polite society.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Does this mean Dr. Tiller’s murder was an attack on Christians? Cause I’d really like to know how his shooting in a church was different then.

  • dhall

    #33 John Pieret – Funny how after one of these opportunistic cretins say something ridiculous and he’s called out on it, he fumbles around. Sure, he misspoke. But he misspeaks all the time. The glasses can’t hide the essential dumbass behind the lenses. And of course the sheer numbers of guns everywhere, and the ease of obtaining them, has nothing to do with it.

  • http://www.stupiddinosaurlies.org/ OwossoHarpist

    How about this appalling claim?

    NRA Board Member: Slain Pastor Is to Blame for Deaths in Charleston Shooting

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a35827/nra-charles-cotton-blames-charleston-shooting-pastor/?src=spr_TWITTER&spr_id=1456_197419887

    If this doesn’t make your head explode, nothing will.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    A guy with a radical ideology wants to spark a war. He walks into an American church and guns down nine people. He’s not called a terrorist by Obama or the press. If a Muslim did the same thing, and he wasn’t called a terrorist, the wingnuts would go berserk.

  • StevoR

    @ 33. John Pieret : Oops!

    Again with the Oops Rick!

  • dingojack

    What Rick Perry meant to say was that the victim ‘accidentally fell on the knife — 47 times’!

    @@

    Dingo

  • blf
    I thought the GOP was the party of personal responsibility.

    I’ve heard that but I’ve never seen any evidence of it.

    Aye, the thugs are the party of “individual’s responsibility”. E.g., they start another war and it’s your daughter’s/son’s fault she/he was killed or doesn’t get adequate care in VA hospital. After all, the thugs weren’t the cannon fodder — individual responsibility in action !

  • mildlymagnificent

    “But it’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them,” Graham added. “This is a mean time we live in.”

    I know people have worked out the distance he drove to get to this particular church. Has anyone yet worked out how many churches – in a town known as “the Holy City” because of the multitudes of churches – he had to drive past to get to his destination.

  • llewelly

    Rick Perry:

    “… any time there is an accident like this … ”

    “… there may be a real issue in this country from the standpoint of these drugs …”

    It’s true, the GOP got drunk on racism, and a ton of black people got run over. Give them a DUI and take away their license to run for election.

  • Anri

    From the OP:

    Okay, first of all…speaking to Joe Piscopo? Who the hell would talk to Joe Piscopo for any reason whatsoever?

    Didn’t Carlin have a routine where he said he was going to worship the sun but pray to Joe Piscopo, since Joe looked like a guy who could get stuff done, and it had about the same hit rate as praying to Jesus?

    Maybe I’m remembering it wrong.

  • https://plus.google.com/107095827599382907783 NS Alito

    Anri @44

    Didn’t Carlin have a routine where he said he was going to worship the sun but pray to Joe Piscopo, since Joe looked like a guy who could get stuff done, and it had about the same hit rate as praying to Jesus?

    Joe Pesci, please!

  • sabrekgb

    @37 OwossoHarpist

    A shitty thing to say by Cotton, no doubt. Pointing that out would have been a good thing, but then the article you linked to goes on to say some incredibly asinine things on its own, and completely undercuts itself. “Or what if he’d dropped the gun while fumbling for it amid all the chaos?” Really…? The article is really trying to make the point that it’s better people being murdered didn’t have the means to defend themselves because maybe something bad would have happened accidentally? In the midst of a mass murder. Fucking kidding me…?

    That said, let’s all agree that people with microphones are saying some dumb shit about this tragedy.

  • jonathangray

    Making excuses for a massacre — it’s Omar Thornton all over again.

  • sugarfrosted

    @47, I bet you two would have gotten along.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    @ Hoosier X #2,

    I’ve seen where some religious nutjob has blamed it on USians acceptance of transgenderism.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/06/19/foxs-erick-erickson-says-societys-acceptance-of/204066

    @ 44,

    That’s Joe PESCI. I recognize the name Joe Piscopo, but can’t place him at all.

  • jonathangray
  • Al Dente

    jonathangray @50

    You’re making less sense than usual. How is the Boston Marathon bombing related to the Charleston church shooting? Please be explicit.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “but then the article you linked to goes on to say some incredibly asinine things on its own, and completely undercuts itself. “Or what if he’d dropped the gun while fumbling for it amid all the chaos?” Really…? The article is really trying to make the point that it’s better people being murdered didn’t have the means to defend themselves because maybe something bad would have happened accidentally? In the midst of a mass murder. Fucking kidding me…?”

    Gosh, I would really expect nothing less than the above from a sack-of-shit troll like you SABREKGB tough guy, but, still, it leaves me wondering how you can type so well with just the one hand.

    “jonathangray @50

    You’re making less sense than usual.

    Sorry, I think that’s unpossible.

  • sabrekgb

    @52 democommie

    That’s an awfully insubstantive post to be calling someone a troll in. Come back and try again when you have coherent thoughts and arguments to contribute.

    I’m not even sure what you’re shittily implying i’m masturbating to…care to elaborate? Is it the Cotton being an insensitive dick part? The people in the church being murdered part? See, this is the problem with your posts…we all know they’re supposed to be insulting, but in your haste to get them out there, you forget to specify what exactly you’re insulting someone about.

  • abb3w

    There’s reports out indicating that he was at least raised as a Christian.

    Contrariwise, skeptics shouldn’t be too quick to assume he still was. The GSS 2008-2014 suggests in the neighborhood of one chance in 3 (possibly higher) that a white male of his generation in a South Atlantic state raised Christian would have since become a “none”. That’s not the sort of odds I’d be comfortable betting the next mortgage payment with.

    Nohow, his manifesto seems to leave racism the clear primary motive.

  • Nick Gotts

    I thought the GOP was the party of personal responsibility.

    Oh it is: the person responsible is Obama.