First, the Facebook page of a Tea Party-related group called “Kershaw County Patriots” posts a link to a blog article headlined, “When Should You Shoot A Cop.” A sample of that content:
Pick any example of abuse of power, whether it is the fascist “war on drugs,” the police thuggery that has become so common, the random stops and searches now routinely carried out in the name of “security” (e.g., at airports, “border checkpoints” that aren’t even at the border, “sobriety checkpoints,” and so on), or anything else. Now ask yourself the uncomfortable question: If it’s wrong for cops to do these things, doesn’t that imply that the people have a right to RESIST such actions? Of course, state mercenaries don’t take kindly to being resisted, even non-violently. If you question their right to detain you, interrogate you, search you, invade your home, and so on, you are very likely to be tasered, physically assaulted, kidnapped, put in a cage, or shot. If a cop decides to treat you like livestock, whether he does it “legally” or not, you will usually have only two options: submit, or kill the cop. You can’t resist a cop ”just a little” and get away with it. He will always call in more of his fellow gang members, until you are subdued or dead.
Basic logic dictates that you either have an obligation to LET “law enforcers” have their way with you, or you have the right to STOP them from doing so, which will almost always require killing them. (Politely asking fascists to not be fascists has a very poor track record.)
The Facebook link, by “Marlene Motley,” includes this commentary:
’If politicians think that they have the right to impose any “law” they want, and cops have the attitude that, as long as it’s called “law,” they will enforce it, what is there to prevent complete tyranny? Not the consciences of the “law-makers” or their hired thugs, obviously. And not any election or petition to the politicians. When tyrants define what counts as “law,” then by definition it is up to the “law-breakers” to combat tyranny.’
Then, Jeff Mattox, who has been identified by Politico and the Camden paper as “a co-chair” of the Kershaw County Republican Party, tells the world that he “Likes” the Facebook post.
The Camden Chronicle-Independent quotes Mattox as explaining:
Police sometimes do overstep their bounds… but advocate shooting a cop? No. It’s just kind of a conversation.
The Camden cops are kind of upset, according to the local paper. And they’re not fooling around, according to Politico: “Local police are reportedly wearing body armor in response to the post.”
I haven’t seen anything like this since G. Gordon Liddy recommended dealing with cops with a “head shot.” How about you?
“If a cop decides to treat you like livestock, whether he does it “legally” or not, you will usually have only two options: submit, or kill the cop.”
Really? Are those the only two options? What happened to the right to remain silent and get a lawyer.
“Basic logic dictates that you either have an obligation to LET “law enforcers” have their way with you, or you have the right to STOP them from doing so, which will almost always require killing them.”
I’m pretty sure that killing someone is almost always not the dictate of basic logic.
These two statements are pretty appalling and display an extraordinarily extreme lack of resourcefulness as well as a complete lack of understanding of our legislative and judicial systems, in my opinion.
Maybe not from a politician, but people like Ward Churchill have been inciting people to similar action in the name of Anarchy for some time. The scary part about him (and even Chomsky to a lesser extent) is the subtlety of the call to violence. I read that G7 and WTO protest violence went up dramatically after the 1998 re-release of Churchill’s “Pacifism as Pathology”.
What this Tea Partier doesn’t get is our constitution’s checks and balances. The founders realized there would at times be overreaches (both intentional and accidental). People like this author see any encroachment on their rights as a call to arms, when what might be more appropriate is taking action such as contacting a congressman, a lawyer or exercising the right to peaceably assemble or petition the government for redress of grievances.
The blog author uses apologetic quotes around the words “government” and “law”, implying that the government’s authority is somehow illegitimate. (BTW, Motley’s commentary is copied and pasted from the blog.) He (the author) also dismisses elections and petitions. I doubt you could reason with this guy. This type of person is just waiting, gun in hand, for an opportunity to cry Tyranny! and blow some poor government employee’s head off. He scares me more than government agents. To paraphrase his own observation, Politely asking idiots not to be idiots has a poor track record.
We have gotten things wrong many times in our history–from slavery to the internment of Japanese-Americans in WW2 to Jim Crow. But patriots working within the system–using their freedoms of speech, assembly and petition eventually get things right.
Haven’t these folks figured out that language like this breeds violence? If you don’t like a law, and have enough people who agree with you, try civil disobedience. It will cost some people, possibly their lives, but it is the only effective way to change such a law (unless you can bu–er–convince enough legislators to do so on their own.
@Matt: It is interesting how the extremes circle around to actually meet each other, in a sense…Kershaw County Patriots and Weather Underground as kindred spirits, at least insofar as tactics go.
The difference, of course, is that (as illustrated by Mr. Mattox, but also by most GOP leaders) the extremist rhetoric is actually being embraced by one of the two major parties at this juncture in our history. We’ve seen allusions to this kind of rhetoric from Sarah Palin and others, we’ve seen the guns brought to the Obama town halls meetings, and so forth.
When the end does come for American democracy (and I think there’s a pretty good chance that will happen in my or my son’s lifetime), I would bet my last dollar that it will not be a leftist government doing so, but almost surely a rightwing, authoritarian, militarist and Christianist government suspending various elements of the Constitution in the name of threats to national security. So I wouldn’t worry too much about Ward Churchill when somebody equally crazy (Michele Bachmann?) is actually considered a serious contender for the White House.
Any time a new political movement starts up, the fringe element in this country will try to co-opt the movement for their own purposes, especially if some of the basic precepts are in line with some of their core beliefs. i.e., smaller government, taxes, privacy, to name a few.
I know a lot of Tea Party members and not one of them would agree with anything these kooks have to say or print.
The liberal side has their own radical element who have called for the assassination of Bush, hell, they made a movie on the subject.
In troubled times, unrest can and will create a few radicals who will act out of misguided beliefs that they are doing the work of a patriot, intent on saving the country from a fate worse than death.
We have just witnessed the acts of two unhinged individuals. First, the shootings in Arizona by an individual who was to the left of center and now in Norway by an individual who is right of center. Neither one spoke for liberals or conservatives, they spoke for their own particular bent and warped view of the world.
This whack job speaks for himself and the few other nutcases who believe his garbage. So far, nothing I have read or heard from any member of the Tea Party would agree with or accept their philosophy of the acceptability of shooting a cop under any conditions.
And,for what its worth, I do not belong to the Tea Party, Democrat Party, Republican Party, or Libertarian Party. I am a center to center right independent on many issues and a center left independent on other issues and have been for over 40 years. Like most organized religions, I refuse to be marginalized by self-serving interest groups.
Haven’t these folks figured out that language like this breeds violence?
Just ask the people of Norway or the victims of the Gabby Gifford shooting. Words do have consequences.
Hopefully Brad will give us an opportunity to discuss last nights speeches (by the POTUS and Speaker). My family was surprisingly indifferent to what they were saying which was shocking to me. Seems like this is getting VERY serious. I still think it will work out in the end and apparently so does Wall Street. But it’s starting to make me very, very nervous. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
First, the shootings in Arizona by an individual who was to the left of center and now in Norway by an individual who is right of center.
HUH! The dude in Arizona was driven by ultra RIGHT wing, radical pro-gun nonsense. He was inspired by Sarah Palin. Seriously this whole balancing act is getting tiresome.
“As the thing started to unfold and there was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth. Who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing,”
Seriously to compare the benevolence and pragmatism of the modern Democratic party to the vile, disgusting hate filled rhetoric being espoused by the conservative movement is really pretty far-fetched.
By the way, the GOP official stands firm:
“But the former home builder says he’s staying put and won’t apologize for exercising his right to free speech.”
Dude–you can freely exercise your speech all you want, but sometimes there are consequences…like people don’t want you associated with them. I hope the Kershaw GOP will exercise its right of association and disassociate itself from this “person.”
By the way, if you want to read the rather long piece about this in the Camden paper, you can’t do so online. But a couple of people (both Democrats, which won’t surprise you) have sent me the story in this PDF file and this one.
As I think this blog has done in the past, it would be a good idea to explain to folks both in the media and those involved in politics that there are differences between conservative, libertarian, anarchist, liberal, socialist, etc.
I wonder if Mr. Mattox thinks Henry Louis Gates would have been justified in shooting that cop who arrested him . . .
None of the above posts even come close to addressing or understanding let alone criticaly rebuting Rose’s
article. Have any of you read it?
The title appears to close minds. It is an edgy title. But even that is not enough. Brad, in his article, uses a even more stimulating althouigh false title. Civil discourse? Civic engagement? These things start with honesty. And what stands out to me is the opening of Rose’s article. That is what is happening right here. Wow. My views, which should have zero bearing, are so liberal they are socialist-ish. If every one tells lies in order to win, where is the victory? Gee whiz. Rose’s article asks the question “when should you shoot cop?”, answer “at the same point you would shoot any other person” Where are your critical reasoning skills? All I see above is false logic. Gee whiz. We need to keep our minds open. If a title has this effect on you, what effect does skin color have?
Why do people bring up old topics that died weeks ago?
What is missing from the newspaper story is the fact that the Sheriff was after Mr. mattox and myself for pointing out the Sheriffs unConstitutional behavior and his and the county counsels selling out of the people of this county. I posted the article and asked no one if I could and informed no one I was going to. No one else in the group had any part in it. I was not involved in the GOP, which seeing their attack against free speech I am glad. The sheriff and Mr. Oviats’ comments about the “group” are off base. This was my decision alone. The article does not condone shooting officers and anyone who read it would realize Mr. Rose, who offered to debate the sheriff, only used the title to grab attention. The Sheriff was a member of the KCP page and used the group to help with his election. We are not, nor were we ever, right wing extremists as the sheriff claims.
I’ll repeat myself, “Why do people bring up old topics that died weeks ago”?
Maybe because people didn’t know there were other people talking about them weeks ago with only half the facts Mr Davis. Only two people who wrote about this bothered to contact me. The rest seem to have just taken the sheriffs lies for truth.