U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign was locked out of Twitter last week because it wouldn't remove one “offensive video." The video shows the words and actions of protesters outside of McConnell’s home earlier that week. The hash tag of those protesters is “#MassacreMitch,” which has not been banned on Twitter, it seems.
I offer direct quotes of words shouted by the protesters, as provided in The Washington Post (Aug. 8):
The first is, “The video shows a group of protesters gathered outside McConnell’s Louisville home on Monday. A woman, identified by the (Louisville, Kentucky) Courier-Journal as Black Lives Matter Louisville leader Chanelle Helm, is heard on the video mocking McConnell’s recent shoulder injury and saying he 'should have broken his little, raggedy, wrinkled-ass neck.'”
A second quote on the video is, “She then yells, 'Just stab the m----- f----- in the heart, please.'”
Someone also yells, “Die!”
What are the chances that national leaders of the Black Lives Matter organization will publicly apologize for such words and behavior or even disassociate themselves from the local “leader” of that movement?
What are the chances that any Democratic candidate for president will do the same? What are the chances that those actions in Kentucky will be widely reported and condemned by major TV networks or Democratic supporters on cable news networks?
I also wonder, will any professional athletes publicly protest or otherwise condemn what seems to have taken place in front of a private home?
Twitter, after reviewing the case, reversed its decision on Friday, two days after McConnell's account had been locked, and said the video would be available on its service.
This incident brings me back to thoughts of initial words and protests by the Black Lives Matter organization shortly after the Ferguson, Missouri, events. The one that still glares in my mind is “Pigs in a Blanket. Burn ’em like Bacon,” referring to law enforcement officers during a protest in Minnesota.
It also raises the issue of Charlottesville, Virginia, where anti-facists thugs, wearing helmets and shin guards and wielding long clubs in both hands, attacked a group of white nationalists. Yet the only national consensus was that “one side was despicable" — the white nationalists — but not the anti-facists.
Stop the hypocrisy, I say publicly and with as much force as I can muster. Our political divide is caused by both sides, not just one of them.
I wonder if a national political advertisement showing a picture of Chanelle Helm screaming the words quoted above would be allowed to be broadcast. Should she not be used as a poster child for despicable behavior? If not, why not? Why as well, I ask, should not a politician publish videos showing the kind of people he is up against in a major election?
Face it America, there are deplorables on both sides destroying the fabric of our society. Why should we allow any of them to be seen, heard or acknowledged in our public discourse? Post a picture of Chanelle Helm along with the meanest, ugliest skinhead you can find, claiming a pox on both of them and disallowing publication of free speech by either of them or their supporters.
Anson Burlingame lives in Joplin.