Time to stop the false equivalence whataboutism Republicans are using to justify their failure to even admit a smidge of responsibility for the savage attack on Paul Pelosi.
These numbers are FACTS, which are not the same as “show me, prove it, prove it again, still don’t believe you” conspiracies.
The Anti-Defamation League reported in May of 2022 that over the past decade, “right-wing extremists have committed the majority of extremist-related killings in all years but one—2016, the year of the shooting spree at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by a person motivated by Islamist extremism. Of the 443 people killed at the hands of extremists over that 10-year period, 333 (or 75%) were killed by right-wing extremists.”
The left-wing extremism you keep hearing about on TV and all over the Internet? 4%.
Yes. Four percent. 4%. FOUR PERCENT.
Four percent versus seventy-five percent.
333 people were murdered by right-wing extremists over the past decade.
In 2021 alone, “As in most years, lethal extremist violence in 2021 was heavily dominated by right-wing extremism. All but three of the 29 murders (90%) documented in this report had ties to forms of right-wing extremism, including white supremacy, anti-government extremism of several types, right-wing conspiracy theory adherents and toxic masculinity adherents.”
This doesn’t include all of the violence committed by people with these beliefs.
There’s crossover with, for instance, domestic violence, which kills an estimated three women a day in the United States, and the likelihood of being murdered in your own home by your partner goes up 500% if there’s a gun in the home.
Additionally, the Republican Party is now openly breeding domestic terrorists with lies and invitations to violence from the top down. These terrorists consistently manage to do the dirty work of terrorizing the other party and people who don’t agree with Republicans, including trying to take the United States by force on January 6th, 2021 after Trump lost the election to President Joe Biden. And they, the little guys radicalized by Republican leadership and Republican leadership’s cowardice, are the ones paying – along with their victims, not the people at the top who are inciting them.
These are the people running on crime? As Jennifer Rubin put it so well on Twitter, “if Republicans would stop inciting violence crime might go down.”
Seventy-five percent to 4% is not comparable. They are both always wrong and unacceptable, but they are not the same.
Yet Republicans continue to deflect in an effort to justify their refusal to publicly admit Joe Biden won the election and to avoid accountability for horrifically irresponsible public comments like this:
Enjoyed exercising my Second Amendment rights with @KellyCooperAZ & General @JackBergman_MI1.
13 days to make history. Let’s #FirePelosi. pic.twitter.com/QgSpjkApIz
— Tom Emmer (@tomemmer) October 26, 2022
ADL explains why right-wing extremists commit such a high proportion of murders: “Most of these movements have some degree of association with violence, with many even engaging in terrorist plots and attacks. Even the newest right-wing movements to emerge in recent years—movements that include incel/manosphere extremists, QAnon adherents and anti-government boogalooers—have all quickly developed violent track records.”
Let’s all say it together until this dangerous conflation is finally called out: right-wing extremists committed about 75% of the murders committed by extremists. Left-wing extremists committed 4%.
75 and 4 are not the same. They are not equivalents. This is not a “both sides” issue.
While any party can become extremist and radicalized, only one party seems to get cover from the media for their violence by allowing this conflation, which is deeply concerning because the other huge difference between Republicans and Democrats is Democrats not only call out violence on “their” side, but they are NOT INSPIRING IT with their rhetoric or visuals or with conspiracies.
It’s apparently painful for “objective” people to call out reality, but it must be done. And frankly, it’s not objective to hide from the facts and not inform readers and viewers. A distortion of a dangerous fact is not some high horse on which to hand the country over to terrorists while congratulating oneself for one’s “objectivity.”
At long last, can we for the love of the truth stop this conflation. It’s not about “gotcha”; it’s about the fact that we don’t stand a chance in Hell of stopping this violence if people inciting and excusing and lionizing it from the very leadership positions of the Republican Party aren’t held accountable.
Republican Party leaders like Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell can’t even find the spine to publicly condemn Trump’s election denialism lies to their base. Yes, McConnell reportedly worked privately to undermine Trump’s attack on his own country, but the Republican base still believes that the Republican Party leader, Donald Trump, won and the election was stolen from him. They need to hear from other Republican leaders loudly and consistently until this lie dies. They are responsible for allowing it to fester so they could use Trump for all he’s worth until he goes the way of Sarah Palin.
If the media doesn’t immediately start calling Republicans out for running on crime while inciting it and their profound lack of moral character that dodges accountability for consistent use of weapons of war imagery and violent language, the public must hold media accountable as part of the problem.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.