Just to be clear, no one knows if Wade Michael Page mistook the Sikhs in Milwaukee for Muslims. Chances are, he didn’t care. They weren’t white, and were therefore, the enemy.
But there are many on the left who just can’t let slip an opportunity for conservative bashing. Incredibly, so-called civil rights leaders and others are blaming Reps. Michele Bachmann, Louis Gohmert, and Steve King for the shootings in Milwaukee, because they have called for an investigation into Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the government.
No, Sikhs aren’t Muslims. But why let the truth hold up an opportunity to blame your political enemies for a terrible tragedy?
Sunday’s terror attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin has prompted some civil rights leaders and members of Congress to say aloud what has long been whispered on Capitol Hill: That the words and conspiracy theories of some of the most anti-Muslim legislators have grown dangerous.
No one has suggested any direct ties between the statements of lawmakers like Rep. Michele Bachmann and the attack on Sunday, which left six victims dead and several others injured. Indeed, the attacker, Wade Michael Page, had longstanding ties to white supremacist groups and deep roots in the racist fringe.
But voices, including those of her colleagues and leading civil rights figures, said the shooting — and a suspected arson attack at a Joplin, Missouri mosque that has previously be the target of anti-Muslim violence — added an urgency to Republican leaders’ efforts to tone down the rhetoric of lawmakers like Bachmann and Reps. Louis Gohmert and Steve King.
Bachmann, Gohmert and King declined to comment for this story, as did the offices of GOP leaders in the House and Senate.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Bachmann’s words contributed to this guy’s actions, but an atmosphere that prejudices and denigrates a people and a faith tradition does make it easier,” said Abraham Foxman, the longtime director of the anti-Defamation League, told BuzzFeed. “Loose language coming from people who have some standing does contribute to an atmosphere that legitimizes it.”
Democratic Rep. Andre Carson, one of two Muslim members of Congress, told BuzzFeed Bachmann is “adding gasoline to the fire” with her campaign against Muslims in government.
The shooting and arson are “the latest examples of religious and ethnic intolerance and discrimination,” he said, warning that “any elected official who sees themselves as a representative of the people needs to be aware that the American people are not monolithic” and that politicians have responsibility to represent “all of their constituents.”
“We have to be fully aware that the kind of … rhetoric and vitriol and political pageantry that seems to be normal in politics has to cease,” Carson added.
Don’t you love it? “No one has suggested any direct ties…” between Bachmann, et al and the shooter — and then the author of this piece goes ahead and suggests there is a direct tie. “I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Bachmann’s words contributed to this guy’s actions…” says the ADL director. And then he goes that far and farther by suggesting a connection.
The question arises in all of these hateful crimes; why does a neo-Nazi, white supremecist need any motivation from anyone else — words or deeds — to commit a heinous act of hate, beyond his own private, hellish ideology? The trigger that ignites the firestorm lies in this Nazi’s personal demons, not outside influences. I would guess that the shooter has never heard of Michele Bachmann. And even if he had, how is it possible that anything the Congresswoman has said or done regarding Muslims, affect this Kluxer’s attitude toward Sikhs?
It is a bogus argument that speech or actions which is perceived by some to be “intolerant” toward Muslims can set off some nut with a gun and motivate him to attack Sikhs. This is the kind of argument you might hear in a high school debate made by some ignorant teenager and has no place in the national discussion.
Mindboggling. Just another chance for the professional victim crowd to piggyback their cause on the graves of innocents.