The angry movement under Donald Trump, the violent rhetoric he has openly engaged in, has put journalists in the same cross hairs as women, LGBTQ people, and minorities online.
Monday, Jared Yates, a journalist who has written for The New York Times and The New Republic, explained the rising threat under Trump to journalists.
Yates’ tweet storm began with this:
Jared Yates SextonVerified account @JYSexton
I'd like to give a little insight into what it's like being a journalist in 2017 and why Trump's rhetoric is incredibly dangerous 1/
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 3, 2017
I’d like to give a little insight into what it’s like being a journalist in 2017 and why Trump’s rhetoric is incredibly dangerous 1/
Yesterday I broke the news that the guy who made Trump’s CNN gif also created an antisemitic meme and was obviously racist. 2/
In the wake of that, I received numerous threats. I was told people wanted to shoot, strangle me, hang me, throw me out of a helicopter 3/
Some assumed I was Jewish because I spoke out against antisemitism, others said I was a race-traitor. Got it on both sides. 4/
Now articles are showing up on Neo-Nazi websites, there are videos spliced with Goebbels telling me not to test his patience 5/
That one also has footage from Natural Born Killers of a journalist being executed by shotgun. 6/
On forums, under my tweets, there’s a list of excerpts from newspaper articles about journalists being slaughter, the details gory. 7/
Meanwhile, people are claiming I’m making up the threats and then immediately threatening me. In the same message. 8/
Over on Facebook I’m getting messages from strangers about “goyim” and talking about what happened to Jews in the 40’s. 9/
This environment is the creation of the man in the White House. There are valid criticisms of the media, many on point, this isn’t that 10/
When you start calling a group of people enemies of the country, this is what happens. When you call them scum, this happens. 11/
This is what happens when you have Alex Jones calling mainstream media pedophiles and Satan worshippers, and threatening to crush them. 12/
This environment we have right now is volatile. Some of these threats are empty, but people who are unwell consume this stuff. 13/
Even as I’m typing this I’m getting antisemitic memes and messages. It’s happening in realtime. 14/
And everyone keeps bringing up the shooting in Virginia. In a way, they’re right. That’s what happens in this environment. 15/
This shouldn’t be a country where these violent instincts are cultivated and encouraged. We’re at a real tipping point right now. 16/
But make no mistake, there’s something growing in this country, and it is very, very ugly. 17/17
On Sunday after Trump’s CNN tweet, Jared wrote, “And for those who think there’s nothing behind Trump’s CNN gif today, I’ve been told twice in past hour I’ll be killed in a new Civil War. Trump may be hurling idle threats, and he’s not, but there are people, unhinged people, who are preparing for conflict.”
Let’s stop with the “both sides” argument. Only one side has the leader of its party using violent rhetoric as regular speech from the bully pulpit, no less, and only one side has a leader who regularly tells his violent, unhinged supporters that the media are the “enemy of the people.”
The media has long sold the “both sides do it” narrative, and decided that even though Sarah Palin told her unhinged supporters not to retreat but to reload, complete with a map with gun sites over districts where the healthcare debate was particularly heated, and then a person who was mentally and emotionally vulnerable to such language and the environment it creates, shot Rep. Gabby Giffords but the media decried that the violent rhetoric had anything to do with this – the media is now the Democrat.
The media is now the Jewish person. The media is now the trans person, the gay person, the woman, the liberal, the vulnerable, demonized “other.”
This means that white men are now getting targeted as the vulnerable groups always have been- by the same people, I might add.
Violence is never okay. There are violence-prone, unstable people from both sides, but only one side has a crazy person in the White House, egging his unstable supporters on. Only one side is surrounded by elected officials who lack the courage to call out their own side, including their president/leader.
When one of Trump’s supporters acts on his instructions, as they did during the campaign, maybe there will be an elected Republican with the courage to stand up and maybe there will be someone in the media who has the courage to point out that this is all coming from one direction.
Trickle down is a real thing, but not when it comes to tax breaks for the rich. It’s a real thing when it comes to leaders inciting and inviting violence in their followers.