So because 59-year-old John Russell Houser, of Phenix City, Alabama, who embarked on a mass-shooting in a Louisiana movie theater, was an Obama-hating, anti-government, conspiracy theorist white Tea Partier, who admired Hitler and thought women should keep their mouths shut in church, Megyn Kelly of Fox News immediately suggested an ISIL connection.
Makes all the sense in the world, right? You know as well as I do that the Tea Party has from the very beginning been composed of Muslims in thrall to the Islamic State.
This is the kind of stuff Houser said:
“America is so sick that I now believe it to be the enemy of the world. I know next to nothing about Iran, but the little I do know tells me they are far higher morally than this financially failing filth farm.” [Fellowship of the Minds, December 2013]
“If you don’t think the internet is censored, try reading a newspaper from a country that hates liberals the way I do. Westboro Baptist Church may be the last real church in America [members not brainwashed].” [Twitter, June 2013]
Houser’s Facebook account shows he liked “I hate liberals!”
He linked “Evan Sayet: How Modern Liberals Brainwash People Into Hating America.” The link provided is down, but you can read about it here.
He had an account on Tea Party Nation.
So yeah. Not a liberal. Clearly not a Muslim.
Yet Megyn Kelly, on the July 23 edition of The Kelly File, Kelly asked Lafayette Police Sgt. Kyle Suarez if there was “Any reason to believe there might be a connection to ISIS, or radical Islam, or terror as we understand it in this country?”
Granted. All the facts weren’t in yet. But it was known from the very beginning that the shooter was a white male in his 50s. How likely then, an ISIL connection?
And all this aside from the fact that the man was mentally unstable and should never have been allowed near a gun in the first place. He was also a drifter. Since Republicans feel only property owners should be allowed to vote, perhaps only property owners should be allowed to own guns.
We will never get far as a nation in addressing gun violence if we cannot stick to the facts. And the fact is that most mass shootings are carried out by white people like Houser, not Muslims, not Mexicans, not blacks – and not liberals.
A party that invents “facts” and then claims all future discourse must be based on their fictional evidence, is not a party that should be allowed on TV. This is serious business, best left to mature, and responsible adults. The Republican Party and Fox News have as much legitimacy in the public square as the fictional characters in any children’s animated film.
When Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft asked in the wake of the shooting, “This is such a senseless, tragic action. Why would you come here and do something like this?” he should not have had to ask.
The reason is right in front of us. Just turn your TV to Fox News.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.