State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-14) posted on her personal facebook page that she wished somebody would assassinate Donald Trump.
Predictably, her Republican colleagues, the Governor and others began to call for her resignation or expulsion from the Senate. State Democratic officials joined the call.
Currently Chappelle-Nadal is standing firm, but the pressure’s still on.
State Rep. Warren Love (R-125) today entered the Chappelle-Nadal zone and went way further:
Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, posted a link to an article describing vandalism discovered Wednesday to a Confederate monument in Springfield National Cemetery. “This is totally against the law,” Love wrote. “I hope they are found & hung from a tall tree with a long rope.”
That’s right. Hung from a tall tree with long rope. You know, like they used to do back in Jim Crow days when the POC got uppity? Lynching, I think they call it.
Context is all:
In self-defense, Nadal claimed that she was reacting to the fear and panic that the president’s comments after Charlottesville had excited among her predominantly African-American constituents, asserting that:
There are people who are afraid of white supremacists … . There are people who are having nightmares. There are people who are afraid of going out in the streets. It’s worse than even Ferguson.
And today Warren Love gave us a picture of the kind of thinking that inspires such fear. Based on the ease with which he reverted to the narrative of lynch law, it looks like Chappelle-Nadal and her constituents might have some serious justification for extreme reactions to a president who not only gives cover to white supremacists, would-be practitioners of vigilante brutality against black Americans, but who actively incites racist resentment.
Initially, I was neutral about whether or not Chappelle-Nadal should resign. I understand the fear and revulsion excited by the spectacle of an amoral, racist in the highest office in the land. But there’s still no denying that the post was a bad idea, both morally and politically.
We have other means to stave off or mitigate the evil that Trump can and will do, and, as long as our democracy can withstand his authoritarian impulses, that will be the case. Our politicians, and this includes Chappelle-Nadal, have to stand firm to uphold those means no matter how debased the presidency has become or we will all be lost.
However, when a man who holds elective office in my state calls for lynching in response to nothing more than petty vandalism; vandalism, moreover, directed at a triumphalist symbol of human bondage, a slap in the face to every African-American who is forced to confront it, Chappelle-Nadal’s offense doesn’t seem so epic.
As far as I’m concerned, if she goes, Warren Love has to go too. If she’s censured, he needs to be censured – doubly. She’s apologized – I want Love to apologize to the whole damn state, really apologize, and while he’s at it, he can apologize for the drivel he dished up to explain his actions:
That was an exaggerated statement that, you know, a lot of times is used in the western world when somebody does a crime or commits theft. … That’s just a western term and I’m very much a western man. You know, I wear a coat. You know, I dress western. And, you know, I’m the cowboy of the Capitol.
This lethal jackass evokes lynch law and explains it by insulting “western” men who wear coats (?) and/or “dress western,” not to mention cowboys? Words fail.