For many years in Ireland the Rev. Ian Paisley spouted bigoted hatred about Catholics in Northern Ireland, but then claimed innocence when some militant sectarian group massacred Catholics. Speech was not murder, he said. He would never condone killing, he said. Then he went right back to feeding the attitudes that spawned the killing. Few were fooled.
We should not be fooled in America today.
In this country the "mainstream" right-wing has made an industry of
demonizing African-Americans as "thugs" and criminals - just look at the
divergence in tone between the recent coverage of Ferguson or Baltimore
and the (mostly white) biker massacre in Waco, TX. For decades, white
America has been told that black Americans are lazy leeches, dependent
on hand-outs funded by your hard-earned taxes to bankroll their immoral
The first black president was greeted by the right not only with
diehard obstructionism but a chorus of color-coded abuse ("lazy,"
"food-stamp president," etc.) and questions about his very American-ness:
he was "not one of us," a foreigner adhering to a foreign religion who
has no right to be president -- all lies.
The siren song of racial hate relentlessly put out by the
"mainstream" right finds echo in the gunshots that rang out in
Rightists will, of course, deny the connection, the way Paisley did. But the rest of us are not fooled.