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OPINION | BY NEHEMIAH D. FRANK
MANAGING EDITOR | LIZ FRANK
Have you ever seen the movie, or a trailer for “The Purge”? The National Rifle Association has released a new series of ads, and one dramatically juxtaposes a video of Dana Loesch with black and white fast-motion images of the protesting resistance, which reminds many viewers, especially people of color, of the Hollywood film.
Loesch is a radio personality (and part-time NRA model) based in St. Louis, Mo. The NRA video is dangerous propaganda filled with racial aggression that could incite violence.
(Outrageous Loesch quotes are blocked in grey.)
“They use their media to assassinate real news.”
Which media companies is she referring to?
American media conglomerates have been writing America’s history since the conception of the country. Each company has taken a position on each president and movement (Civil Rights, Environmental, Black Lives Matter, etc.)
Even former President Barack Obama, a “media darling,” has faced backlash from the media from time-to-time and continues to receive negative coverage even out of office.
And President Donald J. Trump isn’t exempt. (SEE! I SAID IT! “President Donald J. Trump.” I, a black, same-gender-loving man, living in these United States – which doesn’t seem to be really united these days – recognize and accept that Trump is the President of the United States.) He just so happens to be doing such a terrible job that the majority of those who didn’t vote for him, and some who did, are vocalizing their concerns, regarding his ongoing Twitter behavior and his mismanagement of the Oval Office. It would be irresponsible for the media not to report this growing sentiment.
Current polls indicate President Donald J. Trump is the most unpopular president in American history, and that’s a fact. The FiveThirtyEight poll tracker shows his approval rating to be hovering below 40 percent, and his disapproval rating almost hitting 55 percent.
His numbers are the lowest, at this point in his presidency, since the media started tracking polls on presidential performance.
Unfortunately for Trump, his negative and immature reaction to national polls cast him, his administration, his voters, and the nation, as a whole, in a negative light. And whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, this negative perception of our country is bad for every American.
Which major companies are self-sabotaging their credibility to dishonestly demonize Trump?
Because human beings err, and the environments where we’re raised form our perceptions of the world, we seldom veer away from our seemingly baked-in ideological perspectives. We write from our own perspectives.
If the majority of media companies oppose Trump’s views, perhaps the President is out of touch with the citizens who own or support the companies that he often degrades when he is feeling accosted. If he only understood that the people who own media organizations represent the views of many Americans who didn’t vote for him, which is, again, most of the electorate, then perhaps he would accept that he needs to step down or put in the hard work necessary to honestly claim his excellence.
“They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler.”
What public education system in America teaches children that Trump is the next Hitler?
As a teacher myself, I find this accusation beyond disturbing. If this was being taught in schools, then the blame should be placed squarely on Betsy DeVos’ shoulders, who currently presides over the Department of Education and was appointed by Trump.
American citizens should sue the NRA for libel for spreading this demonstrably fake news. It’s a lie, igniting white citizens, who voted for Trump, to get ready for his next coronation – another four years of Trump, which I seriously believe would usher in the Book of Revelations! His political philosophies are that dangerous.
The American public school system is too busy focusing on how to get to top ranking from our current ranking of 26. Teachers don’t have time to focus on how or why Trump feels bullied by educators and students from across the country.
When Trump decides to stop bullying women, bashing Muslims, and utilizing dog-whistle code words to refer to African Americans, then people may stop characterizing him as a Nazi.
“They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows, and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-President to endorse “the resistance.”
Again, who are “they?” Black people, Latinx, Muslims, liberal whites, women?
Americans produce the movie stars, the musical artists, the comedy shows, and the award shows. The majority of individuals who own and run Hollywood are not minorities; they are white.
Yes, Mr. President, white people don’t like you either, so stop blaming people of color for your failures.
The majority of the American public supports this list of agitators – today’s Hollywood represents the views of mainstream America.
The reason Trump and his minions are offended by today’s entertainers and television personalities is that the majority of them are white and extremely influential, and their influence and power makes him feel vulnerable and lash out on Twitter.
Trump must be willing to move above that fray to be successful in public office, but the continuous nature of his past behavior demonstrates a level of immaturity that is unsuitable for the office of the Presidency. After six months in office, he still hasn’t learned that attacking his political adversaries on Twitter won’t get him anywhere politically. Folks, were in for a long four years.
Finally, President Barack Obama is the “former President of the United States of America.” Using the prefix “ex” is disrespectful to his service, especially when you consider the racist history of the United States. Obama was the first African-American president in a country which wrote into its founding documents that Africans were subhuman animals.
“All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia.”
Women marched, Mahatma Gandhi marched, Nelson Mandela marched, Martin Luther King, Jr. marched, the LGBT community marched, and environmentalists marched. So what’s wrong with marching? Isn’t Trump patriotic? Doesn’t he believe in The Bill of Rights? Does he believe in The First Amendment protections of free speech? If so, his actions aren’t showing that.
The nation’s founders gave Americans the rights to speak freely and petition. On the campaign trail and in office, Trump wanted to punish all who disagreed with him.
In addition to free speech protections, the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, which established the Right to Bear Arms. Cherry-picking from the Constitution was never the intention of the founders, so why does the NRA so adamantly support The Second Amendment, but belittle he First and the rights it provides?
Women’s rights, gay rights, and racial inclusion coupled with a desire for social justice have very little to do with guns and rifles, yet the NRA continues to use these movements to push the Right to Bear Arms? They are actually advocating fighting ideological battles with guns, which is similar to when Trump stated during the 2016 campaign that a solution to Clinton’s potential SCOTUS pick could be found by “the Second Amendment people.”
Since the election of President Obama, the NRA’s hidden agenda has been thrust into the open. The NRA is a constant counter-argument to minority progress. The ulterior motive’s end goal is to deny rights to women, gays, and minorities.
Who benefits from this agenda? The answer is simple, if you haven’t already guessed: white male supremacy.
The video does show an African-American police officer in it. And the video displays white rioters. But the racism in the video was not missed for those tuned-in to the dog whistles of the Southern Strategy. White Facebook commentators argue that the ad campaign attacks Black Lives Matter. Yet, that “Trump isn’t racist! How could anyone get that idea, get out of here!”
“To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness. And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage.”
When you have little to no control over your own fate and that of your people, then you will do what every it takes to ease the oppression that terrorizes your family and all those living in your community, no matter their color or their economic status.
“A riot is the language of the unheard.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.”
Whose country is she referring to?
The last I checked, there are 321 million people living in the United States of America and almost 66 million of them voted for Hillary Clinton. Trump lost the election by 2.86 million ballots.
Americans have one of two ideologies: Inclusion or Exclusion. Comparing a map of Confederate states to maps showing the results of the last three national elections, you can see that the Southern Strategy in American politics is alive and thriving.
A clenched fist of truth?!? The NRA is appropriating black culture now? The connotation of this reference is well known. Their actions are insidious and dangerous for all parties and the entire American public.
“I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place.”
A recent CDC study found guns to be the number three killer of American children, ending the lives of an average of nearly 1,300 kids annually. The NRA has some explaining to do.
The NRA has yet to issue a statement on Philando Castile’s murder. Castile was shot by a cop in Falcon Heights, Minn., after informing the officer that he had a license to carry. The NRA never backed-up his family or stood with them after he was gunned down.
Castile had license to carry a firearm and the NRA was silent because the NRA’s Second Amendment doesn’t encompass the rights of people of color to carry firearms.
In a second NRA ad, Loesch uses the code word “thug,” a derogatory euphemism primarily ascribed to African American men.
Because Americans have been conditioned to view black men as “thugs,” this reference, though never stated, was to force the viewer envision a black criminal. If that wasn’t the purpose of the word choice, then the script would have read “criminal” and not “thug.”