Waving around loaded hints
by Tom Sullivan
Still image from mashup video reportedly shown last week at pro-Trump conference at Trump National Doral Miami. YouTube
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2003 convicted three former media executives from Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) for their role in broadcasting lists of people to be killed in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Kennedy Ndahiro, editor of The New Times, wrote in The Atlantic in April this year:
Twenty-five years ago this month, all hell broke loose in my country, which is tucked away in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Hordes of members of the Hutu ethnic majority, armed with machetes, spears, nail-studded clubs, and other rudimentary weapons, moved house to house in villages, hunting for Tutsis, the second largest of Rwanda’s three ethnic groups. The radio station RTLM, allied with leaders of the government, had been inciting Hutus against the Tutsi minority, repeatedly describing the latter as inyenzi, or “cockroaches,” and as inzoka, or “snakes.” The station, unfortunately, had many listeners.With that in mind, The New York Times reported this incident Sunday night:
The promoters of genocide used other metaphors to turn people against their neighbors. Hutus, by reputation, are shorter than Tutsis; radio broadcasters also urged Hutus to “cut down the tall trees.”
A video depicting a macabre scene of a fake President Trump shooting, stabbing and brutally assaulting members of the news media and his political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters at his Miami resort last week, according to footage obtained by The New York Times.Politico adds details of "targets" from the video:
Several of Mr. Trump’s top surrogates — including his son Donald Trump Jr., his former spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis — were scheduled to speak at the three-day conference, which was held by a pro-Trump group, American Priority, at Trump National Doral Miami. Ms. Sanders and a person close to Mr. Trump’s son said on Sunday that they did not see the video at the conference.
The video, which includes the logo for Mr. Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, comprises a series of internet memes. The most violent clip shows Mr. Trump’s head superimposed on the body of a man opening fire inside the “Church of Fake News” on parishioners who have the faces of his critics or the logos of media organizations superimposed on their bodies. It appears to be an edited scene of a church massacre from the 2014 dark comedy film “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”
Besides journalists, other targets depicted include the late John McCain, California Reps. Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.NBC News reports a video matching this description appeared on YouTube in September 2018.
The Trump character in the video shoots, stab and beats his victims; at one point, he sets Bernie Sanders’ head on fire. Other past and present election rivals also are depicted.
“All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed toward journalists and the President’s political opponents. We have previously told the President his rhetoric could incite violence. Now we call on him and everybody associated with this conference to denounce this video and affirm that violence has no place in our society.”Organizers denounced the video and claim it was part of a "meme exhibit" submitted by third parties. An American Priorities spokesman told NBC News, "The organizers of #AMPFest19 were not even aware of the video until they were contacted by the New York Times." A Trump campaign spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, told the Times he had no knowledge of the video and said, “That video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence.”
“I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy,” Mr. Trump said. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”A federal judge ruled in April 2017 people were injured as a "direct and proximate result" of Trump's comments. ABC News in August found "at least 36 criminal cases where Trump was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault." The report continues:
In nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims. In another 10 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant's violent or threatening behavior.Police arrested a Minnesota Trump supporter last week for waving a loaded gun at another driver whose car displayed an Elizabeth Warren bumper sticker.
Seven cases involved violent or threatening acts perpetrated in defiance of Trump, with many of them targeting Trump's allies in Congress. But the vast majority of the cases -- 29 of the 36 -- reflect someone echoing presidential rhetoric, not protesting it.
ABC News could not find a single criminal case filed in federal or state court where an act of violence or threat was made in the name of President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush.