Why Hate Speech by Presidential Candidates is Reprehensible

Written by on December 2, 2015 in Government, Politics with 46 Comments
'Perpetrators of hate crimes often take their cues from what they hear in the media,' writes Reich. 'And the recent inclination of some politicians to use inflammatory rhetoric is contributing to a climate of hate and fear.' (Photo: CBS News)

‘Perpetrators of hate crimes often take their cues from what they hear in the media,' writes Reich. ‘And the recent inclination of some politicians to use inflammatory rhetoric is contributing to a climate of hate and fear.' (Photo: CBS News)

By Robert Reich | Common Dreams

On Friday, a gunman killed three at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. Later, in explaining his motive to the police, he said “no more baby parts.”

Last Monday, gunmen opened fire on Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis who were demanding action against two white Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, 24, an unarmed black man, on Nov. 15.

Related Article:Trump Rally Turns Violent as His Supporters Push and Spit on Immigrant Advocates

Evidence shows the accused shooters were linked to white supremacist organizations operating online.

Meanwhile, the FBI reports an upturn in threats on mosques and Muslims in the United States.

In Connecticut, police are investigating reports of multiple gunshots fired at a local mosque. Two Tampa Bay-area mosques in Florida received threatening phone messages. One of the calls threatened a firebombing.

In an Austin suburb, leaders of the Islamic Center of Pflugerville discovered feces and torn pages of the Qur’an.

Hate crimes will never be eliminated entirely. A small number of angry, deranged people inevitably will vent their rage at groups they find threatening. Some will do so violently.

But this doesn’t absolve politicians who have been fueling such hatefulness.

Perpetrators of hate crimes often take their cues from what they hear in the media. And the recent inclination of some politicians to use inflammatory rhetoric is contributing to a climate of hate and fear.

Carly Fiorina continues to allege, for example, that Planned Parenthood is selling body parts of fetuses.

Although the claim has been proven baseless, it’s been repeated not only by Fiorina but also by other candidates. Mike Huckabee calls it “sickening” that “we give these butchers money to harvest human organs.”

Even in the wake of Friday’s Colorado shootings, Donald Trump referred to videos “with some of these people from Planned Parenthood talking about it like you’re selling parts to a car.”

Some candidates are also fomenting animus toward Muslims.

Huckabee says he’d “like for Barack Obama to resign if he’s not going to protect America and instead protect the image of Islam.”

Related Article:Think Planned Parenthood Should Be Defunded? Read This Touching Tribute

Ben Carson says allowing Syrian refugees into the United States is analogous to exposing a neighborhood to a “rabid dog.” Last September Carson said he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”

Since the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris earlier this month, Trump has advocated registering all Muslims in the United States and putting American mosques under surveillance.

He’s also claimed that Muslim-Americans in New Jersey celebrated by the “thousands” when the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001, although there’s no evidence to back that claim.

Indeed, much of Trump’s campaign is built on hatefulness. And Trump not only fails to condemn violence he provokes but finds excuses for it.

After a handful of white supporters recently punched and attempted to choke a Black Lives Matter protester at one of his campaign rallies, Trump said “maybe he should have been roughed up.”

Trump began his campaign last June by falsely alleging Mexican immigrants are “bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

Weeks later in Boston, two brothers beat with a metal poll and urinated on a 58-year-old homeless Mexican national. They subsequently told the police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.“

But instead of condemning that brutality, Trump excused it by saying “people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.”

I’m not suggesting Trump, Carson, Fiorina, or any other presidential candidate is directly to blame for hate crimes erupting across America.

But by virtue of their standing as presidential candidates, their words carry particular weight. They have a responsibility to calm people with the truth rather than stir them up with lies.

Related Article:The American Islamophobia Machine: Media, Entertainment, and Politics

In suggesting that the staff of Planned Parenthood, Muslims, Black Lives Matter protesters, and Mexican immigrants are guilty of venal acts, these candidates are fanning the flames of hate.

This itself is despicable.

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.

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  1. 705359206252980@facebook.com' Learn the Hidden Truth says:

    Follow us to learn the hidden Truth

  2. 10153756249598582@facebook.com' Hassan Arif Yaqub says:

    What do they get out of it….not votes….I suppose.

  3. 10153697488324030@facebook.com' Carlida Finch says:

    Yes, they can create the atmosphere of fear and WE can create the atmosphere of LOVE

  4. 1078144975543095@facebook.com' Emma Woodman-Doyle says:

    Don’t hate the players, just take your support away from the game.

  5. 10207950975363060@facebook.com' James P Moon says:

    This country is falling apart.
    I say let it.

  6. 972625236123454@facebook.com' Erik Albert says:

    Absolutely. All they do is directing a specific, tailor made pitch to a layer of the population they want to target. When those targeted do not trigger any proper investigations on their own behalf to be able to establish whether the message that is being pushed down actually makes sense, they surely end up taking for granted more than just one message. This is ideal if what you want to do is to trigger certain conflict into a society. It seems you get the best out of talking apes, when you set them up against each other.

    • 431834380333721@facebook.com' Vince Lendway says:

      That’s exactly what Obama did and bernie sanders does and you libtards are eating it up. Voluntarily accepting socialism. What a bunch of morons

    • 972625236123454@facebook.com' Erik Albert says:

      All politicians do so. Politics is a belief system. You should erradicate belief systems. Thinking for yourself is the only way forward.

  7. 444893019054255@facebook.com' Judy Kay Houser says:

    The blogger is right. RNC presidential candidates have been using what I call hate speech which just encourages gun violence.

    • 10208142101977098@facebook.com' Claudia Swartz says:

      OMG…they encourage Gun violence??? What Rock do you live under to make such an utterly ridiculous Statement….

    • 444893019054255@facebook.com' Judy Kay Houser says:

      Apparently, not under the one you live under. Apparently, you are listening to your boys.

    • 10208142101977098@facebook.com' Claudia Swartz says:

      Since you do not know anything about me your comment doesnt faze me…to claim that anyone incites gun violence by criticizing a political opponent is just simply a veru ridiculous statement.Case closed..

    • 431834380333721@facebook.com' Vince Lendway says:

      You want to talk about hate speech read the koran and find out why it incites so much violence. Mass shooting in San bernandino wasn’t due to guns alone but rather to an ideology. Millions if gun owners didn’t shoot anybody yesterday
      A Muslim did.

  8. 825621167555947@facebook.com' Drake Stepp says:


  9. 10205085251121926@facebook.com' Robin Hale says:

    I’ve said for a long time now that bullying starts at the top!! Live by example people!!!!

  10. 10208142101977098@facebook.com' Claudia Swartz says:

    I find it hilarious…anyone with any intelligence wouldnt pay much attention to the dirt slinging of any of these SHEISTERS…America is done done done ya awl hear me?

  11. 10153886291773455@facebook.com' Bryan W. Wilson says:

    shows how sick that whole party is

  12. 1096699527009704@facebook.com' Brian Mcfarland says:

    Truth is the new hate speech

  13. 445967965607327@facebook.com' Samuel Stephens says:
  14. 935707389800271@facebook.com' Treena Thompson says:

    Nz has a prime minster like this John Key aka Don Key??

  15. 10205199355806731@facebook.com' Alice Fay Parker Steinmetz says:


  16. 1081257611898207@facebook.com' Joyce Green Thompson says:

    I think the USA is in big trouble. Can we even fix things at this point?

  17. 470185079819312@facebook.com' David Middlemiss says:

    We Multiply All GOOD Limitlessly Through Unlimited Peace And Healing To All Beings, Limitless Waves Of GOODness Re Connecting Our Greatest Progressed Selves To Heal All Times Past Present And Future Thank You thank You Thank You

  18. 726938184105193@facebook.com' Children should be allowed to war says:

    I find everything pro peace offensive. War power

  19. 10207881618747274@facebook.com' Marybell Ramos says:

    You post pictures of republicans but we’ve had a democrat and minority president running things for the last 8 years and our country, people, hate, gun violence, racism, it’s worse than ever the tension between blacks and whites is intense , so sad that things seem to go from bad to terrible! People are angry and when you ask WHY? They have no good reason .

  20. 743371405791851@facebook.com' Joe Holzer says:

    … their ‘shrinks’ are obviously useless……

  21. 10153782768171514@facebook.com' Kim Sigman says:

    Let the hate flow through you!

  22. 918571384896655@facebook.com' Sharon Carpenter says:

    We wonderf WHY there have been so many shootings????

  23. 10206045713960306@facebook.com' Thomas Chenhall says:

    Politicians don’t fuel the fire, but they do pour gasoline on the fuel and pay someone else to light the match.

  24. 519974648151176@facebook.com' John Wayne says:

    U.S. Marine Major General S. Butler was the First to Warn, “The Business Plot.”

  25. 1851825931710562@facebook.com' Susan Ross says:

    They are yelling FIRE in a crowded theater. Isn’t that illegal??

  26. 10153685332567497@facebook.com' Stewart Sorensen says:

    Sorry but it´s all over the freaking place all the time – We are being lead by cynical and narcissistic nutcases whom a being sponsored by people who constantly wan´t more power over everything and everybody. Hate fueling and Fascism is the easy way to reach those goals and it has been used for decades if not centuries. It´s always easier to blame it on someone else – And we buy it over and over again like it was the best candy we can get. Chaos is the projection of the psychopath mind – If we bite the Fascistic hook we then fuel the hate and fear which leads to bad shit. Chaos is the best state for War business, in turmoil the wrong choices are usually taken. Every bullet fired is coins raining down the pocket of war producers. If you want to stop Terrorism stop selling terrorist ammunition. If you wan´t the world to change, you need to change your mind. Hate does not solve anything and Wars can´t weaken Terrorism. If we bomb randomly we will hit innocent people whom then naturally will flee or will join terrorist groups. Remember Afghanistan ? what did the western forces actually solve after 13 years of war ? – near to nothing and e.g the Al Qaeda is stronger there now than they ever where. All this stuff is refueled over and over again by the so called “leaders” and their abuse of language, lies and hate fueling talk. The world is full of lying “politicians” in fact they are not really politicians since the do not serve their countries and they do not serve their people in balanced ways. And it´s not only in the USA – though you have some serious fucked up people on the podiums talking “politics” – but we have them too in Europe and its getting worse.

  27. 10207547529152695@facebook.com' Huwansta Noe says:

    I dunno…it’s a double edged sword because some groups simultaneously use ‘hate speech’ laws as a way of subverting free speech to silence the truth, while they hypocritically speak hatefully about others. Some animals truly are more equal than others regardless of the phony left/right paradigm.

  28. 1645311765747826@facebook.com' Mary R Thurman says:

    trump should shut up for awhile .l think he hates everyone .as he just has to say something bad about them .

  29. 1652112445039551@facebook.com' Miodrag Dugi Stefanic says:

    I hate R-soles who hate to hate. They r haters

  30. 669622889834971@facebook.com' Jose Antonio Curi says:

    Not only politician, is the bred and butter for many groups and peoples, unfortunally.

  31. 929148470503809@facebook.com' Stacey Coyne says:

    I agree 100%.

  32. 1050283325004318@facebook.com' Doug Chapman says:


  33. 10153053670466525@facebook.com' Anthony Douglas says:

    The candor of these idiots is a blessing, showing the sane that these candidates are incapable of leadership.

  34. 10153257310439735@facebook.com' Mark Mitchell says:

    MORONS !

  35. 1412691052327740@facebook.com' Universal Unity says:

    Yes, and the people are the ones that will rise above and create a new earth potential, for we see that they, the ‘leaders’ are not us, and we desire peace, harmony, love, abundance for all, and should we only learn the most ancient of truths; love begets love, peace begets peace, and light begets light. Each person can alter what we see and experience and it begins with the light within; we are truly this powerful ~ https://universalunity.ca * We are LOVE!

  36. 10203872011675492@facebook.com' Adam Hardy says:

    Not a single individual on the republican ticket is definable as a “presidential candidate”

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