Hate Speech Brings Down a Bull Moose


During
the election campaign of 1912, a mentally-unbalanced man fired a shot at
Theodore Roosevelt, the candidate of the Bull Moose Party, at a rally in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The bullet was slowed by TR’s lengthy speech, which he
had double folded in his pocket, and by his eyeglasses case, nevertheless the
bullet entered his body and he was bleeding profusely. Roosevelt declined to
seek immediate medical attention and mounted the podium, announcing that he had
been shot but that “it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.”

A minute later, Roosevelt delivered the following lines about his would-be assassin.

Now, friends, of course, I do not know, as I say, anything about him; but it
is a very natural thing that weak and vicious minds should be inflamed to acts
of violence by the kind of awful mendacity and abuse that have been heaped upon
me for the last three months by the papers in the interest of not only Mr. Debs
but of Mr. Wilson and Mr. Taft.

Friends, I will disown and repudiate any man of my party who attacks with such
foul slander and abuse any opponent of any other party; and now I wish to say
seriously to all the daily newspapers, to the Republicans, the Democrat, and
Socialist parties, that they cannot, month in month out and year in and year
out, make the kind of untruthful, of bitter assault that they have made and not
expect that brutal, violent natures, or brutal and violent characters,
especially when the brutality is accompanied by a not very strong mind; they
cannot expect that such natures will be unaffected by it.

These words bring to mind the mendacity, abuse and foul slander that were
heaped upon Dr. George Tiller by the Right Wing talk show machine, most
prominently by Bill O’Reilly, but by others as well. O’Reilly called Dr. Tiller
a “baby killer,” who has “blood on his hands” and who is guilty of what
O’Reilly called “Nazi stuff.” Others in the Right Wing routinely call abortion
a “Holocaust.”

Bill O’Reilly and his cohorts of hate cannot expect that “not very strong minds
… will be unaffected” by their inflammatory language.

Truly delusional or deranged persons need little of this sort of “foul slander”
to pick up a gun in order to prevent what they are told is a Holocaust. Those
with weaker minds and constitutions, need more instigation, which is what the
daily litany of hate, intolerance and mendacity that Right Wing talk shows
provide. They also provide a justification for murder – that murdering a doctor
is justifiable homicide, preventing a greater evil, saving innocent lives. In
this case, homicide isn’t just justifiable, it is as necessary and imperative as
bombing Auschwitz.

Delusional people often commit assassinations—Hinckley shooting Reagan to
impress Jody Foster, for example. But an ordinary human mind, even a not very
strong one, needs to be inflamed to commit the deed.  Murder is a powerful
taboo, but it can be overridden by the sort of bile that TR decried in 1912.

The Right Wing talk show juggernaut is an operation that would make Joseph
Goebbels or the KKK proud – first dehumanizing the enemy, as the Nazis did the
Jews and as the KKK did the black man, then dramatizing their threat to the
home and hearth, and finally inciting the weak, in carefully coded and deniable
language, saying that whatever happens to the enemy he brought on himself.


Those defending or excusing the murder of Dr. Tiller adduce a perverse
variation on the civil obedience argument of Gandhi and King and
Thoreau—murder for a higher principle. They press that principle further to
say that it was necessary to kill the doctor in order to save lives—the lives
of unborn children he might have aborted.  This is to adapt the
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Greater Good justification (we dropped the bombs to end the
war to save American and Japanese lives, as many as a million and more) to the
abortion issue.


General George S. Patton used to give incredibly bloodthirsty speeches to his
men in order to inflame them to kill in battle, believing that it was necessary
to get men’s passions up in order to induce them to commit murder.  So the
atrocities they committed in war seemed to them condign revenge and (as with
the murder of an abortion doctor) a morally justified preventative
measure.  In his famous ”Blood and Guts” speech to his Third Army on the
eve of D-Day, Patton said the following:


We’re not going to just shoot the […], we’re going to rip out their living […]
and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We’re going to murder those
lousy Hun […] by the bushel-[…]-basket. War is a bloody, killing business.
You’ve got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the
belly. Shoot them in the guts.”


Scott Roeder, the accused murder of Dr. Tiller, upon hearing that Dr. Tiller’s
clinic would not reopen, said the closure would mean "no more slicing and
dicing of the unborn child in the mother’s womb and no more needles of poison
into the baby’s heart to stop the heart from beating…." I wonder which
Right Wing Patton he heard that from.  

Alexander Sanger is Chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council
and the grandson of Margaret Sanger, founder of the birth control movement more
than eighty years ago.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with Alexander Sanger please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • invalid-0

    Hey Mr. Sanger-

    If rhetoric and associations make a group promoters of violence, how do you defend your grandmother Margaret who spoke at a KKK rally and was tied to racism through eugenics? What have you got to say about the new well documented documentary that says your grandmother, Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood are racist? Check out: Maafa 21 How about a review of that? (www.maafa21.com)

  • invalid-0

    What have you got to say about the new well documented documentary that says your grandmother, Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood are racist?

    Margaret Sanger’s views on eugenics are already well-known, and have been repudiated a long time ago by the pro-choice movement. Do you harangue Disney for its founder’s racist views as well?

    And to say that Planned Parenthood is racist is to completely miss the point on why poorer minorities seek abortion at a higher rate than Whites. (Hint: access to contraception has a lot to do with it.)

  • invalid-0

    Interesting – have you seen Maafa21? If you have you wouldn’t make that claim. The film shows the documentation that these so-called pro-choicers refuted. In fact, I would go as far as saying that this film has the most irrefutable information on racism and abortion that anyone has published to date. Sanger did speak to the KKK and she admitted doing it in her own autobiography. How do you refute Sanger’s own words?

  • invalid-0

    Sanger did speak to the KKK and she admitted doing it in her own autobiography. How do you refute Sanger’s own words?

    I’m not. What I’m saying is that we already know that Sanger held some reprehensible views that were popular in her day. That doesn’t mean that she wasn’t spot-on about women being in control of their fertility and reproduction being a good thing. It’s much like ol’ Walt Disney—he was a racist, yes, but that doesn’t suddenly negate the value of all the pretty animated feature films he left behind, let alone Disney as it exists today.

    Anyway, you’re trying to slime Planned Parenthood (and by extension, the whole pro-choice movement) by pointing out the discredited parts of Margaret Sanger’s views. Today, you’re doing it with a shiny, fancy “documentary.” If you had any real evidence that PP, today, is engaging in a campaign of involuntary sterilization and abortion, then you’ll want to bring that to the attention of Cecile Richards, because she’ll be the first person to want to put a stop to that. It goes against the entire ethos of the organization, and she has the biggest stake in keeping it true to its mission.

    But if, as I suspect, you are merely citing the fact that racial minorities seek out abortions at higher rates, and that PP has worked to address that need (along with helping improve access to contraception, so that fewer abortions are needed in the first place), then you’re once again deliberately missing the point and thinking you’ve won the argument.

    Let me ask you this: Do you really care about these racial minorities? Have you talked with their communities, heard about what their concerns are? What have you done, to help them out? Have you lobbied in favor of better job-training programs? Summer employment for young men, to keep them off the streets and out of gangs? Community policing efforts, to engender better relationships between these peoples and those tasked with protecting them?

    I’ve heard a lot more noise from minority communities about issues like these. So if you would go and make a fancy, expensive documentary about a “problem” that really amounts to a misunderstanding of reproductive-health issues in these communities, I’m guessing there has to be at least an Oscar-worthy production about gang violence, or the fallout of the drug war, or other such issues….

  • heather-corinna

    That has to be one of the best approaches to that whole red herring I have ever heard.  Well spoken, and hear, hear.

  • invalid-0

    Hey- who said I made this documentary? I watched it and it proved Planned Parenthood is racist to me ! It proved that the racist ties that Sanger had(which you admit to) continue on to this day. What I love about pro-abortion people is that they drown you with side issues when you have their backs against a wall on a relative point. If Cecil Richards is so concerned about racism and abortion, and she knows the racist beliefs of Margaret Sanger,( Planned Parenthood’s founder), then tell me why Planned Parenthood boasts about Sanger and has their highest award named after her? If anyone needs to answer a few questions it isn’t me- it is Planned Parenthood !

  • invalid-0

    If Cecil Richards is so concerned about racism and abortion, and she knows the racist beliefs of Margaret Sanger,( Planned Parenthood’s founder), then tell me why Planned Parenthood boasts about Sanger and has their highest award named after her?

    Come back here when you’ve figured out how a person can hold commendable beliefs, and reprehensible beliefs at the same time. Until then, you’re just going to keep going around in circles.

  • invalid-0

    Also see http://www.klannedparenthood.com for more info on Sanger and the origins of planned parenthood as well as current statistical data on abortions and http://www.blackgenocide.org which focuses more on the present.

  • http://www.bioethike.com invalid-0

    Isn’t equating conservative radio talk show hosts to J. Goebbels and the KKK a form of hate speech? One cannot rise above diatribe, Mr. Sanger, until one rises above invective.
    Robert at bioethike.com

  • invalid-0

    In addition to checking out Maafa 21 check out the Black Genocide website.

    Apparently Planned Parenthood is still employing Margaret Sanger’s trick for convincing blacks to not detect her goal to eliminate the “human weeds” (Blacks, Native Americans, etc.) – using a black spokesperson just like she did with her ‘Negro Project’.

    Oh and for some more recent proof that Planned Parenthood STILL has a racist goal just do an internet search on “Planned Parenthood Racism Scandals”.

    Who cares that a descendent of racist/eugenicist Margaret Sanger and current Planned Parenthood rep claims Planned Parenthood is supposedly not a racist organization – of course he is going to defend his racist grandmother and the racist orgnaization he is the interntaionl chairperson of.

    For those of you who oppose racism, check out the history and current activities of Planned Parenthood YOURSELF and judge for yourself whether or not they were and still are racist.

  • http://mooseandsquirrel.ca/ invalid-0

    Sounds as if you believe, like your censorship-loving compatriot Bonnie Erbe, that some people should have the right to round others up for their “hateful” speech in order to prevent random attacks — a kind of pre-crime enforcement like in the movie Minority Report. See: http://www.usnews.com/blogs/erbe/2009/06/11/round-up-hate-promoters-now-before-any-more-holocaust-museum-attacks.html

    So, in your narrow-minded little world, who gets to decide what is “hate” speech? Who gets to do the rounding up of the “haters”? People who think like you? You brought up the Nazis, but are you aware that prior to the fascists taking power, Germany’s Weimar Republic had extensive “hate” speech censorship laws in place, which the Nazis used to their advantage when they took control.

    Today’s liberal-minded promotion of censorship will lead us back down a path no true freedom-loving person would ever want to follow. But, just like in Nazi Germany, this is all about control — one group wielding control over what others are allowed to think and say.

  • invalid-0

    For those of you who oppose racism, check out the history and current activities of Planned Parenthood YOURSELF and judge for yourself whether or not they were and still are racist.

    I have. They are not. No reputable anti-racism organization agrees with you. Go away.

  • http://mooseandsquirrel.ca/ invalid-0

    Anonymous on June 30, 2009 – 3:15pm perpetuates the myth — actually, outright lies — that Walt Disney was a racist Jew-hater. Read: Walt Disney was NOT Racist!

    Sure, keep on with the lies to try to dismiss the fact that Mrs. Sanger actively tried to sterilize American blacks into extinction. Read: The Negro Project.

    • invalid-0

      Walt Disney helped turn in and blacklist lots of people during the McCarthy period. He was a rat.

  • invalid-0

    Disney was not an anti-Semite, but he did endorse racist views of other ethnicities early in his career. (Like most people, his views evolved over the years.)

    I mean, Christ, did you not see the crows in Dumbo? Are you going to tell me that portrayal is not racist, or that it didn’t occur under the eyes of Disney himself?

    In any event, the point being made was that Sanger, like Disney, were products of their time. Some of their views are condemned today. Some endure, and continue to be celebrated. And it’s disingenuous to say that the good work and legacy they have left behind is any less valuable because of their failings.

  • crowepps

    I’m kind of boggled by this hysteria over Sanger addressing the KKK. It’s pretty clear the members of the KKK whom she addressed were the ancestors of the right-wing, white-bread, Southern Baptist crowd who are protesting outside abortion clinics trying to ‘save America’, just as in the past their great-grandparents organized to ‘save America’ by preventing ‘mixing of the races’.

    It’s pretty clear from the statistics that abortion is tied far more tightly to poverty and ignorance than it is to race, unless of course one ASSUMES that Blacks are as a race inherently poor and stupid, which is — racist.

  • crowepps

    Seems to me that this is an appeal to people to thoughtfully consider their words, to realize that what they say is NOT just hot air and philosophizing where anything goes so long as it rakes in the bucks, but actually has an effect on their listeners and on the society in which they live.  Seems to me it’s asking them to take personal responsibility for their own words and opinions.

     

    I agree that the government can’t decide what people can and can’t say, has to let the lunatics on one side and the other shout and stamp and roar and make fools of themselves.  Under our system of Constitutional rights the government can’t do a thing to shut them up, but the REST OF US DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN.

     

    We can make sure that none of our money goes to their books and speechs, that we don’t drive up their ratings by watching/listening to their hate-fests, that none of our purchases are made with their sponsors, and exclude their fans and supporters from our personal lives as well.  Nobody has the right to shut O’Reilly or Limbaugh or Colter up, but surely knowing someone is their fan gives we private citizens valuable information about whether someone is a desirable shopkeeper,  employee or friend.

     

    The government doesn’t ban bigotry, it bans discrimination.  People can have any opinion they like about groups or races or religions, all the government can do is enforce that everyone gets treated equally in public.  It’s no longer socially acceptable in this country to be an open bigot, not because the government bans it but because the majority of people find bigots ignorant, insecure and pathetic.

  • emma

    I think Certain Persons commenting on this thread are also assuming that black women are so stupid and ignorant that they’re incapable of making an informed decision to terminate a pregnancy. Of course there must be coercion, because black women have no agency and can’t be trusted to make decisions.

     

    I love the way concern trolls here pretend they care so much about exploitation of minority women, when their revolting paternalism and assumptions that minority women are idiots reveal their own racism and misogyny. They can’t be honest about the fact that they hate Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions, and they’ll find any excuse to whine about it.

     

    For some commenters regarding Margaret Sanger: People are complex. It is possible for one person to hold noxious beliefs while simultaneously holding progressive beliefs regarding other subjects/issues. People are not one dimensional. Apparently, though, we need a reductio ad Sangerum, like we have reductio ad Hitlerum.

     

    Also, people, racism isn’t genetic. Bashing the author because his grandmother was racist is just pathetic. When you’re resorting to that, chances are that your argument can’t stand on its own, and chances are that you know it.

  • invalid-0

    I love the way concern trolls here pretend they care so much about exploitation of minority women, when their revolting paternalism and assumptions that minority women are idiots reveal their own racism and misogyny.

    Funny that they would be so concerned about minority women, that they dedicate themselves to an issue that minority women themselves don’t see as a problem. I’m pretty sure that issues like discrimination, access to education/training, and gun violence would rank a lot higher in their list of concerns.

    But hey, maybe we can take advantage of this sudden interest in fighting racism. “Because you care so much about our country’s minorities, please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to the SPLC!”

    They can’t be honest about the fact that they hate Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions, and they’ll find any excuse to whine about it.

    Anti-choicers are masters of false concern. If there were ever any correlation shown between abortion and (say) reduced numbers of burrowing owls, pro-lifers would suddenly become huge burrowing-owl advocates. They’d have burrowing-owl slogans, burrowing-owl plushies, even a cute burrowing-owl logo saying “Save me by stopping abortion!” (While doing absolutely nothing about e.g. prairie-dog control programs, one of the major causes of declining burrowing-owl populations in the U.S.)

    Where it stops being funny, however, is that for the majority of the anti-choice movement, the whole concern for fetuses is the same sort of ruse. If it weren’t, SCHIP would be as untouchable as Social Security. The real motivation is to control womens’ sexuality, of course—but they need an angle to that desired outcome that doesn’t get them laughed out of the room.

  • crowepps

    I’m not even sure the real motiviation IS to control women’s sexuality – I think that’s just one of those hot button issues that gets people all concerned and sucked in and riled up, ‘save an innocent life’ - ‘don’t reward teens for having sex’, and get the readers to go down to the bottom of the blog and click that PayPal button prominently displayed at the bottom.  With SOME of these people the motivation is entirely money - they actually can MAKE A LIVING by being concern trolls.  Some of them a very fat living.

    And, yes, I am aware that there are some ProChoice websites which also accept contributions.  I am not aware of any ProChoice advocates who are making a living JUST by soliciting donations for being ProChoice, however.  It seems like most of the ProChoice advocates I know have real jobs that we have to put time in at.

  • invalid-0

    Wow – we had no idea the pro-abortion crowd “Owned” all rights to speak for minorities. Sorry masta!

  • invalid-0

    Try: National Abortion Rights Action League

    National Organization for (some) women

    Planned Parenthood ( several hundred nationwide)

    Feminist Majority

    National Abortion Federation

    Religious Coalition for Reproductive Right

    to name a few!