It’s not every day I get a tweet in my timeline with the “N-word” in it.
But when it comes from the Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, it definitely gets my attention.
On Tuesday I was scrolling through my twitter feed looking for any sign that New Hampshire Democrats like Reps. Annie Kuster or Chris Pappas had called out their Democratic colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar for her latest anti-Semitic comments. As NHJournal reported, Rep. Kuster has been unusually quiet on the subject, given that Omar’s statement was so offensive it inspired Speaker Pelosi to call for a vote Wednesday on a resolution denouncing the kind of anti-Semitism Omar embraced.
As I scrolled through tweets I’d received from various New Hampshire Democrats, I found this from NH Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley:
“Listen as white students at Spain Park High School in Birmingham, Alabama talk about how much they want to send n****rs to concentration camps. One brags that he’s glad Jews were sent there then the white woman says she only wants n****rs to go to concentration camps.”
I hadn’t heard about the video of these racist Alabama teenagers until I got this tweet from Chairman Buckley. And my immediate reaction was…why? Why is the leading Democrat in New Hampshire sending this out to his followers?
The original tweet, it should be noted, was sent by Shaun King, a fact that in and of itself raises questions. King is a controversial figure to say the least, best known for falsely claiming to be black (according to birth records, both his biological parents are Caucasian) and for using the internet to incite anger and fear on the issues of race.
Most recently King was falsely whipping up fears of a race-inspired “hate crime” in the case of a murdered 7-year-old African-American girl in Texas, in a case where the suspect turned out to be a 20-year-old black male.
Why would Chairman Buckley be forwarding any messages from a guy like Shaun King? (Then again, why would Sen. Bernie Sanders have King introduce him at his rally in Brooklyn last Saturday?) And more to the point, why would Buckley be sending out this “N-bomb”-laced tweet?
Perhaps I’m more sensitive about this language because I grew up in South Carolina, where it was a powerful word with real consequences. The hatred it represents isn’t academic for me. The head of the South Carolina KKK at the time, Horace King, lived in walking distance from my house in Lexington County. His two knuckle-dragging sons tried to bully my sister and me on the school bus on a regular basis.
So when Ray Buckley drops the N-bomb, it makes an impact. But for what purpose?
Alabama is a long way from New Hampshire. These idiot teenagers making racist and anti-Semitic comments aren’t members of Congress or leaders of a movement. Is Chairman Buckley saying he believes this vile racism is a widespread part of America’s culture? Is he saying that these redneck nitwits speak for a significant number of people here in New Hampshire?
What reason is there for the leader of a political party to send out such a hateful word and outrageous video from a thousand miles away other than to whip of hate and division here in the Granite State?
And if the Chairman’s motive was to inspire us to confront hatred, why reach all the way to Alabama? Right now there’s a vote scheduled in Congress to denounce the anti-Semitism of one of his fellow Democrats. Two New Hampshire Democrats, Kuster and Pappas, will be asked to vote on it.
But Buckley (not to mention Kuster and Pappas) is silent. As of this writing, there isn’t a single tweet on his timeline or post on the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s website denouncing Rep. Omar’s hatred or urging his fellow, local Democrats to condemn it.
If Buckley dropped this “N-bomb” as part of a broader war against intolerance, in between tweets condemning the silence from his fellow Granite State Democrats, that would be one thing.
He didn’t. Instead, he sent out this ugly message simply to spread the ugly message that, as many on the Left believe, America is an ugly country full of ugly, racist people.
I don’t agree. I don’t believe these drunk teens represent America any more than I believe Rep. Omar represents Democrats.
Interestingly, Ray Buckley has only condemned one of them.