I find it interesting, as a former Christian and now an atheist, when I hear some Christians speak about us atheists. Of course, a lot of Christians are still afraid of us. They still call us the most evil people on the planet. They still insult and denigrate us. They call us baby killers, baby cannibals, satanists, etc.
In a recent article published in the American Sociological Review, Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerteis, and Douglas Hartmann reported their findings, on how atheists are perceived, based on data from a national survey. To the question, “This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society,” ten groups were listed as options: religious groups (Muslims, conservative Christians, Jews), racial groups (Hispanics, Asian Americans, African Americans, and White Americans), homosexuals, recent immigrants, and atheists. By far, the most “detested” group were the atheists. To the question, “I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group,” eight of the latter groups were included (homosexuals and recent immigrants were excluded). Again, the least desired group were the atheists. This might be one of the saddest scientific findings that I have ever read.
1 The share of Americans who identify as atheists has increased modestly but significantly in the past decade. Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019 show that 4% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 2% in 2009. An additional 5% of Americans call themselves agnostics, up from 3% a decade ago.
2 The literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods,” according to Merriam-Webster. And the vast majority of U.S. atheists fit this description: 81% say they do not believe in God or a higher power or in a spiritual force of any kind. (Overall, 10% of American adults share this view.) At the same time, roughly one-in-five self-described atheists (18%) say they do believe in some kind of higher power. None of the atheists we surveyed, however, say they believe in “God as described in the Bible.”
3. Atheists make up a larger share of the population in many European countries than they do in the U.S. In Western Europe, where Pew Research Center surveyed 15 countries in 2017, nearly one-in-five Belgians (19%) identify as atheists, as do 16% in Denmark, 15% in France and 14% in the Netherlands and Sweden.
But the European country with perhaps the biggest share of atheists is the Czech Republic, where a quarter of adults identify that way. In neighboring Slovakia, 15% identify as atheists, although in the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, atheists have a smaller presence, despite the historical influence of the officially atheist Soviet Union. Like Americans, Europeans in many countries are more likely to say they do not believe in God than they are to identify as atheists, including two-thirds of Czechs and at least half of Swedish (60%), Belgian (54%) and Dutch adults (53%) who say they do not believe in God. In other regions surveyed by the Center, including Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, atheists generally are much rarer.
4 In the U.S., atheists are mostly men and are relatively young, according to the 2014 Religious Landscape Study. About seven-in-ten U.S. atheists are men (68%). The median age for atheists is 34, compared with 46 for all U.S. adults. Atheists also are more likely to be white (78% vs. 66% of the general public) and highly educated: About four-in-ten atheists (43%) have a college degree, compared with 27% of the general public. Self-identified atheists also tend to be aligned with the Democratic Party and with political liberalism.
5 The vast majority of U.S. atheists say religion is not too or not at all important in their lives (93%) and that they seldom or never pray (97%). At the same time, many do not see a contradiction between atheism and pondering their place in the world. About a third of American atheists say they think about the meaning and purpose of life at least weekly (35%), and that they often feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being (31%). In fact, the Religious Landscape Study shows that atheists are more likely than U.S. Christians to say they often feel a sense of wonder about the universe (54% vs. 45%).
6 Where do atheists find meaning in life? Like a majority of Americans, most atheists mentioned “family” as a source of meaning when Pew Research Center asked an open-ended question about this in a 2017 survey. But atheists were far more likely than Christians to describe hobbies as meaningful or satisfying (26% vs. 10%). Atheists also were more likely than Americans overall to describe finances and money, creative pursuits, travel, and leisure activities as meaningful. Not surprisingly, very few U.S. atheists (4%) said they found life’s meaning in spirituality.
7 In many cases, being an atheist isn’t just about personally rejecting religious labels and beliefs – most atheists also express negative views when asked about the role of religion in society. For example, seven-in-ten U.S. atheists say religion’s influence is declining in American public life, and that this is a good thing (71%), according to a 2019 survey. Fewer than one-in-five U.S. adults overall (17%) share this view. A majority of atheists (70%) also say churches and other religious organizations do more harm than good in society, and an even larger share (93%) say religious institutions have too much influence in U.S. politics.
8 Atheists may not believe religious teachings, but they are quite informed about religion. In Pew Research Center’s 2019 religious knowledge survey, atheists were among the best-performing groups, answering an average of about 18 out of 32 fact-based questions correctly, while U.S. adults overall got an average of roughly 14 questions right. Atheists were at least as knowledgeable as Christians on Christianity-related questions – roughly eight-in-ten in both groups, for example, know that Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus – and they were also twice as likely as Americans overall to know that the U.S. Constitution says “no religious test” shall be necessary to hold public office.
9 Most Americans (56%) say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral, while 42% say belief in God is necessary to have good values, according to a 2017 survey. In other wealthy countries, smaller shares tend to say that belief in God is essential for good morals, including just 15% in France. But in many other parts of the world, nearly everyone says that a person must believe in God to be moral, including 99% in Indonesia and Ghana and 98% in Pakistan, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center international survey.
10 Americans feel less warmly toward atheists than they do toward members of most major religious groups. A 2019 Pew Research Center survey asked Americans to rate groups on a “feeling thermometer” from 0 (as cold and negative as possible) to 100 (the warmest, most positive possible rating). U.S. adults gave atheists an average rating of 49, identical to the rating they gave Muslims (49) and colder than the average given to Jews (63), Catholics (60) and evangelical Christians (56).
We assess domestic terrorists pose a persistent and evolving threat of violence and economic harm to the United States; in fact, there have been more domestic terrorism subjects disrupted by arrest and more deaths caused by domestic terrorists than international terrorists in recent years. We are most concerned about lone offenders, primarily using firearms, as these lone offenders represent the dominant trend for lethal domestic terrorists. Frequently, these individuals act without a clear group affiliation or guidance, making them challenging to identify, investigate, and disrupt.
We understand that your request for today’s hearing arises from a concern about racially motivated violent extremism, which may result in the commission of hate crimes. We appreciate your interest in this issue. Individuals adhering to racially motivated violent extremism ideology have been responsible for the most lethal incidents among domestic terrorists in recent years, and the FBI assesses the threat of violence and lethality posed by racially motivated violent extremists will continue. The current racially motivated violent extremist threat is decentralized and primarily characterized by lone actors. These actors tend to be radicalized online and target minorities and soft targets using easily accessible weapons.
Violent extremists are increasingly using social media for the distribution of propaganda, recruitment, target selection, and incitement to violence. Through the Internet, violent extremists around the world have access to our local communities to target and recruit like-minded individuals and spread their messages of hate on a global scale. The recent attack at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in Poway, California, not only highlights the enduring threat of violence posed by domestic terrorists, but also demonstrates the danger presented by the propagation of these violent acts on the Internet. The attacker in Poway referenced the recent mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, and we remain concerned that online sharing of livestreamed attack footage could amplify viewer reaction to attacks and provide ideological and tactical inspiration to other domestic terrorists in the homeland.
Statement Before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Washington, D.C. June 4, 2019
Donald Trump tweeted, “If a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here—a lynching. But we will WIN!”
The word lynching conjures the imagery of the 4,000 killed in racial terror lynchings by the 1960s, what Billie Holiday sang as “Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze.” By definition, to be lynched is to be punished or killed (often by a group) without due process or a trial. The president’s claim is facially absurd because he is not being punished without process. His own tweet even indicates that impeachment is the process. If the House of Representatives formally recognizes his wrongdoing after an inquiry, then the Senate will start a trial and reach a verdict.
It is tempting to delve into the distinctions between Trump’s farcical claim and actual horrors of lynching. It is tempting to talk about the Black and brown people who had limbs, genitalia, and even babies cut from their bodies. It is tempting to describe the fetor of burning flesh, or the sight of Emmett Till’s body tied to an industrial fan, or the smiling faces of white women, men, and children as they rejoiced in Black bodies’ last gasps for air. And, to refute politicians of both parties who now suggest lynching is confined to a dark chapter in American history, it is tempting to point to modern-day lynchings perpetuated by white men who assert “stand your ground” defenses after killing Black people, or police officers who rehearse the “I feared for my life” script following their violent acts.
Fortunately, activists, politicians, and scholars condemned Trump’s comparison and his Republican backers. But it’s also important to read Trump’s outrageous claim as a common and dangerous tactic: Powerful people steal the language of those they oppress to signal to others that they themselves are victims. This carefully crafted narrative of victimhood has perpetuated its own lynchings.
Dylann Roof announced, “I have to do this because you are raping our women and taking over the world,” as he murdered nine Black people at the Mother Emanuel church in South Carolina, six of them women. He lynched them. False and mischaracterized assertions of white women’s victimhood inspired thousands of Black beatings, lynchings, and prosecutions. Trump knows this well: He paid for an advertisement in the New York Times to call for the torture and execution of angry “young men,” a reference to the black teens known as the Central Park Five, who were accused—and ultimately exonerated—of raping a jogger.
Justice Clarence Thomas claimed to be a victim of a “high-tech lynching” after his former employee, Anita Hill, a black woman, testified during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings that he sexually harassed her for years. “Lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U. S. Senate, rather than hung from a tree,” he said. Pulling a page from Thomas’ testimony, Bill Cosby and singer R. Kelly borrowed the lynching language to dismiss sexual assault claims against them.
Police officers have also used the language of victimization since coming under more widespread criticism by the Black Lives Matter movement. Under the rallying cry “Blue Lives Matter,” states have passed laws and sentencing enhancements that criminalize protest and provide additional protection for any kind of action that could be interpreted as violence against police officers. But law enforcement is actually far less dangerous than many other jobs; police officer deaths have declined by more than half over the past 40 years. Meanwhile, the number of police shooting victims still hovers at about 1,000 people per year.
The false portrayal of powerful people as victims can inspire vigilantes to identify with and defend them by any means. White supremacists patrol the border to defend their country. Militias showed up to help police arrest anti-fascist protesters in Portland, Oregon, while law enforcement sympathizers have repeatedlyrammed their cars into peaceful protests against police violence and ICE.
And Trump’s imaginary victimhood is especially dangerous. He has encouraged the perception of victimhood among white nationalists in particular. He famously called white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, “very fine people” after one murdered counterprotester Heather Heyer. Online, in the press room, and at rallies, he frequently fuels the imaginary fears of an immigrant “invasion.” His campaign ran thousands of online advertisements that warned people like Patrick Crusius that they were under attack from an outside, illegal enemy. Crusius opened fire on dozens of people at a Texas Walmart on an August morning this year. Twenty died. Crusius ignored the massive policing apparatus that exists to surveil and police immigrants and decided it was up to him to stop the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” He imagined he was the victim.
This was a mass lynching. And Trump roused the rope.
As long as he continues to feign victimhood, people will defend him by attacking people of color, immigrants, poor people, and people of faith. Hate crimes have already risen astronomically since his election. But there is no strange fruit at the White House. Just rotten ones.
Trump Will Not Apologize for Calling for Death Penalty Over Central Park Five
“You have people on both sides of that,” the president said when asked about the wrongly convicted defendants.
The number of hate groups active in the USA rose to its highest level in two decades last year, according to an annual survey released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The count of active groups that the civil rights organization labels as espousing hate climbed to 1,020, up from 784 four years ago, and was propelled by a rise in extremism, the center said. From 2017 to 2018 alone, the tally rose 7 percent.
The groups range from white supremacists to black nationalists, neo-Nazis to neo-Confederates.
The most significant growth was in the number of white nationalist organizations, up from 100 in 2017 to 148 in 2018, said Beirich, who wrote the report. It marks a resurgence in the aftermath of the massive rally in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, that focused attention on the movement.
“Much of the energy on the radical right this year was concentrated in the white supremacist milieu,” the report says. “After a lull that followed the violence in Charlottesville, which brought criminal charges and civil suits that temporarily dampened the radical right’s activism and organizing, newer groups gathered momentum.”
In its annual hate crime report in November, the FBI listed 7,775 criminal incidents for 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016.
While many groups are adding members, the SPLC found one of the best known hate groups, the Ku Klux Klan, appears to be in decline. The group, despite a history that stretches back more than a century, has been marked by infighting and difficulty connecting to a younger generation.
“The KKK has not been able to appeal to younger racists, with its antiquated traditions, odd dress and lack of digital savvy. Younger extremists prefer … polo shirts and khakis to Klan robes,” the report says.
But there is no shortage of hate-filled alternatives, whether they are neo-Nazis, racist skinheads or others who direct their anger at immigrants; lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals; Muslims or others.
At least one of the outfits added to the SPLC list didn’t seem to mind.
A leader of the American Freedom Party, a New York-based group that says on its website that the “core European American population” is being overwhelmed by “tens of millions of legal and illegal immigrants,” was pleased.
“I am flattered,” Chairman William Johnson told USA TODAY. “It really helps elevate our reputation” when the party is lumped with groups close to the mainstream supporting Trump and those linked to Catholicism. He said the list is so broad that it becomes meaningless.
“I don’t know any organization that says I’m a hate group. I’m a love group,” Johnson said. He said the American Freedom Party has “nationalists of many stripes and races” among its members, and “white people are becoming comfortable with being proud of their heritage.”
Murders by white supremacists in US more than doubled in 2017
Far right linked to 20 of 34 extremist murders last year, says Anti-Defamation League report
Murders committed by white supremacists more than doubled in the US last year, accounting for the majority of extremist killings, according to a report.
Far-right radicals were responsible for 20 of the 34 extremist murders in 2017, said the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Eighteen of those were carried out by white supremacists, who killed twice as many people as Islamic fundamentalists, the civil rights group’s Centre on Extremism said.
Last year was the fifth deadliest for extremist violence in America since 1970, according to research by the ADL.
White supremacists were responsible for 59 per cent of all extremist killings last year. That compares to a fifth the previous year, when six people were murdered by white supremacists, although the ADL acknowledged that figure was “uncharacteristically low”.
Seventy-one per cent of all extremist murders in the past decade were linked to domestic right-wing extremism.
“These findings are a stark reminder that domestic extremism is a serious threat to our safety and security,” said ADL chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt.
He added: “When white supremacists and other extremists are emboldened and find new audiences for their hate-filled views, violence is usually not far behind.
“We cannot ignore the fact that white supremacists are emboldened, and as a society we need to keep a close watch on recruitment and rallies such as Charlottesville, which have the greatest potential to provoke and inspire violence.”
The death of Heather Heyer, an anti-fascist demonstrator killed in August when James Alex Fields rammed into a crowd opposing the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Viriginia, was among the 18 white supremacist murders counted by the ADL.
Following the rally, the ADL condemned US President Donald Trump for defending the far-right and claiming the “alt-left” counter-demonstrators were equally to blame for the violence.
The report also cites Jeremy Christian, an alleged extremist accused of fatally stabbing two strangers in Portland, Oregon, when they intervened in his anti-Muslim rant.
“The white supremacist murders included several killings linked to the alt right as that movement expanded its operations in 2017 from the internet into the physical world—raising the likely possibility of more such violent acts in the future,” the ADL’s report warns.
The deadliest extremist attack of 2016, however, was linked to Islamic extremism. Sayfullo Saipov, the man accused of killing eight people with a truck in New York in November, is said to have had connections to Isis.
The ADL said five murders were also carried out by black nationalists.
“Combined with other violent acts by black nationalists in recent years, these murders suggest the possibility of an emerging problem,” the report adds.
Mr Greenblatt said: “The bottom line is we cannot ignore one form of extremism over another. We must tackle them all.”
Donald Trump’s decision to slash funding to counter right-wing extremism in the US is facing fresh scrutiny in the wake of the Charlottesville violence that left three people dead.
The US President froze $10 million (£7.7m) of grants destined to fight violent extremism in the US back in May.
More than 30 organisations had been pegged by former President Barack Obama’s office to receive the funding, but the White House put the grants on hold pending review soon after Mr Trump took office.
Among those approved were local governments, city police departments, universities and non-profit organisations fighting all forms of violent extremism in the US.
Former white supremacist Chuck Leek, who has since become a volunteer with Life After Hate – one of the organisations that was due to receive government funding – warned at the time that white supremacy in the US was becoming more active.
His prediction came true at the weekend when deadly violence broke out between those opposed to the removal of a statue from a local park of Civil War Confederate General Robert E Lee and counter-protesters.
The rally was the largest assembly of white nationalist groups in over a decade and saw brawls between people holding KKK banners and confederate flags, and groups of anti-fascist counter protestors spill onto the streets.
Critics pointed to the US President’s campaign rhetoric for enabling far-right extremist groups in the country to regain a foothold.
Mr Trump’s slow response to the demonstrations was also condemned, after he spoke out against “violence on many sides” in the wake of the attacks – despite white nationalist James Fields allegedly ploughing a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” he said. “On many sides.”
More than 30 people were injured in the car ramming and Fields has been charged with second-degree murder.
Neo-nazis applauded Mr Trump’s first response to the violent clashes, saying that it was “really, really good” that the President did not condemn them.
Two troopers also died when a Virginia State Police helicopter monitoring the violence crashed near the city.
The White House released a statement on Monday following a second press conference by Mr Trump, saying: “The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups.”
The US leader eventually condemned those groups directly, in a spoken statement on Monday night – in which he labelled them “evil”.
But earlier this year, the Trump administration was pushing to downplay the threat of white extremism by erasing neo-Nazis and white supremacists from the US government’s counter-extremism programme and moving it to focus exclusively on Islamist terrorism.
American officials briefed on the proposed changes said the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative could be renamed “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism”.
The reclassification would remove its work combatting far-right attacks and mass shootings, such as the massacre of black churchgoers in Charleston, which are rarely classified as terrorism by American authorities.
NOW? LETS SEE SOME OF THE RESULTS OF THESE RACIST PIG SHITSTAINS ON THE UNDERWEAR OF HUMANITY TRUMPANZEES.
Aug. 19, 2015: In Boston, after he and his brother beat a sleeping homeless man of Mexican descent with a metal pole, Steven Leader, 30, told police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” The victim, however, was not in the United States illegally. The brothers, who are white, ultimately pleaded guilty to several assault-related charges and were each sentenced to at least two years in prison.
Dec. 5, 2015: After Penn State University student Nicholas Tavella, 19, was charged with “ethnic intimidation” and other crimes for threatening to “put a bullet” in a young Indian man on campus, his attorney argued in court that Tavella was just motivated by “a love of country,” not “hate.” “Donald Trump is running for President of the United States saying that, ‘We’ve got to check people out more closely,'” Tavella’s attorney argued in his defense. Tavella, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to ethnic intimidation and was sentenced to up to two years in prison.
April 28, 2016: When FBI agents arrested 61-year-old John Martin Roos in White City, Oregon, for threatening federal officials, including then-President Barack Obama, they found several pipe bombs and guns in his home. In the three months before his arrest, Roos posted at least 34 messages to Twitter about Trump, repeatedly threatening African Americans, Muslims, Mexican immigrants and the “liberal media,” and in court documents, prosecutors noted that the avowed Trump supporter posted this threatening message to Facebook a month earlier: “The establishment is trying to steal the election from Trump. … Obama is already on a kill list … Your [name] can be there too.” Roos, who is white, has since pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered explosive device and posting internet threats against federal officials. He was sentenced to more than five years in prison.
Medford Man Receives Federal Prison Sentence for Threatening Former President Obama
On May 12, 2017, United States District Court Judge Michael J. McShane sentenced John Martin Roos, 62, of Medford, to 63 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered explosive device and posting Internet threats to kill then-President of the United States Barack Obama and FBI agents. After his release from prison, Roos will be on supervised release for three years.
June 3, 2016: After 54-year-old Henry Slapnik attacked his African-American neighbors with a knife in Cleveland, he told police “Donald Trump will fix them because they are scared of Donald Trump,” according to police reports. Slapnik, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to “ethnic intimidation” and other charges. It’s unclear what sentence he received.
Cleveland man threatens black neighbors with slur, says ‘Donald Trump will fix them,’ police say
Aug. 16, 2016: In Olympia, Washington, 32-year-old Daniel Rowe attacked a white woman and a black man with a knife after seeing them kiss on a popular street. When police arrived on the scene, Rowe professed to being “a white supremacist” and said “he planned on heading down to the next Donald Trump rally and stomping out more of the Black Lives Matter group,” according to court documents filed in the case. Rowe, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of assault and malicious harassment, and he was sentenced to more than four years in prison.
Man to serve 4 years in downtown Olympia hate crime stabbing
Sept. 1, 2016: The then-chief of the Bordentown, New Jersey, police department, Frank Nucera, allegedly assaulted an African American teenager who was handcuffed. Federal prosecutors said the attack was part of Nucera’s “intense racial animus,” noting in federal court that “within hours” of the assault, Nucera was secretly recorded saying “Donald Trump is the last hope for white people.” The 60-year-old Nucera has been indicted by a federal grand jury on three charges, including committing a federal hate crime. Nucera, who is white, has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. He retired two years ago.
Former Bordentown Township Police Chief Charged With Hate Crime And Use Of Excessive Force During Arrest
September 2016: After 40-year-old Mark Feigin of Los Angeles was arrested for posting anti-Muslim and allegedly threatening statements to a mosque’s Facebook page, his attorney argued in court that the comments were protected by the First Amendment because Feigin was “using similar language and expressing similar views” to “campaign statements from then-candidate Donald Trump.” Noting that his client “supported Donald Trump,” attorney Caleb Mason added that “Mr. Feigin’s comments were directed toward a pressing issue of public concern that was a central theme of the Trump campaign and the 2016 election generally: the Islamic roots of many international and U.S. terrorist acts.” Feigin, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sending harassing communications electronically. He was sentenced to probation.
Oct. 13, 2016: After the FBI arrested three white Kansas men for plotting to bomb an apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas, where many Somali immigrants lived, one of the men’s attorneys insisted to a federal judge that the plot was “self-defensive” because the three men believed “that if Donald Trump won the election, President Obama would not recognize the validity of those results, that he would declare martial law, and that at that point militias all over the country would have to step in.” Then, after a federal grand jury convicted 47-year-old Patrick Stein and the two other men of conspiracy-related charges, Stein’s attorney argued for a lighter sentence based on “the backdrop” of Stein’s actions: Trump had become “the voice of a lost and ignored white, working-class set of voters” like Stein, and the “climate” at the time could propel someone like Stein to “go to 11,” attorney Jim Pratt said in court. Stein and his two accomplices were each sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.
hree Southwest Kansas Men Convicted of Plotting to Bomb Somali Immigrants in Garden City
Nov. 3, 2016: In Tampa, Florida, David Howard threatened to burn down the house next to his “simply because” it was being purchased by a Muslim family, according to the Justice Department. He later said under oath that while he harbored a years-long dislike for Muslims, the circumstances around the home sale were “the match that lit the wick.” He cited Trump’s warnings about immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. “[With] the fact that the president wants these six countries vetted, everybody vetted before they come over, there’s a concern about Muslims,” Howard said. Howard, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation, and the 59-year-old was sentenced to eight months in prison.
Tampa Man Sentenced for Threatening to Burn Down a Home Being Purchased by Muslim Family
Nov. 12, 2016: In Grand Rapids, Michigan, while attacking a cab driver from East Africa, 23-year-old Jacob Holtzlander shouted racial epithets and repeatedly yelled the word, “Trump,” according to law enforcement records. Holtzlander, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a charge of ethnic intimidation, and he was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Jacob Holtzlander sentenced for ethnic intimidation
Jan. 25, 2017: At JFK International Airport in New York, a female Delta employee, wearing a hijab in accordance with her Muslim faith, was “physically and verbally” attacked by 57-year-old Robin Rhodes of Worcester, Mass., “for no apparent reason,” prosecutors said at the time. When the victim asked Brown what she did to him, he replied: “You did nothing, but … [Expletive] Islam. [Expletive] ISIS. Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you.” Rhodes ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of “menacing,” and he was sentenced to probation.
Feb. 19, 2017: After 35-year-old Gerald Wallace called a mosque in Miami Gardens, Florida, and threatened to “shoot all y’all,” he told the FBI and police that he made the call because he “got angry” from a local TV news report about a terrorist act.
At a rally in Florida the day before, Trump falsely claimed that Muslim refugees had just launched a terrorist attack in Sweden.
Wallace’s attorney, Katie Carmon, later tried to convince a federal judge that the threat to kill worshippers could be “protected speech” due to the “very distinctly political climate” at the time.
“There are courts considering President Trump’s travel ban … and the president himself has made some very pointed statements about what he thinks about people of this descent,” Carmon argued in court. Wallace, who is African American, ultimately pleaded guilty to obstructing the free exercise of his victims’ religious beliefs, and he was sentenced to one year in prison.
Florida Man Sentenced to Prison for Making Telephonic Threat to Shoot Congregants at The Islamic Center of Greater Miami
Feb. 23, 2017: Kevin Seymour and his partner Kevin price were riding their bicycles in Key West, Florida, when a man on a moped, 30-year-old Brandon Davis of North Carolina, hurled anti-gay slurs at them and “intentionally” ran into Seymour’s bike, shouting, “You live in Trump country now,” according to police reports and Davis’ attorney. Davis ultimately pleaded guilty to a charge of battery evidencing prejudice, but in court, he expressed remorse and was sentenced to four years of probation.
Gay-basher who yelled ‘You’re in Trump country now’ offers to hug his victims
August 12, 2017: On August 12, 2017, a car was deliberately driven into a crowd of people who had been peacefully protesting the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and injuring 28. The driver of the car, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., had driven from Ohio to attend the rally. Fields previously espoused neo-Nazi and white supremacist beliefs. He was convicted in a state court of hit and run, the first-degree murder of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, and eight counts of malicious wounding, and sentenced to life in prison with an additional 419 years in July 2019
Oct. 22, 2017: A 44-year-old California man threatened to kill Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., for her frequent criticism of Trump and her promise to “take out” the president. Anthony Scott Lloyd left a voicemail at the congresswoman’s Washington office, declaring: “If you continue to make threats towards the president, you’re going to wind up dead, Maxine. Cause we’ll kill you.” After pleading guilty to one count of threatening a U.S. official, Lloyd asked the judge for leniency, saying he suffered from addiction-inducing mental illness and became “far too immersed in listening to polarizing political commentators and engaging in heated political debates online.” His lawyer put it this way to the judge: “Mr. Lloyd was a voracious consumer of political news online, on television and on radio … [that are] commonly viewed as ‘right wing,’ unconditionally supportive of President Trump, and fiercely critical of anyone who opposed President Trump’s policies.” The judge sentenced Lloyd to six months of house arrest and three years of probation.
San Pedro Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Making Death Threat Against United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters
August 2018: After the Boston Globe called on news outlets around the country to resist what it called “Trump’s assault on journalism,” the Boston Globe received more than a dozen threatening phone calls. “You are the enemy of the people,” the alleged caller, 68-year-old Robert Chain of Encino, California, told a Boston Globe employee on Aug. 22. “As long as you keep attacking the President, the duly elected President of the United States … I will continue to threat[en], harass, and annoy the Boston Globe.” A week later, authorities arrested Chain on threat-related charges. After a hearing in his case, he told reporters, “America was saved when Donald J. Trump was elected president.” Chain has pleaded guilty to seven threat-related charges, and he is awaiting sentencing.
California Man Charged with Making Violent Threats Against Boston Globe Employees
Oct. 4, 2018: The Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida arrested 53-year-old James Patrick of Winter Haven, Florida, for allegedly threatening “to kill Democratic office holders, members of their families and members of both local and federal law enforcement agencies,” according to a police report. In messages posted online, Patrick detailed a “plan” for his attacks, which he said he would launch if then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh was not confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, the police report said. Seeking Patrick’s release from jail after his arrest, Patrick’s attorney, Terri Stewart, told a judge that her client’s “rantings” were akin to comments from “a certain high-ranking official” — Trump. The president had “threatened the North Korean people — to blow them all up. It was on Twitter,” Stewart said, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Patrick has been charged with making a written threat to kill or injure, and he has pleaded not guilty. His trial is pending.
Polk man arrested for threatening to kill members of Congress if Kavanaugh not confirmed
Late October 2018: Over the course of a week, Florida man Cesar Sayoc allegedly mailed at least 15 potential bombs to prominent critics of Trump and members of the media. Sayoc had been living in a van plastered with pro-Trump stickers, and he had posted several pro-Trump messages on social media. Federal prosecutors have accused him of “domestic terrorism,” and Sayoc has since pleaded guilty to 65 counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. “We believe the president’s rhetoric contributed to Mr. Sayoc’s behavior,” Sayoc’s attorney told the judge at sentencing.
Cesar Sayoc sentenced to 20 years in prison for mailing pipe bombs to prominent Democrats, CNN
Dec. 4, 2018: Michael Brogan, 51, of Brooklyn, New York, left a voicemail at an unidentified U.S. Senator’s office in Washington insisting, “I’m going to put a bullet in ya. … You and your constant lambasting of President Trump. Oh, reproductive rights, reproductive rights.” He later told an FBI agent that before leaving the voicemail he became “very angry” by “an internet video of the Senator, including the Senator’s criticism of the President of the United States as well as the Senator’s views on reproductive rights.” “The threats were made to discourage the Senator from criticizing the President,” the Justice Department said in a later press release. Brogan has since pleaded guilty to one count of threatening a U.S. official, and he is awaiting sentencing.
Brooklyn Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening to Assault and Murder a United States SenatorDefendant Left a Threatening Voice-Message in Retaliation for the Senator’s Criticism of the President of the United States and the Senator’s Position on Reproductive Rights
Jan. 17, 2019: Stephen Taubert of Syracuse, New York, was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police for threatening to kill Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and for threatening to “hang” former President Barack Obama. Taubert used “overtly bigoted, hateful language” in his threats, according to federal prosecutors. On July 20, 2018, Taubert called the congresswoman’s Los Angeles office to say he would find her at public events and kill her and her entire staff. In a letter to the judge just days before Taubert’s trial began, his defense attorney, Courtenay McKeon, noted: “During that time period, Congresswoman Waters was embroiled in a public feud with the Trump administration. … On June 25, 2018, in response to Congresswoman Waters’ public statements, President Trump tweeted: ‘Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has … just called for harm to supporters … of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!'” As McKeon insisted to the judge: “This context is relevant to the case.” A federal jury ultimately convicted Taubert on three federal charges, including retaliating against a federal official and making a threat over state lines. He was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.
A jury today convicted Stephen J. Taubert, age 61, of Syracuse, of making death threats toward former President of the United States Barack Obama and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. The verdict was announced by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, Chief Matthew R. Verderosa, United States Capitol Police, and Special Agent in Charge Lewis Robinson, United States Secret Service, Buffalo, New York Field Office.
Jan. 22, 2019: David Boileau of Holiday, Florida, was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly burglarizing an Iraqi family’s home and “going through” their mailbox, according to a police report. After officers arrived at the home, Boileau “made several statements of his dislike for people of Middle Eastern descent,” the report said. “He also stated if he doesn’t get rid of them, Trump will handle it.” The police report noted that a day before, Boileau threw screws at a vehicle outside the family’s house. On that day, Boileau allegedly told police, “We’ll get rid of them one way or another.” Boileau, 58, has since pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trespassing, and he was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Feb. 15, 2019: The FBI in Maryland arrested a Marine veteran and U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, Christopher Paul Hasson, who they said was stockpiling weapons and “espoused” racist and anti-immigrant views for years as he sought to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” In court documents, prosecutors said the 49-year-old “domestic terrorist” compiled a “hit list” of prominent Democrats. Two months later, while seeking Hasson’s release from jail before trial, his public defender, Elizabeth Oyer, told a federal judge: “This looks like the sort of list that our commander-in-chief might have compiled while watching Fox News in the morning. … Is it legitimately frustrating that offensive language and ideology has now become part of our national vocabulary? Yes, it is very frustrating. But … it is hard to differentiate it from the random musings of someone like Donald Trump who uses similar epithets in his everyday language and tweets.” Hasson faces weapons-related charges and was being detained as he awaits trial. He has pleaded not guilty.
US Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting ‘to kill almost every last person on the earth’
April 5, 2019: The FBI arrested a 55-year-old man from upstate New York for allegedly threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., one of the first two Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress. She is an outspoken critic of Trump, and Trump has frequently launched public attacks against her and three other female lawmakers of color. Two weeks before his arrest, Patrick Carlineo Jr. allegedly called Omar’s office in Washington labeling the congresswoman a “terrorist” and declaring: “I’ll put a bullet in her f—-ing skull.” When an FBI agent then traced the call to Carlineo and interviewed him, Carlineo “stated that he was a patriot, that he loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government,” according to the FBI agent’s summary of the interview. Federal prosecutors charged Carlineo with threatening to assault and murder a United States official. Carlineo is awaiting trial, although his defense attorney and federal prosecutors are working on what his attorney called another “possible resolution” of the case.
April 18, 2019: The FBI arrested John Joseph Kless of Tamarac, Florida, for calling the Washington offices of three prominent Democrats and threatening to kill each of them. At his home, authorities found a loaded handgun in a backpack, an AR-15 rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. In later pleading guilty to one charge of transmitting threats over state lines, Kless admitted that in a threatening voicemail targeting Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., he stated: “You won’t f—ing tell Americans what to say, and you definitely don’t tell our president, Donald Trump, what to say.” Tlaib, a vocal critic of Trump, was scheduled to speak in Florida four days later. Kless was awaiting sentencing. In a letter to the federal judge, he said he “made a very big mistake,” never meant to hurt anyone, and “was way out of line with my language and attitude.”
Tamarac Resident Pleads Guilty to Making Multiple Threats to Congress
April 24, 2019: The FBI arrested 30-year-old Matthew Haviland of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, for allegedly sending a series of violent and threatening emails to a college professor in Massachusetts who publicly expressed support for abortion rights and strongly criticized Trump. In one of 28 emails sent to the professor on March 10, 2019, Haviland allegedly called the professor “pure evil” and said “all Democrats must be eradicated,” insisting the country now has “a president who’s taking our country in a place of more freedom rather than less.” In another email the same day, Haviland allegedly wrote the professor: “I will rip every limb from your body and … I will kill every member of your family.” According to court documents, Haviland’s longtime friend later told the FBI that “within the last year, Haviland’s views regarding abortion and politics have become more extreme … at least in part because of the way the news media portrays President Trump.” Haviland has been charged with cyberstalking and transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. His trial is pending.
June 5, 2019: The FBI arrested a Utah man for allegedly calling the U.S. Capitol more than 2,000 times over several months and threatening to kill Democratic lawmakers, whom he said were “trying to destroy Trump’s presidency.” “I am going to take up my second amendment right, and shoot you liberals in the head,” 54-year-old Scott Brian Haven allegedly stated in one of the calls on Oct. 18, 2018, according to charging documents. When an FBI agent later interviewed Haven, he “explained the phone calls were made during periods of frustration with the way Democrats were treating President Trump,” the charging documents said. The FBI visit, however, didn’t stop Haven from making more threats, including: On March 21, 2019, he called an unidentified U.S. senator’s office to say that if Democrats refer to Trump as Hitler again he will shoot them, and two days later he called an unidentified congressman’s office to say he “was going to take [the congressman] out … because he is trying to remove a duly elected President.” A federal grand jury has since charged Haven with one count of transmitting a threat over state lines. Haven pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial.
Aug. 3, 2019: A gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and injuring 24 others. The FBI labeled the massacre an act of “domestic terrorism,” and police determined that the alleged shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, posted a lengthy anti-immigrant diatribe online before the attack. “We attribute that manifesto directly to him,” according to El Paso police chief Greg Allen. Describing the coming assault as “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” the screed’s writer said “the media” would “blame Trump’s rhetoric” for the attack but insisted his anti-immigrant views “predate Trump” — an apparent acknowledgement that at least some of his views align with some of Trump’s public statements. The writer began his online essay by stating that he generally “support[s]” the previous writings of the man who killed 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand earlier this year. In that case, the shooter in New Zealand said he absolutely did not support Trump as “a policy maker and leader” — but “[a]s a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure.” Crusius has been charged with capital murder by the state of Texas.