Why are we taking so long to deal with these two?

Stop the normalization of blatant lies and anti-Muslim rhetoric by radicalized legislators.

  • Action #1: Flood House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s phone lines
  • Action #2: Email/Call your legislators and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to censure Reps. Boebert and Greene.
  • Action #3: Email Parag Agrawal of Twitter.
  • NEWAction #4: Tell your senators to pass H.R.5665 – Combating International Islamophobia.

Update: More than 400 Hill staffers demand House leaders act after Boebert’s anti-Muslim remarks

Why is this taking so long? We’ve seen the damage that Trump’s toxic rhetoric has caused. We rushed in to tell Congress that Gosar’s taxpayer-funded snuff film featuring AOC and President Biden wasn’t acceptable.

Now we need to stand behind Rep. Omar (D-MN) who is the target of Rep. Lauren Boebert’s repeated racist and anti-Muslim lies. Boebert, a serial liar and possesor of a surprisingly long rap sheet, joins Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in the bloodsport of smearing progressive lawmakers of color with derogatory and dangerously inflammatory terms like “Jihad squad” and “terrorist.”

What Boebert and Greene are doing is the essence of stochastic terrorism the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.” The stochastic terrorist may deliberately incite violence or simply be indifferent to its possibility. In either case, the danger posed is very real, if somewhat intangible (until it is too late).”

Psychologist Valerie Tarico provides a succinct formula for stochastic terrorism, a pattern we are already well acquainted with by having a practitioner as our last president:

  • Demonization – a figure with a platform targets a person or group to be blamed for real or imagined ills.
  • Dehumanization – with repetition of the demonisation, the target loses their personhood in the eyes of the audience, becoming a monster or symbol of evil and depravity.
  • Desensitization – violent language and imagery is used in discussion of the target, and while no direct calls to use violence are issued, violent speech becomes an accepted part of the discourse.
  • Denial – when violence occurs, the stochastic terrorist denies any responsibility, pointing to their lack of direct involvement or instruction.

(Watch the video at the bottom for an example of how the rhetoric of Trump and his right-wing media pets created a terrifying reality for a temporary election worker in Georgia.)

Action #1: Flood House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s phone lines.

Minimal script: I’m calling as a voter of [California] to tell Rep. McCarthy, to do his job as the House Minority Leader, which is to “protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives, its proceedings, and its reputation” and to therefore remove Rep. Boebert from her committees and censure both her and Rep. Greene for their hateful and inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric. We need him to take some responsibility and stop making the Democrats mop up GOP messes.

More script if you want it: Republicans like to talk about running the government like a business. However, in any actual business, every single one of these hate-mongers would be escorted out by security.

What Rep. McCarthy is actually doing is coddling a fascist cell dedicated to promoting politically motivated violence on our dime. I do not want my taxpayer dollars used to pay salaries for stochastic terrorists.

Contact: Ring his phone off the hook at 202-225-2915

Action #2: Email/Call your legislators and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to censure Reps. Boebert and Greene.

Update: The House passed an Omar-back billH.R.5665 – Combating International Islamophobia – to combat Islamophobia following Rep. Boebert’s anti-Muslim remarks. It passed on party lines, and remarks included insults to Rep. Omar by Rep. Scott Perry. IT’S NOT THE SAME THIS AS EXPELLING OR CENSURING THOSE WOMEN.

Minimal CALL script (your rep.): I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Rep. [_____] to censure and suspend stochastic terrorists Reps. Boebert and Greene from the House for their nflammatory racist and Islamophobic falsehoods against Rep. Omar. The death threats she and other progressive members of color are receiving as a result of their rhetoric are extremely dangerous, as they can lead to actual violence. In the meantime, Boebert should be removed from her committees. If the GOP cannot police their own, we need the Democrats to step up and do it for them.

Minimal EMAIL script (your rep. and Nancy Pelosi): I want [Rep. [__]/House Speaker Pelosi] to immediately censure and suspend stochastic terrorists Reps. Boebert and Greene for their inflammatory racist and Islamophobic falsehoods against Rep. Omar and others. Omar just shared a terrifying phone call to her office after Boebert posted a video implying that the Muslim legislator is a terrorist. The death threats that she and other progressive members of color are receiving are extremely dangerous. Said Omar “We cannot pretend this hate speech from leading politicians doesn’t have real consequences.” Yale historian Joanne Freeman agrees – “Threats of violence lead to actual violence….They plant the idea. They normalize it. They encourage it.”

While every member of the House is charged with the responsibility to protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives, its proceedings, and its reputation,” GOP legislators are instead modeling Trump’s methods against their Democratic colleagues, using his toxic practice of repeated demonization, dehumanization, and desensitization to rally their followers and to raise funds. These legislators are not merely yelling of “FIRE” in a crowded theater. Boebert, Greene and others are actively inciting targeted violence, as Trump did, by using mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.The stochastic terrorist may deliberately incite violence or simply be indifferent to its possibility. In either case, the danger posed is very real, if somewhat intangible (until it is too late).”

Have our legislators learned nothing from the attempted coup on Jan. 6, our most recent example of the power of stochastic terrorism? Is the fact that the current perpetrators and their targeted victims are all women making it harder to discern the seriousness of what is happening?

Not only should Boebert join Greene in being removed from her committees, it’s time to put some teeth into the “suspension” rules which can be passed with a simple majority vote. Use every avenue to bar these miscreants for defined periods of time from the House for each instance of incitement, both from speeches on the House floor and on public platforms. No other employment place would allow dangerous harrassers such close access to those whose lives they threaten. House Minority Leader McCarthy is too weak and compromised by his fealty to Trump to do his job. If the GOP cannot police their own, we need the Democrats to step up and do it for them.

Reference:

Contact:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: email https://www.speaker.gov/contact

  • Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  • Who is my representative/senator?:https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Action #3: Email Parag Agrawal of Twitter. Ask him to kick Reps. Boebert and Greene off Twitter.

Sample email: Hi Parag! Congratulations and welcome to the hot seat of Twitter! I understand that it is your company’s policy to remove accounts that promote or threaten violence against other people. We need Twitter to expand their removal policy to include stochastic terrorism, and to ban practitioners of it, such as Reps. Boebert and Greene, from your platform.

Reps. Boebert and Greene are using your platform and others to falsely accuse Rep. Omar and other progressive legislators of color as Islamic terrorists and enemies of America, and their targets are receiving death threats as a result. Like Trump before them, Reps. Boebert and Greene are using mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.” The stochastic terrorist may deliberately incite violence or simply be indifferent to its possibility. In either case, the danger posed is very real, if somewhat intangible (until it is too late).”

Boebert and Greenes’ attacks against these legislators, and especially Rep. Omar, are repetitive, demonizing, dehumanizing and desensitiving – the basic building blocks of this kind of terrorism. We already seen the results of Trump’s stochastic efforts – “numerous violent actors directly invoked him and his rhetoric, including the mass shooter who murdered 22 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019, whose writings echoed Trump’s talking point about a supposed migrant “invasion” of the United States. After Biden’s victory, extremists responding to Trump’s lies about fraud stalked and menaced public officials, election workers, and Trump’s Democratic and Republican critics. “Stop the Steal” rallies led to beatings, stabbings, and a shooting. When the president’s enraged backers roamed the Capitol hallways, some were hunting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and vowing to “hang Mike Pence” for refusing to interfere with the election certification.”

In a video on your platform – Rep. Omar shared a terrifying phone message as a result of one of Boebert’s fabricated “backpack” videos – probably one of many that she will receive as a result of Boebert and Greene’s messaging. Democratic caucus leaders have put out a clear request: “There must be consequences for vicious workplace harassment and abuse that creates an environment so unsafe for colleagues and staff that it invites death threats against them. There must be consequences for elected representatives who traffic in anti-Muslim and racist tropes that make all Muslims across the country less safe. There must be consequences when members of Congress demonize an entire religion and promote hate from their positions of public trust.”

Please don’t let Twitter contribute to the rapid escalation of dangerous hate speech against legislators, and especially women legislators of color and non-Christians, and the possible physical violence that follows. Do not provide these unrepentant perpetrators a platform for further incitement.

Contact: paraga@twitter.com

Action #4: Tell your senators to pass H.R.5665 – Combating International Islamophobia.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Sen. [_____] support H.R. – Combating International Islamophobia. “In the U.S. alone, nearly 70 percent of American Muslims have reported personally experiencing anti-Muslim hate, bigotry, and even violence. This anti-Muslim hate isn’t just confined to certain areas of the country or the globe. It happens everywhere – including in the halls of Congress. It is well past time for the U.S. to seriously examine and address anti-Muslim hate at home and abroad.” 

The bill passed Tuesday night “requires the U.S. State Department to create a Special Envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia and include state-sponsored Islamophobic violence and impunity in the Department’s annual human rights reports.”

The creation of the Special Envoy will “help policymakers better understand the interconnected, global problem of anti-Muslim bigotry.” It will also establish a “comprehensive strategy for establishing U.S. leadership in combatting Islamophobia worldwide,” according to a summary of the bill.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

Contact:

  • Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
  • and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Stochastic terrorism doesn’t just target elected officials…

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