Already reeling from the Ferguson grand jury ruling, America learned there would be no indictment in the death of Eric Garner. Right-wingers wasted no time proving how low they’re willing to go.
Wingnuts blamed just about everything but police violence for Eric Garner’s death.
- Rep. Peter King (R, New York) said Eric Garner wouldn’t have died from the chokehold “If he had not had asthma, and a heart condition and was so obese.” King also said there are “no elements of racism” in Eric Garner’s death, because one of the officers on the scene was African-American.
- Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly was “deeply troubled,” but ultimately said Eric Garner just shouldn’t have resisted arrest.
- During an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Sen. Rand Paul (R, Kentucky) pinned the blame on New York City’s cigarette tax. “Some politician also had to direct the police to say, ‘Hey, we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.’ And for someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it,” Paul said.
- Washington Times columnist Lawrence J. McQuillan blamed the cigarette tax: “These events confirm that police are ultimately the enforcers of the tax code, and every vote for higher taxes gives police increased authority to exert more force on citizens in more situations.”
- Fox News Host Andrea Tantaros blamed New York City mayor Bill De Blasio for Eric Garner’s death, claiming "Bill De Blasio created a lot of these situations. Remember, he hiked up cigarette taxes.
Normally, I let wingnuts’ vile remarks speak for themselves. This week, however, I can’t help but respond with the simple truth of what happened to Eric Garner. Eric Garner would not have died if NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo had not used an illegal chokehold to cut off his windpipe.
Eric Garner might not have died had NYPD officers not left him lying motionless on the sidewalk — unresponsive and unaided — until an ambulance arrived.
Our justice system did not indict the officer who killed Eric Garner in the video above. Instead, our justice system indicted the man who recorded the video.
The most eloquent response I’ve heard to all of the above comes from Rep. Hank Johnson (D, Georgia), who has introduced legislation to curb police militarization. Johnson gave a moving tribute to Eric Garner, while speaking about police militarization.
Here’s the rest of the worst in wingnuttery this week:
- Right-wing activist Ben Carson blamed “women’s lib” for creating the “Me generation” that led to Ferguson.
- Conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson said Michael Brown’s parents should be “shunned” for failing to “raise a decent citizen.”
- Laura Ingraham suggested we “slap a body camera on Barack Obama and Eric Holder” to stop racial profiling, and then maybe “we’d know what [Obama] was doing” during the Benghazi attack.
- Bill O’Reilly said the St. Louis Rams players using the “hands up” gesture aren’t “smart enough to know what they’re doing.”
- Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee told Newsmax TV’s J.D. Hayworth that he found it “just incredibly dangerous” for member of the St. Lois Rams and the Congressional Black Caucus to use the “hands-up” gesture.
- Ferguson protestors participating in the Journey for Justice march from Ferguson to Jefferson City were met with gunfire, racial slurs, fried chicken, watermelon, and gunfire.
- Glenn Beck theorized that progressives want to use the unrest in Ferguson to bring back the Alien and Sedition Acts.
- Beck also called Rev. Al Sharpton a “terrorist cleric,” even though Sharpton never killed anyone. (Or advocated killing anyone.)
- Ted Nugent was erroneously outraged that President Obama appointed Rev. Al Sharpton as “race czar.”
- Elizabeth Lauten, the director of communications for Tennessee Congressman Stephen Fincher, had to resign after trashing “First Teens” Sasha and Malia on Facebook, and then Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer blamed “mainstream media” for costing Lauten a job.
- Rep. Glenn Grossman (R, Wisconsin) made his case for welfare reform by saying the federal government “bribes” single mothers into not looking for work.
- Apparently, Sen. James Inhofe (R, Oklahoma) once told reporter David Corn that Barbra Streisand was behind a vast conspiracy to fool us into believing that climate change is real. Inhofe may be the next chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee