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How The Right's 'Groomer' Rhetoric Is 'Grooming' People To Get Violent
It's not like it hasn't happened before.
On Wednesday, VICE reported that users of various far-right message boards and social media sites were hosting discussions on how very much they would like to execute teachers and others they believe are "grooming" children by normalizing and talking about LGBTQ identities, as well as attempting to dox those they believe are guilty of the same.
Several of these threats were related to the Telephone Game-ing of an article about a Connecticut school nurse who was put on administrative leave for sharing personal details about an 11-year-old trans student at the school on social media. The right-wing Christian site TownHall reported that this school had been "secretly" giving this kid and others puberty blockers behind their parents' back, which it was not doing. In reality, the student's parents, who were well aware their child was on puberty blockers, praised the school for taking action against the nurse.
The response on Patriots.win — the message board that replaced "The Donald" when it was kicked off of Reddit — was alarming.
“This stuff isn’t going to change at this point until there’s body bags,” one member wrote. “Straight to the woodchipper for them,” another replied.
"Fuck a woodchipper,” another wrote in response. “If some teacher did that to my kid, I’m going to go straight to them and literally beat them to an inch of their life.”
But then things escalated. An account called ProudKoreanAmerican clearly felt that posting threats online was just not enough, and posted the physical address of the superintendent of Cataford’s school district, Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, on five separate occasions. The account then called for her execution.
“The superintendent is supporting leftist grooming in her schools. She needs to be executed by our judicial system,” ProudKoreanAmerican wrote.
In a demonstration of incredible reading comprehension, that same user and several others complained on Patriots.win that VICE had somehow neglected to mention that they wanted the teachers and superintendent to be executed legally.
"Love the 'called for them to be executed' and left off the 'by the legal system,'" posted one incoherent user who seemed to think it would somehow be more reasonable for the state to execute teachers for mentioning that LGBTQ people exist, or for not being horrible to LGBTQ students.
That being said, a brief look at ProudKoreanAmerican's history shows that they have in fact suggested extrajudicial killings a number of times, including writing "We need to start shooting these pedophiles. There's no other solution. I just wish I was more brave to start it." They're not the only one.
Another top post today suggests YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki ought to be executed for drinking the blood of infants, so it's clear it's not just teachers they want to kill.
These people, to be clear, are not actually concerned about actual child molestation. They simply think they have landed on a slur they can use to "DESTROY" the left and create a moral high ground for attacking LGBTQ people, one that's more stable than the crumbling religious one they've been clinging to for years. Never mind that the vast majority of pedophiles and actual child molesters are heterosexual men .
It's not an entirely stupid move, unfortunately, as even many well-meaning people's logical brains tend to fly right out the window when it comes to child sexual abuse. It's something people are (rightfully) so enraged by that they become willing to believe things that could not possibly be true, and eager to insist that anyone who disputes these allegations, even if they literally just made them up 12 seconds ago, must themselves be a pedophile or believe child molestation is a fantastic idea.
What the Right is looking to exploit right now is that fear of social contagion. They want people to be so afraid of being deemed pedophiles or "pedophile enablers" that they decide it is not worth it to continue teaching children that LGBTQ people exist. By upping the ante on these sites, by calling for people to be doxxed or murdered, they are trying to create an environment where even those not willing to fall for their bullshit accusations will be afraid as well.
Someone is going to get hurt, and the lawmakers and pundits promoting this nonsense know that. They know what their followers are capable of, and they know that they very well may go vigilante and start killing teachers they don't think are intolerant enough. There have been murders, kidnappings and other acts of terrorism associated with QAnon and similar conspiracy theories, and they know that. If they don't start deescalating now, that's how this is going to end.
In related news, please read this Twitter thread if you haven't yet. It's devastating.
Well that didn't take long. We decided to take a trip on Amtrak with the kids for spring break. 9 hours into a pleasant ride, a man was suddenly standing next to me, shouting across me at my 6yo son, "Remember what I told you. They stole you. They're pedophiles."
— Robbie 🌮🦝 (@Robbie 🌮🦝)1649831026
[ VICE ]
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