advertisement

SSN on Facebook SSN on Twitter SSN on YouTube RSS Feed

26 Comments
Columns

Bill Nelson Decries Hysterical Rhetoric ... But Compares Our Nation to Rwandan Genocide

October 30, 2018 - 5:00pm
Bill Nelson
Bill Nelson

Political opportunism is so commonplace during elections that in some camps it becomes compulsory. Any event (no matter how tragic) has to be converted to a chance to wring any amount advantage (no matter how classless and distasteful the words and actions become). Sure threats were leveled and people have died, but there are votes to be gained!

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson made it clear he absolutely does not adhere to this very stratagem. He was asked about the current political environment. His response? “Everybody needs to watch what they’re saying. We are all responsible, every one of us.” You can watch the video here

But by Sunday, the senator apparently had forgotten what he said Friday. While stumping at the Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in Florida City, Nelson used the occasion to weigh in on the events of last week, then ramping up the hysterics to a surprising level. Following the arrest of a South Florida resident for mailing suspected explosive devices to political figures, and the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the senator apparently thought it wise to turn hyperbolic and liken our climate to a genocidal tragedy.

Using his wife’s relationship with the First Lady of Rwanda as the springboard he drew comparisons to our nation and that country’s recent inhumane history. “That story of Rwanda is very instructive to us,” he told the congregation. 

"When a place gets so tribal that the two tribes won't have anything to do with each other ... that jealousy turns into hate," Nelson said. "And we saw what happened to the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda, it turned into a genocide. A million-people hacked to death within a few months. And we have got to watch what's happening here." This truly is not the way to tamp down the inciting dialogue in this country.

The Rwandan genocide is considered one of the worst mass slaughters in human history. An estimated 800,000 civilians, mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group, were killed in three months in 1994. Hutu militias and civilians led the campaign of violence during an incredibly violent civil war that eventually ended when Tutsi forces defeated Hutu extremists.

Nelson's behavior typifies a technique that has played out repeatedly this past week; politicians and journalists calling for an end to dangerous, spiteful rhetoric and in the same discussion, freely lobbing explosive accusations of culpability toward the president and the GOP in general. 

Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin tried to spin things to a less incendiary level. “He uses Rwanda as an extreme example of what could happen when a nation becomes totally divided,” detailed McLaughlin. “He wasn't likening the current political climate in America to what was happening right before the Rwandan genocide." Considering all the calls we have been lectured with lately to back down on excitable language this was a jarring comparison to be made.

But the media have fostered this kind of talk. The press and politicians said mail terrorist Cesar Sayoc was radicalized by Donald Trump’s violent rhetoric. The synagogue shooter, likewise, was said to be inspired by Trump’s supposed anti-semitism. It takes a unique state to be in where you decry the hateful rhetoric supposedly inspiring these deplorable acts, yet you go on to deliver your own divisiveness in almost the same breath. It surely qualifies as rhetoric considering the lack of factual exploration made by those speaking in this fashion.

Charging the president as being anti-semitic is near laughable. The same press scorching him for inspiring this Jewish violence has in the past lambasted him for his stern support for the state of Israel, specifically moving the U.S. embassy. His appointment of Nikki Haley to the United Nations was so she could reestablish our country’s firm devotion to the state of Israel on the global stage. Not to mention that Trump being an anti-Semite would be a surprise to his daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law, and grandchildren -- all orthodox Jews.

Another detail undermining the accusation -- the synagogue shooter on social media expressed his dismay with President Trump. The reason? He was not anti-Semitic, as the shooter preferred. He declared to have never “worn, owned, or even touched” a MAGA hat. Why? Because the president was being controlled by Jews. So that radicalized narrative has gone up as vapor.

These are details the media, however, are less energetic in chasing down. Also escaping the media finger-pointing are other recent perpetrators of violence. William Clyde Allen has somehow managed to avoid being the focus of media scorn, despite very similar actions taken just weeks ago. Allen also sent threatening postal deliveries, these involving a potential ricin exposure, to various political targets. Since his deliveries were aimed at President Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and other military leaders, they were not nearly as inflammatory.

James Hodgkinson is another reactionary the media want to pretend does not exist. Somehow this Bernie Sanders devotee with an obsession over health care, who premeditated his shooting of a congressional softball game is not considered to have been unduly motivated. Despite his zealotry and the fact he sought out Republicans specifically, there have been few claims he was driven to his violence by political stridency.  

More confounding is when the media generated the very speech they have demonized. The day before the mail bombing story broke, the New York Times published a piece in which author Zoe Sharp wrote of a fictionalized episode involving the assassination of President Trump. This was not a book review, nor comment made in an interview. The paper commissioned the work, edited, and published it. Notably few in the press have cited this as part of their critical analysis. 

But still, they call out for restrained commentary as they hurl hateful accusations in the other direction. Those calling for a civil discourse would probably have their message more readily digested if they didn't actually add more fuel to the fires of rhetoric. 

Bill Nelson, in hinting we are on the path of genocidal warfare, seems no less eager to build that conflagration.

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.

Comments

Bill Nelson could say anything and do nothing and he would still be miles above Red Tide Rick...

Trick or Treat! Republicans are suddenly trying to trick us into thinking they will clean up our water and protect health care, and the Liar In Chief is holding a rally in Ft Meyers today. The treat: the mere sight of Scott on stage next to Trump will be enough to undo all those pandering trips to Puerto Rico and the 50 used police cars, sparing Florida the embarrassment of sending the great polluter to Washington, and giving Sen. Nelson another term. Do you really think Trump can stand up in front of a crowd and not say something horrible??????????

Nelson is a true, old-style, southern gentleman with a calm, thoughtful, and measured demeanor. Unlike Scott, he's real Floridian, honest, and not a Trumpnut corruption. And, he's a true representative of "The People" rather than the handmaiden of the fatcats and Big Business. Vote Nelson. Vote Gillum. Save Florida!

"Zippy" Nelson is SO "out of touch" with reality...it's definitely time to "change him out" (for the sake of Florida)! "Zippy" has ALWAYS been the "handmaiden" of "special interest groups" (to the exclusion of Florida's CITIZENS),...because... "Special Interests" are where the $MONEY$ is..!

Keep up the good work Brad. I look forward to reading your columns

I keep trying to find something positive to say about the Demoncrat Party. Absolutely nothing comes to mind. They are truly unredeemable!! JFK and MLKJr are rolling over in their graves!!

The absolutely best thing about Democrats is that they're NOT Republicans!

It’s a sad day in American when Nelson goes into a Church he has entered on during an election year. Nelson is an old man who is forget thing as we all due when we get old and Nelson pushing 80 years old and his cognative motions are also failing. As a Florida resident I say itstime for young blood and let old Man Nelson set on a rocker on his front porch.

You may want to have a look at the endorsements of Nelson by the Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Tampa Bay Times, and the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. The Orlando paper probably lays it out the best. There is a clear choice. The sad day will be if Scott the mega polluter and 'walking conflict of interest' manages to buy this election. Does he get a nickel every time you go through a Sunpass location?

Nelson is 76 years old. And if you want to see how a truly old man past his prime comes across - - - re-read your own post! Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle!

Shows you how weak Scott really is that he's in a tie with this feckless old senile fossil. In public office since the Nixon administration, this guy is the poster boy for term limits.

Don't believe the 'polls' "Harry",... they are only trying to "keep the balls in the air" and a seriously flawed "media complex" relevant... (if at all possible without an overall "change in philosophy").

Brad is a shill. And it's sad.

Time for Nelson to hang it up. He is making a fool of himself with his comparison with genocide. Some people don't know when to leave the party and Nelson is only one of the many in politics.

No question. A rightwingnut propagandist ... doing it for the money.

What's 'sad' "bobby-boy", is YOU !

Imagine if I had not provided factual details what names I'd be called.

Does this guy ever sober up? He just rambles on and on in his pandering blather. Walk away. Just walk away this election.

My, my. How you political zealots can twist the most innocent statement by Nelson to be something vile is really incredible. And you do it without an ounce of shame. Please remind me of the articles here calling down Trump for the almost daily stream of inciteful liars and poloitical hyperbole that squeaks out his twitter feed or his mouth. Like his constant false claims about the caravan, many of them refugees fleeing danger in their countries. He calls them an "invasion" and sent he US miltary to prevent their invading the country. Well that's the take his supporters are hearing. I urge everyone who reads this absurd rant to research and read a variety of sources of the issues in this article. Not just conservative or liberal sources. Oh, that's right Trump has lied so much that media that dare to call him out are all liberal so his supporters won't believe any negative reporting they read. Not that they would even comprehend bigoted, racist, xenophobic language if they heard it. The first sign of a writer who embelishes the ruth is he provides no sources to suppport his claims. Further, has this writer called out the Republicans and conservatives who have lied about Soros funding the caravan and inciting people like the synagogue shooter? Of course not. He is too busy make up crap about Nelson. https://www.mediaite.com/online/here-are-the-conservatives-who-pushed-soros-caravan-conspiracy-that-inspired-synagogue-shooter/

"Republican" and "vile" have become synonyms under the Trumpnuts.

Innocent??? The media all over the place is demanding people tone down the language, but Bill Nelson gets a pass? Sorry, comparing the country to a genocide slaughter is inciteful. If you want articles telling Trump to tone down his language it would take you 10 seconds of searching on the web. So tell us then, since you accused him with "make crap up", what items in this article did he make up?

It is an invasion! Apparently you only watch whitewashed MSNBC & CNN! There are terrorists mixed in with the Hondurans! Funded by George Soros and the DNC! If they want to gone to America, there is a right way and a wrong way! They mob isn’t welcome! TRUMP won’t let em in! As for Nelson, time to hang it up! 59 yrsxsnd uou haven’t done jack for Florida! All the Rwandan rhetoric makes me sick! Asshat

Brad again shows why he is a former reporter...………...This hit piece is filled with misinformation...……….Trump may not be anti Semitic but those who are, think he is. ……………...As his Nationalist says is anti Jew and those he calls globalists/Jews in nationalist circles, are the danger, clearly shows Trump's real feelings, at least the ones he displays...…………...You can say what you want, are paid to say as a repub shill, but facts are very different...…………..Repubs have lied too many times and no one buys it anymore.

The facts are the shooter you so desperately want to yoke onto Trump stated in his social media accounts that he was upset with Trump for NOT being anti-semitic. That crashing-disintegrating noise you hear is the narrative being decimated by the facts.

Brad is a shill and you're not, Jerry? You trying to tell me you aren't paid to make a nasty comment under every political opinion in Sunshine State News? Are you sure Brad is unemployed? Freelance writers are paid, Jerry. Or maybe he is retired. What misinformation did you find in this article? I just don't think your "information" is trustworthy. You are so predictable.

No, I put up real facts for free. The 'facts' are so twisted from what is being said in intent by Brad. Brad is employed yet Brad won't say whom is paying him for these hit pieces of propaganda. My bet is the Scott campaign or Repub party. No I don't have time to comment on every article but I try to add some balance as a real fiscal conservative, unlike the repub party...………...I do have an aversion to liars, racists as they just make everything harder so they can screw us the repub party is based on ...………...And you like that says everything about you...………..Or you don't understand they are lying to you, which isn't good either...…….So which is it Joel?...…………..Trump is running what, 10 provable lies/day average now?...………..And you are good with that?

Add new comment

columns
advertisement

Opinion Poll

Should Brenda Snipes be removed from office as soon as Florida's 2018 election results have been certified?
Older pollsResults
advertisement

Chatterbox

Live streaming of WBOB Talk Radio, a Sunshine State News Radio Partner.

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement