Middle America is radicalizing. A look at the haters. From my Facebook blog.
Comment threads on articles, once regarded as an unfortunate but ignorable infection on the body politic, proved themselves in the last election to be shockingly malignant.
They are an important social force - they fill in for the water cooler, the diner, and the town square. They are where political ideologies are built and grievances are aired. They hold the campaign issues of tomorrow.
I wade through these comment sections because I don't want to be blindsided. It's the same reason I often start my day by reading the front pages of Breitbart and Infowars. I want to be fluent in the language of alternative facts.
As old-school sources are increasingly demonized and distrusted, right-wing chatter has migrated from the likes of Fox News to pages like "100 percent FED Up," a site whose Facebook page has 1.3 million followers and counting, which bills itself as "two moms inspired by the life of Andrew Breitbart."
Yesterday, many Muslim-owned shops across New York City were closed as part of the so-called "Bodega protest." Shopkeepers, many of them Yemeni, gathered to protest President Trump's chaotic immigration ban.
"100 Percent FED Up" posted clips from the protest, showing an orderly scene of protesters praying peacefully on the street. Their headline read: "THIS IS NOT IRAN…THIS IS NYC! Speaker Yells 'Allahu Akbar' As Thousands Of Muslims Take Over The Streets Of NYC In Protest."
As our president peddles ludicrous conspiracy theories like the myth of paid protesters, New Jersey Muslims cheering 9/11 and millions of illegal voters, we ought to stay apprised of the mood of his supporters.
I extracted some of the more egregious comments on the Bodega protest story here, and paired them with the profile photos of their authors.
I was unable to link to the Facebook comment thread itself, but here's the post.
"Where are the bombers and mass shooters when we need them!!!" -William S.
"They are a nasty desease that need to be exterminated" -Wes C.
"Perfect position for execution of satans army !!!!!!!" -Robert M.
"Need to be eradicated and soon" -Rickie H.
"Shoot those goat F--kers" -Ray P. (Nice of him to censor that dirty word.)
"Send the army in an show than how we take care of problems please someone shoot the Muslims in the street" -Nancy B. [center, in tie-dye kitty shirt]
"Should've mowed them down, this cult needs exterminated period" -Kenneth R.
"Like i said 1 nerve gas grenade and they are gone" -Larry F.
"Drop about 5000 lbs of c4 right on top of them" -Joshua M.
"Sad to say but most Americans want these dirty scumbags in the United States I for one would like to see them exterminated" -Joe W.
"KILL THEM ALL!!" Jarrod P.
"Remove the barbaric savages of the cult of peace and their enablers from the face of the earth." -Harold R.
"Just shoot them ALL" -George S.
"Lock and load" -Frank H
"Gas them all." -Dee C.
"They all need to be taken out" -Diana M.
"Time to thin out the herd, lock and load baby lock and load!" -Darrel P.
"wheres the bomb in the middle of that mess? just sayin..." -Christine D. [right]
"Open fire!" -Amy R.
"Break out the AR-15 and blast away" -Brandy P.
How should we as a society respond to calls for genocide from suburban grandmas and grandpas? How do we "heal" or "reach across the aisle" or "mend fences" with people who want to exterminate religious groups?