Death threats against women.

Death threats against women.

by Doyle Ranstrom on Jul 28, 2019

In our 24-hour news cycle, death threats and death for that matter, are common.  Members of Congress are often recipients,  The U.S. Capitol Police investigated 4,894 threats last year and the 2,502 so far this year is on pace to surpass last year.  One recent death threat has stuck with me and I think about every day.  It was a death threat made by a now-fired Louisianna policy officer against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  

Threatening anyone with death because you do not agree with them is evil.  Threatening a woman is especially evil. Without a doubt, one reason this bothers me so much is my daughter and daughter-in-law are bright, thoughtful, educated women.  Would some white man want to cause harm to either of them or any of the other bright talented women I know because he did not agree with them?  

Though I do not know this person, I would suggest the following are his traits and others like him. 

  • He is a coward.  Only cowards issue death threats or resort to violence to silence someone with whom they disagree.  This is especially true for those who threaten women.  Brave, thoughtful intelligent people discuss the contents of issues in an open format without digressing to personal attacks.
  • He is ignorant.  He and others like him have the same IQ as the "round" which with he felt AOC should be shot. Turns out the quote which he read and inflamed him was never said by AOC and was actually posted on a website declaring it was satire.  His inability to figure this out or to check other sources is the definition of ignorance.  His and others like him's inability to discuss issues in an informed manner are also a definition of ignorance.  Threatening violence is a confirmation of this ignorance.  
  • He is scared.  The officer and white men like him are scared of the future.  They are afraid of women who are bright, educated and articulate.  They express this fear in the form of death threats.  They also express it in personal attacks which have nothing to do with policy positions.  
  • He cannot compete.  I believe one of the reasons the officer and men like him are scared as they know on a level playing field, in either politics or business, they cannot compete.  They know that whatever the objective, if everyone has the same starting point, these types of men know they are not good enough to finish at the top.  They will be in the back of the pack, lucky to receive a participation ribbon.   
  • He is not a Christian.  Anyone who has spent time studying the four Gospels in the New Testament understands Jesus preached non-violence and compassion for others. 

Death threats against politicians from white men are not new.  A data analysis commissioned by Quartz found that going back to 1970, about 75% of those charged for making threats against US politicians come from the ideological right. They are almost entirely US citizens, male, and roughly 85% white. About half of the defendants were under 30. The intended targets were primarily Democrats.      

However, it seems to be growing.  At a recent hearing, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan called "white supremacist extremist violence" a "huge issue".  The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism found that domestic extremists killed an estimated 50 people in 2018.  The report also found “every single extremist killing” in 2018 “had a link to right-wing extremism,” 

Democracy and capitalism both grow and thrive on a level playing field with fair competition.  White men who threaten and endorse violence against women are a threat to both democracy and capitalism.  

The husbands of my daughter and daughter-in-law would agree, very few men could hold their own in an open debate or discussion with either.  Both have post-graduate degrees, are well-read and successful professionally.  I have no idea if either would be interested, but both would be outstanding members of Congress.  If either were ever to run and win, does this mean an ignorant white man who disagrees with a position, will threaten death?

And this is the real issue here.  Regardless if you agree or disagree with her politically, when a man threatens Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others agree even if implicitly by not denouncing, he threatens every woman like her regardless of specific policy positions.  If we as a society, tolerate when white men degrade and threaten women, we as a society degrade ourselves and the greatness of our country.  By looking the other way, we are also complicit in accepting a threat to both democracy and capitalism.