Yesterday a gunman killed three Baton Rouge police officers were injured three others before he was shot and killed. (More)

“Fighting back, through bloodshed”

In a recent YouTube video, the gunman dismissed protests against police violence as ineffective and called for violence in return:

On a social media site registered under the name Gavin Long, a young African-American man who refers to himself as “Cosmo” posted videos and podcasts and shared biographical and personal information that aligned with the information that the authorities had released, so far, about the gunman.

In one YouTube video, titled, “Protesting, Oppression and How to Deal with Bullies,” the man discusses the killings of African-American men at the hands of police officers, including the July 5 death here of Alton B. Sterling, and he advocates a bloody response instead of the protests that the deaths sparked.

“One hundred percent of revolutions, of victims fighting their oppressors,” he said, “have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed. Zero have been successful just over simply protesting. It doesn’t – it has never worked and it never will. You got to fight back. That’s the only way that a bully knows to quit.”

He also praised the sniper who killed five police officers in Dallas, calling the killer “One of us.”

The gunman’s comments seem to contradict a witness who told a Baton Rouge television station that two men were shooting at each other before the police arrived, but the Baton Rouge police are still investigating whether anyone else was involved.

“They right no wrongs. They advance no causes.”

President Obama unequivocally condemned the violence:

I condemn, in the strongest sense of the word, the attack on law enforcement in Baton Rouge. For the second time in two weeks, police officers who put their lives on the line for ours every day were doing their job when they were killed in a cowardly and reprehensible assault. These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop.

I’ve offered my full support, and the full support of the federal government, to Governor Edwards, Mayor Holden, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Baton Rouge Police Department. And make no mistake – justice will be done.

We may not yet know the motives for this attack, but I want to be clear: there is no justification for violence against law enforcement. None. These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one. They right no wrongs. They advance no causes. The officers in Baton Rouge; the officers in Dallas – they were our fellow Americans, part of our community, part of our country, with people who loved and needed them, and who need us now – all of us – to be at our best.

Today, on the Lord’s day, all of us stand united in prayer with the people of Baton Rouge, with the police officers who’ve been wounded, and with the grieving families of the fallen. May God bless them all.

Of course conservatives heard something else….

“Blood on his hands”

Specifically, a Cleveland police union leader blamed the president and other state and local leaders who expressed sympathy for the Black Lives Matter movement:

The President of the United States validated the false narrative and the nonsense that Black Lives Matter and the media are pressing out there to the public. Validated it with his very divisive statements, and now we see an escalation. This has got to end. We need some leadership in this country to come forward and put an end to this. I don’t care if it’s clergy, I don’t care who it is, but somebody’s got to step up and put an end to this because it’s a false narrative, and very influential people that are politicizing the false narrative. Absolutely insane that we have a President of the United States and the Governor of Minnesota making the statements that they made less than one day after those police-involved shootings. And those police-involved shootings, make no mistake, are what absolutely has triggered this rash of senseless murders of law enforcement officers across this country. It is reprehensible. And the President of the United States has blood on his hands, and it will not be able to come washed off.

Never mind that the “false narrative” is supported by evidence showing police are more likely to physically escalate encounters with people of color, and that unarmed black suspects are 3.5 times more likely to be shot by police than are unarmed white suspects.

“It will only get worse!”

And of course Donald Trump poured gasoline on the fire:

The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman reports that Trump’s camp believe they will thrive on continued bloodshed:

Trump’s advisors think that the unrest and home and abroad plays into his theme of strength, simplicity and tough talk.

But Obama and the Democrats (some of whom, notably Elizabeth Warren, are deploying some harsh rhetoric themselves) think that Trump’s persona and lack of experience will ultimately make Clinton’s experience a calling card – and Trump’s bellicosity a liability.

“Trump can’t keep his calm and doesn’t know what he is talking about,” said one top Clinton advisor. “We don’t need a guy who gets angry and hurls accusations every time he opens his mouth. We need Hillary’s experience now more than ever.”

To which a top Trump insider reacted with fury. “Experience?? With the Democrats’s rhetoric these days they are only encouraging criminals and thugs to pretend they are activists.

“She has no experience with this stuff, and her past international decisions only show her bad judgment,” the person said.

As President Obama and Hillary Clinton urge calm because they know it will save lives, Donald Trump and conservatives hype fear and white rage … because they think it will score votes.

So who really has blood on their hands?


Photo Credit: Joe Penney (Reuters)


Good day and good nuts