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Even before anyone knew the identity of the Dallas shooter, racists were already blaming Black Lives Matter directly for the July 8 shooting of eleven Dallas police officers, five of whom died. The moment the story broke, prominent conservatives took to Twitter to attack Black Lives Matter and haven’t stopped since.

Black Lives Matter had nothing to do with the Dallas shooting. The shooter was not part of the movement. He even injured two protestors, though his main objective was to murder police officers. His violence did not arise from the modern civil rights movement or the Dallas protests, which were entirely peaceful.

Throughout the entire July 8 protest against police violence, Dallas police and protestors treated each other with respect and understanding. The Dallas Police Department even went to Twitter to post pictures of officers and protestors smiling together.

The Dallas Police Department has a great reputation with civil rights activists. Since Chief David Brown, a black man and certified master peace officer, took office in 2010, he has implemented revolutionary new policies to help decrease police violence and improve community relations. He has worked to reform the department in many of the ways Black Lives Matter advocates, such as transparency and openness about use of excessive force, regular lethal force training emphasizing de-escalation, conflict resolution, restraint, punishing and firing officers for misconduct, and guaranteeing more accountability through dash-cams, body-cams, and body microphones. He has implemented some questionable policies as well, but in the face of intense criticism from conservatives and police groups, Brown’s progressive reforms are truly brave. And they have led to a healthy relationship between Dallas police and the black community.

But the truth is of no concern to racists. The moment news broke of Dallas officers being shot, bigoted conservatives were quick to spew their hatred all over Twitter and other online platforms.

Former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh’s extreme response to the shooting was one of the first to gain major traction:

Walsh later deleted this outrageous, racist threat, but has gone on to defend it on CNN. He made many more hateful, inflammatory statements on Twitter, but did not feel the need to delete any of them. Since his racism surely wasn’t enough, Walsh also made sure to bash LGBT people, Muslims, Obama, and all liberals.

Another prominent conservative that took to Twitter immediately was Tomi Lahren, a racist political commentator for The Blaze.

Like fellow racist Walsh, Lahren deleted this tweet after receiving harsh criticism but kept her other ignorant statements up for the world to see.

Breitbart writer John Nolte, conspiracist Dinesh D’Souza, political commentator Paul Joseph Watson, and actual politician Corey Stewart were just a few of the other notable conservatives to take their hate to Twitter. Stewart was the only one to later delete his tweet, just like Walsh and Lahren.

https://twitter.com/NolteNC/status/751397809388224512

But it was far more from individuals. The New York Post and Drudge Report also posted wildly irresponsible, sensationalist headlines, again before details about the shooter were known.

 

 

If this had simply been one day of racist conservatives spouting racist nonsense, then it would be one thing. But it did not end there. The blame spread from Black Lives Matter to President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, with the hateful rhetoric becoming even more absurd and dangerous as Republican politicians spoke up and media outlets offered their massive platforms up to the voices of racists.

Texas Rep. Roger Williams, Iowa Rep. Steve King, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations William Johnson, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen, and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were some of the vocal voices against Black Lives Matter, Obama, and Clinton.

Sarah Palin called Black Lives Matter activists “thugs” and “rioters” in a Breitbart radio interview. Dan Patrick, among many other outrageous statements made in a Fox News interview, called protesters “hypocrites” for trying to escape the shooting and expecting the police to help them. Greg Allen called Black Lives Matter “a radical hate group.” Rudy Giuliani, one of the most outspoken racist conservatives in the country, said on CBS that Black Lives Matter is “inherently racist” and “anti-American,” and that “there’s a 99% chance” black children will kill each other. Joe Walsh was even brought on to CNN to defend his tweet threatening Obama and “black lives matter punks.” And of course, all of them faulted the president and the modern civil rights movement for the Dallas shooting.

The media did not only give racist politicians a platform, however; it invited a slew of racist guests and commentators to attack Black Lives Matter and anyone critical of police violence. Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson was given a platform to say that the African-American community has no leadership. Tomi Lahren was given a platform to defend her tweet calling Black Lives Matter “the new KKK.” Buck Sexton was given a platform to attempt to invalidate the entire Black Lives Matter movement. Harry Houck was given a platform to say that “black people are prone to criminality.”

The fact that Black Lives Matter can denounce both violence against police as well as police violence should be a no-brainer. But in this insane political climate, somehow that actually needs to be stated and explained in extensive detail, and still, racist conservatives will deny it. Even more insane is that the lies and bigotry of racists can be welcomed on national television. And terrifyingly, if it was not for some strong civil rights activists, the voices of racists would go unchallenged, as they have been on Fox News, which simply allowed Dan Patrick to babble racist nonsense without any critical questioning.

Journalist David Zurawik called out Tomi Lahren for her “reckless tweet:”

 

“You did go too far Tomi, you did.

 

That’s really reckless. That kind of tweet at the situation we’re in. As a journalist what you did appalls me. That’s the end of it. I’m trying to be civil about this.

 

There’s no room for the kind of ignorance that your tweet put out there at this time in our history.”

 

Author, activist, and commentator Van Jones called out Buck Sexton for trying to use a “disturbing minority” to invalidate all of Black Lives Matter:

 

“What we need to be able to do is say crazy people getting guns and doing horrible things is inexcusable, and all of our movements, religious and political, need to stand against violence. But I’m tired of the entire movement being smeared by a few.”

 

Journalist, activist, and author Marc Lamont Hill called out Harry Houck for saying that “black people are prone to criminality.”

 

Politician and attorney Bakari Sellers called out Katrina Pierson for accusing the black community of lacking any leadership.

 

But what would have happened without Zurawik, Jones, Hill, and Sellers? As we have seen in conservative media, racism would simply go unchecked. It would be broadcast through Twitter, through online news sources, and through national broadcast. Because that’s where we are as a society. While racist conservatives are holding all of Black Lives Matter accountable for the actions of one shooter, we are not holding racist conservatives accountable for incendiary rhetoric and bigotry. The horrific tragedy in Dallas is not the fault of Black Lives Matter. It is the fault of the society that created Micah Johnson.

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