DISCLAIMER: the following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL Newsradio or its ownership.
I’ve received my share of death threats. A death threat is a serious thing. But now the threats seem to be happening so much over so little.
Nicole Curran, the wife of Golden State Warriors owner Joseph Lacob, says she’s been receiving death threats after leaning over singer Beyonce to hear her husband, rapper Jay-Z, during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Curran said she was trying to be a good hostess when she asked the couple their drinks orders while on courtside camera. Beyonce’s fans reacted negatively. Curran said she had to disable her Instagram account. Beyonce’s publicist said she asked the singer’s fans to stop the cyber-bullying.
For a drink order?
A minor league batter reportedly received death threats after bunting to break up a no-hitter. Matt Lipka of the Trenton Thunder thrust himself into the spotlight Tuesday after he bunted in the ninth inning to break up a combined no-hitter by the Hartford Yard Goats. The Thunder, which are the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, lost the game 3-0.
There are no death threats in baseball.
And then there’s this:
A San Anselmo, Calif., man angry about noise from a yoga studio allegedly threatened to decapitate town officials. After coming in to complain about the town’s failure to silence the noise, Edwin Andre Julianus, 66, told town staffers he would “chop their heads off,” said Central Marin police Capt. Hamid Khalili.
Death for yoga noise?
And… A bar owner in England was threatened with death for complaining about customers who just drink water.
Threats are a crime
Is this now a shift in our society? Is social media now so easy to use that death is also so easy to threaten?
This shows the unwillingness or inability to compete intellectually. You should be able to articulate your concerns without an insult or a death threat.
These are the tactics of fascism, of white supremacists, of ISIS, of the Third Reich. These are not the expressions of people in a free society.
The threats get uglier:
Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan broke down in tears while reading a death threat sent to her office. She was questioning Michael McGarrity, assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division, about the Justice Department’s handling of domestic terrorism.
“I want to give you an example. So I’ve been in office for about six months. And when you get something like this, ‘Attention, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and ragheads Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. I was totally excited and pleased when I heard about 49 Muslims were killed and many more were wounded in New Zealand. This is a great start. Let’s hope and pray that it continues here in the good old USA. The only good Muslim is a dead one.”
A Kaysville, Utah, man is facing a federal charge of making multiple phone threats to kill members of Congress and reportedly made more than 2,000 phone calls to the U.S. Capitol in the past 13 months. Scott Brian Haven, 54, is charged with one count of interstate transmission of threats to injure.
Is this freedom of speech? Or is it an illegal threat? Absolutely, 100% illegal in every U.S. state. You can be arrested for a death threat, and you should be. And also, it is not a defense under Utah law that the person did not attempt to or was incapable of carrying out the threat.
Death threats are not the tactics of a person who believes in freedom. These are not the tactics of a patriot. The opposite. You’re evil. You have adopted the very hatred we have fought against since the founding of this country. This country is about winning in the arena of ideas. Expressing your opinion without the threat of injury or death. Celebrating our differences.
Just because someone disagrees with you, it doesn’t make that person evil. That’s called freedom of expression, you know, first amendment.
But this is the path we are on now. We better reverse course or recovery will be very difficult.
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