"Next time we may have to kill him."
On December 15th 79-year-old John Franklin McGraw plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of assault that stemmed from the well-timed forearm shiver he delivered to 26-year-old Rakeem Jones at a Trump rally in March. He was charged with a misdemeanor for a crime that had felonious intent. North Carolina state law allows such offenses to be classified as misdemeanors, so I can’t blame him, but let’s be honest: he was sentenced to unsupervised probation for committing an assault captured on video. If you're reading this and believe Rakeem Jones would have received such a lenient sentence had their roles been reversed I would suggest you do a quick google search of this country's history.
Donald Trump created a “Stone Cold Steve Austin” like confidence in some of his most ardent supporters. After months of denying the violence we saw with our own eyes president-elect Trump finally acknowledged his supporter’s behavior during one of his thank you tours, “You people were vicious, violent, screaming, ‘Where’s the wall? We want the wall!’ Screaming, ‘Prison! Prison! Lock her up!’ I mean you are going crazy. I mean, you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win, right?” He went on to say his supporters have since calmed down, but none of the data I’ve seen supports that notion. There has been a spike in hate crimes since the November 8th election, but some of these tensions have been brewing since the earliest days of the campaign.
These kind of situations are happening more often than our national media is comfortable with. I had a man in his 70’s threaten me. I’m 6’1” and 240lbs; I’m probably one of the last people a senior citizen should provoke into a physical altercation, yet my size and strength didn’t deter someone from provoking me. This is a real phenomenon with real world consequences. In the last few years we’ve seen militia members aim firearms at federal agents and another group take over a wildlife refuge. This isn’t just grumpy old men. These people pose a clear and present danger to society. It was all laughs and giggles when Uncle John was just repeating the crazy things he heard on Fox news, but now that he’s been arming himself for the last 8 years it isn’t funny.