Like everywhere else in the country, the horrible tragedy in Orlando this past weekend has created a lot of passion in Wisconsin. This has led to a shameless display of racism and bigotry by one of Wisconsin's worst lawmakers.
"How many people have been driven to hate and act violently towards the lgbt community by 'conservative Christian' ideology?" Barnes tweeted Sunday.
"So many terroristic enablers in churches, in Congress, and state houses. Whether by discriminatory policy or the love affair with guns," read another Barnes tweet.
State Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Deep South), who is already infamous for his war on transgender kids and on the poor, wasn't going to let this uppity black man get away with it. So Kremer threw out this rabid press release:
“I am fed up with the disgusting and divisive nature of some of the leaders in our state and nation. The politicization begins with our President, but has reared its ugly head here in our own state.“I am calling out someone who should be a leader, but has instead become a laughing stock. Rep.Mandela Barnes, who is hoping to become a Senator by ousting one of his own for not being radical enough, is blaming Christians for the evil act of war on U.S. soil by an ISIS allegiant this past weekend. This guy, a sitting Wisconsin representative, is an absolute loon of a ‘leader’ doing everything he can to divide and conquer, politicizing a horrific event – the modus operandi of our own President. The Orlando rampage was derived from pure evil and hate – something that Christians and Muslims both denounce.
“Our country has been torn apart by President Obama's divisive racism, hatred of Christianity and lambasting of the military and law enforcement. This terrible belief system has obviously crept into our own statehouse. The division must come to an end, and it should start with leaders like Rep. Barnes.
“The representative resides in a community that is crumbling around him, but doesn't even have the courage and fortitude to address the real problems in his own backyard – an explosion of crime, the breakdown of the family and inner city youth who are thirsting for a strong, honest, father-figure leader with integrity. Rep. Barnes could be that strong, black leader – but that would take hard work and perhaps some criticism by his own colleagues.
“I, for one, have had enough.”
Gee, how nice of this racist, suburban asshole to whitesplain to an African American colleague all that is wrong with his community.
Barnes apparently didn't get the memo that he is supposed to be submissive to his white superior and leveled Kremer with his own press release:
“Jesse Kremer is accusing President Obama of ‘divisive racism,’ ‘hatred of Christianity,’ and is lecturing African Americans on black existence in Milwaukee – this is all you need to know about where his head and his heart are. Rep. Kremer has repeatedly used his position of power as a state legislator to attack poor people, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color. These most recent remarks by the Representative are just the latest in a long line of bizarre ploys, reprehensible comments, and divisive ideology coming from him and his GOP colleagues.
“Insinuating that I have blamed the massacre in Orlando on Christianity is a willful attempt to distract from the real issue at hand by mischaracterizing my sentiments. I have served as the Director for the Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH), a coalition of faith-based groups advocating for peace and safety in the greater Milwaukee community, and to assert that I cast blame on the religion I practice for the terrible tragedy in Orlando is maliciously false.
“Last summer, it was a black church in Charleston; last fall, it was a Planned Parenthood in Colorado; and last weekend, it was a gay nightclub in Orlando during Pride month. The fact of the matter is that it is far too easy for dangerous people driven by dangerous ideology to get their hands on guns in this country. As we have witnessed time and again, minority groups are significantly more vulnerable to the deadly violence associated with this epidemic. While Rep. Kremer would rather dole out inappropriate, misguided advice in order to distract from what we need to be doing as elected leaders to protect our communities, I will continue to fight to end the scourge of senseless gun violence.”
The thing is, even if Barnes meant his tweets in the sense that Kremer was accusing him of, Barnes would still be correct.
Kremer apparently forgot - or simply ignored - the fact that Ted Cruz, whom Kremer endorsed for president, had been on stage with Pastor Kevin Swanson, right after Swanson called for all gays to be killed.
If the gentle reader feels so compelled, they could reach Kremer at 608-266-9175 or toll free at 888-534-0059 to advise him that he really needs to offer an apology to Representative Barnes, to Milwaukee and to the entire African American community.. He can also be reached via email at Rep.Kremer@legis.wi.gov.