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Not sly enough, (mis)Rep. Foxx!

by Jeremy Hooper

Want to see right-wing spin in action? Well here's a quick case study.

Just moments ago on the House floor, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said the following about writer Glenn Greenwald and his supposed stance on hate crimes laws:

Only problem for Ms. Foxx? Glenn wasn't speaking about this bill, which clearly DOES NOT limit speech. Hell, he wasn't even speaking about America! In the cited column, Greenwald was 100% speaking about hate speech laws that are in place in Europe and Canada.

Here's a snippet of Greenwald's column, with the Foxx-cited portion in bold:

I've written several times before about the oppressive, dangerous hate speech laws which are common -- increasingly so -- in both Canada and Europe, whereby the Government is empowered to punish as criminals citizens who express offensive or otherwise prohibited political views. But here is a visceral illustration of what these sorts of laws engender that ought to give great pause even to proponents of such laws.

Ezra Levant is a right-wing Canadian neoconservative who publishes Western Standard, a typical warmongering, pro-Likud journal -- a poor man's Weekly Standard for Canadian neocons. In February, 2006, he published the Danish Mohammed cartoons, which prompted an Islamic group's imam to file a complaint (.pdf) against Levant with the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, charging Levant with "advocating hatemongering cartoons in the media," and the imam specifically accused Levant of "defaming me and my family because we follow and are related to Prophet Mohammed."
Empowering the State to proscribe and punish speech is not only the most dangerous step a society can take -- though it is that -- it's also the most senseless. It never achieves its intended effect of suppressing or eliminating a particular view. If anything, it has the opposite effect, by driving it underground, thus preventing debate and exposure. Worse, it converts its advocates into martyrs -- as one sees from the hero-worship now surrounding people like Levant and Steyn, who now become self-glorifying symbols of individual liberty rather than what they are: hateful purveyors of a bitter, destructive, authoritarian ideology.
The Noxious Fruits of Hate Speech laws [Salon]

Oh, and as for "oppressive and pernicious"? Yea, that phrase doesn't appear ANYWHERE in the column.

What next, Rep. Foxx: Gonna takes Glenn's thoughts about Queen Elizabeth and misapply them to Michelle Obama?

**UPDATE: Glenn takes it on: Can someone explain to Rep. Foxx the difference between hate crimes and hate speech laws? [Salon]

**UPDATE 2: It's not a good day for Rep. Foxx and truth: Rep. Virginia Foxx: Matthew Shepard Murder Not a Hate Crime [Towle]

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Your thoughts

When you look at her previous statements about Matthew Shepard's death, it's not surprising that she would use something out of context. I was offended when she said that Matthew died as a victim of a robbery. The defendants tried to use the 'gay panic' defense. That doesn't sound like a typical robbery/murder to me.

Posted by: David | Apr 29, 2009 1:29:53 PM

Odd that those condemn Matthew Shepard's death ignore the deaths of Robert Wone and Jesse Dirkhising.

Posted by: Paul L. | Apr 29, 2009 2:15:51 PM

Oh please, Paul. We do not "ignore" anything. We debate everything on its merits, and LGBT crimes of bias have more than proved that they deserve inclusion in current hate crimes law.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 29, 2009 2:31:55 PM

She's just jealous that horse-faced "beauty queen" Michele Bachmann gets all the wingnut press.

Posted by: Bruno | Apr 29, 2009 2:38:13 PM

I don't know, or care whether Paul L is just a troll or an actual bigoted moron, so I'm not going to even try and engage him. Instead, I'll simply point out that, if his statement has any truth to it, he must be implying that he CONDONES the Shephard murder. Otherwise he, like "those who condemn [it]" would have ignored the other two murders.

Posted by: Bill S | Apr 29, 2009 5:23:13 PM

And the unfortunate thing about those two deaths are if lgbts weren't involved, the religious right wouldn't give crap about them.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Apr 29, 2009 5:31:27 PM

a. mcewen, you're absolutely right. The ONLY time they bring up thse murders is when there's a disacussion of gay-inclusive hate-crimes laws. So the the sole purpose of bringing them up is to demonize LGBT folk. To in effect, imply that they deserve to murdered, because they're a bunch of child killers. It's disgusting.

Posted by: Bill S | Apr 29, 2009 6:06:49 PM

Rep. Foxx,

I was deeply offended by your comments. I cannot believe that you would attack the mother of Matthew Shepard, the gay community, and use the Floor to speak such lies and hate.

You need to understand that it is comments like yours about the incidents surrounding Matthew Shepard's death, that enable and inspire hate crimes to happen. You are telling bullies and people that it is okay to discriminate, lie, and spread propaganda in order to move your position.

Gay hate crimes are the only hate crimes on the rise. They happen almost every 6 hours. Gay teen suicide rate is 6 times higher than straight teens. One of the main reasons for this is that WE are the only minority that grow up in homes and communities where we are hated and do not have a parent that can truly understand what we are going through.

I have been tear gassed at a gay parade, attacked along with friends with a baseball bat wielding straight person, harassed at work, hit by a car by a straight driver because I was gay, and have had to listen to comments like yours my whole life. They are all hate filled actions and need to stop.

You need to change your position, you need to apologize for your comments, and you really need to check what Jesus has said about love and compassion and maybe try and be a TRUE Christian(Christians do not hate). THEN, you need to read the CONSTITUTION and understand that you are representing all Americans and need to respect us all, and do your job to make this country a better place, not a hate spreading one that blames others for their problems. We are not Nazi Germany.

A Concerned Citizen,


Posted by: Mark | Apr 29, 2009 9:48:03 PM

How long 'til that guy named "MissionaryWay" shows-up here and posts a long-ass paragraph defending Foxx and denying that Shepard's murder was a hate crime?

Posted by: ---- | Apr 29, 2009 9:51:56 PM

Bill S. can I condemn all three?
As for "So the the sole purpose of bringing them up is to demonize LGBT folk. "
What is the purpose of bringing up Matthew Shepard if not to demonize Hate crimes opponents?

Posted by: Paul L. | Apr 30, 2009 10:21:22 AM

Paul L:

Do you also bring up the "hate crimes" committed against caucasians Jared Taylor & co. brag about every time the media reports harm done to a racial minority by whites?

Posted by: ---- | Apr 30, 2009 11:48:13 AM

"What is purpose of bringing up Matthew Shepard if not to demonize Hate crimes opponents?"
That question doesn't make any sense.
Opponents of Hate Crimes wouldn't be demonized by citing an example of the hate crimes we're opposed to.
It's possible he meant opponents of Laws against hate crimes, but that still wouldn't make any sense.

Posted by: Bill S | May 2, 2009 1:43:12 PM

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