Life Is ‘Russian Roulette’; CBS Insists Buffalo Proves ‘Racism Is Mainstream’ in America

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Reacting to Saturday’s racially-motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York grocery store, Monday’s CBS Mornings sought to strike fear into the hearts and minds of viewers, insisting “racism is mainstream,” “nowhere is safe,” and “nothing feels safe” with gun violence ready to break out and kill you at a moment’s notice. In response, they tag-teamed with Obama Attorney General Eric Holder to suggest taking a look at the First Amendment.

So long as the press maintains their free speech, it’s to heck with everyone else’s, right?

Co-host and Democratic Party donor Gayle King reacted to the network’s coverage from Buffalo by saying she “still can’t imagine how this young man at 18 had so much hate and it’s not just against blacks” as Asians, Jewish people, and “LGBTQ [are] under attack” with “racism…no longer on the fringes” but “mainstream” in American life.

That, for those not paying attention, would be a veiled shot at Americans who are right-of-center.

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After King said it’s all “very, very, very scare to me,” co-host Nate Burleson argued that “we have to admit that” such mass killings are “as American as apple pie, the sport we watch, and the hot dogs we eat at those games.”

Fill-in co-host Vladimir Duthiers did his part, all but telling viewers to live lives in fear of their fellow man and surroundings: “[N]owhere is safe. You can’t go to a grocery store to pick up some strawberries. You can’t go to a concert, can’t go a movie, can’t go to school, can’t go to a place of work, synagogue, a church.”

“Something needs to be done,” Burlson added.

King — who makes $11 million and whose best friend Oprah Winfrey never left home for 322 days out of a fear of COVID-19 — peddled more fear by arguing that life’s “like a Russian roulette no matter where you are” with “nothing feel[ing] safe to me.”

Burleson again warned of doom for all, stating that mass, racist violence “is at our doorstep.”

King concurred: “Very, very scary and I think people are tired of saying, let’s be strong. Tired of being strong.”

Two segments later, racial arsonist Benjamin Crump appeared (and already on the ground in Buffalo) and, along with demanding an “anti-black hate crime bill” to be passed, called for anyone and everyone who “curat[ed] this hate” and “radicalized these young white supremacists to be “[held] accountable.”

King reiterated she’s afraid of most places before turning to the fact that police took the suspect alive. In response, Crump lamented that he’s still alive and wasn’t executed like he claims happens to Black people when dealing with police (click “expand”):

KING: Yeah. I think — I think, Ben Crump, we’re all afraid of that. You know, it doesn’t seem like you’re safe at the grocery store, the church, at the spa, at a movie theater, at a concert. And now we have a man in custody. What do you make of the arrest of this young man? 

CRUMP: You know, it — Gayle, so many times we talk about unarmed young people of color being killed, but yet when you have these young, confirmed white mass murderers, they also seem to be taken alive. And so, it just goes to a deeper conversation of how we deal with societal issues, especially involving race. We have to direct our attention to these internet sites that inspire these young people that are radicalizing them to be hate mongers, to be people who hate people because the color of their skin.

Holder appeared at the start of the 8:00 a.m. Eastern hour and, along with his standard, boilerplate rhetoric, opened the door to a “conversation” about free speech. King agreed and lamented that she “believe[s] in First Amendment rights, too, of course, but” Congress needs “to do something about” online rhetoric (click “expand”):

HOLDER: I think also we need to have a conversation. I’m not sure how that gets structured — people who run social media companies. They are the purveyors of a lot of this hate. It is through their — their platforms that people get radicalized and so, coming up with ways in which they use the technology that they have to kind of identify people, stop the spread of this kind of hateful information. I think if you do all of those kinds of things, you perhaps can get — start to get a handle on this serious problem.

KING: Don’t the people have to speak up, though, and say we want this done? I know we keep saying we care about it, but I just think where is the outrage of people saying to the people in power to say you’ve got to do something about this? I believe in First Amendment rights, too, of course. But it comes — First Amendment rights comes with some responsibility. I never — that always seems to be missing to me in this conversation. 

HOLDER: Well, the interesting thing, Gayle, is the people have spoken in poll after poll. They indicate that they want background checks, for instance, before anybody has the ability to buy a weapon. And what we see is because of gerrymandering in the state legislatures especially, the ability of the people to have their will put into policy is frustrating.

CBS’s fearmongering and peddling of racial divisions was made possible thanks to support from advertisers such as Cadillac, Neutrogena, and Subaru. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant CBS transcript from May 16, click “expand.”

CBS Mornings
May 16, 2022
7:15 a.m. Eastern

GAYLE KING: I was struck by what Mr. Ali said in Tony’s piece that it’s haunting. I still can’t imagine how this young man at 18 had so much hate and it’s not just against blacks. You know, the Jewish community’s under attack.

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: Yes.

KING: LGBTQ is under attack, Asian Americans are under attack. Racism is no longer on the fringes. 

NATE BURLESON: Yeah.

KING: Racism is mainstream and that is very, very, very scary to me. 

BURLESON: This company — I mean, this country, excuse me — 

KING: Yeah.

BURLESON: — this country is under attack. Five mass shootings — 

KING: Yeah. 

BURLESON: — since Friday? 

KING: Yeah. 

BURLESON: Gun violence is as American as apple pie, the sport we watch, and the hot dogs we eat at those games. We have to admit that. 

DUTHIERS: And nowhere is safe. You can’t go to a grocery store to pick up some strawberries. You can’t go to a concert, can’t go to a movie, can’t go to school, can’t go to a place of work. 

KING: No, I heard — 

DUTHIERS: Synagogue, a church. 

BURLESON: Something needs to be done.

KING: I heard somebody in Buffalo — you’re right, Nate. I heard somebody in Buffalo say this is a story that you see in other cities, not in ours. But now ours is — it is like a Russian roulette no matter where you are. 

BURLESON: It is at our doorstop.

KING: Nothing feels safe to me. 

BURLESON: Yeah.

KING: Very, very scary and I think people are tired of saying, let’s be strong. Tired of being strong.

BURLESON: Yeah.

(….)

7:42 a.m. Eastern

BENJAMIN CRUMP: It’s important that we not only hold accountable this individual who committed this hateful act, but we hold accountable those who curate this hate, who radicalized these young white supremacists. I mean, that manifesto, he said his intent was to kill as many black people as he could that day. We saw in Charleston, South Carolina, with the young white supremacist Dylan Roof, and now we’re here in Buffalo, New York. How long before we get the anti-black hate crime bill passed? Because if we don’t do something meaningful, Nate and Gayle, I am so afraid that we will see something like this happen again in our community. 

KING: Yeah. I think — I think, Ben Crump, we’re all afraid of that. You know, it doesn’t seem like you’re safe at the grocery store, the church, at the spa, at a movie theater, at a concert. And now we have a man in custody. What do you make of the arrest of this young man? 

CRUMP: You know, it — Gayle, so many times we talk about unarmed young people of color being killed, but yet when you have these young, confirmed white mass murderers, they also seem to be taken alive. And so, it just goes to a deeper conversation of how we deal with societal issues, especially involving race. We have to direct our attention to these internet sites that inspire these young people that are radicalizing them to be hate mongers, to be people who hate people because of the color of their skin. 

(….)

8:05 a.m. Eastern

BURLESON: Unfortunately hate crimes just like Tony said are becoming more and more common in America. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino found hate crimes are up 26 percent across 16 major U.S. Cities. We’re joined by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. His new book, Our Unfinished March, is about the battle to protect voting rights. Good morning. Mr. Attorney General — 

ERIC HOLDER: Good morning. 

BURLESON: — why do you believe hate crimes are climbing up in this country? 

HOLDER: Well, you know, this is something that has inflicted — has afflicted this nation almost since the beginning of our country as a republic. It’s something that we have seen rise in recent years as we see demographic changes, as we see economic dislocation, as we see rhetoric coming from political parts of our nation. These are all the kinds of things that I think give rise to this kind of — this kind of hate part of our history as well as the current political environment in which we find ourselves. 

KING: And so here we sit, Mr. Holder, today, everybody’s longing for answers. Right now, we’re in that painful and disgusting cycle, I believe, what Steve Hartman called mourn, pray, repeat. We’ve heard this story. We know how this goes. It will continue. Is there anything realistically that can be done? You know, the Newtown shooting of all those school children happened under your watch, so to speak, under the Obama administration, and everybody thought this is it. This is the turning point. Is there anything realistically that can be done to stop this kind of thing? 

HOLDER: Yeah. I mean, there are some common sense things that I think we can do. If we had our leaders listen to the people of this nation, we certainly would have done something after Newtown. We see the American people who support regular, normal, sane gun safety measures. Those need to be put in place. I think also given the rise in hate crimes, in racial and ethnic-driven hate crimes, we need to think about the imposition of a domestic terrorism statute. It has to be finally drawn in such a way that respects people’s First Amendment rights. We need to enhance the ability of the ATF to do a whole range of regulatory things. We need to confirm Steve Dettlebach as the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and then I think also we need to have a conversation. I’m not sure how that gets structured — people who run social media companies. They are the purveyors of a lot of this hate. It is through their — their platforms that people get radicalized and so, coming up with ways in which they use the technology that they have to kind of identify people, stop the spread of this kind of hateful information. I think if you do all of those kinds of things, you perhaps can get — start to get a handle on this serious problem.

KING: Don’t the people have to speak up, though, and say we want this done? I know we keep saying we care about it, but I just think where is the outrage of people saying to the people in power to say you’ve got to do something about this? I believe in First Amendment rights, too, of course. But it comes — First Amendment rights comes with some responsibility. I never — that always seems to be missing to me in this conversation. 

HOLDER: Well, the interesting thing, Gayle, is the people have spoken in poll after poll. They indicate that they want background checks, for instance, before anybody has the ability to buy a weapon. And what we see is because of gerrymandering in the state legislatures especially, the ability of the people to have their will put into policy is frustrating. People in these — representatives in these safe — these gerrymandered seats can do things consistent with the desires of the gun lobby, inconsistent with the desires of their constituents. And yet, they suffer no electoral consequences. 

BURLESON: Yep.

HOLDER: So political involvement is something by the people that is going to have to be a critical part of this effort. 

BURLESON: Eric Holder, thank you. 

KING: It’s so frustrating. 

BURLESON: You’re right about that, Gayle.

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