The conservative claim that liberals are engaged in a campaign to “groom” children has resulted in a flood of violent threats, according to a new analysis.
Vice News cited a new report by Advance Democracy, Inc. about an increase in violent comments from conservatives referring to anyone supportive of LGBTQ equality as "groomers." The word is supposed to mean a pedophile preparing to make a child into an abuse victim, but conservatives are now using the term to describe efforts to educate students about gender identity or sexual orientation.
The over-use of the world has prompted stories from actual survivors of assault, abuse and exploitation saying that it is belittling their experience. That hasn't stopped Republicans from downplaying their trauma, however.
We are legitimately facing a pandemic of pedophilia in this country. \nThe courts are too soft, the institutions entrusted with our children are engaged in active grooming and many parents are too distracted to see what is plainly unfolding in our overtly, hypersexualized culture.— Candace Owens (@Candace Owens) 1649186586
The report shows posts on forums like Patriots.win and Gab where users are now making ultra-violent comments and threats against specific teachers, Disney employees and elected officials.
“This stuff isn’t going to change at this point until there’s body bags,” one member of Patriots.win posted. “Straight to the woodchipper for them,” another said. “F*ck a woodchipper,” replied another. “If some teacher did that to my kid, I’m going to go straight to them and literally beat them to an inch of their life.”
Now teachers are having their addresses posted online so that those making the violent threats can find them.
In one incident in Connecticut, a school nurse posted the personal information about an 11-year-old LGBTQ student claiming the child was on puberty blockers. Far-right publications were off to the races, with sites like TownHall misreporting the report to say that the school was the one giving the child the blockers.
An account called ProudKoreanAmerican posted the physical address of the school's superintendent of the district five separate times while calling for her execution.
“The superintendent is supporting leftist grooming in her schools. She needs to be executed by our judicial system,” ProudAmericanKorean wrote. To make matters worse, the address wasn't even correct, it was where she lived in 2017. That same account has posted things about seeing "pedophiles" and "groomers" everywhere in the media, in Congress and all over schools.
“Kill these fucking pedos,” ProudKoreanAmerican wrote under a post about Disney heiress Abigail Disney, who opposed Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill.
Some of the threats to the superintendent referenced her personal information. They're all being investigated by the Hartford Police Department.
“We are taking the allegations and threats directed at our teachers and staff extremely seriously, and we hope that other members of the community will work with us to create the best possible environment for all children,” the police spokesperson said.
These new obsessions with pedophilia started with QAnon, a far-right conspiracy group that has influenced many Republican officials over the past few years. Their main conspiracy has been that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex trafficking ring in the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor and was drinking their blood as part of some kind of satanic ceremony. The pizza parlor in question doesn't even have a basement, but that didn't stop a gunman from showing up with his rifle saying he was liberating the children. He's now in prison.
Daniel Jones, the Advance Democracy, Inc. president said that they warned in 2020 that increasingly violent rhetoric around the election should be a warning about possible attacks on the U.S. Capitol.
"We now fear that we are going to see violent action—fueled by these false pedophilia claims— again," said Jones.
You can see some of the other violent posts in the full report at Vice News.
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