I was just about to post one of my usual, boring columns when I found myself looking at a new website which just went up today: https://betsyriot.com/. As someone who got into media long before there was an internet, I have ambivalent feelings about the fact that anyone can turn on their computer or their tablet and become an immediate sensation just by putting something online which strikes some kind of chord.
But the world changes, thank God, and maybe the open-source media universe is a very good thing. Because if we had to depend on market-based media for all our information and news, it would preclude us from engaging with the kind of folks who are running this Betsy Riot website and frankly, what they are doing should be seen by as many people as possible both within the U.S. and around the globe.
Let’s start right at the beginning and ask: Who is Betsy? Actually, that’s not the right question. What we need to ask is what is a Betsy since Betsy isn’t someone’s name, it’s a descriptive for how certain people think and behave. And the answer is right on the front of the website: “an unapologetic feminist patriot who has fucking had enough of Trump culture and gun culture and the death and terror they inflict on America.”
I like this approach because I’m frustrated at the degree to which many people who don’t like Trump and reject his embrace of a pro-gun narrative tend to be quite polite. And politesse is a generic issue with liberals, because they tend to be educated and education teaches people to be polite. You can’t yell out obscenities in a classroom the way Trump does at his rallies; for that matter, you can’t do it in front of an MSNBC camera, but you can do it if you’re in a studio owned by Fox.
Let me make it clear that when I talk about obscene language, I’m not talking about using words like sh*t and fu*k. To me, saying something obscene means something hurtful, nasty, racist, homophobic or something you know not to be true. I can’t recall a single Trump tweet which isn’t obscene. I have never seen an NRA video which doesn’t contain language which isn’t obscene. When that dope Dana Loesch does a video I which she talks about how she uses a gun to protect herself from ‘street thugs,’ she’s both a liar and a racist and that’s obscene.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong by talking about gun violence with the same language which Gun-nut Nation uses to promote the idea that anyone opposed to gun ownership is un-American, unpatriotic and worse. I like the fact that the Betsy Riot website refers to the ‘gun lobby’ as the ‘death lobby.’ It’s appropriate and it’s true. I like the fact that Trump’s staff is referred to as ‘dutiful fascists’ because that’s what some of them are. And most of all, I like when they say that their mission is to “rescue our country from this fascist fucking sideshow” because frankly, I can’t think of a more apt and accurate description of what’s going on in the Oval Office right now.
The reason Trump made common cause with the NRA and the reason that the boys from Fairfax continue to promote Trump’s agenda is because both Trump and ‘America’s oldest civil rights organization’ have a vested interest in mainlining gun violence if it’s the kind of gun violence which suits their ends and needs. The NRA promotes gun violence if someone defends himself by shooting a ‘street thug,’ and Trump made a point of telling his campaign rallies that violence committed against anti-Trump protestors was a good thing.
It’s time to stop being so polite and let the other side know in no uncertain terms that what they are promoting is violent, dangerous and wrong. And the message needs to be delivered in a direct and no-nonsense way.
Go to it Betsy Riot – go, go, go.