Earlier this week we learned that Brandon Griesemer, a 19-year-old grocery store clerk from Novi, Michigan, which is about 30 miles outside of Detroit, made at least 22 calls to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters where he not only threatened to shoot and kill employees, but used racial and ethnic slurs for both African-Americans and Jews. While these calls were made just two weeks ago, this wasn’t Griesemer’s first rodeo. On September 19th, he was reported to have made similarly ugly calls to an Islamic Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Brandon Griesemer is a bigot. He’s a white supremacist. His high school classmates said he was this way when he was in school as well.
His is the bigotry that is hard to keep to one’s self. He has to get it out. He wants Muslims and African-Americans and Jews to experience his cruelty. He wants them to know that they are hated and despised and threatened. He acts on his bigotry.
But he is also white. And because of his whiteness, he is already free on just $10,000 bond. He was charged, arrested, and released all on this past Friday – and was literally home in time for dinner. His threats, in the spirit of the Trump administration’s soft stance on white supremacy and other violence from white people, were basically given the legal version of a wink and a nod. If you think for a single solitary moment that a Muslim-American who made 22 hateful, violent calls to CNN, threatening mass casualties, would’ve been charged, arrested, and released on the same day, with a bond of any kind, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
In fact, it’s doubtful that anyone other than a white American could’ve made so many violent, bigoted threats and be free in enough time to catch a game later that evening.
Griesemer’s bigoted threats, sadly, are not new to many of us. His threats, though, sound eerily similar to words we’ve heard come directly from the mouth and from the tweets of one particular person.
“Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down,” Griesemer said on one threatening call to CNN.
It’s interesting that Brandon Griesemer called CNN “Fake News” – because Donald Trump, the President of the United States, not only calls them that often, he literally called them that just moments after the news released of the threats CNN had received.
Not only that, but on multiple occasions Trump has repeatedly tweeted and retweeted violent images and videos in which he causes physical harm to CNN. Many years ago I was told that “whatever leaders do in moderation, their followers often do in excess.”
Trump’s attacks on CNN are not in moderation, they are in excess. It was, then, only a matter of time before someone was emboldened by his attacks on CNN to the point of threatening physical violence. They’ve taken what Trump has started to the next logical point.
“You are going down. I have a gun and I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to fucking gun down every single last one of you. I have a team of people. It’s going to be great man … You gotta get prepared for this one,” said Griesemer on another call.
On yet another call he said “I am on my way right now to gun the fuckin’ CNN cast down. Fuck you. Fuck you. I am coming to kill you.” Griesemer then hung up.
Thirty minutes he called again and said “I’m coming for you CNN. I’m smarter than you. More powerful than you. I have more guns than you. More manpower. Your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours.” Even his bragging “I’m smarter than you. More powerful than you” sounds like Donald Trump.
I’ll close with this thought…
Our nation, no doubt, has two systems of justice – one for white folk, particularly when they can afford an attorney, and one for everybody else.
Now let’s imagine that Griesemer was not just a Muslim, but an immigrant Muslim from one of Trump’s banned countries. And let’s have the threats made this time to Fox News instead of CNN.
Do you think Trump would’ve tweeted about it by now? Do you think he’d be using the arrest of such a person to justify his Muslim ban?
That instead we have utter silence from Trump on the matter says everything. It’s as if it never even happened.
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