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A spirit that is not afraid

COLUMN | Mo Brooks fails to condemn terrorism in his anti-terrorism public statement

Via Congressman Mo Brooks' Facebook page
Via Congressman Mo Brooks' Facebook page

On Thursday morning, politicians, news stations and Capitol police were thrust into an immediate crisis with the news that a presumed bomber was making threats near the U.S. Capitol. 

The suspect, who has now been identified as 49-year-old Floyd Ray Roseberry, gave himself up to police in the early afternoon, ending an hours-long standoff.

Roseberry’s Facebook account, which has now been deleted by Facebook, displayed his publicly liked pages including the “White Lives Matter,” “We are Trump Nation” and “Liberty Upheld” accounts, as well as other right-leaning pages.

"If you blow up my truck man, hey, it's on you, Joe," Roseberry said as he was Facebook live-streaming the ordeal from his truck. "We're living in a free country, Joe. The choice is yours." 

Following the standoff and the suspect's surrender to police, Alabama's 5th District Congressman Mo Brooks released a statement to Twitter — seemingly condemning and "understanding" the threat at the same time. 

“Although this terrorist's motivation is not yet known, and generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom and the very fabric of American society,” the statement read. 

Excuse me, Mr. Brooks, but when did bomb threats become understandable?

In no way did Brooks try to actively condemn this specific threat or say that such threats threaten democracy themselves. Instead, he chalked it up to “sadly, violence and threats of violence targeting America's political institutions are far too common." 

In the same breath, Brooks challenges — if that's what you want to call it — and empathizes with the accused bomber, even trying to shift the threat's blame onto a specific ideology or political affiliation.

Brooks finishes with a point toward the future, telling his supporters, “the way to stop Socialism's march is for patriotic Americans to fight back in the 2022 and 2024 elections. ... Bluntly stated, America’s future is at risk." 

To copy a quote from my good friend: Bluntly stated, Mo Brooks turned a public statement meant to condemn a threat on the Capitol into a rally cry for his supporters to "fight back." 

The only questions now are: is Mo Brooks blind to irony? 

And is this the best Alabama has to offer?

You can decide for yourself.

Brooks entire statement can be read here: 

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Larry Robinson | Photo Editor

Larry is a senior studying journalism with a minor in sociology. He is from Enterprise, Alabama and is in his third year with The Auburn Plainsman. 

Twitter: @ReportingLarry

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