No, Ben Carson, Anti-Abortion Violence Is Not Caused By Hateful Rhetoric On “Both Sides”

Since Friday’s terrorist attack on Planned Parenthood, conservatives have been falling all over themselves trying to prove that the attack had nothing to do with them and their beliefs.

First, they insisted that it was actually a bank robbery gone wrong and that Robert Lewis Dear actually just ran into the Planned Parenthood to hide (some still are, by the way). Then, many insisted it was just a “false flag” to make their abhorrent beliefs look even more abhorrent.

Then–since, due to a clerical error on his voter registration identifying him as a woman–Ted Cruz and others suggested Dear was actually a transgender person and probably a leftist activist of some kind.

Even those, like Mike Huckabee, that have acknowledged that yes, the dude was targeting Planned Parenthood and this is a domestic terror attack, have followed that up by insisting that Planned Parenthood is just as bad or worse than this guy. Some even called him a hero.

In many of these defenses, these people have loudly proclaimed that Planned Parenthood was “selling baby parts for a profit.” Republican politicians have also insisted upon this, despite the fact that it is not true. It is completely, absolutely, 100% not true. Planned Parenthood was not “selling” baby parts for a profit. They were being reimbursed for administrative costs, which is a different thing entirely. If you were to die, and donate your organs, there would also be a reimbursement of these costs to the funeral home or hospital, because that is how organ donation works.

According to reports, after his arrest, Dear mentioned “baby parts” to investigators, and then later expressed anti-choice and anti-government views.

Now, with all of these things in mind, I would like to now direct your attention to Ben Carson. When asked about whether or not the kind of rhetoric espoused by conservatives is responsible for attacks like these, he had the gall to suggest, on two separate news shows yesterday, that the fault is with “both sides.”

This is not a “both sides” kind of issue here–and our rhetoric is just fine, thank you very much. If you’ll notice, there aren’t exactly a lot of bomb threats and shootings at so-called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers.” Just like there aren’t a lot of women who go on shooting sprees because they can’t get a date. It’s not really a thing we do.

The rhetoric coming from conservative politicians has incited violence. This is a fact. Look at this shooting, at all the other violence directed towards Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics throughout the years. Look at the black activist attacked at a Donald Trump rally, the homeless man beaten up by Trump supporters who were worked up about immigration, the Muslim cab driver who was shot by a man ranting about ISIS terrorists.

Meanwhile, people on the right were deeply, deeply angered by a few Black Lives Matter protesters tearing the lights off of a freaking Christmas tree. I’m sorry, but it’s not even sort of comparable.

I am tired of people who say obscenely horrible things going around complaining about “divisive rhetoric.” It’s always the case. It’s like how people who are the loudest about how they hate “drama” are usually the ones causing it.

Carson brings up internet commenting sections as a place where this “divisive rhetoric” happens and people say hateful things. But you know what? Ben Carson isn’t an internet commenter, and the things he says are just as terrible and hateful and “divisive.”

For instance, he recently compared Syrian refugees to rabid dogs, and abortion to slavery. How is that not “divisive rhetoric?” How is that not hateful? I’m sorry, but yes–talk like that absolutely fuels people like Robert Lewis Dear. You can’t say things like that, you can’t push lies like “Planned Parenthood sells baby parts! BABY PARTS!” and think that there aren’t people out there that are going to take you at your word and go do something terrible.

Ben Carson is a doctor. He knows very well how organ donation works, I’m sure. If he had spoken up and said “Hey, I realize this is a very enticing thing to want to believe, but reimbursements are actually the norm when it comes to organ and tissue donation,” maybe these internet commenters would be a little less “hateful.” Maybe Robert Lewis Dear would not have been so enraged that he decided to go to a Planned Parenthood and start shooting people. He has long had an opportunity to diffuse this volatile situation, and he has purposely chosen not to.

So no, Ben Carson. This is not on both sides. And even if it were, it’s your responsibility to collect your own people.