Please tell me what sort of place we have created where a 77 year old, elected official to state government suggests — in any way, shape or form — that he is going to get a gun and shoot the police, and people find that to be a reasonable statement.
Nay, not just people. OTHER elected officials!
Oh, that’s no big deal!
That’s his right!
You don’t know his experiences!
You’re privilged and lucky!
He could have said MUCH worse!
THIS is the society we have created?
Are you people freaking nuts???
Is it simply because it is Ernie Chambers and our standards are so bottomed out for him we really don’t care what he says? Is he really just the old kook who wanders down the street saying the CIA put a radio in his head?
Because last time I checked, the main stream press still goes to him for quotes and thoughts and consults with him on the MAJOR issues of the day.
Oh, but suggesting he is going to shoot the police? Ernie being Ernie!
That’s his right!
You missed the CONTEXT!
At this point, I get that Chambers is a kook — and I certainly hope all will appreciate this little episode the next time everyone runs to him for his latest bits of wisdom on various subjects. But what of all of his colleagues and others who are somehow defending or dismissing his statements?
Sen. Dave Bloomfield: “He has done a great service to this body for 40 years.”
Sen. Ken Haar: “We’ve all said things that we shouldn’t have.”
Speaker Galen Hadley: Senators have “the absolute freedom of speech.”
Sen. Al Davis: Chambers frequently uses “hyperbole”.
And then many others — Sen. Rick Kolowski, Sen. Kate Bolz, Sen. Bill Kintner — wanting to pivot to other issues with the, “why don’t Senators show the same effort on issues A, B & C that are important to me!”
Uh, hey look: Your colleague just suggested shooting policemen.
How about you condemn those statements and leave it at that?
Is that really so difficult and outrageous?
I had a brief back and forth on the Twitter — which frankly is no place for any decent discussion — with the OWH’s Mike’l Severe about Chambers’ remarks.
He gave the, “I didn’t say he was right,” and “You don’t get it because you can’t feel the way he does. Its impossible. Not your fault, feel lucky.”
“I think he should say what he feels. I have disagreed with him many times. But that is how he lives his life, shouldn’t stop.”
Honest to God, is it REALLLLLLLLY that difficult to say, “People shouldn’t suggest killing cops. Ever.”
Does there REALLY have to be the, “Well, he has a right…”, “you don’t know where he is coming from…”, “check your privilege..” bullshit?
Yeah, we all get it. Chambers doesn’t like the police. He thinks blacks have a different experience with police. He thinks police brutality is out of hand.
And you know what? He may be right about all that!
NO ONE is going to begrudge him his right to speak out all day about it.
Not me, and not anyone in the legislature or the Mayor’s office or the Governor’s office or the United States Supreme Court.
But the moment he suggests killing cops — in an imaginary world, in a real world, after he’s gone crazy, only if he was a violent man — he, and ALL of his supporters and defenders should expect the CIVILIZED world to come down on him.
So should Chambers be expelled from the Legislature for this, , or should Chambers resign as Sen. David Schnoor has asked?
Well, I’d suggest a few things.
Schnoor’s example isn’t bad: Put it on Chambers. FIRST, make it known that what he did is beyond the pale and that he SHOULD be ashamed of himself. Is that really so difficult to do?
Sure we all know he’s not going to do it, but make HIM say that. Let HIM defend his cop killing statements — which he is already trying to do (below).
But I would also suggest that actually kicking him out, or trying to go that route will set up a precedent that will create a slippery future path. And if you kick him out, and then he gets re-elected, what then?
Here’s the thing, it IS possible to be intolerent of someone’s statements without demanding that they be banned from speaking.
And is that so difficult? All these Senators and others are bending over backwards to defend Chambers’ right to say something before anything else.
How about they just say that Chambers’ statements are outrageous…and leave it at that? Do statements like that need a qualifier?
The kicker on all of this is Chambers’ latest statements where he seems to be adding qualifiers now. Not an apology mind you! But The Mighty Ernie who doubled down on what he said now says…
Chambers said “there’s not a person in my (legislative) district who thinks I would want to shoot a cop.”
“The kids in my community are too smart to put that interpretation on those words,” he said.
Because an 18 year old kid who thinks it is OK to have a gun and shoot someone is really going to be looking into the heart of his state Senator — who just said that he would shoot a cop first and ask questions later. (Said 18 year old will of course be sure to read the context of the hearing and check the bill’s co-sponsors.)
For those of you who still think Ernie is a genius with his finger on the pulse of the community, check that statement again.
New non-Ernie post coming at noon.