For the last two weeks, the survivors of a horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have been victimized all over again. They have been slandered, trolled, and harassed by right-wing cowards on social media. Among one of the worst smears these kids have faced is that they have somehow been coached into attacking the NRA-imposed inertia on the gun control debate. In some cases, they have been slandered as “crisis actors”–fake victims who have supposedly been trucked in to gin up support for gun control.
But one right-winger may have spewed an even more outrageous smear than that. How do you get worse than saying these kids are faking their grief? Quite easily, as it turns out–by accusing them of bringing this ordeal on themselves.
Star Parker has been a fixture on the black conservative circuit for two decades. She is best known as a crusader for welfare reform, but she has waded into other issues as well–and in the process, has often sounded like a caricature conservative. For instance, she suggested that one good thing that could come from the Charleston church shooting would be that blacks would be encouraged to buy more guns. She also thinks that blacks may have had it better in the days of slavery, and blamed the 2015 Baltimore riots on church-state separation and feminism.
But Parker may have really outdone herself last Wednesday when she appeared on “EWTN News Nightly,” when she wagged her finger at the victims for not thinking about what they could have done to prevent the shooting. Watch here.
Parker told host Lauren Ashburn that the survivors ought to “look inwardly” and see what they could have done before Nikolas Cruz barged in with his AR-15. She believed that people have been taken over by a victim mentality, and have forgotten to ask what they could do themselves.
When Ashburn wondered what the kids could have done, Parker offered some suggestions.
“Well, perhaps said ‘hello.’ Perhaps said, ‘I’m sorry to hear your dad died.’ This is a very small community of people we’re talking about. This is not the responsibility of Washington, D.C., or the NRA. This is the responsibility of people that are closest to someone to be able to look them in the eye as an individual. So the challenge with this whole nation of victims is that now it’s not about us anymore, it’s about somebody else, our problems are somebody else’s fault. Well, no, actually, this is a very small community, someone must have saw his sadness, someone must have known that his dad died.”
Ashburn ate it up, musing that the media was so fixated on guns when it was really “local, local, local.”
Later, Parker claimed that school officials should have known Cruz had a rough time of it in his youth and had “tragedies” in his life. Ashburn recalled that Cruz had been expelled, giving Parker a chance to take one more swipe at the survivors.
“Well, they expelled him probably because he was acting out. And he was acting out probably because he didn’t have any friends. You know, whoever sat next to him in class, they’d better not be the ones who are protesting out there today.”
Okay, Star. I’ll play. It turns out that some kids at Douglas High did reach out to Cruz. However, he was the kind of kid that anyone would shy away from. He had a Nazi symbol and the words “I hate n***rs” on his bookbag.
Senior Tyra Hemans recalled that she and her best friend, Meadow Pollack–who would later be one of Cruz’ victims–let Cruz borrow their phones to complete homework assignments. One day, she noticed Cruz holding a dead bird near his private parts. Would you want to befriend someone like that? Even without that to consider, Cruz stopped going to mental health treatment sessions in January 2017, and was kicked out of Douglas High soon afterward.
Knowing what we now know about Cruz, chances are that if Parker had any kids there, she would have told them to keep their distance from him. All of this only serves to make Parker’s attempt to smear these kids even more despicable.
Parker knew that she may have kicked over a hornet’s nest, because she tried to explain herself on her blog.
After my interview about the mass murder in Florida, I thought about my response and realized that it might be open to misinterpretation. But after you watch it, I know you'll agree with me. The reality is we're not talking about the real problem. https://t.co/24xORxkRkf pic.twitter.com/d63aXSxjJF
— Star Parker (@UrbanCURE) February 23, 2018
She posted a similar message on her Facebook feed.
No, Star. We got your message loud and clear. Morally, there is no difference at all between your suggestion that these kids have no right to protest if they sat next to Cruz and your fellow wingnuts’ claim that they were crisis actors.
Parker may be old enough to be my mother. But I have no qualms about calling her a disgrace to the race. The only further thing we need to hear from her on this matter is an apology. Let her have it on Facebook and on Twitter.
(featured image courtesy Parker’s Facebook)