The Associated Press and reporters Steve Peoples and Brendan Farrington took their place in a hypothetical Scumbag Hall of Fame on Tuesday as they blamed 2024 GOP presidential candidate and Governor Ron DeSantis (FL) for Saturday’s racist murders by a white young-adult male in Jacksonville.
Naturally, Peoples and Farrington offered no evidence except to suggest a causation between the far-left NAACP’s travel warning to black people (all but encouraging them to avoid the Sunshine State), DeSantis’s fight against the wokeism, sexual indoctrination, and support for the Second Amendment, and the Jacksonville attack.
In turn, they argued, DeSantis has embraced “the party’s increasing appeal among white supremacists” and “downplay[ed] the existence of racism in America and restricting LGBTQ rights.”
Their URL was tilted: “https://apnews.com/article/jacksonville-desantis-racist-republican-shooting-haley-scott-9bba89577ae8d0571e1d19b6a947fef5"
Peoples and Farrington went right to the wink, wink, nudge, nudge that DeSantis caused the mass killing following the headline “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis faces Black leaders’ anger after racist killings in Jacksonville” (click “expand”):
Ron DeSantis scoffed when the NAACP issued a travel advisory this spring warning Black people to use “extreme care” if traveling to Florida.
The leading civil rights group argued that the state’s loose gun laws and the Republican governor’s “anti-woke” campaign to deny the existence of systemic racism created a culture of “open hostility towards African Americans and people of color.”
Just three months later, DeSantis is leading his state through the aftermath of a racist attack that left three African Americans dead. Black leaders in Florida — and across the nation — say they’re outraged by his actions and rhetoric ahead of the shooting.
The cowards then ran to far-left pastor Jeffrey Rumlin of predominantly African-American Dayspring Church to argue “DeSantis has created and pushed a narrative of division and hate that is anti-Black” and the governor was thus implicitly okay with the murders because he “call[ed] the shooter ‘a major-league scumbag’” instead of “racist”.
“The Florida governor, also responding this week to a hurricane bearing down on much of his state, has confronted multiple challenges on race since launching his presidential campaign,” they added, gleefully noting he has yet to overtake former President Trump in polls.
Instead of dropping out and supporting Trump (which the press would want him to do), they whined that DeSantis has stayed “ever defiant” and screeched that his “team rejected suggestions that he did not adequately condemn the weekend shooting and has more broadly ignored the concerns of the state’s African American community.”
They at least ran a quote from DeSantis’s spokesman Bryan Griffin, who torched the AP for having “decided to collect and amplify false talking points as ‘reporting’ on this horrific event” when “DeSantis has condemned these racially motivated murders repeatedly in the strongest language possible” and “will not tolerate racial hatred or violence.”
Of course, Peoples and Farrington spent the rest of the piece arguing DeSantis didn’t mean it.
The pair then insisted “[t]he tragedy cast a shadow across the Republican presidential campaign this week as candidates faced uncomfortable questions about the party’s increasing appeal among white supremacists” even though “[v]irtually all of the candidates have embraced a similar message”.
Following asides on DeSantis’s fellow competitors in Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, Peoples and Farrington claimed without evidence that “Republicans have little political incentive to appeal to voters of color — in the primary phase of the presidential campaign, at least.”
Refusing to note things like the almost-holy-to-liberals 1619 Project and buzzwords about white privilege are filled with lies and meant to make children hate themselves, they huffed how a Pew poll showed Republicans aren’t keen on fixating on race and refuse to believe race relations are porous with little having changed from our country’s ugly past.
They upped the ante with even more liberal fluff, cheering “African American leaders” for having “decried what they call a pattern of ‘policy violence’ against people of color imposed by the DeSantis administration” and pointing to two Florida state Democrats who falsely claimed DeSantis inspired the shooter and other esoteric “extremists” (click “expand”):
Florida State House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell argued DeSantis’ policies on race combine to embolden racists and extremists.
She pointed to the Republican governor’s Stop-WOKE Act, which limits discussions of race in schools and businesses; his banning of diversity and equity inclusion at Florida colleges; and the newly approved Black history curriculum that suggests there were benefits to slavery. She also noted DeSantis’ loosening of gun laws, including a new law that allows people to carry guns without a permit or training.
“We’ve given warnings — don’t pass this legislation because it will only inflame tensions, don’t pass this bad bill because it will promote vigilantism, don’t do this because it will divide our communities,” Driskell said. “He has courted support from the far right. He plays footsies with it. This rhetoric was always going to lead to violence.”
Democratic Rep. Angie Nixon, who represents the district where the weekend murders took place, oscillated between angry shouts, tears and profanity as she condemned DeSantis in an interview.
“He refuses to use the word Black. He refuses to call that man a racist. He calls him a scumbag. No!” Nixon said. “He’s tiptoeing around the true issue because he’s worried that his poll numbers will drop with the base of voters that he has religiously went after.”
Peoples and Farrington ended their purposeful imbecility by returning to the NAACP, given its status as a unchallengeable organization:
On Monday, NAACP President Derrick Johnson said DeSantis deserves real blame for the weekend shooting.
“What Gov. DeSantis has done is created an atmosphere for such tragedies to take place,” Johnson said. “This is exactly why we issued the travel advisory.”