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Rokita draws target on liberals

Here’s an example of speech designed to put wedges between reasonable people. It doesn’t fit legal definitions of hate speech (in other states) but it goes off in the same direction. 

Disgustingly enough, this emailed news release came from a person we’re supposed to look up to because he is a congressman.

“No one is above the law, especially researchers and professors who rely on federal funding,” said Congressman Todd Rokita. “I have introduced legislation that would hold liberal academics accountable to tribes when they violate federal laws pertaining to Native American graves and funerary objects. It is imperative that we respect the rich history of the Native American culture, which is uniquely American, and give tribes and their deceased the respect they deserve.”

Either Rokita is targeting only the liberals or just trying to play on Hoosier prejudices by linking the terms “liberal academics” to nefarious acts.

The news release said the bill was partly in response to the improper removal of remains from a Native American burial site in Hamilton County by archaeologists from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. I had to wonder if they were all liberals or whether he intended for the law to exempt conservatives, libertarians and other political viewpoints. I sent back an email asking that question and didn’t get a response. (Didn’t really expect it, either.)

You may remember Rokita as one of three candidates for U.S. senator in the May Republican primary. He actively used similarly divisive commentary in losing that contest. He must not have paid attention to that language lesson.

When Rokita was the Indiana Secretary of State, he seemed like a pretty decent one. Can’t say that I still think very highly of him.

Bob Hansen is editor of the Connersville News-Examiner. Contact him at bhansen@newsexaminer.com or 765-825-0588 ext. 235.