By Stephen Fasulo II
Loretta Lynch recently said at the Muslim Advocates Dinner on December 3rd that she will pursue legal action against people trying to inspire violence toward Muslim peoples through rhetoric.
“Now obviously this is a country that is based on free speech,” began Lynch, “-but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone … lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric, or, as we saw after 9/11, violence against individuals who may not even be Muslims but may be perceived to be Muslims … When we see that, we will take action.”
Lynch further stated that attacks on Muslims due to anti-Islamic rhetoric were her greatest fear as a politician, and that due to recent attacks on United States soil by people claiming allegiance to ISIS, these anti-Islam attacks could happen.
“The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence. My message to not just the Muslim community but to the entire American community is: we cannot give in to the fear that these backlashes are really based on.”
“I agree with it, it sounds like it could work, but there is an extent where political correctness must be evaluated.” Says Sarah Lowney, a Class of 2016 Psychology Major.
Political correctness is on the mind of several of Lynch’s detractors. Joe Walsh, a former US congressman from Illinois made a video posting to Facebook in which he criticizes the Attorney General.
“You got a problem Loretta Lynch?” Asked Walsh. “Well this is for you and everybody else in this country who is trying to shut me up. You come out today and you say you’re going to prosecute Americans who use anti Muslim speech? That doesn’t happen in this country. I can say whatever I want about Christians, Jews or Muslims. I think Islam has a real freaking problem, alright? There is a cancer in Islam, and if they’re not going to learn to assimilate, I don’t want them in this country.”
This sentiment is shared by many people in the US, and that is what worries Lynch.
“I feel like a lot of people say things out of fear. Especially when we were attacked during September 11th, lots of people said hateful things that they look back on and say ‘I didn’t mean to say that, it was reactionary’ if we just take a chill pill really, towards what’s happening right now, I think we should abandon our fear, but still take precautions, because most of all this is about human lives.” Said Jon Kirby, a Music Composition Major in the Class of 2016.
Lynch currently has tried to dissuade her meaning, saying: “Of course we prosecute deeds and not words.” But when the deed is the words, the meaning becomes muddy.