Virginia Foxx, Matthew Shepard, and "fake news"

Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the brutal kidnapping and murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. Shepard's father wrote a piece for CNN, reflecting on his son's death and the demonizing of LGBTs and the left and how it turns into violence.

We must not forget that, in 2009, Virginia Foxx called Shepard's kidnapping and murder a "hoax".

“I also would like to point out that there was a bill — the hate crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. This — the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills,”

After an uproar on social media, Foxx issued an apology. Shepard's mother refused to accept the apology, saying she didn't think Foxx was sincere. "Attacks of lesser consequence have been said about Matt since the beginning... but I never expected it to be called 'a hoax'."

Today, the cries of "hoax", "false flag", and "fake news" are commonly thrown around by the right to discredit the left. Survivors of the Parkland school shooting are called "crisis actors". Websites have been keeping running lists of every legitimate story that Trump has called "fake news".

The GOP's official website has even highlighted Trump's bogus "fake news" claims as a fundraising ploy. And here in NC, GOP leaders like Tim Moore have been frequently quoted using the "fake news" attack on NC press outlets.

Remember NC GOP leaders regularly calling Moral Monday and other liberal protestors "outside agitators", with one going so far as to call them "a group of malcontent thugs who were likely paid"?

Make no mistake - this rhetoric leads to violence, as we saw with the recent Capital Gazette shooting. Democrats must firmly take a stand and make it clear that we're not going to put up with members of the NC GOP twisting reality any longer. It stops here.