Racist GOP Elected Official Threatens Me with Libel Lawsuit!
So I just wrote a post about the role of blogs in local politics. As the epilogue, in a section entitled "What Not to Do," I quoted an ugly article written by Gred Aydt, the elected Republican Harris County Precinct Chairman who blogs as "Rhymes With Right." You can find his picture on an external server by following this link.
The article has the quaint title: “Sekula-Gibbs Supports Public Safety – Pro-Wetback Council Members Play Politics.” He then goes on to accuse Councilwoman Ada Edwards of "scrambling for a few more Hispanic votes like they were crack rocks." I used it as example of what not to do on a blog. Also, I pointed out that we really shouldn't worry too much about right-wing bloggers, because undecided voters looking for campaign information are usually not frustrated racists, so they won't be swayed by filth masquerading as political discourse.
Well, poor Chairman Aydt got really upset.
So upset that it knocked out him out of his angry bigot vernacular and caused to him to attempt an embarrassingly hysterical immitation of how he thinks lawyers talk. Soon after posting, I received this urget communication from Chairman Aydt:
"You are hereby directed to remove my personal photo from your website as a violation of my copyright. Appropriate action will be forthcoming if you do not comply.
And given that there was no racist statement at all, I suggest you remove your defamatory statement about me as well. I did refer to individuals present in this country in violation of American law with a derogatory term regarding their immigration status, but made no comment whatsoever about their race or ethnicity. As such, your statement is clearly libelous. So consider this to be your notice of potential action on my part in that regard as well.
Your immediate compliance is demanded."
Well, my compliance may have been demanded, but I did not deliver. As far as the photo, I'm a non-profit site using a copyrighted image for public comment or criticism of a public official, so I'm immune under Fair Use (Copyright Act, Section 107).
And as far as his "potential action" for libel, I offered that if he emailed me, I would be more than happy than to provide him with an address where he can have the papers served to me. After all, I can think of few greater joys in my life than causing a GOP elected official to launch a very public frivolous lawsuit where he must defend his use of the term "wetback."
Unfortunately, he hastily retracted his threat of legal action after being chastised both in pubic comments here and on a local news site. Or maybe it's because I only implied that his intended audience was racist. Well, I'll clear up that detail right now: As you'll see from my further research, it is my opinion that Chairman Aydt is a disgusting racist.
But now, Aydt says he didn't know the term "wetback" was racially offensive (He claims he calls illegal Canadian immigrants wetbacks!), and that he will never use that term again. And, he assures us, he is sensitive to the issue of race, and like the good little GOP official he is, he would NEVER express racist views. He may attack of a group of people for breaking the law, but he would NEVER slur or disrespect an entire group of people based on their race or ethnicity...
Think again. Prepare yourself for a small sampling of public racist statements from the mind of a Republican elected official:
"That's one more dead terrorist in Hell with Allah."
"In return, we will ship the Arab Muslims in the United States -- regardless of their citizenship -- back to the Middle East...They and their relatives back in their homelands have shown their utter inablility to live at peace with neighbors who are different from themselves....After all, if the Jews are not a good fit in the Middle East, why should the unassimilable Muslims be welcome in America?"
"Where are the peacemakers from the Religion of Peace? All I see are jihadi swine."
"Sorry, no respect for any ethnicity or religion with this scumbag...Just following the example of Muhammad, I guess. I recall that he liked sex with little girls, too. Would somebody please remind me what is there in Islam that is good and noble?"
"Israel has the capability to nuke your camel-humping ass."
"In other words, fundamental human rights are anathema to Islam."
I've provided links in case you want to see these quotes in context, even though there is obviously no context in which these hateful remarks are acceptable. I should add that the preceeding six quotes were all made in August of this year, and four of the quotes are from the same week. I did not cherry pick his entire blog looking for the occasional racist statement. One month was the most I could read without wanting to stab my own eyes out, and I still found all of this hateful garbage. One single month, and Aydt managed to repeatedly slur an entire ethnicity and religion, insinuate their God lives in Hell, suggest forced deportation of American Muslims, claim their holy prophet was a pedophile, and use a sadly common racial slur for West Asians that involves bestiality. Imagine what futher horrors might lurk in the archives of Chairman Aydt's public rants.
And consider the irony of Chairman Aydt speaking in one breath about "fundamental human rights," while then turning around and delivering this gem:
Under no circumstances should any alien not yet legally admitted to the United States be held to have any rights beyond the right to continue breathing.
And it's not just racist attitudes and heartless indignities...A quick look back around the time of Katrina, there's plenty of simply digustingly inhumane statements like these as well:
"Why are we sending one thin dime to a backwater, Third World hell-hole like New Orleans?"
"What needs to happen is that those caught looting especially those armed thugs we have all been hearing about simply need to be shot on sight."
There's one final point worth mentioning. Examine this screenshot from the website of Shelley Sekula Gibbs (click for a larger version):
A lot of us have read Aydt talk about his influence in the Sekula Gibbs campaign. And what do you know: There's his name! He's listed prominently as a member of the Republican leadership supporting Shelley Sekula Gibbs!
I would have to assume that at some point in the last few months, someone working for Shelley Sekula Gibbs would've done a Google search for "sekula gibbs" just to see what is popping up. And right there on the first page is Aydt's article about Sekula Gibbs and the "Pro-Wetback City Council." Maybe they didn't tell her about it.
Because I have to assume that Shelley Sekula Gibbs does not support hate speech, and would not cherish the endorsement of those engaged in it.
UPDATE: A reader emails to tell me that Aydt is still at it, and yesterday called Islam "the religion of barbarism."