August 9, 2018
Perspective By M.D. Kittle
These are the days of overheated rhetoric.
But in the Twitter and Facebook Age, words can come back to haunt.
Not always, though.
Julie Henszey, a Democrat candidate for the 5th Senate District seat held by departing Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield), has posted some inflammatory rants on her personal Facebook page – mostly diatribes against white Christian men and their “power.”
“When all the homosexuals are converted, when all the minorities are silenced or displaced, when women’s vaginas are locked up (because that’s really what you are trying to control), when the only people left with a voice and power are white, straight men, will you be happy? Will you be fulfilled, that you are closer to God, that others respect you? What’s the point of ‘winning’ when everyone else loses? Here’s the truth: We all Lose. You too,” Henszey posted on Jan. 25, 2017.
Just two months before the Wauwatosa liberal announced her run for office, Henszey proclaimed on Facebook that she was “so tired of white male entitlement, of women suffering sexual violence, of children and those in poverty having powerful white men take away the safety nets.”
“I’m tired of wealthy white, ‘Christian’ men saying that healthcare is a privilege,” she continued.
Henszey, a corporate trainer, executive coach, and outdoor adventure guide according to her website, said she was tired of “people defending a disgusting man who is our president,” and “waking up every day feeling like we live in a very dark time.”
“I am tired of white male entitlement and those who do horrible things while stating that they are good Christians,” she said in another post.
Henszey is running against a white, Christian male in longtime state Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield).
Reached for comment on Tuesday, Henszey said she had an appointment at the time and would call back later in the day. She did not. MacIver News Service attempted to reach the candidate again on Wednesday, but the voicemail message seeking comment went unanswered.
Henszey apparently has removed the questionable posts from her personal Facebook account.
Her inflamed online comments have abated in the months after moving from “grassroots activist” in leadership positions with Indivisible and Citizen Action of Wisconsin, left-wing organizations known for intemperate rhetoric and vitriol for all things Trump, into the more cautious world of campaign politics.
Henszey took a little heat from some Facebook followers, forcing her to quickly reiterate that not all white men are part of the “white male entitlement” crowd. Some are good liberals, Henszey insisted. In essence, they get it. They understand their “privilege” and the abuses therein, or so the modern-day “White Privilege” ideology goes.
But for the most part, there has been little attention paid to Henszey’s social media rants, despite what some would consider offensive, even racist, rhetoric that permeates them.
The left has a way of forgiving their own while vilifying their opponents in the era of electronically archived hate.
Case in point, the New York Times’ newest tech columnist, Sarah Jeong, who, it turns out, fired off a string of derogatory tweets about white people a few years back. The Times defended their new hire, dismissing the inflammatory tweets as nothing more than the misguided responses of a young Asian American woman fed up with the vitriol from her critics. She “responded to the harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers,” the Times defended. Jeong has long since put aside such childish things, the publication suggested.
The Daily Caller found a long line of anti-cop tweets, for instance, that appeared as recently as December 2017, when Jeong declared “f — the police.” A year before, Jeong tweeted, “If we’re talking big sweeping bans on sh — that kills people, why don’t we ever ever ever ever talk about banning the police?”
In 2015, Jeong boasted that she was “equating Trump to Hitler before it was cool.”
New York Times critics pointed out what they saw as the hypocrisy of the newspaper, which is standing by Jeong after it quickly fired another new columnist earlier this year when previous racial and homophobic tweets surfaced.
Conservative columnist Daniella Greenbaum last week told Fox News that the issue is not whether Jeong’s tweets were racist. It’s the hypocrisy that is the real problem.
“Jeong claimed she was kidding. Good enough. I guess, although swap the word ‘white’ and insert black, Mexican, or Jewish in any of her tweets and I have a feeling we’d be having a very different conversation,” Greenbaum said.
Does the same hold for Henszey and her Facebook rants about white Christian men?
“We have forgotten we are all part of the same family,” the Senate candidate concluded in one of her posts.
In announcing her candidacy in December, Henszey vowed to be an “inclusive leader who embraces diversity and sees value in all voices.”