Are we seeing history repeat itself? Let's take a look at the Armenian Genocide

Below is a transcript of this segment

Let’s look at ISIS. Clearly, that is evil, right? So, what do you need to defeat ISIS? You need the info. That’s hard to get in today’s world because we’re not being given the information. We’re being told that it’s just the jayvee league, that they’re just a small band. We’re told that it has nothing to do with Islam as they understand Islam. So, we have a huge barrier here of information.

Then connect. It’s really hard to connect because you’re called a racist. Notice the pattern here? You can’t get the information because if you even say the information or spread the information, you’re an Islamophobe or you’re a racist or a bigot. If you decide you’re going to share this information and connect with others, you all become Islamophobes or you’re bigots.

The third one is to take action. Now, this one is hard because these guys are over in the Middle East. What are you going to do? We’re going to focus on action in the coming weeks and months because this has to stop. Unspeakable evil is happening, and the answer is—can you fight and win? The answer is yes, but I don’t believe we should be against things. We’re not against Grover Norquist. I’m for the Second Amendment and an end of corruption. I’m for transparency.

I’m not against ISIS as much as I am for the First Amendment, the right to practice your faith. When you’re for something, there’s real power behind it. And there is unspeakable evil on the march in the Middle East. Christians and other religious minorities—heck with that, some people aren’t Muslim enough are being slaughtered, and we’ve seen the videos.

So, where are the leaders? Where are the Churchills? Where are the Bonhoeffers? I contend they’re right there. They’re you. We have shown you the regular citizen taking matters into their own hands and trying to help defend themselves and fight back against ISIS, and I personally think this is the wave of the future because we now can connect. We don’t need others to do it. We have to do it ourselves. It’s not enough in and of itself.

Positions of power come with responsibility, and the global superpowers have only delivered platitudes and politically correct soft admonitions. So far, only one major leader is calling a spade a spade, and that is The Pope, Pope Francis.

He has called for “the defense and protection of our brothers and sisters, who are persecuted, exiled, killed, beheaded, for the only reason of being a Christian.” He said, “They are our martyrs today and they are many; we are able to say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries.” He went on to say he sincerely hopes that the international community does not look the other way.

The Pope has also called to attention something the rest of the world doesn’t have the spine to address, and that is this, the Armenian genocide that happened in 1915. This is critically important. There were 2 million Armenians. Just a few short years later, there were only 400,000 left.

Amidst collapse, the Ottoman Turks, the Muslims, slaughtered the adult men right away. Anyone not killed was forced to march into the desert and the mountains with no food or water. Most died horrific deaths along the way. Few survived. Scholars and historians have absolutely no doubt on what happened, but yet Turkey still aggressively denies and attacks anyone moving to officially recognize it. It is still illegal in Turkey to use the word genocide.

The Turkish government spends millions and millions of dollars every single year using their clout to lobby against anyone in the world pushing a bill to recognize it. Apparently their clout is significant because even the United States of America hasn’t officially recognized it yet. I want you to think about that one for a minute. This country—Turkey has so much power over the world leaders and this country that it can stop us from merely speaking the truth that we know is true.

But on Sunday, The Pope spoke boldly, referring to it as the first genocide of the 20th century. He urged the leaders of the world to recognize it, saying, “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.” Turkey responded with a predictable outrage. They recalled their ambassador and the Turkish Foreign Minister and then Tweeted, “Religious offices are not places through which hatred and animosity are fueled by unfounded allegations.”

The real question is why in the world would Turkey care? It happened 100 years ago. Every nation has its scars. Germany recovered from the Nazis. America recovered from the slavery wrongs. They were acknowledged and corrected. We vow not to repeat them again. We learn from those.

But as we all know, the only way not to repeat history is to know our history. Next week, our latest episode of The Root is called “The Christian Holocaust.” This is pretty stark language for us to use to call something the Holocaust. We’re using it intentionally because the world needs to wake up to this. As you will see, there is an important historic reason that nobody talks about because nobody wants to look into it, but this Holocaust played an important role setting up the 20th century.

As The Pope alluded, there is more to the story that the media doesn’t report on. Buried towards the end or omitted in most of the stories is something else The Pope said. He pointed out “Catholic and Orthodox Syrians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Greeks” were also killed in the genocide 100 years ago at the hands of the Ottoman Muslim Turks. Christians were systematically slaughtered by the millions.

Armenia is one of the very first Christian nations, and over 95% of the population identifies itself as Christian. The Assyrians, the Greeks, were also targeted for extermination, and they were also Christians. We next week will show you the true history, and you will understand why Turkey cares so deeply about not admitting what happened 100 years ago and why they go to the extreme lengths to deny any wrongdoings. But more importantly, you will understand why we must now stand in the face of evil and declare it once and for all. Don’t miss it, 5 PM next Thursday.

So, while the world leaders sleep, The Pope is on the front lines, calling evil by its name. The president, our president, has refused to identify the religion of Christians beheaded on the beach. The Pope, on the other hand, calls these people martyrs. Why? A martyr is somebody who simply dies for what they believe, in this case, being a Christian.

The Pope is able to do so confidently because he understands the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He understands history. We’ve seen this all play out before, and we’re now seeing it again. The Pope is refusing to remain silent, thank God. He called out ISIS for their persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria, who are “publicly and ruthlessly put to death, decapitated, crucified, burned alive, and forced to leave their homeland.”

Refusing to speak evil against evil is in itself evil, and Bonhoeffer was right, God will not hold us guiltless for our inaction. So, what is it you do? You get the information. You learn history. We will show you that on The Root next Thursday.

Second, once you’re informed, you connect with others, and then you take action. Action is going to be something that is in this case very personal to each one of us. We’ve already shown you ways to take action. We will show you many ways before we hit the summer months. There needs to be a great awakening in our country, not against something, but for our brothers and sisters of all faiths who are now being put to death because they see God a different way than monsters do.

So, let’s concentrate tonight on info. We do that. We have a couple of guests in tonight that we’re going to share some of the things they know firsthand what is happening over there, and we will spend some time getting to know them and hearing their story. And then I’d ask that you would share these shows on social media because the words really do matter, the words that are said and the words that are left unsaid. The time will come when we ask you to take action, and action is coming. Tonight, we concentrate on the story, the words that need to be said.

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?