Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) wants us to know that it does not, in fact, support the president being “hung, drawn and quartered.” But that doesn’t mean the anti-immigrant think-tank will apologize for its senior policy analyst saying President Obama deserved the punishment (which ends in death by the way). Instead, Center for Immigration Studies’ Executive Director Mark Krikorian responded to the controversial remarks by saying that they were “ill-advised” and “impolitic rhetoric.”
Here’s exactly what Stephen Steinlight said to the Highlands Tea Party in Sebring, Florida on July 17 (to loud applause I might add):
“We all know, if there ever was a president that deserved to be impeached, it’s this guy. All right? And I wouldn’t stop. I would think being hung, drawn and quartered is probably too good for him.”
Here’s a handy Wikipedia explanation of what it means to be hung, drawn and quartered:
Convicts were fastened to a hurdle, or wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution, where they were hanged (almost to the point of death), emasculated, disembowelled, beheaded and quartered (chopped into four pieces). Their remains were often displayed in prominent places across the country, such as London Bridge. For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were instead burned at the stake.
Steinlight’s suggested punishment is gruesome, violent and disturbingly racist. I’m sure it’s lost on no one that he’s talking about hanging — and butchering — the nation’s first African American president. I’m also sure that “impolitic” is the last word I’d use to describe it. But should we be surprised by this rhetoric given that Steinlight works for a group created by white nationalist John Tanton?
Is CIS taking this seriously or trying to sweep it under the rug? According to Huffington Post, CIS officials said Steinlight had been disciplined and instructed to avoid similar rhetoric in the future.
“I reprimanded him and put a reprimand in his personnel file,” said CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian. Way to stick it to him.
Suggesting that the president should be executed is not just “ill-advised,” it’s inexcusable. Simply “reprimanding” Steinlight is a signal to its supporters that CIS doesn’t find his comments all that disturbing. Steinlight should be fired. Anything less is unacceptable from an organization that calls itself non-partisan.
Jill Garvey is the Executive Director of the Center for New Community