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Mon Jun 7, 2021, 05:23 PM

1/6/21: Words Matter

It's happened before in history.

William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, was shot on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York, on September 6, 1901, six months into his second term. He was shaking hands with the public when anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot him twice in the abdomen. McKinley died on September 14 of gangrene caused by the wounds.


Czolgosz had lost his job during the economic Panic of 1893 and turned to anarchism, a political philosophy adhered to by recent assassins of foreign leaders. He regarded McKinley as a symbol of oppression and was convinced that it was his duty as an anarchist to kill him. He was unable to get near the president during an earlier visit, but he shot him twice as McKinley reached to shake his hand in the reception line at the temple. One bullet grazed McKinley; the other entered his abdomen and was never found.


After the shocking assassination of President McKinley, the gunman Leon Czolgosz confesses his actions to be inspired by violent anarchist Emma Goldman’s claim that “all rulers should be exterminated.”

Four months after hearing Emma Goldman speak, Czolgosz assassinated William McKinley.

My point: Goldman spoke and Czolgosz had four months to calm down. He didn't. On January 6, Donald Trump went beyond rally rhetoric and the crowd was flush with anger, malice, passion and headed for Congress in a deluded belief they were taking back their country. Trump deserves to be held in account for inciting a riot and for treason.

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