As Democrats decry inflammatory rhetoric, News/Talk 1130 WISN has discovered that Wisconsin's Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate Mandela Barnes has posted rhetoric that actually inspired a follower to justify assassinating President Trump.
In what appears to have been a response to the Charlottesville riots in August of 2017, Barnes posted an image of the number 45 (a reference to Trump, America's 45th president) stylized to look like a Nazi swastika with the message "When a president sides with supremacists, nazis, hate mongers, and other variations of deplorable we have a duty to oppose all in unison."
Only one follower commented on the post--a user with the handle "rarrik," who said, "Killing him isn't treason when he sides with treasonous people."
In Facebook post on the same day, Barnes compared Trump supporters to Nazis, saying, "I can only assume that the gain of an Adolph Hitler tax cut may have kept you silent."
The lengthy rant also compared Trump supporters to slave owners and opponents of civil rights and claimed that Trump's "success in office" would bring about "the complete downfall of this nation."
"For those objectively standing on the wrong side of history," Barnes wrote to Trump supporters, "I could not care less about your reason."
"I can only assume where you would have stood during other trying times in world history," he continued. "I can only assume that you may have seen Nelson Mandela/Martin Luther King, Jr./etc. as a threat to civil society. I can only assume that the gain of an Adolph Hitler tax cut may have kept you silent. I can only assume the economic benefit of the institution of slavery may have made you think twice about abolition. I don't usually make assumptions, but if through all of this you still assume that Donald Trump means well, I can only assume that you may not."
Apparently oblivious to the inflammatory comparisons that he had posted just a year earlier, Barnes took to Twitter Saturday to decry "the dangerous rhetoric that enables" attacks like the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
In December of 2015, as the presidential campaign was heating up, Barnes was far less concerned about overheated rhetoric when he tweeted that an upcoming public opinion poll would "reveal the true soul of an awful portion of America that belongs to the Republican Party."
The Tony Evers campaign has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Barnes has previously been criticized over his use of social media after he was tagged as a host and commented on a Facebook invitation to a lingerie party at his fraternity house at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2009. The Associated Press reported:
The invitation refers to past parties, promising that the one scheduled for Sept. 11, 2009, in Whitewater would be “even bigger and better than the last time!!!” The invitation said that 203 people went to the party and 381 were interested.
Cash prizes and a Victoria’s Secret gift basket were being offered “for the girl goin’ the hardest in her Vicky’s!!!” The post also said, “Somebody said its a recession, so if you the baddest, it may be a stimulus package for you!!!”
Referencing men who planned to attend, the invitation told men that security would be there “handin’ out free choke slams and sleeper holds!!!” But it goes on to say, “Its a Vicky’s Secret party, why would you wanna roll on the ground wit a dud anyway???”
It also says that “All ratchets will be turned away!!! We don’t have time for it, it’s a Vicky’s Party.”
According to Urban Dictionary, a "ratchet" is a derogatory term for an unattractive, low-class woman.
Barnes called the party "immature" in a statement to the Associated Press but said he could not remember whether or not he attended. He also attempted to deflect attention to Republicans.
“I won’t take lectures from a Republican Party whose standard bearer today called a woman ‘Horseface,’” he said.