One thing that most people, regardless of policy position, can agree on is that mocking victims of gun violence is both reprehensible and not funny.
The Bonneville County Republican Party has invited the public to join them for a Lincoln Day fundraising banquet, an event that, in addition to a shotgun giveaway, advertises “special guest speaker” Dinesh D’Souza, an alt-right nationalist “speaker, author, and filmmaker” who has gained infamy in recent headlines after he made disparaging remarks about grieving survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
The Bonneville County Republican Party should denounce Dinesh D’Souza, his divisive rhetoric, and extremist views by rescinding his invitation to their event. Hateful views and reprehensible comments should not be given a platform in Idaho, and allowing D’Souza to spread his views at such an event would do just that.
Some of Dinesh D’Souza’s other recent accomplishments that the Bonneville County Republican Party failed to mention on the invitation?
His status as a convicted felon, having pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance fraud in 2014.
In 2014, he was accused of physical abuse by his ex-wife Dixie, who wrote in an open letter that “he, using his purple belt karate skills, kicked me in the head and shoulder.”
In 2012, he resigned as president of The King’s College (a private Christian college) in Manhattan, because of a scandal involving his romantic relationships: D’Souza was engaged to one woman while still married to another.
So, what caused Dinesh D’Souza to publicly disparage high school students?
On February 14, a 19-year-old man, armed with a legally-purchased AR-15 rifle and a full supply of ammo, shot his way through a campus building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people — students, faculty, and staff — were murdered, with an additional 14 injured.
Hundreds of students impacted by the shooting turned their grief into action in the wake of these tragic acts of gun violence, and traveled to their state legislature to implore lawmakers to address gun violence in the U.S. Instead, Florida lawmakers voted down legislation that would ban the sale and possession of AR-15 rifles.
Immediately afterward, political commentator Dinesh D’Souza took to Twitter to mock the grieving student survivors:
D’Souza was previously scheduled to speak this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington D.C. After his despicable remarks directed at the student survivors, CPAC rescinded his invitation to speak.
The Bonneville County Republicans have an obligation to follow suit.