Even as President Joe Biden and others frame the American political scene as a torrent of one-way violence descending upon the political left from the political right, a case has emerged in Illinois showing that, as the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.
“American democracy is under attack because the defeated former president … refuses to accept the will of the people,” Biden said Wednesday, according to CNN, later adding, “I believe the voices excusing or calling for violence and intimidation are a distinct minority in America. But they’re loud and they are determined.”
In an Op-Ed in The Washington Post, columnist Max Boot doubled down on who is to blame, writing, “America has a major problem with right-wing political violence. The evidence continues to accumulate — yet the GOP continues to deny responsibility for this horrifying trend.”
And then there is the case of Scott Lennox, 21, of Chicago, who after seeing a campaign ad for Darren Bailey, the Republican running a long-shot race for governor, conducted himself in such a fashion as to be charged with two felony counts of harassment and felony threatening of a public official, CWB Chicago reported.
It began in a bar, according to prosecutors, where Lennox saw a campaign ad for Bailey and became angry. That led to a phone call to Bailey’s office.
WARNING: Many of the messages use profanity and graphic language that may be offensive to some readers.
“I am going to skin Darren Bailey alive, making sure he is still alive. And I’m going to feed his f***ing family to him, as he is alive and screaming in f***ing pain,” the voicemail that was left said.
“He is a piece of white -a** racist s*** and, honestly, if he doesn’t kill himself, I will. You know what. I know where he lives. I know where he sleeps. I know where his kids sleep. And I know the f***ing school he works at,” prosecutors allege Lennox said next.
Prosecutor Lorraine Scaduto alleged that the call continued with Lennox saying, “Bailey is teaching “all this motherf***ing misinformation [and] is going to die. So, honestly, he should just kill himself before anything else happens.”
“So, you know what? I am going to take anything and everything possible. You know what, I am going to make him scream. I am going to make him scream and suffer. Yeah, that’s right. So, he better kill himself. And, if he doesn’t, I am going to kill him,” the call continued.
In response, Bailey canceled one appearance. Security for him and for his family was increased.
Because Lennox’s number was linked to the call via caller ID, Illinois State Police later interviewed Lennox, who implied he was showing off for his friends for “shock value.”
He gave police access to his Snapchat account, where they found several messages about the incident, according to CWB Chicago.
“Dude, I’m a political terrorist. I sent a super ‘threatening’ – quotes for legal purposes – message to [Bailey] and now the cops are coming over to ‘ask me some questions,’” he wrote in one, later allegedly adding, “I don’t feel bad about it at all.”
In another message, he is alleged to have written, “I left a voicemail cuz I wanted him to know it was me. Dude, his entire family is on lockdown. I feel so f***ing accomplished.”
In another message, he is alleged to have written, “THE COOK COUNTY INVESTIGATIONS SQUAD NOW CONSIDERS ME A POLITICAL TERRORIST. LITERALLY I HAD 3 COPS PULL UP TO ME AND F***ING INTERROGATE ME FOR LIKE 30 MINUTES”
In another message chain, he is alleged to have called himself a “f***ing terrorist” and said that he “literally made it so [Bailey] and his entire family is on lockdown. I love it.”
During a bail hearing for Lennox, Judge Susana Ortiz ruled “that the intent wasn’t merely just to leave some rambling message, but for this threat to be conveyed and have an impact on the public official.”
The Snapchat messages “make it evident that there is certainly no remorse about this action and taking delight and pleasure in everything that flowed from this incident,” Ortiz said. “It simply will not be tolerated.”
“Divisive, inflammatory, and misleading rhetoric is driving hatred across our state as some attempt to label political opponents as dangerous threats,” he said in a statement.
“Whether we agree or disagree on policies, we are all Americans,” Bailey said. “I pray this young man gets the help he needs. We must bring our state together and fight for the safety and prosperity of every Illinoisan.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.