KINGSTON, R.I. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A university professor is justifying the murder of a Trump supporter.
University of Rhode Island history instructor Erik Loomis is defending the Aug. 29 killing of Aaron Jay Danielson, a member of the pro-Trump Patriot Prayer group, in Portland, Oregon. Danielson was murdered by avowed Antifa supporter Michael Forest Reinoehl.
"He [Reinoehl] killed a fascist. I see nothing wrong with it, at least from a moral perspective," Loomis wrote Sept. 4 in a blog comment.
Yes, sometimes violence is necessary, say to avoid greater physical harm, i.e., self-defense, or to defeat a literal army of fascists who are trying to kill people. But, ideologically, I think the idea that violence is good if it's against our political enemies is a core part of fascism, and so the ideological opposition to that idea should be its opposite — that violence as a general rule is bad, unless the specific context of that situation requires a violent response.
Reportedly, Reinoehl appeared to be targeting the Patriot Prayer member prior to the shooting, hiding in a parking garage and waiting for Danielson and another Patriot Prayer member.
Reinoehl, "who claimed online to be a '100% ANTIFA' anti-fascist and said he worked security for Black Lives Matter protests," shot two times at Danielson, hitting him once in the chest and killing him, according to a Fox News report. He was killed on Sept. 3 as a federal task force attempted to apprehend him.
Patriot Prayer member Luke Carrillo defended Danielson:
He was a proud American and a proud Portlander who absolutely loved this community and people in it. Aaron Jay Danielson was not a radical. He was not a racist and was not a fascist. He was not an inciter or an instigator. He was a freedom-loving American who died expressing his beliefs, a right which is guaranteed to all of us through the Constitution.
"We ask now that Portland, Oregon and the entire country stand together and renounce any further acts of violence. No family or friends should ever have to deal with this type of loss for any reason at all — period," added Carrillo.
This is not the first time the professor has made questionable remarks.
On Tuesday he accused Republicans of being racist. To MSNBC host Chris Hayes' tweet attacking President Trump of being "objectively pro-COVID," Loomis wrote, "Yeah, I mean, once Republicans figured out COVID was going to affect people of color and the poor disproportionately, they stopped caring about doing anything about it."
Loomis then reacted to the pushback he got for his remark. "It's hilarious that this obviously correct statement is what the fascists are attacking me over. I mean, if you want to go after me, I've got much better material for you," he wrote.
In 2012, in the midst of the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, Loomis' violent remarks also made headlines. He called for National Rifle Association (NRA) executive Wayne LaPierre's "head on a stick," targeting the Second Amendment and its supporters as the source of the massacre.
Kara Zupkus, who calls herself a campus watchdog "exposing bias" at Young America's Foundation, has reacted to Loomis' comments with incredulity. Zupkus tweeted her amazement that Loomis "is a history professor at the University of Rhode Island."
Loomis responded by calling Zupkus a "fascist."
In a dig at the conservative Young Americans for Freedom, he added: "Also, thanks for the reminder to teach my students this semester just how horribly disgusting the Young Americans for Fascism is and has been since its beginnings in the cesspool of William F. Buckley's diseased, racist brain," he added.
Church Militant reached out to Loomis for comment but received no reply as of press time.