Following the killing of at least five police officers in Dallas overnight, a former one-term congressman from Illinois ignited a firestorm with a now-deleted tweet threatening President Obama with “war” and warning Black Lives Matter demonstrators to “watch out.”
The reaction to the tweet was an immediate mix of shock and outrage as Twitter users assailed Walsh for openly threatening the president and for the racially charged nature of the tweet.
Did Joe Walsh just threaten the President of the United States of America? And what's he mean by "Real America"? Men in white hoods? Clarify— ᴮᴱ Mercadoodles 💜⁷ (@mercadoodles) July 8, 2016
Well Joe Walsh did just threaten the president....have the Sec Service kicked his doors in yet?— yeah I'm that dude (@PsychicStoner) July 8, 2016
Others accused him of intentionally trying to start a race war.
Joe Walsh is actively calling for a race war and threatened the POTUS. He should be arrested for terrorism.— JJsTrueFoodKitchen&Fish (@JustCallMeSmith) July 8, 2016
Joe Walsh is literally hoping for the same thing that Charles Mansion was: a race war where 'his side' comes out on top— Gore Vidal Sassoon (@JimmyJazz1968) July 8, 2016
The scene in Dallas where 12 police officers were shot, 5 killed during demonstrations
Walsh’s deleted tweet was not the only one in which he took aim at Obama. After deleting the tweet, Walsh returned to Twitter to respond to the accusations that he was trying to incite a race war. He then blamed Obama and Black Lives Matter protesters for the deaths of the Dallas police officers.
I wasn't calling for violence, against Obama or anyone. Obama's words & BLM's deeds have gotten cops killed. Time for us to defend our cops.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016
At one point, he called for Black Lives Matter to be classified as a “hate group.”
BLM should be categorized as a hate group.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016
In a Thursday speech on the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, black men killed by police officers, delivered well before the Dallas shootings, Obama addressed the notion of anti-police sentiment that has come up in the protests against police killings of mostly black men.
“When people say black lives matter, that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter,” he said. “It just means all lives matter. . . . This isn’t a matter of comparing the value of lives.”
In other tweets that remain on his profile, Walsh called on “patriotic Americans to stand up & stand against all the Cop haters” — including the president and “uneducated black thugs.”
It's time 4 patriotic Americans to stand up & stand against all the Cop haters - from Obama to the thugs on the street.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016
It's way past time.
Obama says Cops are racist so 2 uneducated black thugs shoot 10 Dallas Cops tonight, killing 4.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016
Wake up silent majority. Stand w our Cops.
And Walsh’s tweets kept coming, even after Dallas police officials said repeatedly that while they had certain suspects in custody, they did not know why the shootings had taken place. On Friday morning, Walsh was defending not only his earlier tweets but also his right to jump to conclusions about who was responsible and why.
Obama & MN Gov Dayton popped off about racism after Baton Rouge & Minn. Before the facts were in.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016
Dallas? He says wait for the facts. Smh
When so called "leaders" constantly hate on Cops, eventually thugs on the street will go after Cops.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016
That was Dallas last night. An ambush.
Incidentally, the LGBT community and Muslims also got some of Walsh’s Twitter ire.
4 Dallas Cops assassinated tonight.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016
Blacks lives matter cheers.
LGBT blames Christians.
Obama defends Islam.
Many wondered whether Walsh’s tweets should have consequences — though they doubted there would be any.
If Joe Walsh isn't arrested tonight, our laws are worthless.— Matt Murphy (@MattMurph24) July 8, 2016
And many more wished Twitter would just ignore him.