Jeff Charles


Jeff Charles is a freelance writer specializing in politics, issues of race and law enforcement.He is the founder of Artisan Owl Media.

In an inane effort to portray conservatives as vile, unfeeling bigots who hate everyone who does not look like them, former pastor and blogger John Pavlovitz has penned a piece entitled “Crocodile Trumper Tears and Dead Syrian Children.” As any good leftist would, he trotted out the asinine argument that conservatives who support the travel ban have no right to care about Syrian victims of chemical weapons attacks at the hands of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

As are most of his writings, Pavlovitz’s article is rife with what certainly seem to be intellectually dishonest attacks against people who do not agree with his viewpoints. Instead of crafting logical arguments, he engaged in the usual ad hominem attacks so favored by the left. Rather than using data to refute those with whom he disagrees, he resorted to using emotionally-charged platitudes to paint Trump supporters as rabidly xenophobic racists who only pretend to care about people in other countries. According to Pavlovitz, conservatives are “perpetuating the fear of brown people.”

When describing the horrendous use of chemical weapons against Syrian women and children, he states:

This is the human collateral damage of what Donald Trump’s been selling for 16 months now. It is the cost in actual vibrant, beautiful lives, of the kind of incendiary rhetoric and alternative facts and FoxNews truths that you’ve been fine with up until now. This is what you bought and paid for. Maybe not something this sadistic or explicitly grotesque, but the heart is the same: contempt for life that looks different and a desire to rid yourself of it.

This passage is a mischaracterization of conservatives and President Trump. The idea that Trump supporters are guilty of having the “same heart” as a Syrian dictator who routinely massacres civilians is pure vilification. It is a disgusting invention that cannot be supported by viable evidence. Mr. Pavlovitz makes this claim, yet provides no examples of conservatives advocates for anything resembling the annihilation of any group of people. People who approve of the travel ban do not harbor contempt for life that looks different. Their support is motivated by a desire to protect Americans.

Honestly, you didn’t seem all that broken up when Muslim families were handcuffed in airports a couple of months ago, or when mosques were being defaced, or when many of us were pleading the case for families fleeing exactly the kind of monstrous atrocities you were apparently so moved by this week—and getting told to eat our bleeding hearts out by MAGA hat-wearing trolls. You weren’t all that concerned when your President told terrified, exhausted refugees to leave and go home—twice.

Many conservatives who support the travel ban have admitted that the implementation of the first executive order was flawed. However, this does not mean that the United States should not take steps to properly scrutinize refugees and other immigrants before allowing them to enter our country. The United States has already experienced terrorist attacks carried out by radical Islamists. The travel ban is intended to prevent more of these incidents from taking place.

Some feel that the ban is not necessary — and they certainly have the right to that opinion — but stating that an aversion to brown people is motivating conservatives to support the travel ban is reprehensible. Demonizing those with whom they disagree by falsely accusing them of racism is one of the left’s favorite tactics.  Rather than provide a valid argument against the ban, Pavlovitz can only smear those who agree with the executive order.

Maybe this is a turning point for you. Maybe it is a revelation. Maybe seeing video of quivering, dying toddlers is what it will take to finally make you see that this is what hatred does. Every. Single. Time. This is the only inevitable outcome of people like Donald Trump and his cadre of fear-peddlers, pretending to save the world from the monsters they’ve created just to slay.

It is amazing that Pavlovitz has readers who accept statements such as these at face value. Not only is this statement incredibly condescending, but it is also misleading. He uses “quivering, dying toddlers” as a vehicle by which he can demean conservatives and further the left’s agenda. He claims that people like Donald Trump — and by extension, Trump’s supporters — are equivalent to the monsters who commit the same types of atrocities as President Assad. This is not the outcome of people like President Trump; it is the outcome of malevolent dictators and people such as Pavlovitz who use these brutal acts to make a political point.

The violence in Syria is heartbreaking and inhumane and clearly a blatant act of aggression against humanity—but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum and it isn’t an isolated event. It is cultivated in a million smaller, quieter, less visible ways, and its impact is equally brutal, whether it happens thousands of miles away with chemical weapons or whether it’s wrapped in red, white, and blue and called a Travel Ban. It’s all the same horrible, vicious poison that destroys people by making them into a threat.

If Pavlovitz truly saw the violence in Syria as heartbreaking and inhumane, he wouldn’t be leveraging the tragedy to attack people who support the travel ban. He would use his considerable platform to speak out against the appalling actions of the Assad regime.

Contrary to what Pavlovitz writes, the motivation behind the travel ban is not the same as the mentality behind a regime using chemical weapons against civilians. Supporters of the ban wish to make sure that we are allowing refugees into the country in a way that is safe and responsible. We do not want to make the same mistakes that other countries have made, but that in no way translates into a desire to slaughter civilians.

One only has to look at the lives that have been lost in European nations after their governments failed to vet refugees thoroughly. Last year, 146 people died in Europe at the hands of radical Islamists. While Pavlovitz has written about the victims of these attacks, he has written nothing about the policies that allowed the attackers into the country. The president’s job is to protect Americans first, which means he must take the steps necessary to ensure that we only allow immigrants who have the right values and intentions. It is not his job to open our borders to everyone who wishes to enter.

I’m not interested in your tears unless those tears move you to pushback forcefully against the violence happening in Syria and in Chicago, against terrorists and dictators and religious extremists wherever they do what they do and whatever faith tradition they claim. Yes Assad and Putin are the worst kind of horrible inhumanity and they should be condemned and opposed, but let’s stop pretending we don’t see the similarities here at home—if not in severity, then in spirit.

Unlike Pavlovtiz, I and many other conservatives have written about the violence in Chicago. I have written about the violence perpetrated by radical Islamists – and I am not alone. Conservatives across the country have expressed their support for those who are being victimized — whether by dictators or terrorists. If you run a simple search on his blog, you will see that Pavlovitz has not written a single piece on Chicago. He has not penned any posts that condemn radical Islamic terrorism. The only time he mentions radical Islam is when he uses it to criticize Christians. His hypocrisy is astounding to me. Before accusing conservatives of crying crocodile tears, perhaps Pavlovitz should first remove the plank from his own eye.