Commentary Politics

“Black Genocide” Candidate Running as Democrat in Kansas House Race

Kari Ann Rinker

An anti-choice Democrat running for the Kansas House of Representatives isn’t really “news” in Kansas, but a Democratic candidate who speaks at local Tea Party rallies, is openly hostile to President Obama, and acts as a community leader in propagating the extreme anti-choice myth of black genocide??  Kansas, meet your Democratic Party candidate for Wichita’s 89th House District…Peggy Elliott. 

An anti-choice Democrat running for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives isn’t really “news” in Kansas. It is infuriating, certainly, but also very common. During the 2013 legislative session 41 percent of the Kansas House Democratic Caucus cast anti-choice votes. In Kansas, The War on Women often entails Democrats and Republicans working together to build barricades to women’s health care through extreme and burdensome restrictions. 

It is unusual, however, for an anti-choice Democratic house candidate to speak at local Tea Party rallies, be openly hostile to President Obama, and act as a community leader in propagating the extreme anti-choice myth of black genocide. Well, Kansas, meet your Democratic Party candidate for Wichita’s 89th House District… Peggy Elliott.

One of Wichita’s well-known anti-choice zealots and street harassers has managed to secure her place on a Sedgwick County Democratic primary election ballot. This is a maneuver she may have picked up from another former Wichita anti-choice zealot, Randall Terry, whose Democratic bid for the Presidency may have provided the inspiration for Elliot’s political aspirations, even though Terry’s scheme didn’t pan out for him in Kansas. 

Ms. Elliott is very active within Wichita’s African-American community and also within the anti-choice community. Kansans for Life’s website lists her as their African-American Affiliate and provides the following description of her affiliation with that organization…

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Peggy Elliott Ministries is KFL’s African American Outreach Affiliate. The purpose is to defend the sanctity of human life, focusing on the African American community, by offering educational conferences, written materials, outreach opportunities, and pregnancy crisis referral and services to women facing unplanned pregnancies, plus post-abortion counseling to women affected by abortion, as we move a community from a culture of death to a culture of life.

Ms. Elliott has gotten a lot of attention and traction with her anti-choice message from within Wichita’s African-American community, primarily due to her affiliation with Alveda King. Ms. King is known nationally for her tasteless misappropriation of the work of her Uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Alveda King lays claim to her uncle’s name and work within the civil rights movement. While Dr. King was intent upon freeing African Americans from the bondage of inequality, Alveda’s work focuses upon forcing women into the bondage of unwanted pregnancies. She also likes to use her uncle’s name to denounce the “homosexual agenda.”   

Rather conveniently, Ms. King did not deny herself the choice to terminate her own unwanted pregnancy. An important part of her story is that she had an abortion in her own youth. Ms. Elliott fits the same mold as her “post abort” she-ro, having also availed herself of the right not to continue a pregnancy to term.  

Elliott’s friend Alveda has made several stops in Wichita through the years, her most recent was a fundraiser for Peggy Elliott’s new crisis pregnancy center. (CPC). The center’s planned location is in the heart of the African-American community. Elliott had planned to have the center open in 2012, but according to one Wichita African-American pastor who spoke to Rewire, she has yet to secure a location. Kansans for Life handed Elliott a $2,500 grant toward the start of this CPC. 

Elliott is a traditionalist in her genocide myth propagation. Here she tells the misappropriated “Margaret Sanger as eugenicist” story:

Most people do not know that black genocide has been a purposeful plan put into motion by the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger.  Sanger, a eugenicist and member of the Klu Klux Klan founded Planned Parenthood in hopes of disguising its real purpose, which was to get rid of black people, the “innately, inferior human beings.”  80% of all abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, are located in minority communities.  80% of pregnancy crisis centers are located in suburbs.

Elliott resides in a predominately African-American district with a long history of voting for and electing Democratic representation. Representative Melody McCray-Miller has served as that district’s representative since 2005. After one of the most disastrous and difficult legislative sessions in memory, Representative Miller made the personal decision not to run for re-election, opening the door for Peggy Elliott’s run against two pro-choice primary opponents vying for the vacated seat. 

Rewire asked Representative Miller about her thoughts on “black genocide” and how her constituency views that propaganda.

I personally disagree with the myth of so-called black genocide, I always have.  When looking at what we do to combat it, we simply must speak truth and knowledge.  Residents in the 89th district have supported me as a pro-choice candidate and I believe it speaks volumes about what the district’s stance is on the issue of abortion.  I am not going to suppose that everyone believes as I do, but I had obvious support for my decision to vote pro-choice throughout my time as a legislator.

Elliott is a blatant opportunist and knows that she must run as a Democrat (or move into a Republican district) in order to have any chance to win a seat in the Kansas Legislature. She is serious about her run. She has been attending Democratic Party events, has been hosting meet-and-greets and campaigning hard. She is also the only Democrat endorsed by the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, a seal of approval based on her far right views, which include opposition to the health care reform. 

One tea party rally participant glowed over Elliott’s remarks to that group. She stated that Peggy got a standing ovation talking about how “welfare is like slavery and free healthcare is no different.Representative Gail Finney, who is a sitting House member from a neighboring district, summarized how Elliott’s views on health care were hostile to the community’s needs.   

“The 89th District is home to many recipients of government aid, from food stamps to Medicaid. Over 50 percent of African Americans in that district are without healthcare and many parents receive WIC (The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children). Not to mention, the high disparity in unemployment and incarceration causing a need for assistance for many families.  This is not just a political race. This is about the future of our community. We need representation with indisputable integrity that will fight for us, not just say they are going to fight for us and flip flop later to the next opportunity.”

Just how much sway does the anti-choice movement have within Wichita’s black neighborhoods? The results of this election will provide some indication of its power or lack there-of. Meanwhile, the word about Peggy Elliott’s political affiliations is starting to spread. Let’s just hope that it spreads fast enough within the 89th district prior to Kansas’ August 7th primary election.

Commentary Violence

In the Wake of Newtown: Still Clinging to Guns, Religion, and Abortion in Kansas

Kari Ann Rinker

Now, I don’t claim to know the difference between a semi-automatic and an automatic weapon, but considering most of the men in the Kansas Legislature don’t know the difference between a vulva and a cervix and are a-okay with legislating my body parts, I will go ahead and give voice my strong opinion.

The quote deemed disastrous during President Obama’s 2008 campaign about small town people “clinging to their guns and religion” rings true in Kansas. You cannot throw a rock in the Kansas legislature without hitting a pro-gun, anti-choice politician. This is a land awash with golden wheat fields, tornadoes, and contradictions. A land where, indeed, there is no appropriate place to “draw the line” on gun control, but a Kansas politician will not hesitate to find six ways from Sunday to restrict a Kansas woman’s access to abortion and contraception

This gun toting, fetus-worshiping mentality is an extension of the rampant and wildly patriarchal viewpoints, practices, and policy that abound in this red state legislature.  That is why, in the wake of a mass murder in Connecticut, rather re-considering wildly un-restrictive gun laws, we can expect to see even more “guns and religion” in Kansas and, perhaps, other red states across the nation. The gun-toting, man-splaining political egos will simply see this as the next item on their agenda. They stand ready to impose their views on the masses, because Daddy knows what is best and “an armed society is a polite society”, doncha know? 

Case in point… Representative Forest Knox, an outspoken advocate of the right to conceal and carry firearms in Kansas. He introduced and shepherded legislation that would allow those with conceal carry licenses to carry their firearms wherever they darn well please.

Representative Knox confirmed to Rewire that there will be more pro-gun legislation in 2013 and he will be the one introducing it. This in spite of the fact that Kansas already has been ranked as having some of the most egregious gun laws in the nation.  When asked by Rewire what his thoughts were on the Newtown shooting, he responded…

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“When this tragedy occurred, I read through the list of names on the Internet and I thought, this is indeed, a terrible situation.  I also thought, you know what stopped him?  He shot himself.  These people kill themselves, because they are not courageous.  If the principal would have had a gun locked up in her office and merely shot to let the attacker know that she was armed, I believe the shooting would have ended…because he would have shot himself.  That’s what these guys do. Crime and murder and serious crime are down across the nation, perhaps due to conceal carry.  In this world we live in…if we are going to be safe, we need guns.  Whatever criminals have, I would want to be able to defend against.”

In spite of Representative Knox’s assertions USA Today’s data show that violent crime is on the rise and the City of Chicago saw 500 homicides this year.

Representative Knox is abiding by the NRA viewpoint that the answer to mass murders in America is to arm more civilians. Representative Geraldine Flaharty strongly rejects that notion. Geraldine is a retired teacher and served on the House Education Committee.   

“I have no desire to operate a gun.  I don’t know many teachers who would and the armed guard at any school is going to be at automatic disadvantage against an assault weapon.  He would probably be the first casualty.  Now, I understand that these men in the Kansas Legislature all grew up watching John Wayne westerns, but we don’t wear white hats and black hats and we don’t have perfect aim.  Ordinary sane people aren’t motivated to kill first and think later.” 

Unfortunately, the NRA has opened this can of worms and red state legislatures and school districts will soon be taking the NRA’s words of wisdom to heed. It has already started in Utah, where teachers are receiving free gun training in response to the shooting and, in Arizona, Sheriff Joe is sending armed volunteers to schools.

It’s not as if the Kansas pro-gun patriarchy needs much prodding in that direction. In Wichita, gun rights groups successfully lobbied the City Council to allow citizens to carry guns in 111 public owned buildings… but not where the City Council meets. In our state capital it is somehow seen as acceptable to speak about shooting human beings from helicopters like “feral pigs.” In 2010 a Hutchinson, Kansas man brought two loaded guns into a paternity hearing and was later only sentenced one year in prison. Just two days after the Newtown shootings, two Topeka police officers were shot and killed in a grocery store parking lot. This didn’t stop Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp from “shooting off” his mouth just days later on national TV, however.    

Now, I don’t claim to know the difference between a semi-automatic and an automatic weapon, but considering most of the men in the Kansas Legislature don’t know the difference between a vulva and a cervix and are a-okay with legislating my body parts, I will go ahead and give voice my strong opinion. We need more gun control.  

I have written here about my twin daughters, they are seven years old and in the first grade… just like those first graders in Newtown. And this I know… when a child is shot 11 times while sitting in their classroom, it is time for change. When 20 children are shot in this manner… it is time for drastic change. I will not allow my children to be victims of terrorist acts committed by a gun-toting madman, nor will I allow them to be a prop for the NRA to sell more weapons to their cult-like masses, nor will I remain silent while the Mike Huckabees of the world to use this tragedy to push a Christian agenda into my public school. 

People have questioned whether gun control is a feminist issue. In a state like Kansas, embracing gun control may lose the support of some pro-choice, gun-owning feminists.  But I believe that women are powerful and should not shirk from lending their voices to this debate, even if we lose a few supporters along the way. Guns, religion, and abortion restrictions go hand in hand. It only makes sense that we might fight them with equal and infinite passion.  

Commentary Abortion

Wichita “Pro-Life Memorial” Backers Specialize in Terrorizing Women and Physicians

Kari Ann Rinker

The planned memorial is the latest fleeting desperate attempt at notoriety for a couple of washed up anti-choice terrorists in a town with no one left to terrorize. And yet, it could serve as a terrorist training ground for spreading extremism.

Wichita, Kansas is the place that many anti-choice terrorists call home. The location has spawned several far-right fringe terrorist leaders. Randall Terry and Troy Newman both have roots in Wichita and both men are well-known for their radical exploits. Anti-choice terrorists seem to be drawn to the city like moths to a flame. Cheryl Sullenger transplanted herself here after finding the state of California unwelcoming and Jennifer McCoy, convicted of committing arson upon two Virginia abortion clinics, both now make Wichita their home. Many of these local terrorists had ties to Scott Roeder, who assassinated Dr. George Tiller. 

The men behind the “pro-life memorial” and “wailing wall” planned for Wichita also have a history and hand in the anti-choice terrorism that has plagued this community. According to one organizer, Mark Holick, the plans for this “memorial” have supposedly been in the works since the Summer of Mercy, which stands as a turning point for abortion politics and abortion terrorism in Kansas. 

Mark Holick may not be a well-known name nationally, but Wichita is very familiar with his anti-choice fanaticism, harassment of gays and the Islamic community. Holick’s hatred has even extended outside of the boundaries of Kansas. He was arrested in Wyoming for the distribution of graphic anti-choice materials at a Boy Scout fundraiser. Holick was so angered at the Jackson Hole community for their rejection of him and his fellow fanatics that he penned a lengthy diatribe to the local newspaper that included the defamation of several local churches, law enforcement, and other city officials.  The following quote is derived from that letter…

“To the Presbyterian Church and Paul Hayden:  you said you have “adamantly pro-life and “adamantly pro-choice” people in your church, this is an abomination. What Bible are you preaching from? Does the sixth Commandment mean anything to you? The “diversity” you spoke of is a euphemism for; we accept sin, even those who support the shedding of innocent blood. I urge you to repent. Woe to them who call evil good and good evil (Is. 5:12). You and your church are not pro-life in any sense. Stop the hypocrisy. Be honest and tell everyone that you are a pro-abortion/murder church.”

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Holick has a penchant for speaking out publicly against the beliefs of other churches with views that conflict with his own hateful gospel. Holick made the following statement after the murder of Dr. George Tiller, which took place on a Sunday morning inside the Doctor’s church…

“What was an abortionist doing ‘in’ church, any church…being allowed, welcomed, even venerated? This man killed babies for a living. He charged large sums of money to do it. Then he went to ‘church,’ made large contributions, and the ‘church’ (Reformation Lutheran Church) accepted it??” Pastor Mark Holick, Spirit One Christian Center, & OSA.

This is an apostate church, fully complicit in Mr. Tiller’s murderous rampage against preborn children. It has provided cover and respectability for him. We have confronted both pastor and church with this trashing of the Gospel of Christ. I can still recall one board member saying, “We have members who believe both ways (pro-life or pro-choice).” Please!

Holick not only freely condemns other faiths that have proper respect for viewpoints that run counter to his dangerous worldview, but he also has no qualms about protesting in front of a church. He was protesting this particular church, because it was the site of a public forum that included Dr. Mila Means. In fact, Holick was the core organizer of protests that were launched against the physician at her home and at her office when it was discovered that she had bought some of Dr. Tiller’s equipment and was training to provide abortions in Wichita.  The following quote is from a news story about the terrorism…

Mark Holick, the pastor of Wichita’s Spirit One Christian Center, has shown up at Means’ farm outside Wichita, as well as her office. “It’s not protests,” says Holick. “We just call it ministering the gospel.”

During Dr. Means’ search for an alternate location for her practice, Holick went so far as to hold protests in front of the prospective locations and call the prospective landlords with whom Dr. Means had merely inquired.

Dr. Means shared with Rewire what it felt like to be harassed at her home by Mark Holick…

“I felt trapped in my own home, my own environment, where I should feel safe and secure.  It altered my decisions of whether I would go outside of my home at any given time.  I never knew what he was capable of.”

Holick’s partner in the “pro-life memorial” effort is Rob Rotola.  When he was asked about the terrorism of Dr. Means he gave the following statement to the Rachel Maddow Show

“he is killing babies right now in Ks. City, and plans to kill in Wichita,” protest leader Rob Rotola e-mailed us later. “We will notify her neighbors and all who do business with her.”

Holick under the banner of his now defunct Spirit One Church, put out fliers with Dr. Means’ photograph, address and phone number.  The fliers stated…

“Visit her at her home and office and try to speak to her about Jesus.  Plead with Mila to stop shedding innocent blood so to avoid being condemned to hell for these unspeakable horrific murders!  Do a public outreach at her killing center.  She will be earning blood money for violently slaying the innocent.  Ask her to stop murdering innocent babies.” 

Holick and Rotola have worked together on several previous endeavors. They joined forces with Phil Kline in 2007 in the continued witch-hunt against Dr. Tiller. They have both been the forces behind Personhood in Kansas and now, they join forces to bring a “pro-life memorial” to our city. Only “pro-life” is a misnomer. 

This planned memorial is not a tribute to life at all. It is the latest fleeting desperate attempt at notoriety for a couple of washed up anti-choice terrorists in a town with no one left to terrorize. Holick and Rotola may not have the anti-choice name recognition that some of their Wichita “pro-life compatriots” have, but they have proven tenacity in their extremism. This alone makes them dangerous. The planned “pro-life memorial” could best be envisioned as a terrorist training camp, where the tried and proven tactics of its founders would be passed along to those that have donated to their cause and come from afar. 

The text in the pamphlet states that the memorial will be “promoting, bring healing, and enhancing human life”. It also states, “The International Life Centre’ will be staffed by professionals, councilors and clergy.” This presents a peaceful vision that stands in stark contrast with the past violent language and actions that the memorial’s founders have participated in and promoted. These men have promulgated a war against women and waged assault upon their doctors, pure and simple. They promise “a place of repentance, mediation, and healing.” The reality is that the only way that Wichita can truly begin to heal, is if these aggressors, these intimidators, these haters of women… were to quietly “repent, meditate and heal” for their sins upon a community that has had enough of their hatred.