A Democratic congressman's tweeting of public information has conservatives apoplectically shrieking about "doxxing"—a claim that progressives are skewering.
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) on Tuesday listed donors in the city of San Antonio, Texas to President Donald Trump who have "maxed out" their contributions for 2019, calling them out for supporting the president's racist and hateful rhetoric.
A screed allegedly written by a shooter in El Paso over the weekend who killed 22 people in an attack targeting Hispanics was similar in tone to Trump's anti-immigrant speeches.
"Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as 'invaders,'" said Castro.
Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump — the owner of @BillMillerBarBQ, owner of the @HistoricPearl, realtor Phyllis Browning, etc.— Joaquin Castro (@Castro4Congress) August 6, 2019
Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’ pic.twitter.com/YT85IBF19u
The names and donations shared by Castro, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, are public information and easily searchable on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) website.
"Chairman Castro, they don't like it when you name their donors," Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said in a tweet. "The public needs to know who funds racism."
But that didn't stop the president's allies from having a full blown meltdown over the exposure, claiming that publishing the names amounted to "doxxing," or publishing the full private information of the donors. Castro only released the names of the donors.
"It's not as though Castro published anyone's phone number, e-mail address, or home address," said Media Matters for America editor Parker Molloy. "Had he done that, that would be unethical, absolutely."
If someone wants to say which candidates I've financially supported, they're welcome to do that. It's not as though Castro published anyone's phone number, e-mail address, or home address. Had he done that, that would be unethical, absolutely.— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 7, 2019
FEC information is not private, as Axios explained Tuesday evening.
"Anyone who donates over $200 to campaigns must report to the Federal Election Commission," said Axios.
The right-wing reaction to Castro's tweet nevertheless ran the gamut from general disappointed scolding to analogizing posting the names with gun violence.
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Publishing publicly available information was "a terrible and dangerous precedent to set," said HuffPost contributor Yashar Ali.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who once referred to himself as "David Duke without the baggage," attempted to tie Castro's dissemination of the, again, publicly available names of the president's donors to a 2017 shooting that put Scalise in the hospital.
"It's dangerous, and lives are at stake," said Scalise. "I know this firsthand."
Progressives found the outrage over Castro's sharing of the public information to be at best suspect.
"Apparently the right wing is flipping out because Castro tweeted public information," tweeted privacy activist Kade Crockford. "I thought y'all loved free speech???"
The outrage was hypocritical, said journalist Benjamin Dixon.
"Conservatives are literally more offended by Castro 'targeting' voters than gunmen targeting children," Dixon said.
The right-wing attack on Castro was not in keeping with the "wait and see" approach to the president's racist attacks on four congresswomen of color in July, said activist Bree Newsome.
"Notice how quickly folks jumped on Joaquin Castro's tweet to feign concern about violence when two weeks ago they weren't even sure if chanting for Omar, Presley, AOC and Tlaib to 'go back' was racist," tweeted Newsome.
LOL Notice how quickly folks jumped on Joaquin Castro's tweet to feign concern about violence when two weeks ago they weren't even sure if chanting for Omar, Presley, AOC & Tlaib to "go back" was racist.— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) August 7, 2019
Splinter's Naomi LaChance was confused as to why sharing the information was generating such a reaction.
"It's totally bizarre," wrote LaChance. "It's certainly in the public interest to know who is willingly sending Trump money."
"I don't have any sympathy for someone who chooses to part with their money in such a freakish manner," added LaChance.