Sep 09, 2022
Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Thursday shared on social media several racist, misogynist, and violent messages she has received recently, two months after an armed man threatened to kill her at her home in Seattle.
"From the Big Lie to January 6 to a man with a gun at my door, it is clear how much is at stake."
On Twitter and Instagram, the Washington Democrat, who was born in India and immigrated to the U.S. at 16, said she chose to publicize the messages because "we cannot accept violence as our new norm."
"Yeah, hi, Pramila," one caller says in a message. "I just wanted to give you a little heads up. Get ready for the worst year of your life. It's gonna be turmoil every day... You're gonna get exactly what you deserve."
Another caller tells Jayapal her "day is coming" before suggesting President Joe Biden is not the elected president of the United States.
"As soon as the president's installed, like on November 4 or 5, we're fuckin' coming after all you motherfuckers," he says. "You're gonna be scrubbing fuckin' floors for the rest of your life."
\u201cTypically, political figures don't show their vulnerability. I chose to do so here because we cannot accept violence as our new norm. \n\nWe also cannot accept the racism and sexism that underlies and propels so much of this violence.\u201d— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@Rep. Pramila Jayapal) 1662661800
Jayapal shared the messages as The Washington Post published an article detailing her experience on July 9, when a man who lives just blocks from her in Seattle allegedly walked onto her property and yelled obscenities at the congresswoman, telling her to "go back to India" and saying, "I'm going to kill you."
The suspect was arrested in July and charged with felony stalking, but investigators did not believe the incident was a hate crime. A hearing in the case is scheduled for October 4.
Since July 9, Jayapal told The Post, she has altered how she gets around her neighborhood to avoid the home of Brett Forsell, the suspect.
"We felt threatened," she told the newspaper. "We still do."
According to an NBC News report last week, political extremism experts believe that in the wake of the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump's Florida estate, "the political climate is increasingly volatile" ahead of the midterm elections.
Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) told NBC that she believes it's become too dangerous for her and her family to hold public events without law enforcement present, and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said last month that a man threatened to come to his office with an assault rifle.
"Bloodshed is coming," Swalwell predicted on Twitter.
The FBI, IRS, and National Archives are also strengthening their own security protocols as they face increased threats following the Mar-a-Lago raid, which uncovered top secret documents that Trump apparently took from the White House when he left office. A man who was present during the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol attempted to breach an FBI field office in Cincinnati days after the raid--and after posting on Truth Social that people should be prepared to kill FBI agents. The man was later killed by police following an hours-long standoff.
The threats of violence against lawmakers and the federal government "are not isolated incidents," said Jayapal. "From the Big Lie to January 6 to a man with a gun at my door, it is clear how much is at stake."
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