In church speech, Mark Robinson says it’s a ‘necessity’ that ‘some folks need killing’

In church speech, Mark Robinson says it’s a ‘necessity’ that ‘some folks need killing’

Mark Robinson speaking in Greensboro, N.C., on the evening of the primary election on March 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

By Michael McElroy

July 9, 2024

Robinson, who has a history of violent rhetoric against abortion providers and the LGBTQ community, was vague on who he thought deserved to die, but railed against ‘the tenets of socialism and communism.’

Mark Robinson, who has called abortion providers “butchers,” LGBTQ North Carolinians enemies of God and public schools dens of socialism, told a small church gathering in June that “some folks need killing.”

Robinson, the Republican nominee for governor of North Carolina, did not specify who needed to die, but he told the congregation that “we now find ourselves struggling with people who have evil intent,” and compared these unnamed villains to the Nazis in World War II. 

“You know, there’s a time when we used to meet evil on the battlefield,” Robinson said. “And guess what we did to it? We killed it!,” he continued, slamming his hand on the lectern. 

“We have wicked people doing wicked things – torturing and murdering and raping,” he said, suggesting that the police and army should be employed to “handle it.”

He added: “Some folks need killing! It’s time for somebody to say it.” 

“Some liberal somewhere is going to say that sounds awful. Too bad. Get mad at me if you want to.” 

The speech was first reported by The New Republic.

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Mark Robinson, the Republican nominee for governor in North Carolina, told a small church gathering in June that “some folks need killing.” Robinson, who has called abortion “genocide” and abortion providers “butchers,” did not specify who exactly needed to die, but he told the congregation that since “we have wicked people doing wicked things,” it was time to “start handling our business again.” Robinson gave the speech at Lake Church in White Lake, N.C. The New Republic first broke the news. Robinson said that though the wicked needed to die, it was not a matter of retribution. It was imperative. “It’s not a matter of vengeance. It’s not a matter of being mean or spiteful. It’s a matter of necessity!,” he said. “I didn’t start this fight, you did.” He did not define what the fight was or who, in this context, was “you.” Robinson’s comments fit into a larger context. Political violence, and threats of political violence, surged in the last decade, especially among far-right extremists, according to numerous, nonpartisan reviews. Watch the clip of Robinson’s comments here.

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‘Don’t you feel it slipping away?’

Robinson’s full speech remained vague on who he thought deserved to die, but the more he spoke the further away he got from World War II Nazis and criminals.

And in his speech, delivered on June 30 at Lake Church in White Lake, N.C., he suggested that the police or the military should be allowed to assassinate social media officials for blocking a far-right account.  

“Don’t you feel it slipping away?,” he said.

“The further we start sliding into making 1776 a distant memory and the tenets of socialism and communism start coming into clearer focus. They’re watching us. They’re listening to us. They’re tracking us. They get mad at you. They cancel you. They dox you. They kick you off social media. They come in and close down your business.”

“We have forgotten who we are,” he said. 

“We need to start handling our business again.”

Growing concern

Robinson has often delivered loud sermon-style speeches framing abortion and homosexuality in the context of spiritual warfare, as affronts to God. He has also long accused teachers of being communist plants who have tried to socially engineer public school students to become Democrats.

And his recent speech comes amid a long brewing concern over the prospect of political violence in the 2024 election, as threats and political assaults have surged in the last decade, especially among far-right extremists, numerous, nonpartisan reviews show. 

Michele Morrow, the Republican nominee to lead North Carolina’s public schools, has also called public schools “indoctrination centers” and, before she entered politics, called for the assassination of prominent Democrats, including President Joe Biden, former president Barack Obama, and Gov. Roy Cooper.

Just before Memorial Day, a coalition of veterans groups delivered a letter to the state Republican convention calling on them to denounce Robinson’s and Donald Trump’s often-violent rhetoric, and to commit to a peaceful election. The veterans were turned away

‘It’s a matter of necessity’

Robinson, who has a history of citing belief in unfounded conspiracy theories, told the church audience that his calls for executions had nothing to do with retribution. 

The violence was imperative, he said.

“It’s not a matter of vengeance. It’s not a matter of being mean or spiteful. It’s a matter of necessity!,” he said.

“I didn’t start this fight, you did.” 

Again, he did not define who, in this context, counted as “you.”

Author

  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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