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Rabbi who works next door to couple who pointed guns at protestors says they've been notorious 'bullies' for years

Rabbi who works next door to couple who pointed guns at protestors says they've been notorious 'bullies' for years
via Mondoweiss / Twitter

Patricia and Mark McCloskey caught the public's attention back in June when they were photographed waving guns at Black Lives Matters protesters who peacefully walked past their St. Louis mansion.

After the incident, photos of the couple waving their guns while dressed like they just got back from the country club quickly became a cultural Rorschach test.

Liberals mocked them for exemplifying the irrational fear that some affluent white conservatives have of people of color. Their overreaction to the peaceful protesters appeared to mirror the type of unnecessary violence against people of color that caused the demonstrations in the first place.


To many conservatives, the couple were an example of proudly-armed Americans standing their ground against a frightening mob.

The couple is currently facing weapons charges for brandishing guns at protesters.

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The couple were used as political pawns on night one of the Republican National Convention on Monday. The couple made a speech from their home that was a blatant attempt to instill fear in the the suburban electorate.

"What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country," the couple said in a speech.

"Make no mistake: No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats' America," Patricia warned.

The message was very simple: White people should be afraid that their quiet neighborhoods will be overrun by angry mobs of protesters, unless they vote for Donald Trump who will stop the protests. It's like they haven't noticed that protests have been going on since March and Trump has yet to stop them.

After it was announced that the couple was to speak at the convention, a rabbi that works at St. Louis' Jewish Central Reform Congregation, the synagogue next door to the McCloskeys' house, had to speak up.

"It's so upsetting that they have a national audience," Rabbi Susan Talve told Forward, a nonprofit Jewish publication. "It's upsetting we make heroes out of people who hate."

The rabbi's rocky relationship with the couple started back in 2013, when the congregation placed bee hives along a fence that sat six inches inside the McCloskey's property line.

The hives were there to produce honey for Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish new year celebration. On the holiday, Jewish people eat apples and honey to usher in a sweet new year.

via David Malouf / Flickr

Without even consulting the rabbi or the synagogue, the McCloskeys bashed all of the bee hives and left them to sit smashed on the fence. "He could have picked up the phone and said, 'Hey, those beehives are on my property,' and we would have happily moved them," said Talve.

The children of the synagogue wept after hearing about the destruction of the hives.

The temple has raised bed gardens where it grows thousands of pounds of fresh produce to help local food pantries. "We were going to have our own apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah!" she said.

But the McClosekys didn't stop there, they sent a note to the synagogue saying they'd face legal action if they didn't clean up the smashed hives.

"Civility," Talve said. "I'm willing to speak out now because there's such a lack of civility that's happening, and I don't feel like I can be a part of that, and silence is complicity."

"They are bullies," Talve said. "The fact that they're speaking at the convention is a win for bullies."

The fact that the McCloskeys were happy to speak at the Republican National Convention in support of Donald Trump isn't a surprise. Of course a couple known for being bullies would be big fans of the bully the currently lives in the White House.

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