ARE OUR CULTURAL ROLE MODELS ADVOCATING VIOLENCE?

It seems political rhetoric is becoming increasingly violent. Particularly troubling is how many of our cultural role models, celebrities, and entertainers are publicly advocating violence against President Trump, his family, those in his administration, and those who support him. Rather than face criticism for such rhetoric, they are frequently rewarded with laughter and applause or are granted a pass because their frustration is rooted in politically correct causes.

 

America has a long history of violence—some of which has been politically motivated—but overall, we’ve agreed to disagree, choosing to make our fight arena the campaign trail and ballot box. Recently, however, we’ve seen movements of people who refuse to accept election results and who justify political violence, even going so far as to claim that “You can’t be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.”[1] Regardless of who is most at fault, civil discourse is being replaced with passionate rhetoric that often crosses the line.

 

Not surprisingly, we are witnessing a rash of politically motivated attacks. As of the writing of this article, Brietbart has compiled a list documenting 639 such attacks since the presidential election.[2] As a nation, we are choosing the wrong solution to our problems. Psalm 11:5 says that God “hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.” Historically, nations who embraced violence provoked God’s judgment upon them (Isa. 59:6–8; Eze. 7:23–24; Hos. 4:1–2; Micah 6:12–13). And a culture of violence is what led God to judge all people of the earth in the past (Gen. 6:11–13), and it will eventually again provoke him to global judgment in the future (Joel 3:19; Zeph. 1:9).

 

Examples of cultural role models advocating violence:

  • Upset over the separating of families who had illegally entered the country, actor Peter Fonda Tweeted:
    • “WE SHOULD RIP BARON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER’S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES AND SEE IF MOTHER WILL STAND UP AGAINST THE GIANT [expletive] SHE IS MARRIED TO.”[3][4]
    • “Kristjen [sic] Nielsen is a lying gash that should be put in a cage and poked at by passersby. The gash should be pilloried in Lafayette Square naked and whipped by passersby while being filmed for posterity.”[5][6]
    • “SS (Sarah Sanders) is a lying gash, too. And ‘gash’ is much worse than cunt. Maybe we should take her children away and deport her to Arkansas, and giving her children to Stephen Goebbels Miller for safe keeping.”[7][8]

 

  • Responding to a Tweet, “We all have always heard about concentration camps and thought about what we would have done if we were alive at that time. Well we are now. What are you going to do? How are you going to speak up? How will you protest?”[9] actor Tom Arnold Tweeted:
    • “On a plane to NY. Next is protesting Baron’s private school as well as James & Lachlan Murdoch’s kids. This is what I can do to end the abuse of these children. We’re going to make you uncomfortable.”[10]
    • “Dude, we can protest at the White House too. Also Melania takes him to school. We want to have a word with her. If we see babies tomorrow we’re going to Kushners [sic] kids school. Don Jr’s kids are already working at Hooters so we’ll protest there for lunch.”[11]

 

  • Comedian Stephen Colbert’s Late Show featured a segment showing presidential senior advisor Stephen Miller being attacked in scenes from TV shows, including one with his head on a spike.[12]

 

  • During a speech at the United Kingdom’s Glastonbury music and arts festival, actor Johnny Depp joked:
    • “I think he needs help and there are a lot of wonderful dark, dark places he could go. … When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? I want to clarify, I am not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it has been a while and maybe it is time.”[13]

 

  • Responding to whether the show Frozen on Broadway is a proper venue for displaying a pro-Trump banner, actress Carole Cook said:
    • “Well, my answer to that is, ‘Where is John Wilkes Booth when you need him?”[14]

 

  • Frustration at debate moderator Megan Kelly’s questioning during the presidential debate, Donald Trump told CNN’s Don Lemon, “She had blood coming out of her eyes. Or blood coming out of her whereever.”[15] In response, Comedian Kathy Griffin posted a picture from a photo shoot of her solemnly holding the bloody decapitated head of President Trump with the caption, “There was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his…whereever.”[16] Although she apologized for the photo, she later recanted her apology.[17]

 

  • In a short video for his new song “Say10,” singer Marilyn Manson shows a headless Trump-like body laying in a pool of blood.[18]

 

  • Comedian George Lopez Tweeted a cartoon image of Mexican President Vicente Fox standing atop a pile of skulls triumphantly holding the decapitated head of President Trump with the words “Make America Great Again!”[19]

 

  • Upset that President Trump refused to answer a question from CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins, actress Ellen Barkin Tweeted:
    • “this man should be removed…and not just from office.”[20]

 

  • Rapper Snoop Dog’s music video, “Lavender,” shows Snoop Dog shooting a toy gun at the head of a clown depicting President Trump immediately before the screen goes black.[21]

 

  • Pearl Jam’s bass player, Jeff Ament, created a concert poster for the band depicting an eagle pecking at the dead body of President Trump in front of the White House in flames.[22]

 

  • Host of Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show” Larry Wilmore joked:
    • “I don’t want to give him any more oxygen. That’s not a euphemism, by the way. I mean it literally. Somebody get me the pillow they used to kill [Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia and I’ll do it — I’ll do it!”[23]

 

  • During the 2016 presidential election, rappers YG and Nipsy Hussle released the son “[expletive] Trump” which contained the lyrics:
    • “I like white folks, but I don’t like you / All the [expletive] in the hood wanna fight you / Surprised El Chapo ain’t tried to snipe you / Surprised the Nation of Islam ain’t tried to find you / Have a rally out in L.A., we gon’ [expletive] it up.”[24]
    • “I’m about to turn Black Panther / Don’t let Donald Trump win / That [expletive] cancer.”[25]
    • “You vote Trump then you’re prolly on dope / And if your [expletive] do win, you gon’ prolly get smoked.”[26]

 

  • In a freestyle rap with Funkmaster Flex on the radio station Hot 97 in New York, rapper Big Sean threw the lyric:
    • “And I might just kill ISIS with the same ice pick / That I murdered Donald Trump in the same night with.”[27]

 

  • In a “lyrical assassination,” rapper Rick Ross’ song “Free Enterprise” includes the lyrics:
    • “Assassinate Trump like I’m Zimmerman. Now accept these words as they came from Eminem / Democratic Party sentenced to the pendulum / Killing them, I voted for André Benjamin.”[28]

 

  • In response to the question, “If you could go back and like spend like an hour with anyone in history, who’d you want to spend an hour with, and who would you not want to spend an hour with?”, host of actor Adam Pally answered
    • “Oh, I’d have to like—I’d have to kill Trump or Hitler.”[29]

 

  • Responding to the death of singer George Michael, actor Charlie Sheen Tweeted:
    • “Dear God; Trump next, please! Trump next, please! Trump next, please! Trump next, please! Trump next, please! Trump next, please! [middle finger emoji]”[30]

 

  • A performance of New York City Public Theater’s “Julius Caesar,” portrayed Julius as a petulant businessman who looked like President Trump and was even married to a woman with a Slavic accent. In the play, he was stabbed to death by a group of senators who feared that he had become power hungry.[31]

 

  • Director Josh Whedon Tweeted:
    • “Donald trump is killing this country. Some of it quickly, some slowly, but he spoils and destroys everything he touches. He emboldens monsters, wielding guns, governmental power, or just smug doublespeak. Or Russia. My hate and sadness are exhausting. Die, Don. Just quietly die.”[32]
    • “Violence solves nothing. I want a rhino to [expletive] @SpeakerRyan to death with its horn because it’s FUNNY, not because he’s a #GOPmurderbro.”[33]

 

  • Comedian Rosie O’Donnell Tweeted a link to the game Push Trump Off a Cliff Again which allows users to “Push Trump off a virtual cliff or into a virtual volcano”.[34]

 

  • In a speech during the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, singer Madonna declared:
    • “Yes, I’m angry, yes, I’m outraged, yes I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything.”[35]

 

  • During a performance at the University of Utah, comedian David Cross joked about beating President Trump to a bloody pulp and then urinating and defecating on him.[36]

 

  • In the cartoon music video for “In This Cold Place,” musician Moby portrays President Trump as a transformer who transitions into a swastika and then a dollar sign that wreaks havoc upon the city before exploding into a flaming swastika and then into oblivion.[37]

 

  • Actor Jim Carrey Tweeted a provocative picture he had created portraying President Trump as a Pied Piper leading people to hell, including a gun-toting fascist with a swastika tattooed on his forearm:
    • “The GOP are now completely invested in Trump’s economy of LIES. They say they’re gonna give you HEALTHCARE while working to destroy it. They make up lies about refugees while KIDNAPPING INNOCENT CHILDREN! Vote Democrat. Help save the future. DON’T FOLLOW THE RED HAT TO HELL!”[38]

 

  • In a Tweet, actress Sarah Silverman suggested a military coup against president:
    • “WAKE UP & JOIN THE RESISTANCE. ONCE THE MILITARY IS W US FASCISTS GET OVERTHROWN. MAD KING & HIS HANDLERS GO BYE BYE.”[39]

 

  • Fearing that President Trump may fire special counsel investigator Robert Mueller, actor David Simon Tweeted:
    • “If Donald Trump fires Robert Mueller and is allowed to do so, pick up a [expletive] brick. That’s all that’s left to you.”[40]

 

  • Frustrated by the presidential election results, actress Lea DeLaria responded to a meme featuring a Leonard Bernstein quote about dealing with violence through music by writing on Instagram:
    • “[O]r pick up a baseball bat and take out every [expletive] republican and independent I see.” DeLaria captioned the post with the hashtags “#f***trump,” “#f***theGOP,” #f***straightwhiteamerica” and “f***yourprivilege.”[41]

 

  • Upset that Donald Trump was using one of his songs at his campaign rallies, Rapper Everlast told Billboard:
    • “He’s a [expletive] racist piece of [expletive]. … [expletive] that dude. I’ll smack that [expletive] comb-over right off his [expletive] scalp. Like, for real, if I met Donald Trump, I’d punch him in his [expletive] face. And that’s not a joke. Even if he did become president — watch out, Donald Trump, because I will punch you in your [expletive] face if I ever meet you. Secret Service had better just [expletive] be on it. Don’t let me anywhere within a block.”[42]

 

  • Boxer-turned-actor Mickey Rourke told TMZ:
    • “Tell Donald Trump to go [expletive] himself. He’s nothing but a big-mouthed [expletive] bully, and I’d love to have 30 seconds in the room with the little [expletive].”[43][44]
    • “Donald Trump can go [expletive] himself. His wife said, ‘Oh, he’s a tough guy.’ He’s not a tough guy, he’s a bully and a [expletive] and he can [multiple expletives]. I’ll meet him in a hotel room any [expletive] day of the week and give him a Louisville slugger. Kiss my [expletive] you [multiple expletives].”[45]

 

  • In a video filmed for the #VoteYourFuture campaign, actor Robert de Niro said:
    • “I mean, he’s so blatantly stupid. He’s a punk. He’s a dog. He’s a pig. He’s a con, a [expletive] artist, a mutt who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t care, thinks he’s gaming society, doesn’t pay his taxes. He’s an idiot. Collin Powell said it best, he’s a national disaster. He’s an embarrassment to this country. It makes me so angry that this country has gotten to this point that this fool—this bozo—has wound up where he has. He talks how he wants to punch people in the face. Well, I’d like to punch him in the face.”[46]

 

It may sound harsh, but God hates those who love violence (Psa. 11:5). These cultural role models are encouraging us down as path that has invoked God’s judgment upon nations in the past and will incite judgment upon our nation if pursued. As a nation, we must resist the temptation toward violence, regardless of how we may justify it.

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Timothy Zebell

Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Ventresca, Rachel. “Clinton: ‘You Cannot Be Civil with a Political Party That Wants to Destroy What You Stand For.” CNN, n.d. Last Updated October 9, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/09/politics/hillary-clinton-civility-congress-cnntv/.

2. Nolte, John. “Rap Sheet: ***639*** Acts of Media-Approved Violence and Harassment Against Trump Supporters.” Breitbart, July 5, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2018/07/05/rap-sheet-acts-of-media-approved-violence-and-harassment-against-trump-supporters/.

3. Tatum, Sophie. “Secret Service Notified After Peter Fonda’s Obscene Tweet about Barron Trump.” CNN, n.d. Last Updated June 21, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/20/politics/peter-fonda-baron-trump-secret-service/.

4. Durden, Tyler. “Melania Calls Secret Service On Peter Fonda After Pedo Rape-Cage Tweet.” ZeroHedge, June 20, 2018. Accessed November 7, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-20/melania-calls-secret-service-peter-fonda-after-pedo-rape-cage-tweet.

5. Ibid.

6. Bolt, Andrew. “Peter Fonda Is a Trump-Hating Savage.” Herald Sun, June 20, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/peter-fonda-is-a-trumphating-savage/news-story/09a15046fe827b161f3973216ed48e14.

7. Durden, Tyler. “Melania Calls Secret Service On Peter Fonda After Pedo Rape-Cage Tweet.” ZeroHedge, June 20, 2018. Accessed November 7, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-20/melania-calls-secret-service-peter-fonda-after-pedo-rape-cage-tweet.

8. Cadelago, “White House Reports Peter Fonda Tweet on Barron Trump to Secret Service.” Politico, June 20, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/20/peter-fonda-barron-trump-tweet-656668.

9. Judd Apatow. Twitter Post. June 19, 2018, 8:08 AM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/JuddApatow/status/1009090578313764865.

10. Arnold, Tom. Twitter Post. June 19, 2018, 8:32 AM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/TomArnold/status/1009096540583968768.

11. Arnold, Tom. Twitter Post. June 19, 2018, 10:12 PM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/TomArnold/status/1009302972357140480.

12. Locker, Melissa. “Stephen Colbert Mocks Trump Advisor Stephen Miller Game of Thrones Style.” TIME, February 14, 2017. Accessed November 3, 2018. http://time.com/4670553/colbert-on-stephen-miller/.

13. Press Association. “Johnny Depp Jokes about Killing Donald Trump in Glastonbury Appearance.” The Guardian, June 23, 2017. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jun/23/johnny-depp-jokes-about-killing-trump-in-glastonbury-appearance.

14. “Carole Cook on Trump ‘Where’s John Wilkes Booth When You Need Him?” TMZ, September 10, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. http://www.tmz.com/2018/09/10/carole-cook-donald-trump-john-wilkes-booth-assassinate-president/.

15. A-Hole. “Trump: Megyn Kelly Has ‘Blood Coming Out of Her Wherever.’” Daily Beast, n.d. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-megyn-kelly-has-blood-coming-out-of-her-wherever.

16. Gratuitous. “Kathy Griffin Draws Outrage for ‘Beheading’ Trump in Photo Shoot.” Daily Beast, n.d. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.thedailybeast.com/kathy-griffin-draws-outrage-for-beheading-trump-in-photo-shoot.

17. Sunrise. Twitter Post. August 28, 2017, 3:02 PM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/sunriseon7/status/902290385803780097.

18. Blistein, Jon. “Watch Marilyn Manson’s Brutal, Trump-Inspired ‘Say10’ Video.” Rolling Stone, November 8, 2016. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/watch-marilyn-mansons-brutal-trump-inspired-say10-video-115422/.

19. George Lopez. Twitter Post. February 27, 2016, 10:19 PM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/georgelopez/status/703826891354968069.

20. Ellen Barkin. Twitter Post. October 1, 2018, 10:04 PM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/EllenBarkin/status/1046808065008447488?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1046808065008447488&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hollywoodintoto.com%2Fcelebrities-wished-trump-dead%2F.

21. Jesse. “SNOOP DOGG – BADBADNOTGOOD – Lavender (Nightfall Remix).” YouTube video (accessed November 3, 2018) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4i3bAtEuJE.

22. Kietly, Martin. “Pearl Jam Depict Dead Donald Trump On Poster.” Ultimate Classic Rock, August 15, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. http://ultimateclassicrock.com/pearl-jam-dead-donald-trump-poster/.

23. de Moraes. “Larry Wilmore Imagines Using Antonin Scalia’s Pillow On Donald Trump as Super Tuesday Looms.” Deadline, March 1, 2016. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://deadline.com/2016/03/donald-trump-larry-wilmore-kkk-david-duke-antonin-scalia-video-1201712015/.

24. Worldstarhiphop. “YG and Nipsey Hussle ‘FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)’ (WSHH Exclusive – Official Music Video).” YouTube video (accessed November 3, 2018) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkZ5e94QnWk.

25. Ibid.

26. Ibid.

27. Resnikoff, Paul. “Big Sean Threatens to Brutally Murder Donald Trump with an Ice Pick.” Digital Music News, February 3, 2017. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/02/03/big-sean-donald-trump-ice-pick/.

28. Legaspi, Althea. “See Rick Ross’ Politically Charged ‘Free Enterprise’ Video.” Rolling Stone, November 10, 2016. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/see-rick-ross-politically-charged-free-enterprise-video-188161/.

29. “‘Making History’ Star Adam Pally ‘I’d Have to Kill Trump or Hitler’ … if Time Travel Existed.” TMZ, March 16, 2017. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.tmz.com/2017/03/16/adam-pally-kill-trump-hitler/.

30. Toto, Christian. “11 Times Celebs Wished [or Imagined] Trump Dead.” Hollywood in Toto, October 3, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.hollywoodintoto.com/celebrities-wished-trump-dead/.

31. Andrews, Travis. “Trump-Like ‘Julius Caesar’ Assassinated in New York Play. Delta, Bank of America Pull Funding.” The Washington Post, June 12, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/06/12/trump-like-julius-caesar-assassinated-in-new-york-play-delta-bank-of-america-pull-funding/?utm_term=.56ab64f015d1.

32. Arenas, Jorge. “Avengers Director Joss Whedon Calls for the Death of President Trump.” Bounding into Comics, April 5, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. http://boundingintocomics.com/2018/04/05/avengers-director-joss-whedon-calls-for-the-death-of-president-trump/.

33. Fox News. “Filmmaker Josh Whedon Goes After Paul Ryan with Profane Tweet.” Fox News, January 16, 2017. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/filmmaker-joss-whedon-goes-after-paul-ryan-with-profane-tweet.

34. Rosie. Twitter Post. July 15, 2017, 9:42 AM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/Rosie/status/886264683262509056.

35. Deerwester, Jayme. “The Most Memorable Quotes from the Women’s March on Washington.” USA Today, January 21, 2017. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2017/01/21/most-memorable-quotes-womens-march-washington/96890596/.

36. Pierce, Scott. “During His Performance at the University of Utah, David Cross Jokes about Mormon Temple Garments – Again.” Salt Lake Tribune, August 22, 2018. Last Updated August 23, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/08/23/during-his-performance/.

37. Molloy, Tim. “Moby Explodes Swastika-Dollar Sign Trump in New Video.” The Wrap, June 19, 2017. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.thewrap.com/moby-explodes-swastika-dollar-sign-trump-new-video/.

38. Jim Carrey. Twitter Post. October 30, 2018, 10:50 AM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/JimCarrey/status/1057328878769721344?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1057328878769721344&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breitbart.com%2Fentertainment%2F2018%2F10%2F30%2Fjim-carrey-claims-republicans-kidnapping-children-and-following-red-hat-to-hell%2F.

39. Sarah Silverman. Twitter Post. February 1, 2017, 8:41 PM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/SarahKSilverman/status/827013945697329152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E827013945697329152&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breitbart.com%2Fentertainment%2F2017%2F02%2F02%2Fsarah-silverman-military-can-help-overthrow-trump%2F.

40. Simon, David. Twitter Post. June 12, 2017, 4:57 PM. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://twitter.com/AoDespair/status/874415381615706114?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E874415381615706114&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breitbart.com%2Fentertainment%2F2017%2F06%2F13%2Fthe-wire-creator-david-simon-pick-up-a-brick-to-stop-trump-from-firing-robert-mueller%2F.

41. Lawrence, Jen. “‘Orange Is the New Black’ Star Threatens to Beat Republicans with Baseball Bat After Trump Win.” Breitbart, November 10, 2016. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2016/11/10/orange-is-the-new-black-star-threatens-to-beat-republicans-with-baseball-bat-after-trump-win/.

42. Stutz, Colin. “Everlast Tells Trump to Stop Using ‘Jump Around,’ but He Won’t Sue: That’s a ‘Scumbag Donald Trump Move.” Billboard, April 5, 2016. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/7318972/everlast-donald-trump-house-pain-jump-around-interview.

43. “Mickey Rourke Trump’s a ‘Bitch Bully’ ‘I Like the Black Dude.’” September 18, 2015. Accessed November 3, 2018. http://www.tmz.com/2015/09/18/mickey-rourke-donald-trump-goes-off-bitch-bully-video/.

44. Kurtz, Judy. “Mickey Rourke Slams Trump as a ‘Big-Mouthed B—- Bully.’” The Hill, September 18, 2015. Accessed November 3, 2018. https://thehill.com/video/254176-rourke-slams-bully-trump.

45. “Mickey Rourke Trump Can S My D … and His Wife’s a Gold Digger.” TMZ, April 7, 2016. Accessed November 3, 2018. http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/07/mickey-rourke-donald-trump-rant-video/.

46. CBS News. “Robert De Niro on Trump: ‘I’d Like to Punch Him in the Face.’” YouTube video (accessed November 3, 2018) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55fJ0FgPSQk.