AFTER YET another weekend of mass gun massacres, that comes on the heels of the one at the Garlic Festival in California, we finally seem to be changing the narrative.
These are not senseless acts of violence, but an insurgent war with home grown white supremacist terrorists.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was the first to come out and say it, “Our president isn’t just failing to confront and disarm these domestic terrorists, he is amplifying and condoning their hate.”
Openly gay Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Brian Sims weighed in and he’s right, “Other White Men, we have to be the loudest in denouncing White Domestic Terrorism! Making the rest of this nation have to say it on our behalf is cowardice. We know it’s not mental illness, it’s aggressive fragility, it’s our brothers, and it’s our job to say so.”
Again, Pete Buttigieg’s military background gives him the bonafides to speak confidently on the gun craziness.
Another Democratic presidential hopeful, Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman from El Paso, compared the Trump administration to Nazi Germany and lashed out at the news media for not “connecting the dots” on Trump’s racist rhetoric and America’s mass shootings.
This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, O’Rourke told host Joe Scarborough, “The president has not been shy, he’s not been saying this behind closed doors. This is out in the open. All people of one religion, inherently defective and should be banned from the shores of this country. The only modern Western democracy that I can think of that has said anything close to this is the Third Reich, Nazi Germany. Talking about human beings as though they are animals, making them sub-human, to make it OK to put their kids in cages. We’ve lost seven children in our custody over the last year in this, the wealthiest, the most powerful country on the face of the planet. Saying that he wants more immigrants like those from Nordic countries, the whitest places on the face of the planet. This president, his open racism is also an invitation to violence. We’ve seen a rise in hate crimes, every single one of the last three years. … Anyone who is surprised is part of this problem right now, including members of the media who ask, ‘Hey Beto, do you think the President is racist?’ Well Jesus Christ, of course he’s racist. He’s been racist since day one.”
The problem does not stop at our border either, American white supremacist ideology, spread on social media has manifested itself in massacres in other countries, like New Zealand’s Christ Church shooting massacre. According to The Guardian, “In the past eight years, more than 175 people around the world have been killed in at least 16 high-profile attacks motivated, or apparently motivated, by white nationalist conspiracy theories, including the far-right racist belief that nonwhite immigrants and refugees are “invaders” who pose an existential threat to the white race.”
The targets of deadly attacks have included Muslim worshippers at mosques in Canada, Britain and New Zealand; black Americans in church, including during Bible study at a historic black church in South Carolina; Jewish Americans in synagogues across the United States; and leftwing politicians and activists in the US, UK, Greece and Norway.
Meanwhile The New York Times reports today that, “White extremist ideology has been linked to at least four of the 10 deadliest active-shooter episodes in the United States in recent years, showing the potential for intense violence among adherents who congregate online to cheer on racist attacks.”
Since 2017, suspects with ties to white extremism have carried out at least nine active-shooter attacks, according to an analysis of F.B.I. and other data. The agency describes an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.”
White extremist assailants have opened fire at schools, at synagogues and at places of business. All of these attacks since 2017 proved fatal, but the El Paso shooting was the deadliest so far.
And they are all nearly universally young. The shooter suspect at the Garlic Festival in the City of Gilroy, California, was carried out by 19-year-old Santino William Legan.
Legan, who reportedly came from a longtime, well-known South Bay family, fired an assault rifle into the crowds last Sunday evening injuring a dozen people in addition to the three who died, before he shot himself.
Nearly 20 years-ago the specter and boogyman that America feared was an “American Al-Qaeda,” driven by the story of John Walker Lindh, the California raised, 19 year-old captured by U.S. forces during our post 9/11 invasion of Afghanistan. But we should have been looking at the previous, “largest act of terrorism on American soil,” the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing carried out by white nationalist Timothy McVeigh.