When I was working at The Free Lance-Star in 2001, I tried to get cartoons past my editors that were against profiling Muslim-Americans after 9/11. I didn’t have a lot of success. While not officially endorsing profiling, the paper didn’t rail against it. Even then, the majority of terrorist attacks on Americans were committed by white males. When I pointed out to my editors that if they wanted profiling for people who fit the description of terrorists, then each of us, as we were all white men, would be stopped, frisked, and have a very uncomfortable time going through airport screenings (though one of them may have enjoyed the in-depth searches). The attitude was that it’s worse to be murdered by an Islamic terrorist than a white terrorist. They didn’t see white terrorism as a threat to national security, even though it’s committed in greater numbers than Islamic terrorism. Each time I brought up Timothy McVeigh, they said, “Who?”
Muslims in the United States are expected to forcefully speak out and condemn Islamic extremism yet, we can’t get the president of the United States, who is a white male, to speak out against white extremism. That’s because white extremism is his base. Instead of condemning racism, the man has defended Nazis. He told us there were “very fine people” among those in Charlottesville chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” He did this despite the fact one of those Nazis killed a young woman during their little Nazi demonstration. While not describing himself as a “white” nationalist, he has stated he is a nationalist. This guy is giving dog whistles so loud that cats can hear them.
The attacks this weekend, and the one earlier in the week, isn’t just from mental illness. You can’t blame video games or heavy metal music. Two of three of the attacks from last week were inspired by white supremacists. To be more specific, they were inspired by the white nationalist president.
Donald Trump called for a “total ban” on Muslims from entering the United States “until our representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” When it comes to white guys shooting and killing brown people, Republicans have zero interest in figuring out what the hell is going on.
The killer in Dayton, while being a white male, doesn’t appear to have been motivated by white supremacy. Several media outlets, specifically conservative ones, have pointed out that he was a socialist Democrat who supported Elizabeth Warren. He wrote posts describing himself as an atheist, a “metalhead,” an anime fan, and that he was going to “burn in Hell,” and used a hashtag with “praise Satan.” He also wrote posts against gun violence while also calling to kill all fascist.
Conservatives are now using this to deflect blame from Donald Trump inspiring the killers in Gilroy and El Paso. They think pointing out that he liked Elizabeth Warren proves Trump didn’t inspire the other killers unless you now want to blame Warren for inspiring the Dayton killer. It doesn’t work because this guy was all over the place.
Firstly, you can’t be an atheist and worship Satan. That’s like saying you’re a vegetarian while eating a cheeseburger. If he didn’t put a lot of stock into his atheism then how much commitment did he put into socialism or supporting Elizabeth Warren? As you see, he did a lousy job of standing against gun violence. He wasn’t inspired by Elizabeth Warren to go on a gun rampage anymore than he was inspired by LadyBaby or anime. Damn you, Picachu!
I could be wrong here, but I don’t recall Elizabeth Warren ever calling for a ban on people who go to night clubs. She never screamed about a dubstep invasion. She never promised to build a wall to keep out people who love techno and make Moby pay for it (not a bad idea though). This guy did not write a manifesto repeating words Warren has used against the specific group of people he targetted. The killer in El Paso wrote a manifesto using the very same words against Hispanic immigrants as Donald Trump. The killer in Gilroy referred to a neo-Nazi manifesto before his attack on people who did not look like him. Just like the white guy in Pittsburgh who shot up a synagogue, these two killers were buying what Trump has been preaching.
Since the attacks in Gilroy on July 28, at least 45 people have been killed by gun violence. Over 100 have been wounded. If any one of these attacks was by a Muslim, every Republican in the United States, starting with Donald Trump would be screaming about Islamic terrorism. But with two of these killers being white nationalists and being motivated by Donald Trump, it’s tough to find a Republican blaming the source. Instead, they’ll talk about mental illness and video games. Heaven forbid they actually talk about making it harder in this country to purchase a weapon. They’d rather ban the fake guns that shoot animated zombies than the real guns that actually kill people. It’s a lot easier to get a gun in this country than an abortion. Yet, you never hear of one abortion wiping out 20 fetuses.
Donald Trump will be speaking today and I predict he will finally say something kinda, slightly, maybe negative about white supremacists. At the very least, he’ll say “hate is bad.” He sent a tweet and made comments this week expressing sorrow “thoughts and prayers,” and saying that shooting people is wrong, but there weren’t any comments on white terrorism.
Donald Trump will not condemn white terrorists because his base consists of white terrorists. Beto O’Rourke called it out for what it is and that it is terrorism inspired by Donald Trump. Beto is right and the rest of America, including Republicans, needs to call it what it is.
The irony is, Obama was accused by extreme Republicans of supporting terrorists and at times, even being a terrorist. So it’s par for the course that Republican hypocrisy extends here too because Donald Trump is the greatest recruiter of white terrorists this nation has ever seen.
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