Yesterday, I was still trying to process what happened in Gilroy. Who shoots up a garlic festival? (We know, the answer is repeatedly the same – violent white supremacists.) All of these shootings have bothered me – this one, the six year old that was killed, that hit hard for some reason.
Then my phone buzzed. El Paso. 20 people killed. We can’t even be sure of how many may have been injured, because people are afraid to go to the hospital because ICE or Border Patrol may be there. People just going to a fucking Wal Mart for school supplies and groceries. You don’t get much more mundane than that.
This morning, I wake up to the news of Dayton. Right now, 9 killed, 26 injured. People just enjoying a Saturday night out.
While we don’t know what happened with Dayton yet, we know what was going on with El Paso. And Gilroy. And Poway. And Pittsburgh. And Charlottesville. And so many others.
Violent white supremacy. And it’s being stoked by this administration and it’s killing people. (People of color in this country are understandably going, “No shit, this isn’t new.”)
When 45 was campaigning, I recall thinking, “He’s not just going for the garden variety racists. He’s courting white nationalists.” And at the time, while I certainly knew that we still had these horrific people in our midst, I had no idea how many. I also couldn’t imagine that he’d be elected. Nor did I know how to even address white nationalism/white supremacy – and I still can’t say that I do know how to address it.
White supremacy isn’t just idiots in the backwoods. It’s at the top of our Executive branch. It’s in our policies. (You can’t tell me that making people afraid to seek medical help after a mass shooting because of ICE isn’t a goal of white supremacy.). It’s in our law enforcement agencies. It’s in our schools. It’s at its worst on the internet.
8chan needs to be nuked from orbit. It’s not a hub for free speech, or vaguely unpopular or radical ideas. It’s a space for encouraging, planning, and cheering on violence against people of color.
The best we’ve gotten out of the GOP beyond the usual useless “thoughts & prayers” are mumblings about mental health. (Not that they’ve ever done a damn thing about mental health care in this country anyway.)
White nationalism is not a mental health issue. They’re just throwing people with mental illness under a bus to pretend they’re trying to identify the cause, yet never doing anything.
We need to do something about white supremacy in this country, and do something about the fuckton of guns available to these violent, hateful people.
There isn’t anywhere safe anymore for people to just exist without the risk of some white supremacist asshat afraid of being “replaced” showing up with an AR-15 so he can impress other white supremacist channers with how many people he’s killed.
We need to deplatform white supremacists, enact actual gun control, get white supremacists out of office and law enforcement, get their policies out of our government, and call all of this what it is: Domestic white nationalist terrorism.
The problem is – I have little faith that any of this will actually happen.