Sunday, August 4, 2019

The New Normal: Mass Shooting Following Mass Shooting Within Hours; 9 More Murdered and 26 Injured as Americans Slept

While you slept, a second mass shooter murdered ten people last night. 
It never ends.

Mayor Nan Whaley at an early morning news conference (photo above) revealed the gunman, who was shot dead, "was able to kill 9 people and injure 26 in less than a minute."

Nine slaughtered and twenty-six injured in less than a minute, while folks were praying for the victims of another act of mass murder a few hours earlier. These acts of mass murder now come so fast and furious in the U.S. that they're the new normal. Many of us just shrug.

While the "pro-life" white Christians who put the moral monstrosity in the White House go on singing and praising the Lord for the man in the White House, no matter how much hate he stirs and how many vulnerable people are made susceptible to attack by the hate-mongering. …

President Donald Trump on Saturday resumed his promotion of a far right commentator who called for a "final solution" after a terrorist attack in the United Kingdom and blamed Jewish support for immigration for provoking the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last year.

Until news of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, broke on Saturday afternoon, it was a normal day at Fox News, which meant the network’s reporters, anchors, and guests were taking every opportunity to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment. … They cut straight from a remote segment in El Paso about the border crisis to news of the shooting.

I understand and respect those who say we shouldn’t publish these mass murderers’ names and report their manifestos. Indeed, there are limited ways in which this impulse may be salutary – less above the fold use of their picture and perhaps more secondary use of their given names. But this impulse, while well-meaning, is actually dangerous and misguided. 
We don't make ourselves safer by collectively agreeing to delude ourselves about what is happening. These far-right, white supremacist massacres constitute the violent, militarized version of an ideology we can hear every night on Fox News and other right wing media outlets. Indeed, we can hear it routinely, in some of its most intense and inflammatory versions, from the President of the United States.

A manifesto left online by the young white man accused of killing 20 people and wounding another 26 Saturday in a mall in El Paso, Texas, denounces the "invasion of Texas" by Hispanics, the "cultural and ethical replacement" of whites, and "race mixing" as "selfish,”"and then closes by sneering ironically that the media will no doubt characterize him as a "white supremacist."

After these horrors, we expect rightwing talking heads to attack any suggestion that these attacks might be related to the President's politics and rhetoric. But here the assailant is doing so himself in advance. Indeed he denies Trump's influence by using Trump's signature attack lines. For someone who specifically denies Trump radicalized him, he's very focused protecting the President. He doth protest rather too much. 
The gaslighting is actually baked into the attack itself. 

On Sunday, many Christians will likely fill churches and publicly lament the deaths in El Paso for an hour or so. They will light candles and sing songs and read hymns of lament and pray for comfort for grieving families—and yet they will leave the service and do almost nothing else. 
They will momentarily grieve, and yet many of them will go right on applauding the vile, racist, incendiary filth this President produces, while chanting “build that wall,” hugging their guns—and saying they love Jesus, who in their minds is a white American. They will once again get drunk on FoxNews falsehoods, unhingedTrump tweets, and their own fears—while never looking in the mirror.

The investigative news agency ProPublica last week released a photo showing three white students from the University of Mississippi posing with guns in front of a bullet-riddled marker dedicated to Emmett Till. 
White men lynched Till, a 14-year-old black boy visiting from Chicago, for supposedly flirting with a white woman at a store in Mississippi in 1955. His murder, along with his mother’s defiant decision to display her son’s mutilated face in an open casket, helped spur the civil rights movement. 
Upon seeing the photo, one of my first questions was: "What church do these young men attend?"

Last evening, I followed a discussion on Twitter about the El Paso shooting. The next one, in Dayton, had not yet taken place.

People were lamenting the ready availability of guns, including assault rifles, in the U.S. Along comes a woman whose very Twitter name was some "pro-life" slogan, who begged differ: if a good guy with a gun had been there, she said, no one would have been killed.

Someone responded to her to say that NO ONE would have gotten killed if no guns were there at all. She responded LOL. And then she said, “Stop trying to use gun arguments to score political points.”
Her Twitter feed was chockfull of MAGA crap side by side with "pro-life" "Christian" crap.

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