“Here’s your reparations.” This was a note scribbled onto the assault weapon used by a murderess white supremacist as he live streamed his attack on Black Americans in Buffalo, New York. He murdered 10 and had wanted to kill more.
Armed with an assault rifle, a shot gun and handgun in his car, along with ammunition and reinforced military grade body armor, the shooter was taken alive by police officers.
As an appointment member serving on the California Reparations Taskforce, I have received many threatening comments in an attempt by the taskforce to discover ways to right the wrongful treatment of Black Americans who were enslaved, abused, and removed from the American fabric by way of racist and bigoted laws that exist today.
Reparations wasn’t what set this killer off. It was ideology fed to him daily.
Much of our attention is on the weapon used by the 18-year-old who pulled the trigger, but shouldn’t we be looking into who or what really triggered the shooter into a hate fueled mission to seek and kill innocent Black Americans?
Most of the nation recognizes Fox News as the epicenter of false narratives, phony reporting, and woefully ignorant tirades filled with hateful rhetoric aimed at anyone who is not white, Christian, and a Republican.
At first, GOP members had ignored the b.s. that came from the talking heads on Fox News. Then the GOP began to use some their positions as talking points on immigration, safety net programs, women’s issues, and LGBTQ matters, and of course the Black community. Next, the Republican Party fully embraced Fox’s perspectives and a new breed of GOP representatives like Marjorie Taylor Green emerged. The end of conservatism had ended and the new Reich had launched.
The leader of the new Republican movement was Trump, who never condemned white nationalist but did accept their support. Many more Republicans followed in-kind.
But Fox wasn’t extreme enough for the new “Republicans” so they created online groups, formed new ”news” networks, and elected their candidates of choice.
And its here where the 18-year-old shooter joined online groups and learned about replacement theory. On the fringes of the internet a conspiracy theory that whites are systematically being replaced with immigrants and non-white inhabitants of the nation to bolster voter registration for Democrats and make whites the minority group in the nation had taken hold amongst the new Republicans.
It was so popular, that Tucker Carlson of Fox News took up the mantle to spread its worrisome theory. And the leadership of the GOP sat back, watched, and has done nothing to dispel this absurd notion.
The ideology of white supremacy runs deep in our nation’s history, in every aspect. It was quelled for a moment during the Civil Rights movement but has reared its ugly head once again.
And just like before young white youth are being radicalized, filled with hate, and being turned into domestic terrorists spreading fear through violence.
We must begin a new march to defeat this evil, and to eradicate, as President Biden has called it, “this cancer in our country”. We must support Democratic candidates whose beliefs are held strong in equality for all and laws that are fair and just for everyone.
While my prayers are with those affected by the shootings that took place in Buffalo, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Orange County, California, my resolve is focus on winning elections where supporters of the shooter, and those who are willing to remain silent on his actions, currently hold office.