a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.
Mass shooting by White supremacist racist
I’m thinking of an earlier piece entitled: It’s déjà vu again again again. As hard as it is for me to believe it, that was two years ago! It was then that I first lamented the burden that I have placed on myself in writing these weekly missives to include current events. I related that I was bone-tired of having to write about another racial violence story.
Now, we have a new instance — this time, with thirteen people shot at a supermarket (eleven of them Black). For ten (all Black), the shots were fatal. Sadly, this is not the first instance of racial violence that has reoccurred this past two years.
There is no doubt that this young man (age 18) was the mass shooter at the Tops Grocery store in Buffalo last weekend.
That there is almost no question about why this young man did what he did is really more troubling to me than anything.
Pictured above is the crime scene after the ten murders in Buffalo on May 14. They were the hateful acts of an 18-year-old White supremacist. Wait. What?! 18 years old? But why? In a word, ideology. The hateful ideology we know as White supremacy animated the shooter’s heinous actions.
Copycat bigot (did I mention he’s 18?)
The shooter posted a screed online that was largely plagiarized from that of the Christ Church, New Zealand mosque-shooter. The Buffalo shooter’s mostly copycat credo emphasized an old, now mainstreamed, White supremacy trope, i.e., the “Great Replacement” (conspiracy) theory. So, what is that?
Great (White) Replacement conspiracy theory [WRT]
Like most conspiracy theories, White replacement theory [WRT], or “The Great Replacement,” is founded on a grain of truth. In this case, a fact that is, by and large, completely obvious. Brookings tells us: “The US will become ‘minority white’ in 2045, Census projects.” This numerical fact is a reality that no conspiracy theory mobilization, short of Civil War, will be able to derail. If democracy is able to prevail, then within thirty years, White hegemony in the U.S. will lose its numerical advantage. That’s a fact that even a ban on immigration can’t prevent. This is why some White supremacists (e.g., the Boogaloo Movement) want a racial war.
So, what is White Replacement Theory [WRT]?
Well, the myth used to be called “white genocide.” WRT is the (myth-like) idea that the impending minoritization of whites in the U.S. (as well as in European nations) is the result of a Jewish cabal that is inciting floods of immigrants to enter Western nations. The claim is that WRT, as the name implies, is designed to produce non-white majorities.
There is no shadowy cabal, of course. Western soft-power-factors supply the draw for immigrants.
However, unconscious bias regarding the need for numerical superiority represents a vulnerability in those who benefit from White hegemony.
I’d suggest that fear of loss is a very powerful psychological and sociological force that typically finds our vulnerabilities. When fear and vulnerabilities meet, the result is often a myth-like reading of reality from which frequently a conspiracy theory that expresses hatred emerges.
Fear gets translated into hate; and a myth embodying that hate gets mainstreamed for economic and political gain — e.g., Tucker Carlson and Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS).
Last Thursday’s WAMU‘s 1A – audio:
What hate produces:
Last Saturday, it was like a split screen on my television; two young men, one, the Buffalo shooter, 18; the other, a Russian soldier, 21. Both were facing the consequences of their horrific behavior. Even as heinous as their actions were, I still couldn’t help feeling compassion and deep sorrow for them. If I were thinking of them only as individuals who had committed these atrocities in some kind of a vacuum, I don’t think I’d feel much compassion. However, when I think about the fact that these two men were, in many ways, created by external factors, I do.
The Buffalo shooter was created by the same society that simply refuses to come to grips with its own racist history and original sin. The Russian soldier is the product of Russian indoctrination and especially Putin’s “denazification” rhetoric leading up to the war (we’ve talked about it here and here).
The saddest fact is, though in different ways, they were both created by the very same thing. One received the poison of hate in a relatively short time, and his “radicalization” was expedited online. The other, experienced a lifetime of subtle desensitization to wartime killing, making it easier to accept and execute Putin’s genocidal “denazification” plan: essentially, a license to kill Ukrainians at will.
Last Friday’s Brooks and Capehart:
Next week: Oh, no! Uvalde! Why?! [this post ~825 words (3 minute read)]