I stopped watching the news on Saturday once the number of fatalities had been confirmed.
Twenty lives senselessly taken with such casual cruelty. Lives deemed by a lone white gunman as having no value.
And I felt compelled to write and post something, anything as a blogger who had actually been out shopping on El Paso’s westside with my mother and sister, while a gunman was using bullets to pass judgment on innocent Walmart shoppers on the east side of town.
But I wanted to go deeper than the newfound grief that unites us all in this tragic moment, beyond offering well worn sentiments of “thoughts and prayers” as these horrific events have become all too commonplace for America to boast of any kind of greatness.
Past or present.
That debating gun rights versus gun control has not prevented white men from carrying out the deadliest mass killings in American history. And that unarmed black men will still be treated as the greater threat to public safety in this country.
Security heightened. Purses gripped tighter. Police called…
Because it’s a fact that America was founded on the violence of white supremacist. White man violence is the official form of violence preferred by our American system of justice. And it continues to be endlessly celebrated in Hollywood beginning with DW Griffith’s racist feature film Birth Of A Nation (1915).
(*side note* For more information on white supremacy and white man violence please read American History and the near eradication of Indigenous populations, American slavery, or just look to the man who currently sits in the Oval Office and ask yourself how he got there.)
And in MAGA-land, Patrick Crusius–the “alleged” gunman–who is believed to have written a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto was able to equip himself with an assault rifle, travel over 600 miles to go on a killing spree targeting Latinx people in order to defend against some perceived threat to white supremacy.
So the conversation then becomes an issue of gun violence (and for some unknown reason black on black crime in Chicago) but not really about the toxic ideology of white supremacy. (Though President Trump has condemned white supremacy. But whatever.) And that’s because white supremacy and white privilege go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.
Which, I think, is a real fear for a lot of white Americans. Losing their white privilege.
Because Patrick Crusius in their minds is John Wayne playing the lead role in an old John Ford western defending an all-white wagon train against a “savage” Indian attack. Patrick Crusius is America unapologetically celebrating its brutally violent and bloody history and the blatant hypocrisy of its racist founding fathers year after year. And Crusius himself is a racist piece of shit who came to the city where I live to unleash his deadly hatred on a race of people because they are not white.
But, worst of all, Patrick Crusius is not alone.
So, until next time.
(*UPDATE* The death toll has now risen to 22. This blog post will continue to be updated as needed.)