America is in the throes of violence. Years ago, when American citizens observed people in other countries experiencing constant attacks like in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Palestine, and other countries the situations would always garner sympathy from Americans, but it was somewhat fleeting because Americans did not face terrorist violence at home. Unfortunately, things seem to be changing. Since President Trump was elected to office in 2016, there seems to be an escalation of mass shootings, with some calling him the “massacre president.” So far, all of the mass shootings have been carried out by domestic terrorists – basically, white males.
If there is any question about racism in America, all one has to do is to look at the stark contrast in treatment when it comes to those who commit crimes. Eric Garner was selling loose cigarettes; Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun; and others who were unarmed were murdered by the police for minor offenses. Dylann Roof, on the other hand, who murdered nine parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina was taken into custody ALIVE and was treated to a fast food meal.
More recently, within a 13-hour span of time between August 4 and 5, two mass shootings took place with 31 people shot dead at press time and dozens more injured. One shooting was in El Paso, Texas and the other was in Dayton, Ohio. These incidents are clearly cases of domestic terrorism, but seemingly because these attacks were carried out by white males, there has been a reluctance to call a spade a spade. There is a tendency to blame mental illness, rather than domestic terrorism, when white males are involved.
The growing frequency of mass shootings points to deep problems of racism and xenophobia in America. A lot of people blame the rhetoric spewed by President Trump for this increase. He has demonized a lot of people, mostly Black and Brown, and as leader of this country, he has evidently influenced his followers. He is turning out to be the RADICALIZER IN CHIEF; his actions at the border have set the tone for a whole slew of haters who think it’s all right to act on their hatred because they believe they have an advocate in the White House.
Trump’s Twitter fingers were uncharacteristically quiet recently after the massacre in El Paso, Texas where the shooter had apparently written a manifesto regarding the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Trump eventually tweeted that the act was the result of “mental illness.” Actually, he is right; hatred is one of the signs of mental illness. This does not absolve the perpetrators of responsibility for their dastardly acts, however.
Though the growing number of mass shootings in the United States is troubling, it is also troubling that there is a reluctance of Congress, especially Republicans, to enact legislation that would ban the purchase of assault weapons by citizens. Think about this – assault weapons are made expressly for the purpose of killing people. They are not made for hunting. Why, then, are our leaders reluctant to keep assault weapons out of the hands of citizens? Is there an ulterior motive? When the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was written, there were no assault weapons of the kind that are currently available. THESE NEW WEAPONS ARE SOLD FOR ONLY ONE REASON – TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO KILL EACH OTHER!
This brings to mind an important question – is the National Rifle Association (NRA), the chief lobbyist for the continued availability of these weapons, a proponent of civil war? Recent studies have shown that the majority of the mass shootings are connected with right wing extremism. The NRA seems to have a Teflon coating that resists any attempts to curtail the dissemination of these lethal weapons. Connecting all of the dots, from the reluctance of our legislators to take on the NRA; the disparate treatment of citizens by the police; and the growing boldness of white supremacists, it is evident that there is a very dangerous trend in the United States, an underlying sanction by the powers-that-be of a form of American apartheid and a consequent slide into social disintegration. This could end up in a full blown civil war, if there is no change in direction soon. A Luta Continua.