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What The Mass Shootings Really Are: Right Wing Terrorism

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.

A little note: I don't feel like validating pieces of shit by regurgitating their names so all the mass shooters we've gotten to know over the last few years are going to be known by the name of the events.

A firearm is a tool. In the wild, human beings use all sorts of potentially dangerous gear to tame their environment from axes to fire. Fertilizer also is a tool and fertilizer took out large amounts of people in Oklahoma City.

Many of these mass shooters provided us with manifestos. I have looked at the Santa Barbara one and the Charleston one and the two together provided some realizations in my mind. This is right wing terrorism.

The Santa Barbara shooter attacked women at his university. The Charleston shooter attacked blacks attending church. Both left manifestos about how they hated these groups and essentially targeted them for violence. That is terrorism.

Most white men at some point have had moments in which it may have been easy to become a misogynist or racist. I haven't spoken to my sister for nearly a decade and my experience with many women in my family tainted my view of women for some time. Likewise, I've had some black professors who did target me for being white and I even had one professor who made working with him toxic as hell with a unique blend of white resentment and anti-Semitism. I also had some lame experiences while dating a black woman of being regularly accused of white privilege. Some nasty thoughts did occur in my head, I will admit, but I never voiced them or took them anywhere - I knew too much about why they thought like that to do so.

Far right politics is the appeal of base emotions and they appeal to people who are base and unaware or unable to regulate their own emotions. Naturally, right wing politics finds a big audience with young men in their 20s.

I have no doubt that the Santa Barbara shooter, so angry that women "wouldn't go out" with him, never thought to see things in their view. It was sexual entitlement, a term that feminists often use. In his mind, these women should be his to have sex with without any sort of work towards them at all - they should just be his, entitlement. Most men have been there at some point on some level - right wing politics feeds on negative and emotions unrestrained and even rationalized. They wouldn't go out with him so he killed them. That's pretty pathetic but it's not too far off from the terrorism that the Charleston shooter lashed out with. Misogyny and racism are the primary vehicles of far right politics and, in my personal view, are also the primary vehicle of most right wing politics, even if it's toned down and less obvious.

The Charleston shooter, of course, had been reading classic right wing bullshit, illustrating that some things just never die. Hearing someone eight years younger than me regurgitating stuff I hoped had died with George Lincoln Rockwell is definitely disturbing and disappointing but it should be no surprise. Right wing politics continues with each generation and a firearm is a lot easier than building a fertilizer bomb, even if the body count is smaller.

A firearm is just a tool but it's a tool that shouldn't be in the hands of men like that. Men like that should be disarmed and not allowed to engage in society until they can prove they're no longer sick.

To look at why these shootings have exploded in recent years like they have, we need look no farther than the social leadership change we've had. While Barack Obama is hardly a radical president - he's been involved in even more wars than his predecessor and pushed health care reform based along the Heritage Foundation model, in the mind of conservatives, the country is being ruled by Malcolm X. The president is swarmed by security so he is an unlikely target for the sort of disturbed male that usually becomes a mass shooter but black churches aren't. Neither are black teenagers. So as Obama is elected and then re-elected, with his blackness obscuring who he actually is to right wing fanatics, so too are black churches burned and black teenagers and churchgoers shot.

The mass shootings are a right wing insurgency against social change. Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1994 worked in tandem with the elections of anti-government Republicans and so too do these anti-minority murderers work in tandem with the Tea Party and other far right political groups. They all are part of the same product of hate. Given the legislative change toward same sex marriage, I wouldn't be surprised if gays are the next target.


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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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