The last time a mass shooting impacted me, it was the Parkland High School shooting in Florida, the day after I was able to go to high school, and could grieve and mourn alongside my teachers and friends. This time, it's the dog days of summer and I don't have my old high school colleagues or even the new friends I made at college. I grieve in solitude.
The nature of the El Paso shooting is particularly heart-wrenching when you account for the reason those people died. The crime of their skin color condemned them all to early graves.
It's even harder in the online world because, on one side, you have an army of sycophants that more or less share the ideology of the shooter and on the other, you have a bunch of brain dead liberals urging you to donate to Super PACs or whatever the hell. Because mass shootings never happen when there's a Democrat in the White House, right?
But what turned my deep sorrow into a blinding and unyielding rage, unparalleled to anything I've ever felt before over politics, was conservatives sharing the National Review article, "Crush This Evil." The byline just says "The Editors," and the evil they refer to is supposed to be white supremacy, when in the second paragraph, they begin talking about "militant Islam."
What enrages me you ask? The National Review. The National goddamn Review. A publication started to bolster the candidacy of Barry Goldwater, who is only famous for voting against the Civil Rights Act and beginning the Republican Party's domination over the deep south. A publication founded by avowed segregationist William F. Buckley, who has never apologized for his friendship with Joe McCarthy and published imaginative pieces like "Why The South Must Prevail" in response to the fight to desegregate public spaces in the Jim Crow era.
A publication that refuses to apologize for its founder's racist views, and even if it did, it would be a token gesture seeing as how its writers today openly celebrate the genocide against Palestinians, glorify Confederate monuments, call civil rights activists "viscious thugs," and die on the hill of defending the only god they truly believe in, Ronald Reagan, even after a video surfaces of him calling the leaders of African countries "dancing animals."
I'm mad because twenty new corpses are added to the pile beneath the American flag, and they still do not get the point. Even after they defend the police who slaughter and brutalize black children, they do not understand. Even after they defend the Trump justice department's steadfast chipping away of the civil rights legislation, which was also signed in the blood of all the Africans who were dragged onto a boat and shackled, they do not understand.
They do not understand that white supremacy is not some fringe ideology confined to anonymous internet messaging boards. It is the ideology of this country. It is what makes this country what it is today. It always has been, from 1492-to the next black person shot dead in his own home. It did not end when the slaves were freed, it did not end when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, and it did not end when Obama was inaugurated.
And that is the National Review's response to America's racism: "We can't be a racist country, our president that I did not vote for and worked night and day to spread fake conspiracy theories about, is black."
How are we a white supremacist country? We account for less than 5% of the world's population while we hold 22% of its prisoners. 59% of whom, are black. African slaves brought here could not vote, yet were still counted as ⅗ of a person so the south could accumulate more seats in Congress. After post Civil War Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow saw to it that generations of freedmen and their children and grandchildren could never enter a ballot box.
Today, thousands of black citizens still cannot vote because we have declared war on public transportation, and made it damn near impossible for a man or woman with an African-sounding name to get a good enough job to afford a car.
They cannot vote because we have a racist criminal justice system that disproportionately makes things worse for them, due to a number of different reasons, and after they "pay their debt" to society they still cannot vote in almost all states.
Housing discrimination forces them into our worst neighborhoods, and extreme poverty breeds crime and violence.
The water in their cities becomes contaminated, due to the pollution of massive corporations, and their children die of lead poisoning and cancer.
Due to the crime and violence caused by white supremacy, the President of the United States is able to denounce Baltimore, Detroit, and other urban epicenters in the worst possible language, as well as openly decrying people of color in Congress and the entire Republican Party, while the country just sits there and watches without being phased.
White educated liberals are no better. Rather than force themselves to grapple with the fact that their entire existence is because of what they were born into, their parents who work in finance buy them tickets to see Broadway shows, where the white supremacist founders of this country that owned slaves and kept women and poor people from voting are all portrayed as gay black men. They worship icons like Kamala Harris, who utterly destroyed the black community in San Francisco, and Barack Obama, who is good because he only bathed his hands in the blood of brown children in foreign countries.
Liberal outrage to Trump is not ideological. They're mad because they live in New York apartments he helped build and they're forced to see that poor black neighborhoods had to be destroyed to build their homes. They gaze into Trump and they finally see what the soul of America truly looks like. A loud racist who has to go to war with the world to rationalize his existence.
Donald Trump is the most American president ever.
So when a white supremacist terrorist kills 20 people, or 50 people, or even a hundred, he is no lone-wolf. He merely strayed from the pack. If there is a Hell, and this animal goes there, William F. Buckley, Robert E. Lee, and Ronald Reagan will laugh at him for only managing to kill 20.
I normally end my articles with some sort of call to action, reminding my readers there is glory in fighting for a better world and that things do not have to be this way, but what can I expect from Americans? We cannot change this by voting or passing a gun control bill or by putting everyone who posts on 4Chan on a government watchlist. To end the system of white supremacy that is in the very fabric of the United States, you have to rip everything out root and stem and burn it all.
Everybody posts on the Internet because it makes them feel better. What are 20 more corpses to us all? Maybe we can heal and move on, but that just prepares us for the next attack, the next goddamn hashtag.
You do not want to "crush this evil" National Review, you are this evil.