Not-so-random acts of violence

Stephen Romero, 6, who died to protect our freedoms

When a teenager with a semi-automatic rifle kills three people, including a six-year-old and a 13-year-old, at a public event, it’s not much of a story anymore, because America. The gunman was apparently inspired by a white supremacist text:

An Instagram account, which was created four days ago under the suspect’s name,posted two messages shortly before the attack began.
One included a photograph of people walking around the Garlic Festival with the words “Ayyy garlic festival time Come get wasted on overpriced sh**.”

The other, which included a photo of Smokey the Bear and a sign saying “Fire Danger High Today,” stated: “Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white tw**s?”

A mestizo is a person of mixed descent, commonly white and Hispanic or white and American Indian.

“Might is Right,” first published in the late 1800s, has been described as a white supremacist text that promotes anarchy while vilifying Christianity. The book calls Jesus the “true Prince of Evil” and says that the natural order is a world at war in which the strong must vanquish the weak and white men must rule over those of color.

(1) The use of asterisks to avoid printing certain words in these sorts of circumstances reminds me of Kurtz’s rant in Apocalypse Now:

They train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write fuck on their airplanes because it’s obscene!

(2) “Mestizo” is a Mexican word that means a person who has both European and Amerindian heritage, as the vast majority of Mexicans do.

“Hispanic” is a word that means a person who is either from or whose ancestors came from a primarily Spanish-speaking country. It isn’t a racial classification.

“Latino” means a person who is from or whose ancestors came from Mexico, Central America, or South America. It also isn’t a racial classification. (Hence Brazilians are Latino but not Hispanic, and Spaniards are Hispanic but not Latino).

If we’re going to have a white supremacist state, keeping these terms straight is going to be increasingly important.

(3) Not listing the shooter as a fatality in these circumstances, which is becoming a standard media practice, is just another way of absolving the society that put this gun and this book in the hands of this barely-more-than a child from any responsibility for the deaths of the children he killed.