Spare Us the Perfunctory Prayers, It Was Trump Who Weaponized the El Paso Mass Murderer and the One in Gilroy

August 4, 2019

Shot of Patrick Crusius, who was apprehended unscathed by police, in a squad car after his arrest. If he were a person of color, he probably wouldn’t be alive now. (Screenshot from Twitter)

Shot of Patrick Crusius, who was apprehended unscathed by police, in a squad car after his arrest. If he were a person of color, he probably wouldn’t be alive now. (Screenshot from Twitter)


Prayers won’t end massacres like the one in El Paso.

The shooter who slaughtered at least 20 people and wounded more than 25 was apparently a Trump-loving anti-immigrant white nationalist. Patrick Crusius posted on 8Chan, a ghoulish message board on the Internet where the debris of troubled men in hate groups lurk and reinforce their vitriol toward non-whites, Jews and women. Crusius had allegedly written a virulent manifesto that expounded on the themes that Trump brings to a full boil in his followers.

The Republican governor of Texas tweeted the perfunctory cowardly and evasive “call for prayers” in response to a toxic cocktail of deadly firepower and white nationalism, as Trump cynically tweeted “God be with you all!” and “sent” his prayers. Meanwhile, another mass gun shooting occurred in Dayton, Ohio, within 24 hours.

Pete Buttigieg addressed the deadly threat of “grevance” hate killings in the age of Trump: “America is under attack from homegrown white nationalist terrorism,” he said at a labor-union forum on Saturday. “White nationalism is evil. And it is inspiring people to commit murder, and it is being condoned at the highest levels of the American government, and that has to end.”

Beto O’Rourke also targeted the heart of the nightmare plaguing us:

There was a link between Trump’s hostile comments about Muslims, migrants and people of color to a rise in hate crimes, O’Rourke told CNN after cutting short campaigning in Nevada to return to El Paso, his hometown and a city he represented for six years in Congress.

Asked if the shooting was Trump’s fault for inflaming hatred, he said “yes”.

“We’ve had a rise in hate crimes every single one of the last three years during an administration where you have a president who has called Mexicans rapists and criminals, though Mexican immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate than people born in this country.

Called “An Inconvenient Truth,” the alleged Patrick Crusius manifesto begins:

In general, I support the Christchurch [New Zealand] shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion. Some people will think this statement is hypocritical because of the nearly complete ethnic and cultural destruction brought to the Native Americans by our European ancestors, but this just reinforces my point. The natives didn’t take the invasion of Europeans seriously, and now what’s left is just a shadow of what was. My motives for this attack are not at all personal. Actually the Hispanic community was not my target before I read The Great Replacement. This manifesto will cover the political and economic reasons behind the attack, my gear, my expectations of what response this will generate and my personal motivations and thoughts.

Donald Trump with his appalling treatment of migrants in dire need of safety and employment, his references to the immigrants as an “infestation,” his early campaign incendiary allegation that many of those crossing the border are rapists, his indirect and direct appeal to white nationalism, his support of the alt-right even after one of them killed a young woman in Charlottesville, his racist and xenophobic attack on Ilhan Omar, on “The Squad” and Elijah Cummings as people who are unworthy of being considered “American” his sneering and smirking at people of color, his outright racist remarks, his assertion that the US is being overrun by brown people who are filthy and detestable, his use of language that implies non-whites are of an inferior race and are “vermin” — all this and more are incitements to the Patrick Casisus’s of the US, men caught in there own dark world of grievance and hate. This is what weaponized the mass shooting in El Paso.

It is what also weaponized the shooter just a few days ago in Gilroy, California. Santino Williams Legan, who was shot dead by police, had a stash of white supremacist material in his home. According to SFGate,

An Instagram account purportedly belonging to the shooter also referenced white supremacist ideology, recommending "Might is Right" by Ragnar Redbeard.

Written under a pseudonym in the late 1800s, the book is a defense of Anglo-Saxon and male supremacy, and argues that weakness shows moral inferiority. It is also full of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

"It's widely popular and present among ethnocentric white nationalists of all levels, from suit-and-tie white supremacists to neo-Nazis," Keegan Hankes, a senior analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center's intelligence project, told Rolling Stone.

It is difficult to recall all the violence and attacks on non-whites that have occurred as Trump has ratcheted up his rhetoric to full blown evocation of a white Christian "race” under siege.

The New York Times reported in November of 2018:

Hate crime reports increased 17 percent last year from 2016, the F.B.I. said on Tuesday, rising for the third consecutive year as heated racial rhetoric and actions have come to dominate the news.

Of the more than 7,100 hate crimes reported last year, nearly three out of five were motivated by race and ethnicity, according to the annual report. Religion and sexual orientation were the other two primary motivators.

No one for a moment should believe this is a coincidence.

In July 23 testimony to Congress, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that domestic violence had increased in the first six months of this year:

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told lawmakers Tuesday that the bureau has recorded about 100 arrests of domestic terrorism suspects in the past nine months and that most investigations of that kind involve some form of white supremacy….

Wray pointed to several recent high-profile arrests, including that of Coast Guard Lt. Christopher P. Hasson, who prosecutors have alleged is a white nationalist who stockpiled weapons in a plot to target journalists and politicians, and the men accused in mass shootings at synagogues in California and Pennsylvania.

Wray could have added to that list Cesar Sayoc, who was convicted in April of sending pipe bombs to Democratic officials, the media (“the enemy of the people,” Trump exhorts his followers) and Dem donors.

According to CNN (a target of Sayoc’s pipe bombs), Sayoc pleaded guilty but, “In the handwritten letter filed Tuesday [in April] in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, he told a judge that ‘the first thing you here [sic] entering [a] Trump rally is we are not going to take it anymore, the forgotten ones, etc.’”

The headline of the CNN article reads: “Pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc describes Trump rallies as 'new found drug'".”

So damn the politicians who are now calling for prayers and a media that will go through its normal cycle of covering mass shootings and then forgetting about them as soon as Trump distracts them with another outrageous tweet or incendiary statement.

The guns aren’t weaponizing the likes of Patrick Crusius, Donald J. Trump is. Yes, it’s long past the time that aggrieved white males got over their fixation with guns.and rage. What is happening in the US today is that those white males stewing in a broth of virulent hate feel enabled to lash out with lethal consequences by the president of the United States.

It is fitting that Crusius allegedly had this photo posted on his now deleted Twitter account:

Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 6.53.42 PM.png

Yes, let’s definitely ban assault weapons, if you can pry them away from “the cold dead hands” of the gun lobby. However, to eliminate the enabling force behind blood baths such as the one at an El Paso Walmart, Donald J. Trump needs to be held accountable as an accessory to murder.

Mark Karlin1 Comment