Sunday, August 4, 2019

#massshootings - Double shootings heighten fears of 'white terrorism' in US

Charlotte PLANTIVE

Armed with assault rifles and clad in combat gear, two white men methodically gunned down nearly 30 people over the weekend, underscoring fears that "white terrorism" is now the main threat in the United States.
Amid rising grief and a clamor for action after the shootings in Texas and Ohio, and earlier in several other cities, politicians of both parties called for the federal government to take that threat more seriously, with some Democrats accusing President Donald Trump of dangerously fanning racial tensions.
"It is very clear that the loss of American life in Charleston, in San Diego, in Pittsburgh and by all appearances now in El Paso, too, is symptomatic of the effects of white nationalist terrorism," Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Sunday, naming the scenes of mass shootings that targeted blacks, Jews and, apparently, Hispanics.
In El Paso, situated on the border with Mexico, more than eight in 10 residents are of Hispanic descent. The accused shooter, a 21-year-old white man identified in media reports as Patrick Crusius, had come from far away Dallas with the apparent intent of inflicting mass carnage.
Armed with an assault rifle, the shooter killed 20 people and wounded 26 before surrendering to police.
An online manifesto, attributed to the assailant, railed against a "Hispanic invasion" and referred approvingly to the March 15 massacre by a white supremacist at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed 51 people.
Six of the 20 people killed in the shooting were Mexican nationals, the country's president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said Sunday.
Thirteen hours after the El Paso attack, another white man is accused of spreading terror in the Midwestern city of Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people including his sister, authorities said. Police named him as Connor Betts, 24.
While police say the motive is still unclear, six of the nine people killed in Dayton were black.
- 'Diabolical' -
"What you have here is two things coming together," Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said on "Fox News Sunday."
"One, the weak gun safety policies of this country. And two, the rise of domestic terrorism inspired by white nationalists... we (have) got to do something about it."
Trump, in denouncing the El Paso shooting on Twitter as "an act of cowardice," said nothing about the suspect's possible motives.
He later stated that "hate has no place in our country," but also blamed mental illness for the violence.
El Paso's Republican mayor, Dee Margo, seemed to discount any race angle, reducing the tragedy there to the "pure evil" act of a "deranged" man.
Even some Republicans, however, saw that sort of explanation as inadequate.
"I believe fighting terrorism remains a national priority, and that should include standing firm against white terrorism," tweeted George P. Bush, a high-ranking Texas official who is the nephew of former president George W. Bush.
"This is a real and present threat."
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas tweeted that "what we saw yesterday was a heinous act of terrorism and white supremacy. There is no place for this... anywhere across our nation."
Even Trump's daughter Ivanka, a White House adviser, tweeted about the problem, saying, "White supremacy, like all other forms of terrorism, is an evil that must be destroyed."
- White identity -
For years, some analysts have warned that the huge shifting of intelligence and security assets toward fending off foreign threats after the 9/11 attacks had come at the expense of needed attention to domestic dangers.
But administration officials say they have taken the threat seriously.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified last month in Congress that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases the bureau had investigated in the previous nine months were motivated by some version of "white supremacist violence." He said his agency was "aggressively" investigating such crimes.
In 2017 and 2018, according to the New America analysis center, violence from the far right claimed more victims in the United States than jihadist attacks.
But Robert McKenzie, an analyst with New America, wrote earlier this year that "even during the Obama administration, intelligence agencies often ignored right-wing threats for political reasons."
One thing that did change after Trump's election in 2016 was the tone of the public debate.
The president has often denounced an "invasion" of migrants, he refused to explicitly condemn the far-right demonstrators at the violent 2017 protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, and he recently called for four young members of Congress, all women of color, to "go back" to their countries of origin.
"We need to call out white nationalism for what it is -- domestic terrorism," tweeted Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate. "We need to call out the president himself for advancing racism and white supremacy."
Another Democratic candidate, Beto O'Rourke, whose former congressional district includes El Paso, went further.
"The president is encouraging greater racism, and not just the racist rhetoric but the violence that so often follows," O'Rourke said on CNN.
"It's not just President Trump, but he's certainly the person in the position of greatest public trust... most responsible for it."

CNN’s Jake Tapper Calls Out GOP Leaders For Rejecting Interviews After Shootings

By Amy Russo
Several Republican officials declined to appear on the network after 29 people were killed in less than 24 hours in Texas and Ohio.
In the aftermath of two shootings in Texas and Ohio that all told killed 29 people in less than 24 hours, Republican leaders declined CNN requests to talk on air about the mass slayings that increasingly plague America.
During his Sunday morning “State of the Union” broadcast, host Jake Tapper listed several GOP officials who rejected requests to appear on the program ― Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

“We also asked the White House to provide someone to discuss these shootings,” Tapper added. “That request, too, was declined.” 
The refusals come just after at least 20 people were killed Saturday in an El Paso Walmart where the suspected gunman, a 21-year-old white male, may have been targeting Hispanic people, based on a white supremacist manifesto published online shortly before the attack. Authorities are treating the shooting as a domestic terrorism case and prosecutors said Sunday they will seek federal hate crime charges against the man.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, at least 9 people were killed in Dayton’s downtown Oregon district by a 24-year-old white male who was killed by police. The victims included the shooter’s younger sister.
Close to 60 people were injured in the two massacres, many critically.
Several Democratic presidential candidates appeared on CNN Sunday to condemn the failure of GOP lawmakers to back stricter gun control measures that regularly are proposed after mass shootings but rarely advance.
The Democrats also decried President Donald Trump’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric, which much of the GOP either has been slow to renounce or silent about.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), an El Paso native, has been especially vocal among his party’s White House hopefuls, demanding on Sunday that the public “acknowledge the hatred, the open racism that we’re seeing” in light of the violence that unfolded in his state.
“We see it on Fox News, we see it on the internet, but we also see it from our commander in chief,” he told Tapper. “He is encouraging this. He doesn’t just tolerate it, he encourages it.” 
Presidential candidates Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California and Bernie Sanders of Vermont also rebuked the president’s bigotry, as did South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He told Fox News that the El Paso shooting is an example of “white nationalist terrorism” and that in Washington “white nationalism” has been “condoned at the highest levels.” 
Despite indications the El Paso gunman embraced white supremacy and racial hatred, Abbott focused on mental health in his response to the deadly rampage, speculating at a press conference on Saturday that it is “a component ... probably ... to any type of shooting that takes place.”
In a separate statement, the governor, a favorite of the National Rifle Association, showed no signs he would be addressing the easy access to guns in his state and much of America.
“I think we need to focus more on memorials before we start the politics,” he said.

Video Report - El Paso shooter reportedly identified as Hispanic-hating, Christchurch-inspired 21yo

Video and 911 call released in deadly Ohio shooting

#massshootings #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism - The huge threat to America that Trump ignores

By Peter Bergen
The Trump administration's National Counterterrorism Strategy correctly states that the country has "long faced a persistent security threat from domestic terrorists who are not motivated by a radical Islamist ideology but are instead motivated by other forms of violent extremism."
Saturday's attack in El Paso, Texas, which is being treated as a case of domestic terrorism by federal authorities, according to the US attorney for the Western District of Texas, is a reminder of that long history and its particular threat today. To prevent future attacks, the United States will need to expand on the work being done by law enforcement to combat right-wing terrorism, and President Donald Trump will need to recognize that the threat posed by far-right terrorists is of a similar scope to that posed by jihadist terrorists.
Trump should also use the bully pulpit of his presidency to attack the ideological underpinnings of right-wing violence rather than stoking its flames.
On Saturday, authorities say, a 21-year-old white man shot and killed 20 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Minutes before the attack, police say, they believe the shooter posted a "manifesto" on 8chan, an online message board often featuring racist postings, about his support for the terrorist who killed 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March. Just as school shooters learn from other school shooters, terrorists learn from other terrorists. Notably, the terrorist who carried out the Christchurch attack had posted a manifesto to 8chan just before he carried out the attacks at the mosques. The latest online manifesto -- a four-page document -- referred to a "Hispanic invasion" of Texas as the rationale for an imminent terrorist attack in El Paso.
Trump has also described immigrants coming across the southern border as an "invasion." However, the writer of the document says his views about immigrants predated Trump becoming president.The attack in El Paso, if the investigation proves it to be the work of a white nationalist, would be far from the only lethal far-right attack in recent years. Since 9/11, terrorists motivated by far-right ideology, including white supremacy, anti-government and anti-abortion views, have killed 107 people in the United States, according to New America's research. Meanwhile, jihadist militants have killed 104 people in the United States since those attacks.In other words, far-right terrorists have killed similar numbers as jihadist terrorists have in the United States in the past 18 years.Additionally, according to New America's data, most far-right terrorist attacks since 9/11 have killed relatively small numbers of people. In the past two years, however, terrorists inspired by far-right ideology have been carrying out mass-casualty attacks. And, if it's confirmed that far-right ideology was behind the attack in El Paso, it is the most lethal far-right terrorist attack in the post-9/11 period.Less than a year ago, a shooter who was inspired by anti-immigrant conspiracies killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the deadliest attack against Jews in American history.
Across a wide spectrum of ideologies and beliefs, terrorist violence is rising in the United States. Terrorists inspired by ideological misogyny have, for instance, killed eight people in the United States in recent years. One shooter killed six in Isla Vista, California, in 2014 in attacks he framed in terms of his hatred for women. And last year, a gunman killed two women at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, using the same rationale. Similarly, individuals inspired by black nationalist ideology have killed eight people in the United States in the past three years.
Meanwhile, since 9/11, no foreign terrorist organization has carried out a deadly attack in the United States. Every one of the perpetrators of the 13 deadly jihadist attacks that have killed 104 people in the United States since 9/11 was a US citizen or legal permanent resident.
Yet the Trump administration continues to fail to recognize the true nature of the terrorist threat in the United States. Its answer to terrorism was suspending travel from largely Muslim countries that would not have stopped a single deadly terrorist attack since 9/11. To its credit, law enforcement is investigating far-right terrorist threats. According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, there have been about 100 domestic-terrorism-related arrests this year. That said, more needs to be done, as underlined by the statement on Sunday from six of the nation's top former counterterrorism officials who served under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Trump. It reads, "it has become abundantly clear over many months now that more must be done to address acts of violence driven by extremist views of all types, including acts of domestic terrorism. We call on our government to make addressing this form of terrorism as high a priority as countering international terrorism has become since 9/11. ... We simply cannot wait any longer." Indeed.

Video Report - Will Congress take action on gun laws after the weekend's mass shootings?

Video Report - Buttigieg Warns ‘U.S. Under Attack From Domestic White Nationalist Terror’

Video Report - #DomesticTerrorism #WhiteNationalistTerrorism - #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism #ThisIsAmerica #EnoughIsEnough - Booker On El Paso Shooting: 'This Is A Uniquely American Problem'

Video Report - #DomesticTerrorism #WhiteNationalistTerrorism - Bernie Sanders: I asked McConnell to end recess right now

Video - #DomesticTerrorism #WhiteNationalistTerrorism - Kamala Harris: Our children are living in fear

Video - #DomesticTerrorism #WhiteNationalistTerrorism - Beto O'Rourke slams Trump in wake of El Paso shooting

Video - #DomesticTerrorism #WhiteNationalistTerrorism - Beto O'Rourke: Trump is an open, avowed racist

Video Report - Cory Booker: Donald Trump is responsible for this

Opinion: #DomesticTerrorism #WhiteNationalistTerrorism - #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism #ThisIsAmerica #EnoughIsEnough - When Hate Came to El Paso

By Richard Parker
The worst massacre aimed at Latinos in American history happened in my hometown, to my people.
The older man next to me on the metal bench, dressed so dignified in his peach dress shirt, dark pants and dress shoes, touches me gently on the elbow.
It is Saturday late afternoon, and we are both in front of MacArthur Middle School, where the flags already droop in the desert heat, approaching 100 degrees, at half-mast. Police officers, Red Cross workers and firefighters of all kinds come and go. This little school is where the living come to look for the missing and the dead after a white male from the Dallas suburbs named Patrick Crusius, 21, allegedly came to my hometown to commit the largest massacre of Hispanics in American history. The handwritten sign over the schoolhouse door says it all: “Looking for Family and Friends.”
Behind his glasses, tears welled up in the eyes of my bench mate, Charles Almanzar, 70. Wordlessly, he shows me his phone: There is a picture of two small children, a girl of 2 and a boy of 5. The little boy is in the hospital. The little girl is still missing, the subject of a frantic search by Mr. Almanzar’s brother-in-law. Their mother, Jordan Kay Jamrowski Anchondo, at just 25, is dead, killed by Mr. Crusius, along with at least 19 others, at a Walmart not far from downtown El Paso.
If you want to know what a mass shooting is like in your hometown, it’s like this: text alerts on your phone, a frantic woman on local television begging people to bring water to waiting families, 200 people lining up to give blood in the blistering heat, helicopters thundering overhead, the dead left lying inside the crime scene called “horrific” by the police chief. Those waiting on word of dead and lost stand calm and dignified as strangers pull up with truckloads of that bottled water. It’s also like this: a stab in the heart not to your hometown, but to your people, in my case Latinos. Mr. Crusius specifically came here to my town, to kill my people.
“Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God,” my little sister, Janet, also the child of an American father and a Mexican mother, says to me. “Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God.”
I read the manifesto believed to be by Mr. Crusius, though not confirmed by the police, who traveled over 600 miles to kill and wound men, women, old people and children. Cell phone video posted online by victims betrays the dreaded elapse of time as they die: ten shots fired from an AK-47, not in rapid succession but in cunning staccato. First a shot. Then a long pause. Then one after another after another. And then there is the shout in Spanish: “Ay, no!”
“Oh, no!” the man screams.
“This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” the manifesto reads, before eerily and coolly describing the killer’s preferences of weapons and ammunition, politics, economics and racist philosophy. His idea is devastatingly simple: Killing Hispanics will stop immigrants from coming and drive citizens to leave. “I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by invasion.”
Of course, Latinos arrived in Texas from Mexico in 1690, when it was all New Spain. My people settled the harsh brush country of south Texas, fought Comanches and Apaches and brought Christianity to America. My mother’s uncle, a Mexican citizen, fought in the Navy in World War II and perished. My Mexican grandfather came to Texas as an orphan, lived in Laredo and returned to Mexico. My Arkansan father, a soldier, met my mother in Monterrey and we settled way out here in the deserts of West Texas in 1970. We invaded nothing; we were already here long before Mr. Crusius was even conceived.
But he is just another passing figure in the moment of modern American violence that we all are living through: the predictable weakness of Republican politicians in the face of the gun lobby amid the ready availability of weapons of war. The other day, I perused a pawnshop, bought a fine fly rod but noticed that the only guns in vast supply were AR-15s, the kissing cousin of our favored weapon of war, the M-16.
Most significantly though, the El Paso massacre — and that’s what it is, it is not a mass shooting but a premeditated massacre — was the inevitable byproduct of the Trump era’s anti-immigrant, and anti-Latino invective, which with its pervasive, vile racism has poisoned our nation.El Paso-Juarez is a big, bustling desert city of over two million, straddling the United States and Mexico. My hometown has virtually zero modern history of ethnic strife; El Paso alone is over 80 percent Hispanic. We switch from English to Spanish without skipping a beat and we are fine with that. But the Trump era is not.It has brought us walls, internment camps and children in cages. The massacre is the outcome I have feared for years now, and I can’t help but feel that its genesis lies with the president of the United States.
To put all of this into perspective, there have been other massacres of Latinos in American history. The worst was the notorious Porvenir massacre, 101 years ago, in what is now a vanished border town. Texas Rangers descended on the town in the early morning hours of Jan. 28, 1918, led off 15 Hispanic men and boys and executed them. The remaining inhabitants did exactly what Saturday’s shooter wanted: They fled to Chihuahua.
Back at MacArthur Middle School, Mr. Almanzar tucks away his phone. A Jehovah’s Witness, he had been out knocking on doors when the horror struck. Many asked him how God would allow this, and he gently responds by showing me Job 34:10, which in part reads: “Far be it from God, that he should do wickedness.” No, we both agreed, switching from English to Spanish. God did not do this.
We did. In allowing those weapons of war on our streets. In giving credence to sociopathic racists, only one of whom will be in jail tonight. In poisoning our body politic with the occupant of the White House. On the horizon, storm clouds build over the desert mesas to weep upon this desert city. And still the people keep coming, desperately bringing water to those here, quietly searching for the dead.

El Paso, Dayton make 251 mass shootings in the US in 216 days, more shootings than days in the year

As gunfire ripped through America in an unprecedented 24 hours, a bleak milestone in a nation pocked by gun violence was marked: There have been 251 mass shootings in 2019.
A shooting spree early Sunday at an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio – which left at least nine dead and 16 hurt – notched an even darker statistic: It occurred on the 216th day of the year, meaning there have been more mass shootings than days so far this year.
That incident followed a rampage Saturday at a Walmart jammed with back-to-school shoppers in El Paso, Texas, that left 20 dead and 26 injured.
The two massacres became the nation's latest mass shootings as defined by the Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit organization that provides online public access to information about gun-related violence.

The archive categorizes mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people were shot or killed, not including the shooters. So far this year, more than 520 people have died in mass shootings and at least 2,000 have been injured, according to the data.
The bloody 24 hours also came in a particularly painful week: Two people were shot and killed at a Walmart store in Southaven, Mississippi, south of Memphis on Tuesday, and three people were killed by gunfire Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California. 
And the violence follows two other high-profile shootings earlier this year.
A longtime city worker opened fire in a building that houses Virginia Beach government offices on May 31, killing 12 before he was gunned down by police.
On Feb. 15, an employee at a manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois, opened fire during a disciplinary meeting where he was dismissed. He wounded one other employee and five of the first police officers to arrive at the suburban Chicago plant before he was killed during a shootout with police.