I’ve noticed an interested paradigm shift with the latest U.S. shootings in Dayton and Texas. The Texas shooter apparently left a hate-filled, racist manifesto prior to shooting up an El Paso WalMart. This has spurned a debate about violent racisms prevalence. CNN ran a story stating Tucker Carlson “told a lie” when calling white supremacy hysterics “a hoax”.
However, the conversation about America’s white supremacy problem has always been wildly overblown. Surely the few adherents are worthy of public condemnation, but to think the U.S. is plagued by legions of white supremacists is patently absurd. Charlottesville to El Paso represent such a small number of people to nearly be a rounding error. Certainly we can’t be rewriting history this way.
The racists are vile. But these shootings are complex insights into burgeoning, systemic social ills almost completely apart from conversations on race. We should collectively refuse to accept that two hundred ‘tiki torched’, card-carrying nazis, or 8chan trolls, are appropriate cross-sections of American communities, even the violent aspects of them. These claims follow the logic of a constant and seemingly concerted framing of Trump and all of his followers as virulent racists. This is a terrifyingly slippery slope.