With the encouragement of our President, America has gone to great lengths to paint minorities as criminals, parasites and in some instances, terrorists. But after the latest pair of mass shootings this weekend, in which a total of 29 people were killed, the fears and frustrations of American citizens have taken over Twitter, with the hashtag #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism serving as their rallying cry.
CNN reports that on Saturday, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius gunned down 21 people and injured 29 others at a Wal-Mart swarming with cross-border shoppers in El Paso, Texas. According to NBC News, it’s the deadliest shooting in 2019, as well as one of the worst in American history.
And it was also racially motivated, per CNN:
About 20 minutes earlier, a post on the online message board 8chan believed to be from the suspect laid out a dark vision of America overrun by Hispanic immigrants. The 2,300-word document, which police called a “manifesto,” was attached to a post that said, “I’m probably going to die today.”
The writing is filled with white nationalist language and racist hatred toward immigrants and Latinos, blaming immigrants and first-generation Americans for taking away jobs.
But while Americans struggled to process the latest massacre on American soil, we woke up to the news of another mass shooting mere hours later in Dayton, Ohio.
Nine people were killed and at least 26 injured Sunday in a shooting in a popular nightclub district of downtown Dayton, Ohio, police say.
Officers killed the lone suspect after he fired for less than a minute from a “.223 high-capacity” gun, and he had additional magazines with him, Mayor Nan Whaley said. The .223 caliber is used in rifles like the AR-15 assault rifle used in previous mass shootings.
The suspect in the Dayton shooting has yet to be publicly identified, but as was the case in El Paso, it’s not exactly a secret that these catastrophic acts of domestic terrorism—which are far too often not recognized or treated as such—are carried out by white supremacists.
As such, the hashtag #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism is being used to demand gun reform, call out the portrayals of victims and perpetrators alike, highlight Donald Trump’s degree of complicity, and provide concerned citizens a public platform to mourn the countless lives we’ve lost to gun violence.
We are well past the point of “thoughts and prayers” getting the job done. The time for gun reform is now.