By Frederick Lowe
Patrick Crusius, the white supremacist gunman who shot to death 20 people and wounded 26 others on Saturday in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, admired Dylann Roof.
Roof murdered nine black parishioners attending Bible study on June 17, 2015 at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Devin P. Kelley, who shot to death 26 people at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November 5, 2017, wrote on his Facebook page he also admired Roof. After the shooting, Kelley fled and committed suicide.
Police peacefully arrested both Crusius, who was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, and Roof, who was packing a pistol. Arresting police officers even took Roof to a Wendy’s restaurant to buy him a hamburger.
Police handled the arrests of Roof and Crusius far differently than the arrest of an unarmed Eric Garner. Daniel Pantaleo, a New York City cop, choked Garner to death for selling loose, or untaxed, cigarettes on the street.
The mass shooting in El Paso has sparked a discussion among the news media about the rise and acceptance white supremacy, something African Americans have been forced to live with beginning with slavery.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum, which is based in Montgomery, Alabama, reported that 4,400 blacks were lynched in 12 southern states between 1877 and 1950. Those figures don’t include black men lynched in Omaha, Nebraska, and Duluth, Minnesota. In all cases, whites, including police officers, joined together to murder black men, women, and children.
For decades, the Southern Poverty Law Center has sounded the alarm about domestic terrorism being the preeminent threat in this country.
In 2018, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in 2018 there were 1,020 hate groups in the United States. Most of the hate groups have all-white memberships.
White Nationalists praised Crusius’s murders in El Paso, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported. Crusius published a manifesto on the website 8chan, arguing that he was preventing the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The Walmart is near the border with Mexico. He will face the death penalty for committing a hate crime.
After Roof murdered parishioners of Emanuel A.M.E., blacks rushed to forgive him, but Roof showed no remorse. Killing the victims was like stamping out bugs, Roof said.
From his podium at numerous rallies both during his campaign and while he has served as President, Donald Trump has played a significant role in creating an atmosphere of tolerance, or even permission, for the expression of white supremacist attitudes. Trump has referred to poor black nations as ‘shithole countries,’ and he has referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers. Following the killing of a young female protester by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, he declared that there were good people on both sides of the issues, ignoring the fact that members of white supremacy groups marched through the streets of Charlottesville, chanting Nazi slogans. Very recently, Trump, in an unmistakably disdainful tone, called a black Baltimore neighborhood roach and rat-infested.