The problem isn’t guns. The problem is white people.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s the guns too. But this post is going to focus on the people wielding them.
It feels disingenuous to write about anything other than what happened over the weekend. I’d love to. I’d love to write about the Cubs three game sweep of the Brewers. I’d love to write about yesterday’s walk in the woods. I’d love to write about the amazing trip I took to the Fresh Market where they were selling lemons for $1.69 each. Not organic. Not Meyer. Just regular ass lemons. I was blown away by the gumption.
Never change Fresh Market. Never. Freaking. Change.
I’m talking, of course, about the shootings that happened in El Paso and Dayton. Perpetrated by, you guessed it, white people. I should also be writing about the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, done by another white person. But that happened more than a week ago, which now counts as old news.
OLD. NEWS. That’s my reaction now to mass shootings. Me! A super sensitive liberal snowflake. I’ve been numb to them ever since Sandy Hook. Done by another white person by the by. I read the articles, I watch the sound bites, but then I move on with my day. The shooting at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, by yet another white person, stuck with me the longest. Not only because of the poetic cruelty of shooting people during a prayer meeting, but also because I lived two blocks from the church at the time and passed by it every single day.
But the shooting in El Paso stuck with me. I think it’s because he wrote a manifesto. Which is Latin for “White People Say The Dumbest Things.”
Side bar- I would hate to see a computer after it’s been used to write a manifesto. That keyboard’s gotta be way fucked up. Letters not working any more. It’s sitting there like, “Yo- dude- take a walk! Stop beating me!”
Side-Side Bar- can you imagine that browser history? Nothing but links to Alex Jones articles and pictures of Melania Trump. And lots of these right wing memes your relatives post on Facebook. You know the ones that pop up in your feed and you just go, “Who?”
And I know this is not the first mass shooter to write a manifesto. It feels like we’ve already had 5,000 manifestos this year and it’s not even football season. But this manifesto felt so… familiar. Mexican Invasion? That sounds like a normal Tuesday night with Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson over at Fox News. You know who watches Fox News? White people. According to a 2018 article in Newsweek, Fox’s viewership is 94% white. That’s Jimmy Buffet concert level whiteness. The next highest number is the Hispanic community coming in at 3%, followed by Asians at 2%, followed by African Americans at 1%.
At a rally in Panama City Beach, FL, Trump asked, “How you stop these people” and someone yelled, “Shoot them.” Instead of denouncing that criminal, violent language, he said, “Only in the Panhandle can you get away with that statement.” Trump. The same person who called Mexicans rapists and murderers. Who tells native born American Citizens to go back to their countries. The one who calls African nations shit hole countries. You know who voted him in office? The Portuguese.
Sorry, I meant white people. 58%. More than half of us voted for a nativist who brags about grabbing women by the vagina.
He didn’t win the presidency on the backs of the Delta Sigma Theta’s.
For white people reading this, Delta Sigma Theta is a large African American sorority with over 300,000 members. I’d be willing to bet that less than five of those 300,000 voted for Trump.
And I’m not letting white women off the hook. Yes the problem is mainly with us men, but 53% of all white female voters voted for Trump. We’re in this shit together.
There is something broken in the collective soul of white people. It’s been broken for a while. You can’t own people and be fine spiritually. But like any story there are turning points along the way. This next year and a half feels like one of them. Our fears are coming to a head. Are white people going to continue to support this president, who riles up his base with hateful rhetoric? Are we going to be the ones standing in the way of sensible gun control, environmental legislation, an equitable tax system, affordable health care, and whatever else you want to add to this list?
Are white people going to be the ones denouncing racism and hatred louder than anybody else. We have to. If we continue to choose order over justice then get your thoughts and prayers ready, because the only thing that’s going to change is the city on the map and the date on the calendar.
And perhaps the Fresh Market. Because even they know that $1.69 is too much for a lemon. Truly they must. Truly, they must.