Violent Threat against democracy
Sharing an important message from Lawyers Defending American Democracy:
"This month, our Democracy Heroes and Threats emerge from horrific instances of recent gun violence in AmericaIn Buffalo, a hero gave his life trying to save his community from a killer who represents a vast threat to our democracy – mass murders by individuals inspired by the fomenting of political and racial hatred via social media and the internet.
There are a raft of extremist groups espousing the violent overthrow of the US government and the instigation of a race war. The Buffalo killer followed the script laid out on social media by these extremists.
Their theories include the Great Replacement – the notion that Jews are bringing dark-skinned immigrants into the country to replace white Christians. Another theory, accelerationism, is that mass killings by lone wolves - such as the murders at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston - will start a race war that will lead to a neo-Nazi regime. These theories are increasingly gaining traction on-line.
The Buffalo killer was a threat who represented the same ideology. In this instance, he was an 18-year-old white supremacist radicalized via social media during the pandemic. He lived in a small town near Binghamton, an economically depressed region of New York, and conducted extensive surveillance and planning prior to choosing his target, a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, over 200 miles away.
He committed mass murder armed with a semi-automatic weapon and wearing body armor, and posted online a 180-page screed embracing the Great Replacement Theory and Accelerationism. He also referenced role models whose racial hatred led to murders in South Carolina and New Zealand.
The hero, Aaron Salter Jr., was a fifty-six-year-old security guard at Tops who died trying to protect the employees and customers from this young white supremacist intent on murdering Black shoppers. Mr. Salter was a retired Buffalo policeman with a wife and three children.
A report from the Center for American Progress has cataloged the threat from white supremacist violence. The White House National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism reports: “Preventing domestic terrorism and reducing the factors that fuel it demand a multifaceted response across the Federal Government and beyond.”
Days after the Buffalo murders, John Cheng, a 52-year-old doctor, died a hero as he tried to protect parishioners at the Geneva Presbyterian Church, where a Chinese man opened fire at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, CA. Five others were wounded in the attack.
Dr. Cheng was taking his mom to church. The church’s former Pastor, Billy Chang, subdued the gunman; Dr. Cheng was shot when he sought to wrestle him to the ground. The shooter, another threat to democracy, had sent a diary of 7 volumes handwritten in Mandarin to a local paper describing his hatred of Taiwan.
And now, barely weeks later, the country is reeling from the slaughter that has left 19 children and 2 teachers dead. The motive of the shooter is unknown, but it is known that he broadcast his intent on social media prior to carrying out his horrific crimes.
Implicit in the rule of law should be the notion that when our kids attend school, when we enter our house of worship, and when we shop for groceries, we are safe from attack by armed men with assault rifles. We are shattered by these experiences, unnerved by their impact on our sense of safety, and deeply grieving for the victims and their families, just as we are grateful for the heroes willing to give their lives to save others."
Thoughts from a texas teacher
This sums it up well.
From a Texas teacher, with permission:
"So, I teach elementary school, in Texas. I'm hearing a bunch of nonsense on things that can be done, such as only one door, police at schools, arming teachers, etc. We are actually trying to teach in these schools for goodness sakes! Do some people not realize that we actually take the kids OUTSIDE for recess?? That they stand in line for pickup in the afternoon? That they are huddled around the front door in the mornings, waiting for it to open?? That they are all dismissed within 5 minutes?
As for arming teachers, you've got to be kidding me. They can't possibly mean that, can they? Most ridiculous idea ever.
So disgusted I don't even know what else to say. Ban the mass-people killing machines outside of a war situation already!"
May 28th, 2022
Federal and state investigators are on the ground in Uvalde and will eventually provide comprehensive and detailed reports of all the events leading up to and during the massacre.
In the initial days, DPS Chief McGraw provided a presser and a minute-by-minute timeline of the critical events.
At this moment in time, there are many rumors and lots of speculation, but a few things are sealed in history.
One is that there are currently five official versions of what happened.
Secondly, we know with certainty that there are 19 dead fourth-graders and two teachers. We also know that two days later, one teacher’s husband died of a heart attack.
Another is that on May 27, 2022, Texas Senator John Cornyn expressed his gratitude to law enforcement officers and their ‘enduring courage’, whom he referenced as enduring a ‘harrowing experience’. Cornyn made those comments, after the release of this timeline which indicates that 80 minutes elapsed between the first notification to 911 and to entry into the classroom.
LEO were in the building for 77 minutes while children and teachers died. LEO were in the hallway for 77 minutes while children and teachers called 911 and called out to police begging for help.
LEO did NOTHING. Okay, that isn’t fair. They talked a lot. They conferred. They met. They consulted. They did not breach the room. They did not breach the room when a (now dead) teacher told 911 that there were still 8 or 9 students still alive.
There are lots of videos and stories with lots to still to teach us, but these are facts that we know, just days after the event.
People of color peacefully protested police brutality, and white folks were horrified they were taking a knee.
White folks decried the racism Barack Obama caused, by being black. Those are the same folks that carried assault weapons to demand the opening of beauty salons. Those are same folks that carried torches in North Carolina.
If I was black, today, in America, I doubt if I would leave my house, and not because of the virus. It takes some courage for people of color to even leave their home, in 2022, for God's sake.
We celebrate MLK, but we do not, as a nation follow his message. As a 65 year-old woman, learning that racism is just as rampant as it has ever been, I understand the burning of Minnesota. I understand that no change happens until the oppressor understands the level of anger of the oppressed. I applaud MLK, and fully understand the need for Malcolm X.