BAN #137: Dear GOP politicians…

August 5, 2019 Issue #137

Dear politicians of the Grand Old Party —

As you well know, over the weekend in America we suffered more mass shootings, more innocent blood spilled. We were all still reeling from the first one in Texas when a second one occurred in Ohio.

The motives behind the second shooting are still unclear [Note: Some people are trying to tie him to left-leaning ideologies, but this has been thoroughly debunked], but in the first they are very, very clear, as they have been in so many others. The mass murderer was motivated by racial hatred. His goal was genocide. And his actions were realized by easy access to weapons of war.

Over the years, attempts by Congress have been made to lessen or eradicate such attacks. These are almost always by Democrats, and are always killed by you and your party, by Republicans. This includes bills aimed to even investigate why such shootings occur, so that we can at least attempt to understand the basis of them.

Yet, despite this lack of scientific data, your spokespeople go on television and say the problem is video games, it’s mental health, it’s gun control.

But then… why don’t other countries with video games have mass shootings? Why don’t other countries with mental health problems in their population have mass shootings? And in Texas, which has some of the most lax gun laws in the nation, where were those  “good guys with guns”?

It’s obvious on its face that these excuses are distractions, ridiculous assertions that crumble at the slightest question. Perhaps some in your party actually believe this nonsense, but I know that many Representatives and Senators on the red side of the aisle are actually quite intelligent, and must know these empty words for what they are. What then are your motivations to say them, or at the very least not to disavow others saying  them?

When the FBI director testifies in front of Congress saying that most domestic terror attacks in 2019 (and in 2018 for that matter) are from white nationalists, why is it that so few Republicans will say this publically? Why is it that you still focus on Muslims yet ignore this much, much larger issue? In fact, downplay and actively work against solutions to it?

You give the clichéd litany of “thoughts and prayers” in speeches and tweets, but rarely if ever take on the real motivations of the gunmen, never standing up and fighting against the racist and rabid nationalism they vomit.

Why is it that you cannot take so many of these mass shooters for their word: They are white nationalists, white men who are so racist, so deeply bigoted, that they see anyone not like them as fundamentally not human? And that this homicidal, this genocidal thinking is buoyed by the words they hear on Fox TV and at Presidential rallies?

Crucially, why do you not strongly and firmly denounce the words of the President, the leader of your party, who publicly, on record, dehumanizes and encourages acts of violence against people of color by his white followers? And is quoted and praised, directly and by name, in the manifestos of these very same mass murderers?

Perhaps, I wonder, it’s because of what you see reflected in those words of the shooters.

You can deny it to the cameras, you can deny it to your constituents, you might even deny it to your friends and to your family.

But in your heart of hearts, when you look from Donald Trump to the man who pulled that trigger over and over again, do you not admit even to yourself what you must know to be true?

That he is one of yours.