White Supremacy Is Deadly: When Will We Start Taking This Rhetoric Seriously?
We should’ve stopped taking the poison of the white nationalist movement — the hate speech, the racist rallies — as a joke immediately. The current climate should have sparked a national emergency instead.
Wasn’t Dylan Roof, with his cowardly 2015 massacre of nine church members who invited him in to pray, enough? That crime was followed by the case in March of James Harris Jackson, who police say confessed to killing Timothy Caughman, a homeless black man with a reputation for helping people. Caughman didn’t even know that he was under attack until a knife was in him. Jackson has been charged with terrorism and second-degree murder as a hate crime.
As the media breaks its neck to paint hate crimes as the actions of troubled individuals, rather than as symptoms of the many problems in society that create, justify and co-sign these crimes, law enforcement gets away with not investigating or taking meaningful action against the many disgusting, hate-filled Facebook groups and online publications like the National Policy Institute and the Council of Conservative Citizens, the website that originally radicalized Roof. The leaders of white supremacist organizations may not be perpetrating hate crimes themselves; I believe, however, that Roof’s multiple murders, as well as other hate crimes, are a reflection of the culture and rhetoric being circulated. And as a result of our inaction, we have lost another life.