Debate over gun control laws is white hot after recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas. The gunman in the Buffalo case allegedly published a 180-page “manifesto” that laid out plans to attack Black people and repeatedly cited the so-called “great replacement” theory. Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid argues certain right-wing media groups indirectly — and ultimately explicitly — contribute to conditions making racially-motivated mass shootings all too common:
I don’t often speak directly to the right. I don’t see much point in it, frankly. In my experience, the right which is less the far right and just all of the right except for strangely enough, Liz Cheney – generally responds to direct statements and questions with some combination of avoidance and gaslighting.
But I’m angry today, and I would really, really like to hear what the right has to say about the Buffalo shooting beyond offering thoughts and prayers.
The Buffalo shooting is one in a long line of racially motivated slayings based on a narrative that has been, if not explicitly supported by the right-wing community, certainly implicitly. In the aftermath of shootings targeting people of color, the right likes to explain away the incidents as, for lack of a better word, blips.
It’s not because of easy access to military grade weaponry; it’s because of mental illness. It’s not because of dangerous and omnipresent racist rhetoric; it’s because of a few bad actors. And it’s certainly not because white supremacy has been not-so-slowly, not-so-insidiously emerging from the fringes of the far right ideology into the mainstream, its adherents gaining steam from amplification by outlets like Fox News and host Tucker Carlson. No, it couldn’t possibly be that. Except that’s exactly what happened. And what will continue to happen, so long as these media outlets continue to use their platforms to suggest that White people are being, quote, replaced, their God-given power being co-opted by people who don’t look like them, and are therefore lesser.