Opinion: The mass shootings have a lot in common with another American horror

At that time, it was rare for a black person accused of a crime to be treated impartially by the justice system, so it is impossible to know whether the charges against him were true. Some accounts say Hose acted in self-defense. Guilty or innocent, he was subjected to summary mob justice. Hose was tracked down, captured and lynched without trial.
His gruesome execution was widely watched. People arrived by chartered train from Atlanta, about 40 miles away, to witness the horrific spectacle, which was seen by as many as 2,000 people, according to contemporary accounts.
Lynching as public entertainment was not unusual in the decades following the official end of slavery in 1865, when black people were often terrorized by white people determined to reinforce an oppressive and racist hierarchy in which they were at the top. Mountain peak. And these oppressors did not hesitate to resort to violence to safeguard the system.
And the lynchings weren’t just bloodthirsty events, they were also celebratory and discordant. White parents regularly brought their children to the spectacle of lynchings of black men and women as family entertainment. Fathers lifted their young children on their shoulders for a better view. Hideous mutilations were viewed the same way we might view sporting events today. Their festive character was captured by postcards that were popular souvenirs of the time. These artifacts often carried photos showing graphic lynching scenes as well as the cheering white crowds present.
Such acts of racial barbarism, however, have not been relegated to America’s past. They are links in an unbroken chain of hatred that continues. For proof, just look at the Buffalo gunman who gunned down 10 black people in a supermarket this month, in a fatal, racism-fueled attack allegedly carried out by a young man who identified as a white supremacist. .
He has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder charges and further charges are expected.

As with the perpetrators of the Sam Hose lynching more than a century ago, the alleged Buffalo gunman wanted his heinous act to be seen by others who shared his white nationalist views, even if no modern-day racist bystander goes to lynchings on packed train cars.

No less significantly, acts of racial terrorism aim to strike fear into the hearts of black people, to make them feel hunted, unwanted and oppressed. And indeed, black residents of Buffalo facing the aftermath of the attack expressed similar emotions.
In fact, many black Americans harbored such fears of attacks by white terrorists even before the Buffalo Massacre. And in the aftermath of the shooting, a majority of Black Americans recently surveyed said they live with fear of another such attack.
As with the lynchings of the past, today’s race attacks expose the suffering of black people for the entertainment of a 21st century version of the white mob. In the case of the Buffalo shooting, it was captured on video and shared on online platforms. Those who saw the violent spectacle were presumably seated in the comfort of their own homes, connected by computer and via their mobile phones.
He broadcast the carnage online with a helmet-mounted video camera as he opened fire on those in the store, many of whom were elderly people buying groceries from one of the few stores of food in their Buffalo community.
According to reports, the video of the shooting was taken down within minutes by the online forums it was shared on, but not before it could be copied and shared millions of times.
The shooter appears to have embraced white nationalist views after joining similar online racist forums. He reportedly wrote in a lengthy online post that he was inspired by a white supremacist shooting attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, on two mosques that killed 51 people. The shooter of this attack aimed to foment discord between Muslims and non-Muslims, with the aim of driving followers of Islam out of the country. And like the Buffalo shooter, he filmed and posted video of the attack, in his case on Facebook.
According to posts shared on Discord and the hate-filled online forum 4Chan, the Buffalo suspect planned the massacre for months. The Twitch streaming site, most often used to share games – including those simulating battlefield violence – was also used by the shooter, including during his live broadcast of the attack. In this case, however, the violence was all too real.
In a statement to The New York Times, Angela Hession, vice president of trust and safety at Twitch, said the site had a “very strong response time” to the Buffalo shooting “given the challenges of the moderation of live content”.

She added: “Ultimately, we are all part of one Internet, and we now know that content or behavior will rarely, if ever, remain contained on one platform.”

The messages written by the alleged shooter were made visible to a group of at least 15 people around 30 minutes before the attack began. A 180-page rant attributed to him has also been posted online, elaborating on his racist beliefs.
The document cited resentment of a growing percentage of people of color in the United States — the so-called replacement theory — as its justification for harassing and then launching attacks on unsuspecting black citizens who are already bearing the weight of 400 years of structural racism and subordination, and who have been trapped in a segregated and bounded community in Buffalo.

A striking phenomenon is that so many of the perpetrators of recent mass shootings are young people. The shooter’s youth – he was only 18 – was likely a factor in his receptivity to the unsavory ideas he so readily embraced.

BUFFALO, NEW YORK – MAY 20: People gather at a memorial for the victims of the shooting outside Tops Market on May 20, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.  Payton Gendron, 18, is charged with the mass shooting that killed 10 people at Tops grocery store on Buffalo's east side on May 14 and is being investigated as a hate crime.
Other young racists who have carried out heinous racist shootings in the United States include the 21-year-old gunman who opened fire on Latino shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and the 21-year-old gunman who killed black worshipers at a party. prayer service in Charleston, South Carolina.
Now we can add to the list of young mass murderers the shooter from Uvalde, Texas, who was only 18 years old. the same week he reached that milestone.
The motive for the shooting in Texas remains unclear. The alleged shooter was a young man of Latino descent, like most of his victims. Like some other recent mass shooters, he shared his murderous plot online minutes before carrying it out.

It is a sad statement on the tragedy of spiraling gun violence in America that the shooting in Buffalo has already been supplanted in public attention by the horrific massacre in Texas.

America has failed to find a way to stem the carnage associated with the proliferation of powerful automatic firearms of the type used in the two mass shootings, which occurred a week and a half apart .

When it comes to shooters boosted by white supremacy, this country has more than its hands full. These individuals are like members of a violent gang or a foreign terrorist cell: young racist haters “prove” their membership by exaggerating their power of action to defend the creed of the group, like members of an exclusive club and harmful.
They claim they must defend white culture from demographic displacement by dangerous so-called multicultural “substitutes” who must be erased by racial violence. They are a virtual family of like-minded racists steeped in resentment over the loss of white rights and diminishing prospects for white male dominance in America.

These were the motives for lynchings after the Reconstruction, and they remain the motives today. More than 120 years after the murder of Sam Hose, Buffalo is making it clear that the violent race war for the soul of our nation continues.

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