Let me add this subtitle: “A Terrifying Coincidence?”
The premeditated slaughter this afternoon (June 28) of five staff members of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland is horrible and tragic. But, if this news saddens or depresses you, as it no doubt does, please now read this article published today June 28 by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)¹. It’s article is entitled: “Leading alt-right figure advocates assassinating reporters”.
This SPLC article cites recent, repeated public comments by well known alt-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos encouraging vigilantes to kill reporters.
The police arrested the murderer, Jarrod Ramos, at the scene. He is reported by the Baltimore Sun (which owns the Gazette) to be a life-long resident in the Anne Arundel County area, growing up in Severn, Maryland, attending Arundel High School, a former Federal employee, and a computer engineer described by family members as a “loner.” Ramos has had a public feud against the Capital Gazette since 2011 when it publicized a court case filed against Ramos by a woman because of a long-running harassment situation.
It’s important to note here that the assassin is not an immigrant, but just one more crazy white guy conducting terrorism, as most of the terrorist mass murderers in the U.S. are. The Baltimore Sun article says that Ramos has repeatedly referred to the 2015 Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris in one of his online accounts. Senior editors of the Capital Gazette reportedly said today that they had long feared a physical assault by him might happen, but they weren’t sure how to prevent it.
Speaking personally, it is not immigrants that I am afraid of. Rather, it is the sickos who have borne all the rights and privileges of an American citizen their entire lives, plus the economic and social advantages of being white, but still are unhappy enough to go out and slaughter people willy-nilly. But maybe it was not so willy-nilly. Did Milo Yiannopoulos’ speeches stir Ramos to act?
In combination with the exhortations of Yiannopoulos to members of the alt-right to kill reporters, today’s murders become doubling terrifying.
A poignant personal side note . . . Today my wife and I attended the afternoon Baltimore Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards. The stadium sits a only a few blocks from the University of Maryland Hospital’s famous Shock-Trauma Center which serves the State of Maryland. Over a period of perhaps 90 minutes we noticed five (5) of the State’s large medical evacuation helicopters slide over the stadium to gradually alight upon the helipad on the Shock-Trauma Center roof. Seeing one of these is not unusual. However, when the helicopters kept landing about 20 minutes apart, my wife said to me that “something awful” must have happened today. Yes, I said, imagining a couple of bad traffic accidents.
¹ I am a dues paying member of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the preeminent anti-hate organization fighting hate in the U.S. The SPLC is a non-profit legal advocacy and civil rights organization founded by Morris Dees in 1971.