Yesterday marks mass shooting number 476 in 2023 when a homely white supremacist gunned down three black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida. The gunman was 21 year old Ryan Christopher Palmer who drew swastikas on his AR-15 and handgun. Like many white supremacists before him, his stunted intellect prevented him from pulling off the attack he dreamed of. When he approached the historically black Edward Waters University and refused to identify himself he was almost taken into custody for wearing a tactical vest and blue latex gloves. After getting shutdown by security guards, his impotence turned to rage and he angrily carried out his plan at the closest Dollar General store he could find before turning the gun on himself.
At 1:08 P.M, Palmer approached the Dollar General store, firing at a black Kia and killing Angela Michelle Carr. He continued inside as the inhabitants began fleeing out the back exit. He entered and killed Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr. before following the fleeing victims and firing on Jerrald Gallion and his girlfriend.
Gallion's girlfriend managed to escape unscathed. In the final 10 minutes of his life, Palmer texted his father and told him to find his will and a suicide note hidden in his room. As officers entered the store, they heard the final shot as Palmer took his own life. If only Palmer had the courage to reverse his sequence of actions, the world could be a better place.
Looking at the photo above, its hard to imagine this man believed he was superior to anyone, yet the writings that he left for his father and law enforcement show that his hatred for black people ran deep. Jacksonville Sheriff, TK Waters stated: "His sickening ideology is not representative of the values of this Jacksonville community that we all love so much," he added. "We are not a community of hate. We stand united with the good and decent people of this city. We reject this inexcusable violence, and this agency will not rest until this investigation is complete and every available avenue of accountability have been exhausted."
Waters has a duty to uphold the dignity of Jacksonville. But Palmer's contemporaries have other ideas. They took to twitter to defend Palmer's actions through the tried and true method of deflection. Republican Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy posited his theory that bringing awareness to racism is why these three innocents are dead.
“The reality is we’ve created such a racialized culture in this country in the last several years. That right, as the last few burning embers of racism were burning out, we have a culture in this country largely created by media and establishment and universities and politicians that throw kerosene on that racism,” Ramaswamy said on the State of the Union Sunday. “And I can think of no better way to fuel racism in this country than to take something away from other people on the basis of their skin color. I’ve been saying that for years and I think that is driving sadly a new wave of anti-Black and anti-Hispanic racism in this country,” Ramaswamy added.
Bringing awareness to racism is causing racism according to conservative thought leaders. Could it be that right wingers have simply become more rabidly racist? Did Donald Trump's rhetoric and empowerment of Christian fascism play a role? Has the proliferation of these ideas on the internet and through media such as FOX news generate any impact? According to Ramaswamy the answer is no, its the people who are anti-racist that are causing this. This classic: "look what you made me do" response from Republicans in the face of the violent outcomes that they promote is as fickle as it is disgusting.
Other Republicans practiced a misdirection style of strategy. Their idea of a retaliation is to reopen discourse about a trans shooter who committed a similar act five months ago. If you fail to see how that's relevant, congratulations! You're too smart to be a Republican. They believe its relevant due to seeing the world through a herd mentality. If you view the right as your team. You need to defend your Nazi allies when they commit heinous acts like Palmer. You do so by assuming a trans person is left wing and therefore on the side of the left. By gesturing at imagined hypocrisy, you can maintain your moral superiority to your mindless horde.
Naturally, leftists also consider the trans shooting to be a heinous act and wouldn't defend it if it were a baby surrounded by wolves, but the right cannot comprehend such a thought process. Instead, they defend Nazis with every fiber of their being. 476 shootings this year and they pathetically act sanctimonious about a single one to protect their side. If the Republican doth protest too much, are they just as guilty?