They say death usually comes in threes, but if you’re a far-right white extremist in America, it probably comes in tens or hundreds. There aren’t safety zones or sanctuaries in this country anymore. You could be a kindergartener in elementary school, praying in your church or synagogue, or simply enjoying a country music concert to become victimized by domestic terrorists. There are no levels of respect for humankind when a terrorist’s sole intent is to evoke hate and fear, and so many innocent people have been sacrificed as a result.
As much as “our” president loves to criticize and ban Muslims and Mexicans from our borders in an effort to “protect us from terrorism,” it seems like the U.S.’s most devastating mass murder crimes are homespun and bred on our own turf. And who better than shot caller Don Lemon to use his CNN platform to exploit those BIG FACTS about the statistically recurring demographics of domestic terrorism: white men in Amurrrica.
Every day as a parent, grandparent, spouse, or friend, you have to wake up and truly hope for the best. You have to pray you don’t go on Facebook and worry if someone close to you hasn’t “checked in” during some sort of local catastrophe. You have to be concerned with where you choose to go to college or who’s concerned with where you choose to pee. Shit, you especially have to worry that there are undeserving citizens and professionals with biases against people with your complexion with legal rights to carry firearms. You ultimately have to walk on eggshells daily because of the volumes of “mental disabilities” AND prejudiced cocktails people brew and serve by ways of their AR-15s.
America’s more recent deplorable events consist of several hate crimes and attacks, specifically a gruesome mass killing at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The victims ages ranged from 54-97. 97?! Imagine your grandparent making it to almost a century on this planet, healthy enough to leave their house and go to their local place of worship, to be killed for being... Jewish? Or Black? Imagine your grandparents and parents attending your child’s christening/baptism/blessing/bris and being shot and killed in cold blood?
I usually make lots of jokes and puns in my opinion pieces, because what can I say? I’m a funny guy. But my heart aches for those mourning losses because of maniacs in America who legally own automatic machine guns and are protected by the laws and opinions of Trump’s America. All opinions except CNN’s very own Don Lemon.
During that on-air conversation with colleague Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon held nothing back on what he knew about domestic terrorism. He said in plain English that the domestic terrorism in this country is overwhelmingly committed by radical extremist white men. It felt good to know that regardless of the backlash we ALL knew Don would receive post statement (you know, the Kaepernick effect), he stood by his words, as they were technically rooted in statistics that aren’t debatable.
"Wypipo" had some nerve to actually be upset over the fact that their people are the primary culprits of domestic terrorism in this country even when these white domestic terrorists have actually killed their own, too, not just Blacks, Muslims, and Mexicans (you know, the "real" bad guys). How embarrassing is it, also, for people of the Jewish community whose families migrated to this country to escape anti-Semitism decades ago under the reign of Adolf Hitler and prior, to then mourn their relatives because of the same hateful doctrine in 2018? A hate crime on the soil of the Land of the Free? Say it isn’t so!?
The truth is White America is filled with a bunch of hatred riddled, entitled, mentally and socially disabled brutes. Those same people want or support building a wall over the border with Mexico and vilify them as gang-bangers, lazy-ass welfare snatchers, and career hogs. All the while, those same extreme, ignorant critics wear sombreros on Cinco De Mayo chugging back shots of tequila, have taco nights with their transplant roommates, flash their unmentionables and guzzle sexy toys at their bacherolettes in Cancun, post pics on the ‘Gram flexing in Cabo, and add hella extra guac at Chipotle. Conclusively, the real thieves and murderers, with the exception of an updated wardrobe, are no different than the genocidal pilgrims that stole this land to begin with.
I’ve never appreciated statements so deeply rooted in not just passion but BIG FACTS than Don Lemon’s on CNN Wednesday. Also, for him to REFUSE to retract his remarks or release any form of public apology was as much of a cherry on top as Kaepernick’s Nike endorsement deal. Between “bad apples” in law enforcement, bombers in the midwest, mass murderers at the movie theaters, and your local KKK meetings, the truth is a lot of unnecessary hate violence stems from far-right EXTREMIST WHITE men in America. Let’s not add to the fact that they when usually get caught they make it in one piece to jail with some form of right to a “fair” trial (as opposed to be gunned down on sight like a Black kid wearing a hoodie) and typically commit crimes with guns they were LEGALLY allowed to carry. Lemon didn’t characterize ALL white men, only those that fit that description. And those committing the backlash to Lemon is a pretty transparent indication of who and what morals and leaders they value and support. For example, both Trump and Obama publicly responded to the recent synongue attack, and look at the difference in messages they’re trying to get across:
TRUMP: “[The shooting] has little to do with [gun laws], if you take a look. If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better. This is a dispute that will always exist, I suspect, but if they had some kind of a protection inside the temple maybe it could have been a much better situation. They didn't."
OBAMA: "We grieve for the Americans murdered in Pittsburgh. All of us have to fight the rise of anti-Semitism and hateful rhetoric against those who look, love, or pray differently. And we have to stop making it so easy for those who want to harm the innocent get their hands on a gun."
Let this be a gentle reminder to keep a keen eye at your surroundings everywhere you go. It is terrible to pre-plan exit strategies in the event of a mass shooting or domestic terrorist attack, but the harsh reality is it happens more often than it should. It happens because instead of the safety of ordinary citizens, Trump’s GOP is more concerned with endorsements and the cash flow of the NRA. It happens because white people are statistically less penalized or criticized for their prejudices especially depending on what region of America they’re from. And it happens from the overwhelming insufficiency of mental healthcare and human decency passed down from generations.
When I was 5, my mother bought me a T-shirt that read, “NO CHILD IS BORN A RACIST.” The phrasing was much less significant to me then as it is now, a grown woman with a son of my own. But the idea that nothing has changed because those words still hold true meaning today (or possibly gotten in worse 25 years) is a clear gauge that something needs to change in this country.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
(Photo: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)