Posts Tagged ‘Mass murder’


A Mass Shooting Happened Yesterday But You Didn’t Hear Anything About It

By Annie-Rose Strasser

Store Shootings DetroitCREDIT: AP

On Thursday, a man reportedly dressed in body armor ran into a crowded room and opened fire with a high-powered assault-style rifle, killing three and injuring six. But television stations didn’t cut away to report on the horrific event. In fact, it’s likely this is the first you’re hearing about it.

What makes this shooting different? Several things. First, it happened in Detroit, a city with a staggeringly high murder rate. Second, the reported gunman had a criminal history, and may have had a longstanding feud with some of the victims. And, third, it happened in a space where many people can’t imagine themselves: a gambling session in the back room of a barber shop.

But the quotes coming out of the shooting at Al’s Place Barber Shop are as heartbreaking as those you’d hear anywhere.

“Police wear body armor. Why would a community member be driving around in body armor?” asked Detroit Police Chief James Craig in a press conference following the shooting. Craig called the violence “urban terrorism.”

“I’m angry that it happened. I’m angry that people are dead,” Arnold Redmond, one of those injured in shooting, told the Detroit Free Press. Redmond also insisted that the shooting had nothing to do with  “the barbershop or any of the people associated with it.”

Sadly, the relative media ignorance of the shooting tracks with a common theme: Gun crimes often occur in low-income neighborhoods with largely non-white victims, but, from the news, you’d think every shooting put the white and affluent at risk of violence. There’s an obvious reason from a producer’s perspective: They want traffic, or viewers, and think they can get more if more well-off news consumers are self-concerned with the story. But it doesn’t reflect the reality of gun violence in the United States, where black people are far more likely to be victims of gun homicides compared to their white counterparts.

The three victims have been identified as Joezell Williams, 61, Bryan Williams, 29, and Kevin Perryman, 40. Police say each one was shot at least twice.


American Freedom Defense Initiative Co-Founder Calls for Killings, Mosque Burnings

One of the groups founded by anti-Muslim demagogues Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer is called the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), an “umbrella” group that provides cover for their other activities and funding for their anti-Muslim advertisements.

John Jay, one of the founding members of the board of AFDI and a very frequent commenter at Pamela Geller’s website, has posted a manifesto very reminiscent of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s — a deranged, violent fantasy of mass murder.

Jay’s post calls for the killing of “talking head media”, of “every self avowed socialist and communist in congress”, and of “the faculty senates at harvard, yale, columbia, nyu and university of california at santa barbara”. Also, Muslims immigrants should be deported, in “boxes or tourist, their choice”, and all mosques should be burned down.

Jay has now added a response:

apparently things are really very slow at little green footballs. charles johnson, head pukka there, has responded to the little post herein-below breathlessly announcing that i am advocating mass murder. the lizards of course, denounce me as deranged.

[…] this is, of course, fairly ridiculous. and, utterly transparent.

charles johnson doesn’t give a whit or a fig for me, doesn’t care the weight of the proverbial mustard seed about me one way or the other. no, the real purpose of his screed is to try and tar pamela geller by her association with me. pamela geller is the target of the blog post at little green footballs, not i. and, such is the measure of his worry over her prestige and influence, that he engages in this, … , i don’t know, … , empty polemic, … , nonsense, … , to try and harm her. you come up with a phrase, i am chuckling too hard to think of a good one.

Yes, Jay has astutely worked out that the story here is his association with Geller and Spencer, rather than “random crank fantasies on the internet about killing people”.

Jay’s post includes some obviously fantastical elements: “draw and quarter the media, and shoot their remains from canons… boil bill ayers, bernie dorhn and angela davis in canola oil”. The strategy here is obvious – including a few jokes gives Jay a bit of distance from what he’s writing, and he probably thinks this means he doesn’t have to take proper responsibility for his sanguinary rhetoric. It should be recalled that when Jay’s fetish for violent fantasy was first noted last year, his defence (also used by Spencer) was simply to deny the plain and obvious meaning of his posts.