Buffalo Mass Shooting is Another Example of Stochastic Domestic Terrorism Metastasizing Across America
The United States suffered another mass shooting Saturday.
That makes 202 mass shootings so far this year.
There haven’t even been 202 days in the year yet.
The 18-year-old gunman who perpetrated the Buffalo, NY act of domestic terrorism this weekend had a history of threats, had traveled to the Topps supermarket in Buffalo’s majority-Black neighborhood the day before to case out the setting, and confessed in the manifesto he wrote that his actions were unequivocally racially motivated, inspired by a manifesto the Christchurch, New Zealand shooter publicized in 2019.
This is another example of the stochastic terrorism metastasizing across America.
What is stochastic terrorism?
Think of the scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold, expecting a holiday bonus check from his boss, instead receives a one-year subscription to the “Jelly-of-the-Month Club.”
In his anger, Clark unleashes an adjective-leaden rant that includes the wish someone grab his boss “from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the rich people,” and “brought right here with a big ribbon in his head.”
The camera cuts to Clark’s cousin Eddie’s calculating expression.
Eddie then skulks out of the house, hops in his RV, and zips over to Melody Lane to fulfill Clark’s wish.
While this is a comedic representation, it perfectly illustrates the power stochastic terrorism, or terrorism by proxy, can have on people.
The 18-year-old boy who killed 10 people in Buffalo had been fed a steady diet of Fox so-called “news” anchor Tucker Carlson’s “ white replacement theory,” a racist, anti-Semitic ideology that promotes the erroneous premise that people of color are on pace to “replace” Caucasians.
It’s just another odious red herring right-wing hate media shovels toward its base in an attempt to get it riled up against minorities so they aren’t paying attention to the economic royalists picking their pockets.
Not only does Carlson have a national platform on which to promote the disgusting theory; he has urged his audiences to take action against it.
That’s the stochastic part.
While the million- heir to the Swansen frozen food company isn’t outright telling his audience to “go out there and shoot up the place,” he is not-so-subtly planting in people’s heads that their “actions” about the “ great replacement theory “ are noble.
The rest is up to them.
But Carlson isn’t the only one.
Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik threw her lot in with Carlson et. al when she began running Facebook ads last September claiming that by providing immigrants pathways to citizenship, Democrats engaged in a “ permanent election insurrection. “
Less than a month ago, she took to the House floor to spew the white nationalist conspiracy theory about an “invasion.”
(Sitting behind her was fellow conspiracy racist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.)
But this isn’t the fault solely of Tucker Carlson or Elie Stefanik.
They are catalysts for a fire that has been smoldering for years and has been heating up since Donald Trump stepped onto the scene in 2015 calling Mexicans “ rapists, murderers, and drug dealers.”
It is that same animus behind Trump’s “very fine people on both sides” comment after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.
It is the same racism behind Trump’s Muslim ban.
And the white supremacy that motivated Trump’s “shit-hole countries” slur.
And the hatred that emboldened Trump to tell four female House members of color to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”
It’s the violent incitement Trump delivered to his supporters on January 6, 2021 when he urged them to march to the Capitol to “fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Need more proof?
How about former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, who proclaimed on his podcast that Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson owe him credit for their taking his “white replacement” idea to the mainstream.
Now that Donald Trump has ripped off the band-aid that has been concealing the festering wound, republican lawmakers, lawmaker wannabes, and plain old authoritarian-leaning average people, are charging through the green light.
And with a nation awash in guns Congress appears powerless to do anything about, we are in for more of what just transpired.
Originally published at https://theleftplace.substack.com on May 17, 2022.