Saturday night, once again, people were targeted by a mass shooter. Five people were killed, 25 were injured. This time, it was in Colorado Springs, and an LGBTQ nightclub was again targeted. All indications are that this was yet another act of violence by a right-wing fascist extremist.
The shooter targeted Club Q, where people were being who they are. That seems to be a driving motive for these killers. Far-right Republicans hate people being who they are if they are not white males. The synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, the El Paso shooting targeting Hispanic people, the Pulse LGBTQ shooting, the Buffalo shooting targeting a grocery store targeted by Black people, the Emanuel AME church shooting, and so on.
I want to shut down a couple of responses that I have heard in regard to right-wing violence. These often are odd defenses of the right, because my goodness, we must give EVERY benefit of the doubt to people if they are 1) right of center and 2) white. One is “both sides do it” and quite often, the Congressional baseball shooting in 2017 is brought up, where a left-wing person shot up a practice attended by Republican members of congress for their annual charity baseball game.
The problem with that idea is since that time, there have been many more acts of violence by the right compared to the left. The raw numbers also do not support that view.
The other is the idea that these attacks are persons acting alone but in many ways, this is also not true. The Center for American Progress raised alarm bells about this belief 10 years ago, pointing out that these attackers often have plenty of online support for their actions, and are goaded into their attacks via a constant stream of fascist ideology.
This fascist ideology isn’t on the fringes. The Republican Party itself has been carrying out attacks on LGBTQ people, including referring to anyone supporting trans rights as “groomers” and “pedophiles.” The infamous group Libs of Tik Tok has been leading the charge with some reprehensible attacks, but all you have to do is look at the work of so-called “real conservative”/”reasonable Republican” Glenn Youngkin as governor of Virginia to see how deep this hate of LGBTQ people runs.
There isn’t even a political advantage to it:
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) November 21, 2022
It’s just hate for hate’s sake. And you cannot keep broadcasting hate at a group of people who are also deeply paranoid, obsessed with guns, and seemingly not happy until they get total domination of our society, without any violence happening. It’s just nonsensical to expect violent, hateful people to not practice violence if you goad them into it.
See, when a left-winger shot up a Congressional baseball game, Democrats and associated groups roundly condemned the violence. The right either doubled down:
LibsOfTikTok painted a bullseye on another LGTBQ target in Colorado today, mere hours after the deadly mass shooting at #ClubQ in Colorado Springs,
— Chad Loder (@chadloder) November 21, 2022
Or wailed that they are the real victim here:
Leftists are using a mass shooting to try and blackmail us into accepting the castration and sexualization of children. These people are just beyond evil. I have never felt more motivated to oppose everything they stand for, with every fiber of my being. Despicable scumbags.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 21, 2022
I will close by pointing out that this tragedy is another reminder that the right is still dangerous, and not about to give up its movement. They are incapable of shame, so events like this will not give them pause or an opportunity to reflect. As Adrastos pointed out this morning, everyone is focused on Trump returning to Twitter and pondering what it might mean for our political future. I counter that while Trump is still a menace, it is no longer all about him. If Trump dropped dead tomorrow, the right will not get any better just because of that. The prion disease has infected the entire Republican Party, and the neverending obsession with guns and hating LGBTQ people (or anyone who is not a white male) is showing no signs of slowing down. We as a nation need to view this as a serious public safety danger that is not getting much better. I know that we tend as a nation to lecture targeted people as overreacting
Maybe pretend these attacks were carried out by Muslims? We really seem to care a lot about those sorts of terror attacks.
The last word goes to Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover.