Two Shootings, Two Different Outcomes
August 1st, 2015 | T. Carter
Just this year, two mass shootings grabbed headlines. Their similarities were unquestionable, but their outcomes where entirely different. A white male with blond hair and blue eyes shot nine blacks at a church. Months later, a middle-eastern American opened fire on a military center and killed five marines. Both incidents created hysterical mainstream headlines with vastly different content. The problem is that both of these shootings were triggered by ideological fanaticism, but the ideological fanaticism of one culprit was ignored while the other became the center point of a movement to ban a flag and fuel a divisive racial narrative.
Dylan Roof was a racist and the Confederate Flag was a symbol of his hatred. Although most Americans don't view the unofficial flag of the Confederate States as a racist symbol, activists and media set out on a long, relentless quest to stir up resentment and outrage over the flag's existence. The fact that Roof had posed with the flag in pictures only reinforced their divisive narrative. The Roof shootings gave Democrats an opportunity to spin another senseless shooting into a political attack against Southern, Republican states and their conservative voters. It was another strike in an ongoing war against pro-gun, "bigoted" Republican voters.
As further proof that the Confederate Flag controversy is nothing more than a manufactured scandal by Democrats, a new poll shows that 57% of Americans view the flag as a symbol of southern pride and independence, not racism.
Weeks after the Roof shooting, an Islamic sympathizer and jihadist named Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez opened fire at a military career center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing five US marines. Besides CNN and Fox News, most mainstream media and liberal super blogs denied that Abdulazeez was a jihadist and that his attacks were based on extremist, Islamic ideology. This was despite facts released by the FBI and local law enforcement, who had all deemed the shooting a "terrorist event" or terror attack. Not only did liberals deny the existence of jihadist ideology, they made no mention of the fact that the shooting took place in a gun-free zone, where even marines themselves aren't allowed to carry a firearm. Abdulazeez fired more than thirty rounds from an AK-47 at unarmed and defenseless marines. Many believe that the shooting's location was intentional and that Abdulazeez chose a gun-free zone to maximize casualties and minimize his own chances of being shot dead.
According to liberal media, all of these facts about Abdulazeez must be a figment of our imaginations.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow expressed deliberate confusion over the Chattanooga shooting:
"We do not yet know enough to be able to place him on this terrible and surprisingly long list of mass shootings and mass murder and murderous targeting of US military installations inside this country....Was it unrelated to terrorism? Was he motivated by other religious extremist ideology? We don't know. Was he mentally ill?"
It was painfully awkward to watch Maddow talk circles around herself and try to come up with an alternative explanation for a shooting committed by a man named Mohammed Youssuf Abdulazeez with a jihadist blog. The opposite was true following the Charleston shooting. Maddow expressed no confusion about the suspect, Dylan Roof, and his motives. In fact, Maddow began to imply his racist ideology and intent long before it was made public by law enforcement.
"There has been a lot of attention to the fact that, in his facebook profile photo, he is wearing – on this black jacket – a flag of white-ruled, apartheid era South Africa. And, also, white-ruled Rhodesia, which is now black-ruled Zimbabwe. Defending those white supremacist regimes when they still existed and lionizing them after they went extinct, that has been a far right-wing, racist hobby in this country for a long time. So, draw your conclusions." – Rachel Maddow, June 18th, 2015.
There you have it. Immediately after learning about Dylan Roof, MSNBC had drawn the quick conclusion that Roof was a racist, right-wing supremacist. They weren't able to draw any conclusions about Abdulazeez's ideology, even after learning that he had visited the Middle-East and come back "very different" from his old self. For some bizarre reason, Maddow's brilliant investigative skills and intuition evaporated into thin air following the Chattanooga shooting. It was a truly strange phenomenon that, even after law enforcement deemed the shooting a terror attack, Maddow was unable to determine Abdulazeez's motivation.
As more details emerged over the weeks, some journalists still had no clue what Abdulazeez's motives could have been. Reports surfaced that he had visited Qatar and Jordan and looked for religious justifications for violence, but journalists for the American Press still felt fuzzy on his motives. They threw around everything from mental illness to drug abuse, which are all relevant, but aren't replacements for violence inspired by religious ideology. In a July 21st headline entitled, "Life Details Of Tennessee Shooter Emerge, But Motive Elusive", the AP published the following:
"Abdulazeez had spent several months in Jordan last year under a mutual agreement with his parents to help him get away from drugs, alcohol and a group of friends who relatives considered a bad influence..."
Reports also surfaced that Abdulazeez changed following his well reported trip to Qatar and Jordan, among other countries. Abdulrazzak Brizada told CNN that, "He [Abdulazeez] never became close to me like he was before he went overseas."
Reuters reported that Abdulazeez had sent a text to a friend containing a link to an Islamic page with the phrase: "Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of mine, then I have declared war against him." Other friends also told media that Abdulazeez expressed discontent over Israel's siege on Gaza and American influence in the region.
Abdulazeez also had a blog where he wrote of jihad and sacrifices made to Allah by martyrs.
Despite all of this, a pretend sense of confusion has been played out in media. Unlike Dylan Roof, Abdulazeez has received sympathy and an endless outpouring of empathy from journalists who have hinted that mental illness and depression may have been responsible for his act of violence. The same empathy was never shown for Roof. Not once did the extreme liberal media entertain the possibility of mental illness or depression being factors in Roof's heinous, "right-wing" rampage.
When it comes to the extreme, far left media, Salon has published an endless list of articles condemning Roof and his radical, right-wing ideology. Not one of those articles mentions the possibility of drugs, alcohol or depression being possible factors....well, maybe just one, but not in the way that you would think. If you're interested in reading Salon's trashy perspective on the Charleston shootings, there is an almost endless list of one-sided pieces of their tabloid garbage to choose from:
"Behind Dylan Roof's Race War" - Salon
The most laughable of Salon's various tabloid perspectives on Roof comes from Arthur Chu, who wrote the piece entitled, "It's Not About Mental Illness".
"I get really really tired of hearing the phrase 'mental illness' thrown around as a way to avoid saying other terms like 'toxic masculinity', 'misogyny' or 'racism'.....We do have statistics showing that the vast majority of people who commit acts of violence do not have a diagnosis of mental illness and, conversely, people who have mental illness are far more likely to be victims of violence than the perpetrators." – Arthur Chu
You're probably shaking your head in disbelief right now, but that's exactly what Chu wrote on June 18th. He goes on in his post to criticize media for bringing up mental illness when covering Dylann Roof's past. If you're capable of stomaching it, you can read the rest of his ridiculous article by clicking on it above.
Following the Charleston shooting, South Carolina removed the Confederate Flag from the state capital following an arduous campaign by the left. Amazon, Apple and stores across America began voluntarily removing anything that contained the flag, including video games and Civil War artifacts. Any time the flag appeared anywhere, petitions and protests were devised to have it removed. Democrats, unions and left-wing organizations made sure that every possible remnant of the Democratic Party's past was removed from America's collective memory. It was, after all, mostly Democrats and their pro-slavery supporters who waved the flag and its many variations during the Civil War. The one removed from the South Carolina state capital was never the official flag used by the Confederate army, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway. According to guilty Democrats, the history needed to be erased. The once Democratic south has belonged to the Republicans for nearly five decades, so it was due time to shame and alienate them.
Following the Chattanooga shooting, nothing happened. Jihadism was ignored. Radicalization was swept under the rug and Barack Obama had nothing to say to the families of the victims. Moreover, nothing was banned and no policies were changed.
This is the country that America became after 2008. We can only hope that we're due for another major, but more positive social and political shift in 2016.