El Paso and 8Chan

Santa Fe, Texas high school last year – ten dead

And so we had three mass shootings which made headlines this week, two within 24 hours. I have posted about 8 or 9 of the most heinous over the past several years – about the killers, the media’s hot tragedy cycles, the crying teens, local police, neighbors and course the “expert profilers” trotted out after each massacre.  It is usually followed by talks of healing and “moving on”  and a search for any local heroes.

After Parkland a year ago last May I thought something might get done.  The people of Parkland were wealthy and upper middle class whites with some of best schools in Florida.

I was wrong.

Instead young people who campaigned  for background checks and banning of assault weapons got death threats.

Shortly after Parkland there was an attack on a Santa Fe, Texas high school.  Santa Fe, Texas is a Houston suburb.  You don’t even remember this one do you?  Ten, including 8 students and 2 teachers were killed.

The shooter was a student at the school who lived in a trailer with his  parents.  The school was about 80% white with the remainder predominately Hispanic.

The kid’s Facebook page has a couple of selfies on it; him in a gray T-shirt emblazoned with “Born to Kill!” on it and another wearing a trench coat with Nazi insignia on the lapel.  He ranted about “rebellion’ and “kamikaze tactics.”

The NRA  scrambled the next morning to formalize their spin story.  I’m sure they hoped  the killer kid was an Hispanic undocumented immigrant.  “Animals” as our Emperor described them the day before the shooting. 

Yup.  “Animals.”

He was not.  Just a white kid living in a trailer park.

The Governor of the Great State of Texas came on TV, offering his thoughts and prayers homily and then said taking away weapons from law abiding citizens will not protect our children in schools.  He failed to mention that the school had THREE school “resource officers” – read armed guards.

Texas is an open carry state; Christ everyone has a gun!

And of course, everybody is a “law abiding citizen” – until they are not.

Karma’s a bitch Governor.

About 20 minutes before the shooting started at the El Paso Walmart, a rambling screed was posted to an online message board saying the massacre was in response to an “invasion” of Hispanics coming across the southern border.

Titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” it railed against the dangers of mass immigration and warned that Hispanics will eventually take over the economy and government. The writer argued that attacking “low-security” targets was a way to “fight to reclaim my country from destruction.”

The scene was a 10-hour drive and a world away from the life he lived growing up in a leafy, upper-middle-class suburb of Dallas. Security video showed a skinny young man marching through the front door of the Walmart in a black T-shirt and khaki pants, carrying an AK-47 military-style rifle with an extended capacity magazine. Witnesses say he went aisle by aisle through a store packed with people stocking up on back-to-school supplies. The 20 dead included at least 6  Mexican citizens and a 25-year-old mother of three who was shot while holding her 2-month-old baby.

The first sentence of the online rant posted on the 8chan message board expressed support for the man accused of killing 51 people at two New Zealand mosques in March after posting a 74-page document promoting a white supremacist conspiracy theory called “the great replacement.”

That theory, promoted by French writer Renaud Camus, argued there is a plot by elites to replace whites with non-white immigrants in Europe and around the world.  Renaud Camus is a white nationalist conspiracy theorist, is not to be confused with Albert Camus, the French writer and philosopher who won the Nobel for literature.

The language of the “manifesto”  parroted Trump’s own words, characterizing Hispanic migrants as invaders taking American jobs and arguing to “send them back.” Though the writer denied he was a white supremacist, the document says “race mixing” is destroying the nation and recommends dividing the United States into territorial enclaves determined by race.

The writer went on to say he has an AK-47-style semi-automatic rifle and coolly debates the positives and negatives of using that firearm rather than another military-style weapon; the AR-15, for killing as many people as possible.

Patrick Crusius, the killer in El Paso, lists a job bagging groceries and the comment: “I’m not really motivated to do anything more than what’s necessary to get by”, on his social media account, . “Working in general sucks .  I spend about 8 hours every day on the computer so that counts toward technology experience I guess.”

Under skills, he posted “Nothing really.”

Now where exactly on the internet did our savior of the Aryans post his screeds and rants?

Why he posted them on one of the most hate filled sites on earth, totally unpoliced.

8Chan. 

Extremists banned from Facebook and Twitter turn to 8Chan to spew their rhetoric.

Jim Watkins, a U.S. Army veteran in his mid-50s who is based in the Philippines, runs the show. Watkins started a successful pornography site in the 1990s during his time in the Army, giving him the funds to bankroll websites through his company N.T. Technology. Although Watkins claimed in a 2017 interview with BuzzFeed that he doesn’t share the extremist views on 8chan, he gleefully hosts them.

Throughout 8chan’s existence, it has been a vehicle for online hate campaigns and targeted harassment. Videos and images of mass killings and murders circulate on its discussion boards, as do extremist manifestos and propaganda. Some of the site’s forums have also coordinated fake emergency calls to police departments that result in armed officers showing up at the address of their targets, an attack known as “swatting.” Google delisted the site from its search results in 2015 over concerns about it hosting child pornography, but it still reportedly averages millions of visitors per month.

As an entirely anonymous forum, 8chan has made it near-impossible to know who’s saying what on its platform, creating an ideal environment for trolls to post their vile messages that will likely never be traced back to them. As a result, the site traffics in xenophobia, racism, queerphobia, misogyny and Islamophobia, as well as targeted harassment and threats.

Although most social media giants have struggled to contain the spread of violent and hateful content on their sites, Facebook and others have cracked down on fake and anonymous accounts, making it harder for users to detach themselves from their posts.

8chan, like other online intermediaries, is also afforded immunity from liability for third-party content, meaning it can’t get in legal trouble for the things its users post. 8chan users are already hailing the suspected El Paso shooter as a “saint.” Other mass murderers, including those who went on hate-fueled killing sprees many years ago, are extolled as heroes on the forum to this day.

The link between unbridled online hate and premeditated offline violence is well-researched and documented, but beyond legal reforms, there are very few options for dealing with digital cesspools such as 8chan. Vigilante hackers have launched DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks against these sites in the past to try to knock them offline. But 8chan has enjoyed nearly impenetrable cybersecurity from Cloudflare, a massive tech company that describes itself as politically “neutral” and whose clients include designated foreign terrorist organizations.

“Following the murder of Heather Heyer, an activist who died at a 2017 rally organized in part by the violent neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, Cloudflare took the site down. This unprecedented act by the company was not a result of legal or moral obligation, but rather a reluctant response to deafening public outrage.

Late Sunday, Cloudfare announced it would stop servicing 8chan as well. Once again, blood was in the streets and public outrage left the company little choice. And once again, it had waited far too long.”

Hopefully, 8Chan will not return to foul the ether of the internet again.   Our illustrious  President actually condemned :white nationalism: by name this morning, hinted at trying to get broader background checks for everyone purchasing a weapon but said nothing about banning assault weapons, the gun or choice for all mass murderers.

I have a better chance of being killed at the Walmart in Port Richey than I do by an Islamic terrorist.

And lets call “white nationalists” what they are – Nazis.  There is nothing “neo” about them.  We Italians know genuine fascists when we see them.

A troll on 8Chan a while back said he would take Trump for now, but unfortunately he was not racially aware enough – “After all, he gave his daughter to a Jew!”

About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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5 Responses to El Paso and 8Chan

  1. beetleypete says:

    The origin of the surname ‘Crusius’ is German. Have they ever gone away?
    I despair for your country, Frank. A country built on immigration, including that of your own family. That was of course to be applauded. At one time.
    But not now, apparently.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. toritto says:

    P.S. -for my readers;

    After mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, this weekend, a Republican state lawmaker from Ohio blamed the violence on “homosexual marriage,” “drag queen advocates” and more in a bizarre Facebook post.
    State Rep. Candice Keller complained about Democrats playing “the blame game” after every mass shooting in a post on her personal Facebook account. The lawmaker from Middletown — a small city 30 miles south of Dayton, where a gunman killed nine on Sunday — wrote that the real blame should be on the “breakdown of the traditional American family” and “acceptance of recreational marijuana.”
    “Why not place the blame where it belongs?” Keller asked before listing the issues she believes are to blame for mass shootings in the country:
    The breakdown of the traditional American family (thank you, transgender, homosexual marriage, and drag queen advocates); fatherlessness, a subject no one discuses or believes is relevant; the ignoring of violent video games; the relaxing of laws against criminals (open borders); the acceptance of recreational marijuana; failed school policies (hello parents who defend misbehaving students); disrespect to law enforcement (thank you, Obama); hatred of our veterans (thank you, professional athletes who hate our flag and National Anthem); the Dem Congress, many members whom are open anti-Semitic; the culture, which totally ignores the importance of God and the church (until they elect a President); state officeholders, who have no interest whatsoever in learning about our Constitution and the Second Amendement; and snowflakes, who can’t accept a duly-elected President.
    Keller concluded the post, writing: “Did I forget anybody? The list is long. And the fury will continue.” The post is not visible to everyone on Facebook, but screenshots of Keller’s remarks have circulated on Twitter.

    Voters in Ohio actually elected this fool.

    Liked by 2 people

    • DesertAbba says:

      Yes, “voters in Ohio elected this fool,” but only from one District. Other fools elected another fool, Jim Jordan, to the District I live in. Then there is the fool, Sen. Robert Portman, elected by nearly half the population to serve as one of Ohio’s US Senators. It is becoming more and more difficult to convince outsiders that all of us Buckeyes are not fools. Just be grateful that you live in a State without a majority of fools?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennie says:

    I am so sad. My heart echoes your words.

    Liked by 1 person

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