, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I’ve read the #ElPaso manifesto. I think we need to reflect carefully on what’s going on in America today.

Trump is an enabler, yes. He’s playing to the anxieties & rage of white people who feel dispossessed of their due privilege & aiming them like a spear at the marginalized.
But many of the most recent mass shooters—the fact that I have to use words like “many” & “most recent” is horrifying—aren’t direct heirs of conventional right-wing bigotry like the KKK or neo-Nazis.

Crusius was radicalized from standard Trumpist into something weirder & darker.
The strain of murderous racism & xenophobia that Crusius & other young white male shooters like the Gilroy, Poway and Christchurch killers were initiated into is obsessively researched, clinically impassive in its logic, nihilist and laced with sick humor. Its epicenter is 8chan.
These killers laced their hate propaganda with spatters and dribbles of what might be thought of as left-edge ideas—anti-corporatism, antiglobalism. Crusius’s manifesto has a section advocating UBI as “inevitable” and claiming that his murders are to limit the pool of recipients.
This might be just to throw off punditry; right wing screechers instantly seized on these elements to associate these killers with the left and “antifa” after all. But it feels like much of this reflects authentic worldview and not chaff tosses out for confusion.
My point here isn’t to let Trump or the right off the hook. Trump has enabled racists to fly their flags proudly & made it safe to target POCs by his own example. Republicans have universally enabled Trump—while blocking all meaningful gun reform. Endless blood is on their hands.
What I’m positing is we’re not effectively watching what’s fermenting in the bowels of the Internet. The microbiome brew of incel culture, memelords, Gaters, QAnonists & other conspiracists is still treated as a joke by law enforcement. But the threat is real and huge and alien.
Like white supremacy 1.0, it’s rooted in anomie & thwarted white entitlement. Unlike its precursor, it involves younger and mostly college-educated males with enough smarts to leverage digital tools for rabbit-hole “investigation,” anonymized communication & tribal connection.
The common thread between the two is that they share a belief that whiteness and maleness should come with privileges, and these privileges are being denied to them. But we need to alter our frame of reference for what white supremacism looks like with
this new generation.
The hate murderers of this era might not wear white hoods or MAGA hats. More of them will quote PewDiePie, sport anime avatars, and declare their intent with manifestos designed to virally incite mimics seeking a “higher score.”

It’s already happening.
Another reason why I think it’s critical to consider the implications of this: There is a cadre on the left that subscribes to the “generational demographics” argument—eg that things will get better if we just let the old racists age out and die off.
These guys reinforce that even if OG hatemongers die off, the toxic ideas and texts of the past can’t ever be erased, and that the problem of racism isn’t individual racists: it’s the racial biases built into our society and the incentives and values of its institutions.
I think this is a critical point. The ugly fact is that certain things are growing on both extreme ends of the political spectrum
—anti-semitism, misogyny, hatred of “political correctness.” A horrific third pole is rising: victimized libertarianism.
Videogames are not the problem. But white youth who’ve adopted the Trumpist racial-victimization mindset, been radicalized in libertarian cesspits online & have easy access to guns (*who sometimes play videogames) are killing people & the GOP doesn’t care.
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