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Jacksonville Dollar General Shooting Reminder White, American Supremacy Still Thrives

Sep 11, 2023

We really can't get out of our own way on these things just as we never as a society has gotten out of our own way on the subject of white supremacy and the violence inherent in it.

Look, I'm just spitballing here but, over the weekend, we had a viciously, nakedly racist mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida. A guy who decorated his firearms with swastikas, and who spent hours typing out his hatred with one hand in the half-light of his mom's basement and in the darkness of what was left of his mind, showed up at Edward Waters University all geared up. And only an alert student who flagged down campus security prevented a massacre there, instead of at the nearby Dollar General. From CNN:

So, he drove over to the Dollar General and opened fire, deliberately culling black people to be shot.

As I said, I'm just spitballing here but given that we also had public gunfire at a parade in Boston and at a high school football game in Oklahoma over the weekend, maybe we can talk about this nation's insane attraction to its firearms now. There are too many damn guns in this country and too many damn ways too many damn people can get their hands on them. So here comes this droog, his brains on fire, and he was able to go out shopping for his hardware, and nobody seems to be sure whether or not he should have been shortstopped before he could,

We really can't get out of our own way on these things, just as we never as a society have gotten out of our own way on the subject of white supremacy and the violence inherent in it. We can't get out of our own way because we are so addicted to the illusion of our national goodness that, right now, there is a serious effort by one of our political parties to bowdlerize the teaching of our history in our schools. Florida, it should be noted, is ground zero of this effort, and its current Governor, soon-to-be former presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, sees this bowdlerized history as his train to glory. He bragged about it at the Republican debate last Wednesday in Milwaukee just as our newest mass murderer was back in Florida, his brain on fire and his guns oiled and ready.

Our illusions are killing us, one at a time or in great numbers, over and over again. We have armed them again and placed them in new body armor and set them off at war against ourselves. Embodied by the vicious, who themselves are activated by the amoral and the ambitious, our illusions are in full rebellion again, and white supremacy is the barbarian leader of them all.

Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976. He lives near Boston and has three children.

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