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Surrounded by Liars

Another active shooter killed three black residents in Jacksonville, Florida on August 29, proving the lie of racism dying off for younger generations and that gun-related deaths are a serious problem in America, true.

According to reports by CNN, the gunman was Ryan Christopher Palmeter, a 21-year-old college dropout who had been recently fired from his job at Home Depot and suffering from mental illness.

There’s another critical factor in Palmeter’s story, after losing his job, his father has told the media that he rarely left his room and for most people that typically results in an increased amount of media consumption.

For any white male living in Florida, that would mean an increased amount of content from the likes of Fox News and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Both have a reputation for spewing misinformation rooted in racism and white supremacy that often appeals to white males, especially those that live in the South and identify as “white.”

For years Florida Governor DeSantis has been spewing racist lies and misinformation targeting the black community, which often makes the headlines within the media and social media and spreads like wildfire.

So, for someone like DeSantis to have a habit of constantly stoking the fire of racism in Florida and then being the home to another racially-motivated public shooter is no surprise at all.

According to reports by the media, Palmeter’s first attempt was to commit murder at Edward Waters University, a local black college, but was chased away by campus security after students reported him for appearing suspicious.

Within minutes of being chased away from the black college, Palmeter relocated to a Dollar General in Jacksonville, where he opened fire with his assault rifle decorated with swastikas and racist language.

Palmeter would end up killing three black people at the Dollar General a little after 1 p.m. that Tuesday.

Followed by the comments, policies and behavior of politicians like Ron DeSantis, Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Vivek Ramaswamy, and many other republicans there is no evidence to prove that white supremacy and racism are dying off.

Based on the racially-motivated killings by Palmeter in Jacksonville, Penny in New York City, Gendron in Buffalo and Crusius in El Paso in this year alone, also proves that white supremacy and racism are still very much alive. Just like the shootings in Buffalo, New York and El Paso, Texas, these public shootings were done by white males who traveled away from their communities and into communities where they could target black and brown people and murder them for the color of their skin.

Gun violence in America has always been a problem, but it has not been until realized as significant as it has today until the last 30 years. In those 30 years, every time a school shooting or mass shooting event claims the lives of young children, guns are given additional protection overwhelmingly by republicans.

For republicans, the money generated to their pockets by the National Rifle Association (NRA), is more important than the lives of children and mothers killed by guns owned by reckless and murderous citizens. This issue adds to the disbelief of their claim to be pro-life advocates, because if they were truly about being pro-life, they would make every attempt possible to preserve lives of those most vulnerable instead of counting their kickbacks and bribes.

It is moments like this that adds frustration to black people, because DeSantis wants to remove the parts of history where white Americans murdered and violated black people in the name of white supremacy in education but wants to be welcomed at a vigil for a black residents targeted by a white supremacist murderer.

Those like Ron DeSantis and Sarah Sanders are actively working to rewrite history to accommodate their white fragility and guilt of the violent and uncomfortable list of people, events and behavior that resulted in the violation, exploitation and oppression of black people in America, attempting to hide the existence of white supremacy and racism that upholds their political agendas.

But more than anything, it proves to black Americans that we are in fact, surrounded by liars because the truth is constantly showing itself to the world in the form of these racially-motivated attacks, legislation and comments.

- Cliff A. May



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