X Close

Buffalo and the myth of racist America Democrats want to create another George Floyd moment

Racism is not the whole story (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Racism is not the whole story (Scott Olson/Getty Images)


May 18, 2022   5 mins


What connects the tragedies of May 25, 2020, and May 14, 2022? The straightforward answer, at least according to many in the media and on the Left, is systemic racism.

On May 25, 2020, a black man was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by a white police officer. The incident was filmed by onlookers and posted on social media; suddenly, the whole world could see what American racism looked like. It was devoid of compassion. It was deadly. It cloaked itself in a white man’s uniform.

Two years later, almost to the day, there was a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. Thirteen people were hit; ten were killed. Eleven of the victims were black; the suspected killer is white.

Racism almost certainly explains the attack in Buffalo. Payton S. Gendron, the suspect who broadcast a livestream during the attack, claimed he had been plotting an ambush since January. Police have since revealed that he is not from Buffalo and that he travelled for three and a half hours to the supermarket, which sits in the ZIP code with the highest proportion of blacks in upstate New York. Officials are investigating “a manifesto” he allegedly wrote, in which the author describes himself as a fascist, a white supremacist and an anti-Semite.

On the Saturday the shooting took place, I was in Dallas at a conference attended by a range of distinguished African Americans, ranging from Glenn Loury to the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The key question we addressed was the following: what is holding back black America? The answer, it quickly became clear, had little to do with the phantom of systemic racism.

We started by acknowledging the huge progress that blacks in America have made since desegregation in 1964. We have had a black president who won landslide elections and remains popular. We have two black Supreme Court justices. We have black billionaires, academics, media personalities, actors and comedians.

None of which is to say that America is any sort of utopia for black Americans. We also acknowledged the racial disparity in education, housing, crime and broken families. We expressed horror that while blacks make up only 12% of the population, they account for 55% of homicide cases.

What explains this disproportionate representation of black Americans? Taken in isolation, the tragedies in Minneapolis and Buffalo appear to suggest that answer lies in the behaviour of racist police officers and white supremacists. Given the nature of the atrocities, perhaps this conclusion is inevitable. What happened in Buffalo, for instance, can only be described as horrific: the cold, calculating shooting; the loss of life; the heinous views of the suspected shooter. How can we view such an atrocity and not let it overwhelm our judgement? How can we not conclude that such evil merits nothing sort of societal change?

Yet if the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that monocausal explanations are almost always misguided and, as a consequence, almost always ending up harming the vulnerable. As the Black Lives Matter movement mobilised following the murder of George Floyd, America descended into anarchy, fuelled by riots and slogans about systemic racism. When activists demanded that police departments be defunded, local stations were not exactly closed down, but they were intimidated to the point that many stopped serving in black neighbourhoods. The consequences of this swiftly became evident: in the same year that BLM fever seized the country, at least 8,600 black lives were lost to homicide, an increase of more than 1,000 on the year before. Thrown into a frenzy by their overzealous conviction that white racism is the root cause of all evil, BLM turned a blind eye to the large number of black Americans who were being killed, or who found themselves forced to live in neighbourhoods terrorised by gangs.

There were no protests or demands for meaningful policies to make black neighbourhoods safer. Rather, the movement’s organisers busied themselves by throwing parties at their $6 million Los Angeles mansion and deciding how to spend the $90 million received in donations. Why save black lives when you can while away your time spending more than $37 million on grants, real estate, consultants, and other expenses?

Still, at least that information is now available. Patrisse Cullors, a BLM co-founder, recently dismissed calls to make public BLM’s finances, describing the prospect of filling out an IRS Form 990 as “triggering” and “deeply unsafe”. Of course, it’s all too easy to dismiss her disingenuous victim fantasies as farce. But it is not just personal accountability that is missing here: ideological scrutiny is also effectively avoided, as critics are inevitably accused of being racist. Take, for instance, Roland Fryer, the celebrated African American economist at Harvard. He debunked the persistent narrative that the police kill more black than white Americans. For that, as well as his criticisms of education policy, he was effectively cancelled by his university. His research was deemed traitorous — and looking at the response to the Buffalo shooting from black activists and Leftist politicians, it is clear a narrative that trumpets the suffocating impact of racism still prevails.

But the facts are the facts. As Professor Fryer explained in Dallas at the weekend, there are racial differences in the use of non-lethal force by police officers, with blacks largely at a disadvantage, but not in officer-involved shootings. In his speech afterwards, Shelbey Steele, the author of White Guilt, summarised the implications of this reality: despite the fact that some racism does still persist, America remains the best country in the world to be black. We all applauded when he said that. It should not have been a sensational remark. And yet it was.

Everyone in that room understood, as the attack in Buffalo demonstrated, that certain individuals are motivated by a loathing for black people. But this shouldn’t define us, let alone the country we live in. For black Americans to progress, we need to cast off today’s dependency on white guilt for recognition and support. What is the way forward if you accept that blacks in America are free? It is to have the courage to live that freedom. It means holding ourselves accountable for our behaviour. It means learning to shape our destiny regardless of skin colour. And it means ignoring the divisive rhetoric propagated by those such as  Patrisse Cullors, Kamala Harris and Ibram X Kendi.

In Texas the day after the Buffalo attack, a shootout between five Hispanic men at a crowded flea market left two dead and three wounded. Roughly two hours later in California, a 68-year-old Asian gunman walked into a Taiwanese church and opened fire, killing one person and wounding five others. This is what crime looks like in America. It is chaotic, disordered and irreducible: the skin colour of its victims and perpetrators is far from fixed.

Racism, then, is not the whole story. In fact, racism has never been the whole story. Yet faced with an election year and an uphill battle to retain the House and Senate this November, perhaps it is unsurprising that so many Democrats are keen to turn the Buffalo shooting into another George Floyd moment: an excuse to deflect difficult questions, and to turn politics into a binary realm of Good and Evil. Once again, we’re told, either you’re with us or you’re a racist — even if being on the side of Good means exploiting the misery of others.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an UnHerd columnist. She is also the Founder of the AHA Foundation, and host of The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast. Her Substack is called Restoration.

Ayaan

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

51 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

There was a mass shooting on the New York subway recently – a black man in a gas mask. Initial reports seem to suggest a racial motive but the story seemed to disappear from the MSM quite quickly.

As Ayaan points out, the US seems to be full of violent nut jobs. Colour isn’t the defining issue to anybody but the Democrats.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

And every weekend in Chicago, several black young men are killed by their own in the drug wars. Sometimes, more than 10. They report the tally every Monday on the evening news. Yawns result.

Terry M
Terry M
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Apparently, THOSE black lives don’t matter to all those leftists.

Jp Merzetti
Jp Merzetti
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry M

So this little equation illustrates a very peculiar social dysphoria. An organization calling itself Black Lives Matter lobbies relentlessly for the defunding of police departments, and continuously circulates anti-police rhetoric and propaganda, which causes police activity in Black communities to retract, recede and retreat. In turn, this creates a significant upturn in Black-on-Black violence, including homicide rates of drastic proportion. One may wish to point this out and ask the obvious question: Do not these Black lives matter, too? Or are they devoid of the same political expediency and usefulness as one very singular and specific Black life? And if this is the case, then does not the obvious disparity between the two categories shoot full of holes (pardon the grammatical tool) the entire status and dignity of the argument? Because it strongly suggests that only some Black lives matter. Others, not so much, if at all. To strip it down to the bare bones, it matters just who is the killer. And that, too often, is all.
I am well aware that this particular argument has been made countless times, by persons much further up the food chain than myself, by Black intellectuals and scholars themselves, and by many more distinguished and knowledgeable people whose oversight and understanding leaves no doubt about their integrity and perception.
And yet, it is business as usual. While many thousands of people die each year. While some people claim this is all due to white supremacy, white adjacency, whiteness, and some dark force under every rock and leaf and behind every bush. Because maybe the actual truth is just too awful to own up to, not by the people actually committing the murders, but by the people trying to get a handle on the thing and figure it out. But those lives – of people gunned down by their own, decidedly do not matter. And I see no outrage over this. In every single camp set up and designed to be properly outraged by the slightest micro aggression coming from the wrong skin-colored person. And it stinks of hypocrisy. The sweet smell of simple irony faded long ago.

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago

His stated objective was to get revenge for the Wakuesha parade attack. Do notice how Biden essentially ignored that one and its white victims and compare that to him turning up in person to Buffalo to milk the deaths of black people for political gain.

Last edited 2 years ago by robertdkwright
Abe Stamm
Abe Stamm
2 years ago

” We expressed horror that while blacks make up only 12% of the population, they account for 55% of homicide cases. ”
More importantly, collectively, as an American society, we’re afraid to explore and discuss the fact that 80-90% of the homicide cases perpetrated against black Americans are by BLACK MEN. Why the societal taboo of analyzing this statistical fact? Why are we so quick to elevate the concept of white racist attacks on a black minority, when in fact that statistic is minor relative to black-on-black crime? Why ignore that fact that the majority of antisemitic attacks against ultra-orthodox Jews in contemporary New York are perpetrated by black men…or the fact that the Asian-American community is also experiencing a disproportionate level of assaults by black men?
New York City has a black Mayor, a black Chief of Police, a black District Attorney, and a black Attorney General…and the crime rate, especially black-on-black crime, is at a generational high. Can systemic racism be blamed for this, especially if the system is lead by black persons in power?

Last edited 2 years ago by Abe Stamm
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Abe Stamm

Because black people are not killing black people because they’re black, just for very mundane reasons like power within their communities or control of illegal activities (not forgetting the usual suspect of domestic violence). I’m not saying that this is ok, or should not be high-lighted, but these muders are of a different kind from the Buffalo murders.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

I’m really not sure why! The victims are just as dead and the families presumably grieve just as much. Then of course is the fact that the rather important consideration that the ‘non-racist’ killings vastly outnumber the racist ones.

In fact there is a rather a myth of a homogenous and often victimised black community, when actually there is all sorts of contempt and hostility between groups WITHIN it.

Joseph Arpaia
Joseph Arpaia
2 years ago

My experience is that people with money and power rarely care about the poor and powerless. This is rather independent of skin color.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
2 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Arpaia

Let me rephrase your sentence. …”liberal democrats with money and power need black victims to survive….”

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
2 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Arpaia

Joseph, I can’t refute your personal experiences in this area but I don’t share your conclusion here. I think people in general DO care about the poor and powerless, or rather the poor and unfortunate. The difficulty lies in solutions. It’s difficult to solve the issues that plague the poor because we live in a free society where the best and most visible resources are acquired by the smartest and most industrious. Those who lag behind tend to stay behind. Helping the unfortunate, for me anyway, often boils down to a personal project because I do encounter unfortunate people along the way. What I often have to donate is not money, but time and know-how. Racism is an individual problem, not systemic. The solution is also to act on the individual level, rather than sweeping solutions.

Diane Merriam
Diane Merriam
1 year ago

“Caring” does nothing. All the good intentions in the world do not make a bad policy good. And there are rarely “solutions” to problems involving human beings, there are only trade-offs. If you want more of this it will be at the cost of less of that. Unintended consequences almost always make things worse.

john O'Neal
john O'Neal
1 year ago

There are so many programs a poor person can avail themselves of, the problem is not what can’t they do, but how can they be motivated to do it?
Apprenticeship? College Degree?
You make your choices and you reap the results.
At tfe very darkest points, the military has always been a means of getting employment.
Then there is Civil Service.
And these things have been there all along, across decades.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago

What on earth can one expect from a society where a Black Police Lieutenant deliberately shoots and kills a White woman and gets away with it, whilst a White Policeman inadvertently kills a known Black criminal during an arrest and is condemned without hesitation?
What would the ‘Founding Fathers’ say about that I wonder?

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
2 years ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Ashley Babbitt, RIP.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Also, a white man called Tony Timpa was killed exactly the same way as Floyd, except that he wasn’t a criminal, called 911 himself, wasn’t resisting arrest, and the police responsible were cracking jokes.
Of course, the police were let off scot free, and the “anti-racists” couldnt care less, because for them skin colour is all that matters. What a world.

And then you have Edward Bronstein. Nobody’s heard of him. Of course.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

Just one individual from that cohort of “certain individuals” seems to pop up every now and then to sow much wider fear as a result of the murder and mayhem he causes to society in a certain location, at a certain time. Every now and then, which, in a country as large as the United States, where freedom runs three thousand miles from west to east, suggests that in each state such atrocities are extremely rare. And I imagine that that fear, far-ranging in the modern age, deepest in the communities that feel as much targeted as the actual similar community directly affected by the evil act, is in part a fear of a cycle of revenge being instantly initiated. Thankfully, even in a huge country like America, copycat attacks or acts of revenge don’t seem to occur at atrocity-level. The certain individuals who are the perpetrators of such atrocities appear just that: lone, unconnected individuals. America is not like the old view of the Balkans in which a land is riven by sectarian or racial hatred where all its takes is a spark. The fact that the alleged attacker had also set out to live-stream his murderous actions suggests a desperate desire to stoke a response in terms of either a race war or copycat attacks on black communities. But no amount of such desperation on an attacker’s part has, to my knowledge, succeeded in sparking a mini-conflict between black and white on America’s streets. That in my mind tells me Americans have a lot more sense than they are given credit for, even by their own politicians. The sooner Americans realise how much their essential kind and generous outlooks reflect well on themselves, the sooner the deep fear and despair associated with a news event dissipates. The violent and vexed events of the summer of 2020 have laid bare for Americans the idiocy of pandering to those who would tell Americans of all stripes that their fears are well grounded, that they are alone and adrift in a world that does not care for them, that despises them, that is leaving them behind. And there you have it: there are certain Americans whose aim is to make Americans essentially miserable. Not just miserable with guilt, but miserable with fears about the future, as well as miserable with the mantle of victimhood. That is anti-civilisational. And some politicians should know better. After all, some of them had undoubtedly happy childhoods way back, when traditional American values were more the thing. And they are supposedly interested in keeping the flame of democracy as much as freedom alive. Yet there are even members of government who pander to the media and to gurus who claim to know the make-up of all Americans. The young are not immune to their consultations. They live in the moment, and they’re not aware of what they are going through. It’s time government led responsibly instead of being reactionary. With freedom comes great responsibility.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
2 years ago

Amen! Well stated.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago

There is a huge problem in the way such incidents are discussed.
Depending entirely on which (ethnic / religious / gender) group that individual is from, they are invariably framed as either
a) indicative of how everyone from that group is a racist, sexist bigot and how society suffers from structural something thanks to that group
b) Just some random incident thanks to “mental illness”, not every XYZ group is like that, and you are a bigot for expressing concerns
Thus, white male attacker – a group that died in large numbers to end fascism and slavery, whose countries are the most tolerant and allow equal opportunity – then such incidents prove structural racism, and how toxic the group is.
If you belong to certain “minority” groups which actually were more involved in slavery and never outlawed it, committed awful genocides, etc and are much more likely to say commit terror attacks or launch unprovoked attacks on elderly Asians in NY?
You are protected. I still remember how was in a cab, after yet another terror attack in UK, and the news on radio started talking about how the attacker had “mental illness” and refused to share his ethnic identity. And the cabbie and me (neither of us white incidentally) looked at each other and burst out laughing.

Terry M
Terry M
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

“Blacks have done nothing on their own to effect change besides protesting.”
I can’t let that pass. The great majority of black people are minding their own business and getting on with their lives and trying to make their own small corners of society better. There are numerous black leaders that bemoan the terrible rantings of Kendi, Harris, and so many others. But they are invisible to the MSM.
However, I wonder why blacks vote in large majorities for the very party that denigrates them with affirmative action and other condescending attitudes and programs.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I think that comment is unnecessarily provocative. What do you mean by ‘blacks have done nothing’? That they are a minority? Martin Luther King and his followers hardly ‘did nothing’ in American society and in fact neither in his different way did Malcolm X. And there are protests and protests, as we can see from the huge moral difference between MLK’s Washington rally and mass rioting and arson in 2022.

On your definition, perhaps few people of any race actually ‘do anything’ because they are politically passive.

Aldo Maccione
Aldo Maccione
2 years ago

stop letting the truth get in the way of a comfortable narrative.

AC Harper
AC Harper
2 years ago
Reply to  Aldo Maccione

Facts are facts – but the emotions trump facts in our postmodern world (or so they say).
If I were much younger and starting up a business (and indifferent to ethics) I think I’d go into suppling pitchforks, inflammable torches, and loud hailers.

Davy Humerme
Davy Humerme
2 years ago

Interesting in a U.K. context that Islamic terrorists are seen as not to represent the entire community of Muslims. I agree but quite a lot of Islamic clerical leaders and immigrants are pretty ambivalent. Obviously though any crime perpetrated by a loser who happens to be white is white genocide.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
2 years ago
Reply to  Davy Humerme

I have noticed this intellectual inconsistency with regard to biased conclusions. Even in the context of Bill Warner’s analysis of Political Islam, which I find hard to argue with, Muslims find acceptance and sympathy when in actuality their ideology is quite threatening to democracy. Makes no sense.
I am 66 and white and have noticed the creeping demonization of whites over the past few years and find it very distressing. My children, in their 20s and 30s are only now realizing how their Progressive silence has been complicit in sealing this notion.
Something happened in our educational systems since the 1970s to destroy the appreciation for Western Civilization. This must be rebuilt.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

“In his speech afterwards, Shelbey Steele, the author of White Guilt, summarised the implications of this reality: despite the fact that some racism does still persist, America remains the best country in the world to be black. We all applauded when he said that. It should not have been a sensational remark. And yet it was.”

I would have liked to see this proposition expanded on. I presume that for the author the fact that in black majority countries billionaires exist does not compensate for the comparative lack of institutional structures that promote order and wealth creation that ensure that the average US black is better off than in black majority countries or even white majority countries like the UK that don’t have the same history of institutional apartheid that existed in large swathes of the US until comparatively recent times. However, it is a proposition that deserved a more detailed exposition.

Nothing detracts, of course, from the basic message she advances that blacks are not helped by white guilt rhetoric.
The colour of a man’s skin is and should be of no more importance than the colour of his hair, eyes or any other external factor. The division of man into different racial categories is no more than 18th Century junk science. 

It is a statistically recorded fact that the life prospects of those who are comparatively tall or comparatively good looking are better than those of the short and ugly despite obvious exceptions. However, we don’t give preferential treatment in University entrance to the short and ugly or obsess over the comparative lack of short and ugly people in desirable jobs and TV advertising. Nor, despite the undoubted prejudice with which blacks have been viewed particularly in the US in the past, should we do the so for those whose skin is comparatively dark.

Red Sanders
Red Sanders
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Medical statistics confirm that there are different groups of humans. If it is now passe to claim that races don’t exist, so be it, but that doesn’t change reality.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

“Thrown into a frenzy by their overzealous conviction that white racism is the root cause of all evil, BLM turned a blind eye to the large number of black Americans…”
Far too generous. It should say “Thrown into a frenzy by the opportunity to grift”

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

I know what you mean, but I don’t think BLM could have developed into what is essentially a quasi-religion simply on the basis of cynicism. It must have many true believers. Of course, as in the past with some white pastors, the temptation to embezzle funds is too great, especially since guilt-tripping white people, inchoate ‘anti-capitalism’ and various riots represents pretty much their entire project. BLM has absolutely no proper governance nor any considered programme of using the millions of dollars raised for any clearly defined purpose, which on balance is probably just as well!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

Most of US media works for the Democrat party. It bullies white people into voting against their own best interests while trying to lock on to black voters by terrorising them with stories of systemic racism. While the violent individuals involved in these heinous attacks should be held completely accountable for their crimes, the complicity of US news media also needs to be examined.

Slopmop McTeash
Slopmop McTeash
2 years ago

Brilliant article.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
2 years ago

Thank you Ayyan for another brilliant commentary. The absolute rejection of systemic racism is codified in the US Constitution and American law in general. Racism is an individual problem that can be diminished with the application of the legal system, but can only be eliminated completely on a personal level.
The conclusions of binary thinking are indeed the primary source of this wrongheaded notion of systemic racism. Political dishonesty on the Left is also guilty. The only cure will be for public intellectuals like yourselves to keep speaking out. There are places of common ground where a majority can sit and discuss these problems – like Jordan Peterson’s analysis of In-Groups and Out-Groups. My 4 grown children missed Western Civilization in the politically corrupted halls of my alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. They had a different kind of education there than I did, thanks to a corruption by Critical Theory and Progressive politics in substituting for much of the Western Canon. Let’s hope the radical humanitarian philosophies of the 17th and 18th century Europe, which set men free, along with an appreciation of Judeo Christian tradition will return soon in full force.

James Hankins
James Hankins
2 years ago

The disparity in black/ white educational results is in great part due to the disproportionately large number of blacks that come from inner city schools and the total control over their k-12 education by teachers’ unions, i.e. the Democrats’ most reliable foot soldiers. Dems, if you want to blame somebody for the poor educational results achieved by blacks, start by looking in the mirror.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Hankins
Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
2 years ago

I think, the old adage, ‘Careful what you wish for’ is something that is often forgotten by ‘stupid’ people.

B Davis
B Davis
2 years ago

Yes, absolutely. 100% agree…and yet…
Ms. Ali tells us, “None of which is to say that America is any sort of utopia for black Americans.” She’s right. It isn’t. But neither is it a utopia for white Americans….or brown Americans….or whatever color American you choose to name. It’s not a utopia for straights or gays or any of the other 31 Flavors. It’s not a utopia for men or women, not even for those pretending to be men or women. As a matter of fact, America is NOT and never will be a Utopia at all, ever, for anyone. It’s not intended or designed to be Utopian. Nor can any human-made-thing ever be expected to exhibit such inhuman perfection.
But this unworldly Utopia, indeed, is what the Left pursues: a secular heaven on earth where everyone is equal, everyone is included, everything is diverse, and all outcomes socially just. Just ‘Imagine’ as the Other Lennon put it:
“Imagine there’s no countries….Nothing to kill or die for…And no religion, too….Imagine all the people….Livin’ life in peace … Imagine no possessions…. No need for greed or hunger…A brotherhood of man”
So no, short of asinine song lyrics which evoke nothing but a soul-deadening ‘Brave New World’ sameness, the world is not and will never be assembled, shaped, or formed to make anyone’s life fuzzy, warm, and exceedingly perfect. Life is hard for everyone.
Ms. Ali asks, “How can we view such an atrocity and not let it overwhelm our judgement? How can we not conclude that such evil merits nothing sort of societal change?” The answer is simple, cold, and bluntly cruel: the same way we view every atrocity. History is filled with them. Man’s inhumanity to man is made manifest in every age and on every conceivable scale. NBC’s Dateline tracks and showcases a new particularized evil every week. Ted Bundy slaughtered 30+ young women all across the country; that was pretty darned horrific. The Holocaust reaped 12M victims. Stalin, maybe 20M; Mao in his Great Leap annihilated 30-45M. Did these deaths ‘overwhelm our judgment’ then or now? Did we push for ‘societal change’ in response to those atrocities?
How ’bout WW2 with maybe 90M dead? or the Mongol Conquests with 40M? The Thirty Years War with 6M?
As always, those close to the dead, mourn. Those in proximity to the horror are repulsed and outraged. And all the rest of us tend to very quickly dismiss & forget. If, that is, we ever recognized the horror in the first place.
So yes, in Buffalo, just the other day, a garden-variety sociopath, immersed in his own perverted worldview, murdered 10 innocents. And we were horrified, outraged, and appalled, as any decent person would be.
But we forget that on that same day, averages being what they are, another 52 people were also murdered. 52 additional tragedies, families torn apart….and nary a mention on the news that night because — after all — it was just, in a very sad sense, ‘business as usual’: people killing people (though typically only 1 or 2 at a time).
We forget that death is death; murder, murder…tragedy, tragedy. The fact that 10 innocents were killed in a grocery store is particularly horrific because of the count and the mundane nature of the crime scene. But otherwise these 10 deaths are no more or less horrific than any of the other 52 that day or the 20K last year.
We need to remember that truth (as cold and unforgiving as it is), and temper our justifiable anger and outrage by the understanding that terrible things happen every day; every day people die….and no, the world itself on any kind of significant moral scale will not ever change. All we can do is what we’ve always done which is try to make our own little portion of it that much better.

Mathieu Bernard
Mathieu Bernard
2 years ago

The neo-Marxist ruling elites need perpetual racism to exist in America. That’s why they’ve done all they can to keep blacks in a constant state of misery. Happy proletarians aren’t good fodder for the socialist cause. Ayaan has demonstrated clearly that “systemic racism” is just a social construct of the Left to drive the narrative – which is actually a massive conspiracy theory – that America is built upon the foundations of white supremacy. Shortly after the tragic Buffalo shooting occurred, President Biden stated that such “hate” was “a stain on the soul of America.” Once again, the specter of systemic racism and white supremacy was thrust into the forefront of the political conversion. They don’t want racism to go away, which is why they inject identity politics into everything.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
2 years ago

Why wouldn’t the Left was to recreate a George Floyd moment? Look what they’ve obtained since: the Senate, the House, the Presidency, every Fortune 500 board, and they have caused the entire media establishment to completely abandon objective standards of truth.
the George Floyd riots were a disaster to everyone else, but to wealthy, powerful progressives, they were the political high point of the last 4 decades.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
2 years ago

The only way for the Black population to get out of their current predicament is for them to do it themselves. No amount of hand-outs, affirmative action and victimization will help. They have to decide to do it themselves.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago

The US is far and away the mist popular destination for migrants, with some 51 million foreign born nationals, nearly four times as many as any other country in the world.

If reason prevailed in public debate around “systemic racism” this fact would give the lie to the notion and its political value. But it doesn’t.

Amol Kaikini
Amol Kaikini
2 years ago

Thank you, MS Ayaan for this thoughtful essay. As someone quipped BLM now stands for Buy Large Mansions. In the first thirty years of my life, I had three identity labels. It was all a joke to me. Now some entities treat people based on their identity labels.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
2 years ago

Just read this in the Wall Street Journal, but pay no attention to what’s really going on.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/massacre-as-usual-in-chicago-shootings-crime-lori-lightfoot-11652736495?mod=hp_opin_pos_2

0 0
0 0
2 years ago

Great Replacement theory.
Ukraine v Russia
Whites Killing Whites
Don’t actually need others to do it.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago

Amen sister and thankyou

Paul Foote
Paul Foote
2 years ago

The unfortunate fact in this article is that the shooter identified himself as a fascist and most people don’t understand that fascism is a socialist ideology. The media ignores it and paints the shooter as “right-wing”. He wasn’t, but in the US the fake news leftist media is a DNC propaganda machine and it is used to divide us. It works because most people in the US are simply ignorant and too lazy to learn the truth.

Caleb Cluff
Caleb Cluff
2 years ago

Amazing: not one commenter addresses the murderer or his right wing manifesto by name or deed. Lot of complaining about busted white butts though.

Lori Wagner
Lori Wagner
2 years ago

Police do kill more blacks than whites…per capita. Overall, as there are more whites than blacks, more whites are killed but your statement is deeply misleading.

Dove Knight
Dove Knight
2 years ago

there is no myth, ali ,and martin bollis and other conservatives continue with this denial about racism and the racist replacement theory , —- your denial will ensure that there will be an enviornment for another racist rampagne—- white supremacy is alive and well in america ,

Vyomesh Thanki
Vyomesh Thanki
2 years ago

When a killer who describes himself “as a fascist, a white supremacist and an anti-Semite” has gunned down ten innocent black people in Buffalo, it’s a perverse decision to commission a piece from Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who approves of the Iraq invasion) on the myth of American racism. Surely a more apt response to this tragic event should have been an exploration of fascism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism in America?

Last edited 2 years ago by Vyomesh Thanki
Dominic A
Dominic A
2 years ago
Reply to  Vyomesh Thanki

It could seem that way. On the other hand fascism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism are regularly explored, and well recognised, and there are specific, well funded units in the police & security services tackling it. The shocking deaths from mass shootings, terrible as they are, are tiny compared with everyday killings (20,000 a year in the US, half of whom are African-American), and suicides (2nd highest cause of death for teenagers).

We need more reporting of everyday truths, not sensational outliers. Moreover, over-reporting of race-based, school shootings has been shown to encourage it.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
2 years ago
Reply to  Vyomesh Thanki

There’s plenty of that in the MSM, go read. If you’re reading Unherd, it’s because there’s a place for an alternative and perhaps pertinent point of view, especially when based on good research.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago
Reply to  Vyomesh Thanki

The author of the piece italicises “systemic racism” in her first paragraph for a sensible reason: her intent to keep back from “monocausal explanations” and “today’s dependency on white guilt for recognition and support”. She then goes on to explain the “divisive rhetoric” that seeps quickly into the American consciousness that IS a major problem that has affected most of America. The author had been at a conference in Dallas among fellow black intellectuals and professionals at the time of the atrocity. Through this article, she intends to make clear to the “many in the media” how worthwhile it is to guard against the knee-jerk reaction, even the opportunistic knee-jerk reaction, as I read it, of tarring a nation, of the wickedness of maligning a whole society. (There are plentiful examples of a more extreme tarring so in 1930s Germany). Indeed, in the piece, she and her distinguished colleagues quickly understood that it was NOT the “phantom of systemic racism” that was holding back black Americans. Considering the deep emotions an atrocity in Buffalo will produce in people, it must have been of some reassurance to the author of the piece that in her being among friends of hers, at the time, she was well placed to see through the emotional, never mind misleading, press headlines that would inevitably come out. There is no doubt there is fascism, that there are white supremacists, and that there is anti-semitism, in America. There is no doubt racism exists. Perhaps these malignities are more evident in a cosmopolitan country such as America that is continually under the microscope. Is the bigger picture ever seen though?