We must do better. I must do better
Here we are again, another hate crime fueled by white supremacy and abetted by a refusal to enact basic, common-sense gun legislation. My resignation at the news, and of the other two mass shootings in the US this week, has me convicted. I know better. I must do better.
These are awful, thorny messes, but I do not have the liberty to sit on my privilege and do nothing. I might not be able to fix the world, nor am I called upon to do so, but I can’t just let a mass shooting of Black people by a white man seething racist Great Replacement theory (literally the stuff of Nazism) happen without doing what I can do to stop the next one from happening.
If you’re a white person, like me, this is an us problem, meaning that eradicating Nazi theories like the Great Replacement, as well as their gateways, is on us to do. We must listen to Black and Brown voices, but we need to take responsibility for cleaning up our own racist mess.
Stop paying for hate speech on cable news
Right now, major cable companies carry Fox News, and Tucker Carlson in his primetime show is spewing Great Replacement theory on a nightly basis. The Republican party has normalized it, so it is commonplace in political discourse as well. This desensitizes Fox News viewers and Republicans, like frogs in a pot of boiling water, to the implications of this hateful theory. They begin to make excuses for it, normalizing NAZI theories.
And this hate is killing people. Why are we allowing Fox News to remain part of cable packages and streaming services? This is NOT a First Amendment issue. The First Amendment says that the government cannot punish people for their opinions or prevent them from expressing them. It does NOT extend the right to a platform to express those views. And, I for one, am done paying for it.
We also have a serious gun problem in this country, and people who have hateful views have access to the technology to act on those views. Americans lose more people to gun violence than any other developed nation in the world. And I’m sick of it, as are a majority of Americans.
But the Second Amendment? Do you think that everyone in America has the right to walk around with their own personal nuclear arsenal? No? Congratulations, you support restrictions on the Second Amendment. There’s a world of difference between a hunting rifle and a nuclear arsenal, and surely we can stop listening to the gun lobby and enact laws that allow people to go to the grocery store without fear of being mown down in a hail of bullets by a Nazi.
Actions to take today
I can’t fix the world, but nor can I ignore it. So, here are things I am going to do today, and I urge you to do the same:
- Call your cable provider or streaming service—this is important, talk to them—and demand that they stop carrying Fox News, OAN, or any other network that spouts Great Replacement theory. Tell them why. Tell them that you will find alternatives for your service if they do not comply. Let’s free market them.
- Call your representatives at the local, state, and federal levels and tell them that you demand common-sense gun reform and will vote accordingly.
Actions to keep taking
- Keep calling. It’s easy to stop—I do this too often—but keep going.
- For those of us who are white, we must call out racism amongst ourselves more effectively. This is our problem to resolve. We can’t just sit and squirm in our seats when we encounter white supremacy. We need to do the work ourselves. We have to do better. I have to do better.