Day: August 5, 2019

Background Briefing: August 5, 2019


The El Paso Mass Shooting Is Trump-Inspired Terrorism

We begin with the president today blaming everything on the two recent mass shootings except guns and his own rhetoric. While finally acknowledging that white nationalism is a problem, the president dispassionately read a script written by others in stark contrast to the real Donald Trump at rallies fully engaged and enjoying himself as he whips up the crowd with racist taunts and ritual insults. David Schanzer, Professor of the Practice and Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University, joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian, “We must call the El Paso shooting what it is: Trump-inspired terrorism”.  We examine how the manifesto apparently written by the mass shooter in El Paso reflects and endorse President Trump’s political program in as much as Trump is trying to make America white again by stopping migration from the south and from Muslim countries, suppressing the votes of minorities and attempting to have them not counted in the census. And his rhetoric inciting violence targets minority congresswomen as un-American to be “sent back” while he dehumanizes African/Americans claiming no human being would want to live in “infested” cities where they live.


Could There Be a Break in the Logjam on Gun Control?

Then, with protesters chants of “do something, do something” interrupting the NRA talking points coming fromOhio’s Republican governor during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting in Dayton on Sunday, we will look into whether there can be a break in the log jam on much-needed action on gun controlAaron Rupar joins us to discuss his articles at Vox, “Trump suggests El Paso and Dayton shooting response should include hardline immigration reform” and “’Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger’: Trump’s speech about shooting ignores the real problem.”


We Are in the Middle of an Alt-Right Terror Epidemic

Then finally, in the wake of the mass shootings and Cloudfare’s decision to shut down 8Chan, we explore the sick world of hate sites on the Internet with Dale Beran who argues in his new book “It Came From Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump into Office” that we are in the middle of an alt-right terror epidemic.  We will discuss how Trump’s demagoguery gives permission to troubled young white men and followers of Q-Anon radicalized in these dark channels to act out their violent fantasies against Mexican invaders as an almost patriotic duty.