The impact of racism on this latest school shooting is in fact present, whether one calls the shooter "White Hispanic" or Latino.

First of all, just because a shooter shares a similar ethnic background to the overwhelming majority of victims, that doesn't mean racism isn't involved.

Because racism can get deeply embedded in the minds of people who are the same race/ethnicity as the people who are murdered.

Many people who are among those targeted by racism see their cohorts as drastically different from themselves. We have perfect examples of them in the Radical Right Wing White Supremacist Party (formerly known as GOP).

The "exceptions" are the ones toward whom racists point and say "see, if you just shared our values and acted like the better people we are, then you wouldn't have all the problems you say are caused by racism."

...And behind their backs those very same racists tell racist jokes about said "exception." And/or the whites involved may even tell those jokes to them in person and then say, "Hey! Don't get upset! We were just joking!"

Alternatively, there can be major self-hate involved -- self hate that gets turned outward toward others of one's own community.

We don't know what was going on in this guy's head, and we will probably never know for certain.

Self hatred in response to a culture dominated by racist hate (whether obvious or "merely" internalized) is not all that uncommon.

And then, there's the matter of the cops themselves. My guess is that as more details come out, we will find that many of the cops weren't interested in risking their own lives to save the lives of those effing (insert racist label for Latinos/as here). I would not be at all surprised if it turns out that a great deal of the delay in responding may be associated with that.

I'm not going to claim that flat out. I generally try not to make claims based solely on assumptions. But I do seriously SUSPECT such attitudes were involved.

Now again, the Uvalde school district police chief responsible for the decision to delay direct engagement is himself Latino. See my paragraph above on associated issues that can be traced to our racist culture.

I don't know. It could be that the man is basically a coward. Or maybe he's just plain stupid AND a coward. I will accept that if/when we find evidence of such.

But there is no way that our racist social/cultural structure was not involved at all.

White people have to face the fact that we are all products of said culture no matter how hard we may fight against it. There will always be residual issues.

For instance, even tho I lived for 20 years in Rochester, NY, as a resident of three predominantly black (75, 85, and 95% respectively), my stomach still churns when I encounter an unknown black man on the street when I am also alone. I fight those feelings mightily. I don't cross the street or in any other way make my fear obvious. But I know it is STILL there.

It is not as extreme as it used to be. My experiences in those neighborhoods mostly contradict them. Tho occasionally, I have to say, my fears were reinforced. Just not enough for me to let go of my commitment to my principles.

I have learned both by direct experience and by major reading and intellectual analysis that white people all too often are eager to find a way to dismiss the possibility of racist involvement in events like these. But that requires diluting and minimizing details that don't fit their preference for believing racism isn't anywhere near as widespread as black people and people of color claim it to be.

Because if they recognize the truth, their entire worlds suddenly get knocked off kilter.

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Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.