Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Were racism and claims of entitlement part of the mindset of Washington Navy Yard shooting suspect Aaron Alexis when he allegedly killed 12 people Monday?
Investigators and officials say they have been unable to determine a motive yet for the mad attack that left Navy Yard workers apparently gunned down at random, but buried in media reports are indicators that left observers alarmed.
After WND reported Wednesday that Alexis had complained of”white racism” and unfulfilled demands, several prominent black columnists pinpointed the politically correct influences of the left as a source for such ideas.
A report from NBC said that Kristi Suthemtewkal said of Alexis, “He felt a lot of discrimination and racism with white people especially.”
She also said that Alexis had felt like he had been cheated out of money from the contract under which he had worked and complained that he was mistreated because he was black.
She spoke of Alexis’s “growing sense of entitlement and disrespect” and that he would be upset when she could not give him rides as he wanted.
Suthemtewkal is the wife of the restaurant owner for whom Alexis worked in Texas in exchange for room and board.
She said, “He did have the tendency to feel like people owed him something all the time.”
Two other people who knew Alexis echoed concerns that he was angry about his perception that he was the victim of racism.
The London Daily Mail reported another friend, Michael Ritrovato, claimed that Alexis had “trained” himself on a violent video game “then used buckshot bullets to see his victims get blown up.”
Ritrovato said Alexis “wanted to see the blood and guts, that’s what he’d seen on the video games.”
“That’s what I saw when I looked at him playing those games, he would blow people apart,” he said.
Ritrovato said Alexis, a recently converted Buddhist, “complained to him that he was the victim of racial discrimination.”
Ty Thairintr, a member of the Buddhist temple in Fort Worth that Alexis attended, said Alexis told him he was upset “with the Navy because ‘he thought he never got a promotion because of the color of his skin. He hated his commander.’”
WND columnist Erik Rush points to the “Navy’s failure to take precautions despite having been warned of his alleged mental incapacity, the security of the Navy Yard and military installations across the country, Alexis’s access to firearms after having been involved in firearms-related altercations, his arrest record” and other issues.
There undoubtedly are valid concerns over Alexis himself, said Rush, who explains in his book, “Negrophilia,” the “undue and inordinate affinity for blacks” that has been promoted by activists, politicians and the establishment for the past 40 years “which has fostered an erroneous perception of blacks, particularly in America.”
He said that at “the risk of waxing pop-psychologist; threatening individuals with your handgun and discharging it into private property because you’re ticked off at someone (for which Alexis was arrested in 2004), even if you have a valid concealed carry permit, is not something that stable people generally do.”
But the racism report is what is most alarming, he said.
“Alexis was black, and his victims were predominantly white. While this might not be what I or the reader would ordinarily consider at first blush, it most assuredly would be the first thing considered by the press had a 34-year-old white ex-Navy reservist walked into a building and shot 21 people if most of them were black,” he wrote.
Of the 12 victims, nine were white, two black and one Indian.
“Given all of the data, one cannot help but factor in the alleged racism Alexis claimed to have suffered as a possible contributing factor in the shootings,” Rush wrote. “The racial climate in America has been deliberately poisoned in recent years by the self-serving machinations of the political left, career civil rights activists, and the Obama administration in particular. This has led to a near-epidemic in black-on-white crime, one which goes wholly unreported by the establishment press. Might this contrived, institutional advancement of racial tension have contributed to the rage and instability of a man who already felt disaffected due to his race?”
Rush also noted the idea apparently held by Alexis that others should provide for him.
“That sense of entitlement and tendency toward feeling disrespected among black Americans is part and parcel of the worldview spoon-fed to blacks by the political left. It is a common theme and corrosive thread which has run through the left’s racial narrative for decades,” he said.
Ted Nugent, another WND columnist, wrote that the shooter’s ideas come from the same “left” that advocates gun-free zones, which Second Amendment advocates decry as “unarmed victim zones.”
“It is the very definition of insanity and state-sanctioned barbarism for any individual, company or organization to mandate their fellow citizens be unarmed and defenseless. To endorse such a policy is analogous to mandating a fire department not be allowed to have access to water or fire hoses,” he wrote.
Ben Kinchlow said that while Alexis may have complained about racism, he really didn’t know what it was.
“According to reports, Aaron Alexis claims racism as a partial motive for his actions,” he said. “No one can dispute this charge because it existed in the shooter’s mind. His perception of reality becomes the motive for his actions.”
But he continued: “Unfortunately, his perception of racism is based on a false narrative. For those of us who lived through the actuality of institutionalized racism, we know that America is nowhere near the real racism of 50 or 60 years ago, but for someone who has not experienced real racism, as in the case of the shooter, he could ascribe others’ ‘racist actions’ to his perception of racism, no matter how far from actual racism they may be.”
Cashill pointed out that racial tension seems to have gotten worse under the first black president.
“A comprehensive poll taken by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal this summer showed that Obama failed in the one area in which even the opposition hoped he would succeed: bridging the racial divide,” he said.
“In the month of his inauguration, 79 percent of whites and 63 percent of blacks held a favorable view of race relations in America. By July 2013, those figures had fallen to 52 percent among whites and 38 percent among blacks, a calamitous decline, rarely addressed, never explained.”
The media carries a responsibility, he contended.
“Although there are as many reasons for the decline in those numbers as there are for the decline in Alexis’s mental health, one fact seems undeniable: the media have continued to drum into the head of African Americans the pervasiveness of racism in America, Obama’s election notwithstanding. Indeed, by repeatedly interpreting criticism of Obama as racially based, the media have aggravated the tension between blacks and non-blacks.”
Cashill said that in his “paranoia and rage, Alexis seemed not at all unlike former L.A. cop and fellow Navy reservist Christopher Dorner.”
“In February 2012, Dorner found it much easier to hold a white establishment accountable for his homicidal spree than the personal demons that beset him. We do not have to wonder from which sources Dorner pulled his insights. He told us. ‘Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Pat Harvey, Brian Williams, Soledad Obrien, Wolf Blitzer, Meredith Viera, Tavis Smiley, and Anderson Cooper, keep up the great work and follow Cronkite’s lead.’ It remains to be seen from which source Alexis gleaned his inspiration, but it is not hard to imagine.”
“Many people may remember Salon magazine’s famous pronouncement: ‘Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American,’” he said, “Strange how anyone in the reporting business would hope for anything except getting the story straight.”
Flaherty said that in the Naval Yard shooting, “this kind of ‘hope’ turned a white officer on duty with a weapon into gun-toting suspect wearing camos, as was reported.”
“The press cannot help it: They constantly misreport or ignore anything to do with race and violence,” he said.
Meanwhile, WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C., reported that a motive remained unknown and Fox News said that Washington Mayor Vincent Gray confirmed there was still no motive for the shootings and no indication of terrorism “although we haven’t ruled that out.”
There have been several previous cases of black gunmen claiming their violence was fueled by racism.
In 1993, Colin Ferguson opened fire on a crowded train in New York and killed six passengers and wounded 19 others. He claimed in his trial that he was motivated by “black rage” and was driven insane by white racism.
In 2010, Omar Thornton shot and killed eight of his co-workers after being disciplined by his employer, Hartford Distribution, for stealing inventory. He claimed in a letter found after the rampage that he was motivated to kill by the racism he felt from his white co-workers.
Earlier this year, Christopher Dorner killed four people in a spree that terrified the Los Angeles area. He claimed he was motivated by “racism” from white police officers when he worked as a policeman and believed his firing from the police force was due to racism as well.