AOC calls out Republicans for blaming video games not white supremacy for mass shootings

Joe Sommerlad@JoeSommerlad
Tuesday 06 August 2019 07:30
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Addressing the nation from the White House on Monday morning, Donald Trump blamed the weekend's twin mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, on everything from mental health to the media to the internet.

Everything except ready access to lethal weapons, that is.

One of Trump's easy scapegoats was violent video games:

We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.

It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence.

We must stop or substantially reduce this and it has to begin immediately.

This was a line both House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick had adopted in interviews with Fox News on Sunday.

McCarthy told Fox:

The idea of these video games that dehumanise individuals to have a game of shooting individuals and others, I’ve always felt that is a problem for future generations and others.

We've watched from studies shown before of what it does to individuals. When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.

Patrick cited the El Paso shooter's white nationalist manifesto posted online, in which he "talks about living out his super-soldier fantasy on Call of Duty".

We know that the video game industry is bigger than the movie industry and the music industry combined, and there have been studies that say it impacts people and studies that says it does not, but I look at the common denominators, as a 60-some-year-old father and grandfather myself, what's changed in this country? 

We've always had guns, we’ve always had evil. But what's changed where we see this rash of shooting? I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill.

The argument has been made many times before in the past in relation to mass shootings and popular Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was quick to roll her eyes at its return.

AOC tweeted that white supremacy is the real unexamined factor here and identified a key reason many Republicans have been reluctant to call it out.

Sadly the GOP refuse to acknowledge that because their strategy relies on rallying a white supremacist base.

In response to the El Paso shooter's manifesto making reference to the "Hispanic invasion of Texas", she also shared a tweet noting the number of times of the Trump administration has run ads on Facebook using language similar to that found in the manifesto over the last year.

In doing so she joined colleagues like Cory Booker, Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro in laying the blame for the atrocities in Texas and Ohio squarely at the president's door as a direct consequences of his racist and divisive rhetoric.

It is however worth noting that Trump did address white supremacy briefly within his statement, before swiftly turning his focus towards the glorification of violence in society.

On the matter, Trump said:

The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.

It was a mention welcomed by many and a step further than his previous comments on the subject with regards to condemning such hate groups, but also one that left many wondering exactly how the president will look to move things forward beyond his White House address. Here's hoping that the Donald Trump has finally seen that his words matter and can influence society for better or for worse.

More: Republicans blame video games, school prayer bans and social media for mass shootings

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