More than two days have passed since the heinous shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and the inevitable but ultimately empty outpouring of “thoughts and prayers” has turned into expressions of outrage over how this could have happened – and who, or what, is to blame.
While NRA funded Republicans predictably spend most of their energy shouting-down any suggestion that the easy access to high powered fire arms had anything to do with this (the shooter, Niklaus Cruz, used a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle), they may have a much larger PR problem on their hands.
Soon after the shooting, reports linked Cruz to a the Republic of Florida Militia, a White Supremacist group similar to those that President Trump has refused to condemn in the past. But his association at first appeared to be tangential at best, despite the group confirming that he was a member.
New reports, however, paint a much more disturbing picture of Cruz as a fully radicalized White Supremacist determined to kill Blacks, Jews and Mexicans.
CNN gained access to a private Instagram group chat of which Cruz was a member, and what they found was shocking.
The group was called ‘Murica Great, and featured an American flag and eagle emojis in the name. “Racism was a constant theme in the chat group,” CNN’s Paul P. Murphy writes, adding that cruz came up with the name, and over time members posted “hundreds of racist messages, racist memes and racist Instagram videos” to the private group.
More from CNN:
The hatred he and others in the group espoused met little resistance from its active members. In one part of the group chat, Cruz wrote that he hated, “jews, ni**ers, immigrants. He talked about killing Mexicans, keeping black people in chains and cutting their necks. The statements were not made in jest.
Cruz said he hated black people simply because they were black; Cruz hated Jews because he believed they wanted to destroy the world. After one member expressed hatred for gay people, Cruz agreed, saying, “Shoot them in the back of head.”
It wasn’t just minorities he had a problem with. Cruz also had deplorable opinions about White women, especially those in interracial relationships.
Republicans and others on the right will continue to try in vain to keep the conversation on “mental illness” or the breakdown of the family or some other NRA approved issue. The real culprits, however – a deadly cocktail of White Supremacy inspired hate and easy access to high powered firearms – is now almost impossible to deny.