According to Jacksonville authorities, the guy who murdered three Black consumers in a Florida Dollar General on Saturday had a revolver with a swastika.
Officials claimed the gunman, who committed himself inside the shop, left behind three manifestos expressing his hate for Black people, adding to a run of racist assaults on minority groups in the United States. The manifestos have not been made available to the public.
According to Attorney General Merrick Garland’s statement on Sunday, the US Justice Department is looking into the shooting. Due process has been conducted regarding the occurrence as a “hate crime” and an “act of racially-motivated violent extremism.”
“Officials in Jacksonville said they had uncovered no proof so far that the gunman, Ryan Christopher Palmeter, 21, was a member of an organized hate organization.”
However, supporters argue that the existence of Nazi symbols, along with racist manifestos, is simply another illustration of how hate beliefs endanger individuals of all backgrounds.
In a statement that was made public on Saturday, the CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Amy Spitalnick, called attention to a concerning trend of white supremacist violence that has spread from Charlottesville to Pittsburgh, Poway, El Paso, and Buffalo in a statement that was made public on Saturday.
Conspiracy theories and hate are becoming more widely accepted, and politicians and media personalities are actively promoting them. The widespread use of social media also contributes to this cycle of violence.”
“And it’s sadly no surprise that this racist shooter marked his gun with swastikas: because antisemitism, anti-Black racism, and white supremacy are inextricably linked, animating and fueling each other in a constant feedback loop – with deadly consequences for our communities and democracy,” Spitalnick continued.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Jacksonville region has emerged as a hotbed of extremism, with many white supremacists and other hate organizations operating there. The head of the anti-Semitic propaganda organization Goyim Defense League said he was lured to the Jacksonville region just before relocating from California to Florida last year.
At a Jacksonville football game attended by 75,000 people in October, the Goyim Defense League utilized a light projector to convey the statement “Kanye is right about Jews,” a catchphrase favored by hate organizations.
The Dollar General massacre occurred on the fifth anniversary of a deadly shooting at a video gaming conference in Jacksonville, and authorities believe the shooters were aware of the event. (In that instance, which was not recognized as a hate crime, the perpetrator was a Jewish guy from Baltimore.)
It also comes 15 months after a gunman who believed in “replacement theory,” or the concept that blacks are usurping white Americans in a Jewish-led scheme, murdered ten Black people in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store.
The theory has united white supremacists across borders in their hatred of Jews and immigrants, inspiring multiple attacks, including the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, which killed 11 Jews; the 2019 attack on a New Zealand mosque, which killed 51; and the 2019 El Paso, Texas, Walmart massacre, which targeted Hispanic immigrants.
On Sunday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited the Jacksonville shooting site, where boos momentarily disrupted his statements until a local councilwoman quieted the crowd. DeSantis, a Republican presidential contender, has relaxed Florida’s gun regulations while simultaneously attempting to limit lessons about race and racism in public schools.
“We are not going to let people be targeted based on their race,” DeSantis said. “We are going to stand up and do what we need to do to ensure that evil does not triumph in Florida.”