Originally published on Medium

After a week of seeing several mass shootings that seemed to highlight the need for sensible gun laws and regulations, the attack in Brooklyn took things to another level. The outfit, the gear, and the mask are all obvious evidence of premeditation. The preparation, the smoke grenade, and the weapon, in addition to the above, are all indicators of a domestic actor.

My mind went immediately to the Proud Boys. Particularly after seeing police allow them to stroll through a subway station bypassing the turnstiles and through gated entrances meant for emergency services. With that kind of access, one has to wonder. It’s far too early to tell. Early reports indicate the suspect is a pretty sizable Black man.

The fact that it may be a Black man means nothing when talking about extremists in the United States. Many Black men are members of various militias. And I’m not talking about the all-Black militias either. Their ideologies and defensive posturing place them on the side of good. I’m talking about Black dudes in the Proud Boys, III Percenters, and other white nationalist groups.

It could mean that he’s just a lone wolf. You know the term. It’s used for white domestic terrorists so the feds don’t have to investigate and expose the larger groups so-called “lone wolves” are associated with. I mean, I’m assuming that’s why these groups are allowed to grow all over the country. Many of them have cops, former cops, military, and feds on their rosters.

Add hate groups to the list of extremist groups and you have a recorded combined force of more than 100,000 members. Others suggest the number is much higher since the groups and their membership numbers are hard to track. The numbers are high enough to wreak havoc all over the country if they were to organize. Luckily for us, they can’t seem to agree on much. For now.

The last thing we can do is ignore them. Since the election of Joe Biden, most Americans have seemingly turned away from confronting hate. Confronting extremism. Those people are mostly white people. The same ones who should be calling it out when people in their proximity start talking weird shit about devil worshippers, politicians eating babies, or cocaine-fueled sex orgies.

Yeah, we know it’s not only a white people problem, but it mostly is. By a long shot. I say this all the time because I’m kind of known for calling it out in my community: if I can call bigotry out among my Cuban community, white people can do it too. And it’s about time they do. Stop letting those around you go off the deep end.

Because it’s only a matter of time before the guy on the news responsible for a mass shooting might be sitting on the couch next to you right now.

Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white...

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