Thank you Abu Musa for sharing the video of another of the teens with Nabra. The kid elaborated on the altercation that began things that ultimately led to the horrible murder of Nabra. From what he described it was a typical young male altercation, free of any bias or phobia, that went way too far and ended in the death of a young woman. While her body was still warm some activists began pushing the theory that this was a hate-crime despite any evidence and many on Twitter were eager to co-sign. Irresponsible people ran with that narrative on social media. Sloppy journalists picked up on it. And even, have you no fucking decency, some began visiting the family and the community to encourage them to insist this was a hate crime. Instigators and those who dance on the blood of the dead for their own agenda are quick to start shit, but if their bullshit causes violence between Muslims and Latinos they’ll be far away. Probably in New York sucking up some media attention. All of us have a responsibility to the truth, to think about what we share on social media before we do, and to first and foremost comfort the suffering and not try and exploit them. Northern Virginia will see a few things in the coming days:
-Outside activists pushing a narrative that best coincides with their agenda quickly followed by fundraising efforts
-White allies mostly in the form of fringe political zealots looking to exploit a tragedy to organize for their agenda
-Media, both right and left, looking to feed their base with cheap clickbait
Who will be with the family after she is a hashtag though? For birthdays? For anniversaries of this tragedy? To call in the middle of the night?
I’ve been talking to eyewitnesses to the Nabra Murder and people in the Northern Virginia Muslim community. This video contains the eyewitness accounts as told to me. Basic facts:
-A young 17 year old high school student was murdered
-the attacker sought to attack others in the group
-The group of fifteen contained 5 Muslim males as well
-Witnesses don’t believe this was an attack motivated by hatred of Muslims
Umar Lee is a grassoots independent-journalist. You can become a donor and support my work at Patreon . Follow me on Twitter @penofumar Instagram @umarilee Snapchat @umarlee
Video courtesy of boxing reporter Elie Seckbach. Kareem Abdul-Jabar broke his fast, prayed and received an award from the Israeli consulate.
(James Hodgkinson at his job as an inspector in Belleville, Illinois)
In the hours after St. Louis area native James Hodgkinson opened fire on Republican members of Congress and others in Alexandria, Virginia many thoughts crossed his mind. Many are related to Hodgkinson growing-up in Belleville, Illinois and are part of another piece I submitted. Other thoughts revolve around gender which I briefly summed-up in a Facebook status;
I don’t need a CVE grant and to sip wine with academics to know a commonality between terrorists of all stripes is attitudes towards women. Muslim dude extremists believe feminism and westernized thought has robbed the Muslim man of his leadership and role. Fragile masculinity. You can see this fragile masculinity and rage against women on display with the misogynistic Muslim writer Daniel Haqiqatjou. The right-wing extremist also has a beef with feminism and refers to opponents as “cucks” centering their view in sexuality. Now, we have many on the far white left, who have been raging against Hillary Clinton and women angry Bernie lost. Again, back to women.
Allow me to go into this topic a little further here. Islamist rhetoric globally is filled with rhetoric coupled with action that the West and Jews are seeking to “corrupt” Muslim women via un-Islamic academic teachings, Hollywood, the internet, and the policies of secular governments. In Saudi Arabia a system of “male guardianship exists” similar to what exists in Taliban-ruled areas of Afghanistan and ISIS and Al-Qaeda controlled areas in Syria and Iraq. A woman literally cannot leave home without male-permission and travel more than a short-distance without a male family-member acting as a chaperone.
While these laws and cultural norms are guarded in some Muslim countries by the brute force of the state and vigilante violence of families in America such outlooks get an academic touch-up from Muslim conservative writers and thinkers. The most prominent of such online writers is Daniel Haqiqatjou. Haqiqatjou is a Harvard-educated Iranian-American obsessed with attacking feminism, defending male guardianship, and recently even defending Virginia Imam Shaker ElSayed after he gave a talk encouraging female genital-cutting at the Dar al Hijrah Mosque. Dar al Hijrah has a history including formerly employing Imam Anwar al-Awlaki who went onto lead al-Qaeda in Yemen before being killed in an American drone strike, being the mosque of the Fort Hood shooter, being the mosque to several convicted and many more alleged Hamas members, and at least two of the 9-11 hijackers prayed there. Promotion of political violence and violence against women go hand in hand with conservative extremists in Virginia just as it does in Syria or Gaza.
The rise of the “alt-right” and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump gave birth to many new words in the American political lexicon. Perhaps the most popular of these words is “cuck”. Before the presidential campaign I had never heard this word and had to Google its meaning. Now I see it repeatedly on Twitter on a daily basis. For those of you too lazy to Google “cuck” is short for “cuckold” which means a man in a relationship with a woman in which she has multiple sexual partners, the man sometimes watches, and he’s often denied sex.
The fact that the alt-right ( and I’m being generous with this description) is using the word cuck to describe opponents illustrates sexuality is at the center of their political discourse. The European cuck supports European immigration which will mean white women having sex with, getting married to, and having children with Muslim and African men. The European liberal is a cuck because he’s insufficiently protective of white women.
In America white men supporting progressive policies on immigration are referred to as cucks because they are supportive of Latino, Muslim and other immigrants and refugees. Again, the rhetoric is the same. The progressive male is a cuck because he’s not protecting white women from both immigrants and African-Americans. Of course this is nothing new in America. From slavery to the Ku Klux Klan to segregationist preachers White Supremacy in America has often been couched in the language of protecting white women from black men.
The Muslim conservative and the alt-right are in agreement they are the protectors and guardians of women who must follow their leadership and guidance in rejecting foreign men and influences. When women don’t comply violence often ensues.
However, the left is immune from this? Right? Not so much. I have to admit as a guy who likes Bernie Sanders I thought the “Bernie Bro” thing was bullshit. That is until women friends of mine such as writer Sarah Kenzidor began getting viciously attacked online by Bernie supporters often invoking rape threats and crude sexual language.
Just the other day this Bernie Sanders supporter who can’t let the election go attacked Joy-Ann Reid
While I don’t want to engage in moral equivalence and the problems of Bernie Bros are not out right as violent they are nonetheless problematic. James Hodgkinson himself had a history of violence against women. Combined with anger over Hillary Clinton “stealing” the nomination from Sanders he was enraged.
Seeking control of women.
Erupting in violence.
(State Rep Bruce Franks presenting an award to Marty Murray of Gloves for Grades above)
Eleven children have been murdered this year in St. Louis. Many more have been shot including a twelve-year old child over the weekend. This should bring people into the streets and should be a cause for our collective mourning turned into action. Yet, outside of State Representative Bruce Franks and a handful of others, I see few other political folks and activists centering these deaths*.
Outside of any grand conspiracy the reason for this may very well be that as a city and region the murder of children has been normalized. Routine. We don’t bat an eye. We just expect our bloody summers to include the deaths of a few kids.
Of course this isn’t new. As a middle-school student a schoolmate of mine named Nelson Fowler was murdered. Nelson was 15. In America, in the Land of Milk and Honey, a 15 year old boy being shot in the head three times in Kinloch Park merited one tiny paragraph in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Several more classmates of mine were killed in high school. My twenties saw many more die. My thirties and forties have seen the death toll of those I know personally become less frequent. Now the children of people my age are being murdered.
We tell ourselves lies. We say “this city isn’t really dangerous” and “it’s just the way they count the numbers”. Those reactions are a testament to white privilege. What they mean is “the city isn’t dangerous for me” and “not my neighborhood”. And even more than those factors, in our racially-divided city white people, particularly from the middle and upper classes, tend not to know murder victims. In the event they do know murder victims it tends do be in a professional or volunteer capacity.
With fewer people watching local news and reading the newspapers the killings become distant. Not motivating factors when you’re thinking about the best ways to use our resources. Instead of putting an end to these killings at the center of their politics and civic-engagement they’re ignored. Some ignore these deaths because the victims are overwhelmingly black. All they want from local police is a buffer between themselves and danger and crime in the community. Many white progressives lacking in personal relationships can only look at the situation through the prism of ideologies and counter with generic statements on gun-control and economics. Meanwhile we have those on the right who’ll dance on the blood of dead black children to further racist arguments.
The view is different when you know murder victims and some are even related to you. Chances are when you know murder victims you know shooters too. A trip to Schnucks in St. Louis and you’ll be shopping with the families of the dead, the families of the shooters, the wounded, and the shooters who haven’t been caught in a city where 70% of killings go unsolved. We’re surrounded by the aura of this violence everyday and in some neighborhoods you can feel the closeness and anticipation of death in the air.
Let’s make this clear. With the soaring murder-rate of the city only a handful of white males have been killed this year. No white women have been murdered this year in St. Louis. This is a story of black death.
As a community we have a moral obligation to try and stop the killings. We cannot, under any circumstances, allow these killings to become normalized. If you aren’t comfortable getting involved and speaking on these issues you need to support those who are. Everything isn’t for everyone. That doesn’t mean you can’t lobby your business associates, faith congregations, family, friends and neighbors to support those who are doing something.
Three programs I’m personally excited about are the Gloves for Grades program ran by 7th Ward Democratic Committeeman Marty Murray, the Police Athletic League boxing program in Jennings, and the organizational efforts led by Bruce Franks. If you can support these programs please do so.
Recently Rep. Franks asked for men to volunteer to patrol the streets to help stop the killings. If you can donate your time to this cause ask yourself what cause is greater than saving the lives of children?
We all know that before the year is out more kids will die in St. Louis City and County. That shouldn’t be shrugged off with the normalcy of a poorly coached Cardinals team, the Blues choking in the playoffs, or the smell of provel in the air at baby showers.
* Others such as Brother Anthony Shahid, James Clarke, and Demetrious Johnson among others have been working with black youth for decades to try and end the violence.