Things That Matter

White Terrorist Opens Fire in Dayton, Kills 9 People in 30 Seconds

Just thirteen hours after a 19-year-old white supremacist killed 20 people at an El Paso Walmart, another 24-year-old white terrorist wearing body armor killed 9 in Dayton, Ohio at 1 a.m. Sunday morning.

Police have confirmed that suspect Connor Betts killed his sister, Megan Betts, during his attack. The timeline of events and his motives are still unknown.

Lieutenant Matt Carper describes the Ohio District as “a safe part of downtown.”

@THEAlleyeceeing / Twitter

Thousands of people were out enjoying their summer night when Betts opened fire. The victims were likely those waiting in line outside to get into Ned Peppers bar. At least 27 people were treated for injuries, though others have reported that they did not seek hospital treatment for wounds from shrapnel and glass shards.

Nikita Papillon told Los Angeles Times that she had just walked across the street from Ned Peppers when the shooting started. Papillon just made conversation with a girl who “told me she liked my outfit and thought I was cute, and I told her I liked her outfit and I thought she was cute.” Papillon saw her body on the ground minutes later.

Police say that the “very short timeline of violence” suggests Betts had no time to discriminate based on race.

@TalbertSwan / Twitter

That said, six of his victims were black. Still, police are saying there is “no evidence to suggest there is a biased motive in this crime at this time.”

Betts killed 9 people, including his sister, in just 30 seconds.

@nypost / Twitter

Police are continuing to investigate a motive, but have confirmed that the two rode to the bar together. Megan’s boyfriend survived the shooting and is likely a key source in understanding Betts’ motive.

The other victims were Louise Ogelsby, 27; Said Saleh, 38; Derek Fudge, 57; Logan Turner, 30; Nicholas Cumer White, 25; Thomas McNichols, 25; Beatrice Warren Curtis, 36; and Monica Brickhouse, 39.

Betts used a .223 caliber assault-style rifle plus this hundred-round magazine.

@npenzenstadler / Twitter

Mayor Whaley said that “hundreds of people in the Oregon District could be dead today,” had the police not responded so quickly.

During a press conference, Trump wondered out loud, “Think of the damage he did in such a short period of time in less than a minute?” Many Americans are taking that question a step further with an answer: pass gun reform laws that would ban the sale of a weapon that could inflict so much bloodshed so quickly.

Surveillance footage shows a couple hugging one minute, and running for their lives the next.

@breaking911 / Twitter

The couple was outside on the patio with other bar goers and you can see them hugging. Seconds later, they ran inside as you see Betts walking down the street.

At least six officers fired off a round of ammo within 30 seconds of the first gunshot, killing the shooter. They removed his rifle from underneath him and put him in handcuffs.

After the threat was neutralized, officers started asking survivors for belts to use as tourniquets.

@ProfBlacktruth / Twitter

Survivor James Williams told The New York Times he ran over to the scene to find bodies on the ground, and offered his belt. Williams had just watched the news of the El Paso shooting that morning and thought it was “just another mass shooting that we hear about all the time, and you never think it’s going to hit home.”

Another survivor attempted CPR on a victim. “He was gurgling” she told NYT. “I looked him in the eye. I tried to talk to him. I said ‘Hang on, buddy.’” He died.

Survivor Cassandra Lopez was “trampled.”

@WondHerful / Twitter

Lopez was heading out the back door of the bar to get some air when gunshots were fired. Everyone fell to the floor and for two minutes, she was “trampled.” Lopez told police, “We just couldn’t get up. Too many people. Shoes everywhere.”

In a press conference, Trump blames the recent mass shootings on “a mental illness problem.”

@cbsnews / Twitter

“We’re talking to a lot of people and a lot of things are in the works and a lot of good things. And we’ve done much more than most administrations. And it is just not really talked about very much, but we’ve actually done a lot,” Trump begins his statement.

“But perhaps more has to be done. But this is also a mental illness problem if you look at both of these cases. This is mental illness. These are really people that are very, very seriously mentally ill. So a lot of things are happening. A lot of things are happening right now.”

Democratic Presidential candidate Cory Booker is calling on the Senate to pass emergency legislation.

@corybooker / Twitter

The common denominator between both domestic terrorists this weekend is that they were angry, young white men with access to firearms intended to fire as many bullets as possible.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley remarked on the fourteen tornados that devastated Dayton in May, and said in a statement, “We have suffered two tragedies in Dayton this year, but one was avoidable. This same tragedy has been inflicted on our nation 250 times this year alone. When is enough, enough?”

A vigil is planned for 8 p.m. tonight.

@nanwhaley / Twitter

You can also donate to the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund, which was established in the wake of the tornados that destroyed homes in the city in May. In a press conference, Mayor Whaley suggested donating to the same fund which is helping families who could never have been prepared for this kind of tragedy.

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Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

Things That Matter

Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

VALERIE MACON / AFP via Getty Images

A pro-Trump mob stormed Capitol Hill Jan. 6 following months of President Donald Trump and his allies attacking the 2020 elections. Selena Gomez, like most Americans horrified by the attack, spoke out on social media about what happened. She made it clear that part of this falls on tech companies and social media companies.

Selena Gomez called out social media and tech companies for enabling hateful rhetoric.

President Donald Trump and his supporters have used social media to spread misinformation since he was elected in 2016. Americans have watched as President Trump used Twitter to spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories. There have been so many debunked claims that President Trump and his allies have spread with no consequence.

Recently, Twitter started to flag some of President Trump’s tweets as disputed or misleading. It was the first time a social media platform did something that checked President Trump and his rhetoric.

People quickly came to Gomez’s side to uplift her statement.

President Trump has a long history of hateful and dangerous rhetoric on social media. He has misled her supporters with false statements and has incited violence. The president has defended white supremacists on multiple occasions and even retweeted a video of a man shouting white power.

Social media platforms are finally muzzling President Trump with bans and suspensions.

Twitter has put the president on a temporary suspension after he incited the crowd that breached Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg enhanced the original 24-hour ban to a indefinite ban that will last at least until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. However, people think it is a little too late for these actions.

“Disinformation and extremism researchers have for years pointed to broader network-based exploitation of these platforms,” Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said in a statement. “As I have continually said, these platforms have served as core organizing infrastructure for violent, far right groups and militia movements for several years now – helping them to recruit, organize, coordinate and in many cases (particularly with respect to YouTube) generate profits from their violent, extremist content.”

What happened Jan. 6 at the nation’s Capitol was avoidable, but it’s clear who incited this violence.

Congress has officially certified President-elect Biden’s win. What should have been a quick process to certify an election turned into a horrifying scene. It is a day that will always define President Trump’s legacy.

READ: Far-Right Trump Supporters Violently Storm The US Capitol Forcing Lockdown

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Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

Things That Matter

Donald Trump Refused To Condemn His White Supremacists Pals And In fact, Told Them To ‘Stand By’

Spencer Platt / Getty

Last night’s first presidential debate of the 2020 election gave us about as much optimism and assurance of safety as his past four years in office. Particularly because when it came to the moments when our current president was given a chance by moderator Chris Wallace to condemn white supremacists and “militia” groups while also demanding that they stand down as opposed to inciting violence, he refused.

Even if you’ve yet to watch Tuesday night’s debates, you’ve undoubtedly heard that throughout the night Donald Trump acted like a child who had never once been taught by a teacher to wait his turn to speak. Or, to simply answer a question. Shockingly, Trump stuck to this approach in one of the most critical aspects of the debates that could have gained him followers or at least assuaged Americans and their fears about his leadership and morality.

When it came to the moment when he was asked to condemn white nationalists and militia groups Trump pussyfooted around then gave a pretty damning response.

During last night’s debate when asked to denounce those groups, Trump gave non-committal answers.

When asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace asked if he was willing and ready to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and tell them to stand down during the current and ongoing demonstrations taking place across the country, Trump told one group to “stand back and stand by.”

What’s more, he asserted that violence at the protests was not being instigated by conservatives.

“Sure,” Trump responded. “I’m willing to [tell them to stand down] but I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

“Say it. Do it. Say it,” Biden urged Trump in response to his non commital answers.

“Who would you like me to condemn?” Trump shot back, turning his attention to Wallace. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

The Proud Boys are a far-right men-only organization that has been spotted at multiple 2020 Trump campaign rallies wearing black and yellow polo shirt uniforms.

The group promotes and often engages in political violence.

This is why Trump’s non-committal responses like “Sure” to requests from Wallace and Biden to condemn these groups are worrisome. Even more so why, when pressed by Wallace and Biden who pointed out repeatedly that “sure” is not the same as actually doing so was so troubling as well. Moreover, it’s important to note that Trump’s response to “I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing” is another “all lives matter” kind of way to denouncing white supremacist groups.

Of course this is not the first time the president has defended the actions of white supremacists.

In August, Trump refused to condemn the actions of his supporters in Portland, Oregon, and Wisconsin who used pepper spray to attack demonstrators. In the past, Trump has also defended Kyle Rittenhouse, a shooter who attempted homicide in Kenosha, Wisconsin at a BLM protest, saying that he had been “very violently attacked.”

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