Politics - News Analysis

Americans Calling Buffalo Tragedy the ‘Rittenhouse Effect’ as White Man Travels 3 Hours to Shoot Black Victims

Out of respect for the victims and their families, there will be limited comment here about the shooting itself. Additionally, there will be many more details known four to five days from the immediate reaction. We do know the shooter was 18, he traveled hours to a black neighborhood in Buffalo, and just last night – LAST NIGHT – Tucker Carlson said this:

Far right terrorism doesn’t exist. It isn’t terrorism when white people do it.

It is always a little dangerous placing too much symbolism into any one occurrence, no matter the pattern, it all gets down to one sick mind. But depending upon the scenario, this could easily fit the pattern of “stochastic terrorism,” something we’ve discussed at this site for a long time. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept (I was until taught), the term refers to situations where a constant message, whether it is from Trump about the summer of 2020 and “burning cities down” or Tucker Carlson and his “great replacement” theory, a lone wolf will eventually take that message and act on it.

Photo: Joshua Bessex/Associated Press

Here we have yet another white 18 year old, a teen, like Rittenhouse, who traveled to a big city with a black neighborhood and went hunting with his assault rifle. Rittenhouse illegally took a weapon of war (Assault rifles OFTEN “kill” people that handguns would only injure), across two states to “protect property,” in reality he was surely dying to shoot someone black. Upon the police confronting him and his victims he lifted his rifle and yelled “Friendly,” just as in war. Rittenhouse was then lauded as a hero.

Police investigate after a shooting at a supermarket on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Obviously Buffalo is different in that this young person had to know there was nothing heroic about a mass shooting. And yet many Americans are convinced that Rittenhouse’s celebrity status among the right isn’t meaningless. And remember, we’re only talking about an 18-year-old, a kid who was sixteen when Rittenhouse shot, and 17-18 when he was lauded as a hero. A troubled enough teen could have used some of that reasoning, somehow. At least, many Americans think so because “Rittenhouse” is trending on Twitter:

This is exactly right.

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[email protected], @JasonMiciak, with Nicole Hickman

meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad raising a ridiculously-loved young girl on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He is very much the dreamy mystic, a day without learning is a day not lived. He is passionate about his flower pots and studies philosophical science, religion, and non-mathematical principles of theoretical physics. Dogs, pizza, and love are proof that God exists. "Above all else, love one another."

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