The Mass Murders That Dare Not Speak Their Name

Pity the late Cedric Ford. If he had understood the way the media worked, he might not have gone on the horrific shooting spree in central Kansas on Thursday that cost three people their lives and fourteen people their health. But alas, once the major media understood the demographics of the case, they lost interest in Ford quicker than you could say “Muhammad and Malvo.”

Ford simply did not fit the narrative. “Who commits mass shootings?” read the headline of an all too typical piece on some months ago. CNN’s answer: the “young, white and male.” At 38, Ford was relatively young, and he was certainly male, but he was not white. Ford, in fact, represents the most recent manifestation of a widely underreported phenomenon -- the black mass murderer. As in virtually every other case, Ford’s blackness was not an incidental detail. It was at the heart of why he did what he did.

In his eye-opening new book, Antidote, black conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson explains this phenomenon with more honesty and clarity than any commentator I know. His thesis is simple but highly explanatory. “Children, black or white, when deprived of fathers, grow up angry at their parents,” Peterson writes. “White children displace their anger in a thousand different directions. Black children, for the most part, channel theirs in a single destructive direction -- towards and against white people.”

Helping focus that anger are the mavens of the grievance industry from Al Sharpton to Barack Obama. At every opportunity, these mountebanks are eager to remind young African Americans that nothing is their fault. If these young men take their anger to such frightening extremes that they cannot easily be absolved, the media step in to make sure they are quickly forgotten.

Peterson cites a number of examples. Just a year ago, for instance, J.C.X. Simon died an unheralded death in a California prison cell. Never heard of him? Forty years earlier, the openly racist Simon and his fellow “zebra killers” shot at least twenty-one whites and Asians in San Francisco, including a future mayor of that disturbed city, and killed fourteen of them. The Bay Area’s Zodiac Killer murdered half as many people in that same era and got ten times the attention, including a feature film just a few years ago

To get the media’s attention, black mass murderers must do something fairly spectacular. Colin Ferguson accomplished that feat in 1993 when he shot twenty-five non-black commuters on the Long Island Railroad, six of whom died, including the husband of future congresswoman, Carolyn McCarthy. Back in its saner days, the New York Times dismissed Ferguson’s stated motives. “While Mr. Ferguson blamed racism for all his misfortunes and shattered expectations,” wrote the Times, “the examination of his past shows no evidence that he was ever a victim of discrimination.” True to form, McCarthy, a Democrat, decided to make guns her cause de tutti causes.

Save perhaps for Charles Manson, no mass murderer in American history caused as much widespread panic as John Allen Muhammad. Remember him? In October 2002, he and his young ward Lee Malvo decided to shut down the nation’s capital. According to Malvo, Muhammad planned to “terrorize” the area by killing six whites a day for thirty days. He was particularly keen on shooting pregnant white women. 

Before they were through, the pair shot thirteen random people, killing ten of them, and paralyzed the DC metro. As authorities learned, Muhammad had shot twelve additional people before he got to Washington, killing seven. Despite the much greater body count, Muhammad could only envy Manson’s celebrity. Know what happened to Muhammad? I’m guessing not. He was executed by the State of Virginia in 2009. “The motive for the attacks remains murky,” wrote Dena Potter of the Associated Press

Not coincidentally, the killings accelerated after Obama’s election as president. In August 2010, Omar Thornton shot ten of his coworkers at a Connecticut beer distributorship, killing eight. “You probably want to know why I shot this place up,” said Thornton on his 9-1-1 call. “This place here is a racist place.” Added Thornton, “I wish I coulda got more of the people.”   

Thornton was the only black employee to experience racism at a company that had historically gotten excellent reviews for its HR practices. The fact that Thornton had been twice caught on video stealing beer may have had more to do with his forced resignation than the company’s alleged bigotry. Unable to work the racist angle, the media buried the story. Union officials helped with the digging. "It's got nothing to do with race,” said one Teamster official, “This is a disgruntled employee who shot a bunch of people." 

In 2013, Christopher Dorner killed four people and wounded three others, all of them either white or Asian, in an around Los Angeles. In his final manifesto, Dorner listed all the racial insults he had suffered or imagined from the first grade through his termination by the LAPD. The “sole intent” of the white LAPD officers, he wrote, was to “victimize minorities who are uneducated, and unaware of criminal law, civil law, and civil rights.” A big Obama fan, Dorner attributed all attacks on the president to racism.

Some months later, Aaron Alexis killed thirteen people at the Washington Navy Yard before the police killed him. Like Dorner and Thornton, Muhammad and Malvo, Alexis had no real father in his life and focused his rage on white people. "He felt a lot of discrimination and racism with white people especially,” a friend told NBC News. It took nine incidents of misconduct before the Navy terminated him, and still he blamed the Navy. Said a friend, “He thought he never got a promotion because of the color of his skin.”

Several black murderers, Muhammad most notably, turned to Islam as a way of legitimizing their rage against white America. Alton Nolen was one of them. In September 2014, he beheaded a female co-worker at their Oklahoma food processing plant and tried to behead another before the CEO shot him. Nolen had been suspended that very day for his anti-white slurs. “He was basically saying he didn’t like white people and had an altercation with our second victim based on that,” said the local district attorney.

Like Nolen, Ismaaiyl Brinsley found an outlet for his anti-white anger at the local mosque. Inspired by the anti-police protests in New York, Brinsley posted on Instagram, “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take one of ours... let’s take 2 of theirs.” Hours later, he shot and killed two police officers in Brooklyn, one Asian, one Hispanic. They had to do.

At this point little is known of Cedric Ford’s family background. In fact, were it not for the local Wichita media, almost nothing would be known about Ford or his motives. Yet from what we do know, Ford almost perfectly fit the template of the black mass murderer. His own family life was a mess. His company had demoted him. They did so because of his race. What else? “He didn’t like how people treated him, being a minority,” said a coworker. As for the race of his victims, we can only guess. The media insist there is nothing to learn by sharing that information.

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