“They got the guns but we got the numbers”

I have rewritten this a few times because, honestly, how the hell does one write about this? How does one write about this without unbridled (or unintelligible) emotion seeping through between each sentence or word or letter? How does one write this without appropriating victimhood or some false sense of elitist enlightenment? What the fuck do I say here? And why? For what purpose?

On Saturday August 3, after making the 635-mile drive from Dallas, a 21 year-old white man walked into a busy El Paso Walmart carrying an assault rifle and opened fire. He was targeting ethnic Mexicans specifically, and he ended up murdering 22 people and wounding several others. Fuck his name. Fuck his manifesto. Fuck the violent white supremacy he rode into my city on.

I’m not going to lie and say, “It could have been me who was shot or killed.” I haven’t been to that specific Walmart in ten years. I haven’t driven to that part of town at all so far this year. Hell, I was out of town watching the horrifying news unfold from the comfort of an Air BnB in Austin, and my immediate family was vacationing in San Antonio. Other than a couple friends of mine who were at the mall adjacent to the store, I don’t know anyone who was there or anyone who was directly affected by this attack.

And yet it’s still personal. Some asshole still drove 9-10 hours just so he could kill innocent people in the city that I love and live in. And I still have no idea how to express my thoughts or emotions in a coherent or meaningful way.

It’s even more awkward considering the fact that, up until now, every other mass shooting that has happened in the United States (and the one that took place less than 24 hours later in Dayton, Ohio) has been somewhere else, and when it happened in my city, while I was out of town, it still happened somewhere else. It’s still personal, but at the same time it’s not.

I haven’t processed the attack and its aftermath fully. My city is still not “back to normal.” But I’m not going to spin the next few minutes of your attention about gun control or politicians or civic duties. I do want to talk about my Satanism for a moment, though.

The symbol of Satan and all that it represents through various aspects is an important one to embrace in our new era—an era of civic violence, mass shootings, and the resurgence of public, unabashed, and deadly white supremacy. This hateful ideology has deep historical roots in this country—ones that aren’t washed away by federal, state, or local legislation. These roots aren’t buried by the blind ignorance of millions of white people who actually believe that racism is dead or, for those who do recognize its continued existence, that their participation in actively resisting racism and white supremacy isn’t necessary. I’m not talking about sharing the daily meme or news media article on your social media account. I mean active resistance: telling your boss that what he just said was racist; telling your family member that they’re an idiot for believing what they do or for who they voted for; telling the random stranger you come across who is spouting racial slurs to shut their fucking mouth.

Draw the fucking line.

I side with Satan the rebel, the one who perseveres, the philosopher, the realist, and the valuer of community, especially in opposition to tyranny. White supremacy and its proponents and cronies are wreaking havoc in the United States. It is important for Satanists to stand up against it, to call it out when it rears its ugly face. The literary Satan did not back down from the literary god/creator. Nor can we.

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