We are not being honest about what’s happening if we ignore how hypercapitalism brought us to this moment.

By Matthew Cunningham-Cook, The Lever

I was going to sit down and finish up some longer writing projects this weekend. But then the shooting in Buffalo happened, where it appears that a white supremacist 18-year-old drove 200 miles to kill Black people in one of the most African-American neighborhoods in New York state.

It’s a horrifying tragedy, immediately harkening back to the 2015 mass murder at Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s church in Charleston, South Carolina. Law enforcement officials say that the murderer had researched the mass murder of 51 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2018.

buffalo NY skyline

As a Black person, I have the biggest news-generated pit in my stomach since George Floyd’s murder. It feels as if American society is becoming unmoored from its foundations and we don’t have any coordinated approach — as people on the left, as workers, and as Black people and people of color — for how to respond.

The central problem with the social media age is its neverending cacophony. Silence and contemplation are never allowed. As a result, responses to mass murder almost immediately begin to conform to folks’ prior views — on gun regulation or on white supremacy, typically, but also a broader set of assumptions about how society is and should be organized. When tensions are so high, honest conversations are difficult.

And yet, those conversations must happen — and we cannot honestly talk about racist mass murder without talking about capital and the profit system.

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