A man executed two black people at a grocery store, but didn’t engage a white man outside because “whites don’t shoot whites.” A Donald Trump supporter and apparent anti-Semite who looked up to white supremacists sent bombs in the mail to the president’s opposition. An avowed anti-Semite walked into a synagogue and killed 11 people after screaming, “All Jews must die!”
Some of the bloodiest and most excruciatingly tense news stories in recent memory felt painfully similar to one another, unified under the same banner of racism, violent rhetoric and anger. The only difference between this week and the last is that a few of the angry, hateful people under that banner decided to go out and act on their hate.
On Monday, packages containing apparent pipe bombs began to arrive at the doorsteps and offices of high-profile Democrats, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and former CIA Director John Brennan.
The first showed up at a home owned by George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has been the right’s favorite punching bag, conspiracy catchall and boogeyman for decades. Five days passed, and more packages arrived. The news media pointed out that all of the victims were Trump’s public enemies, and that he’d prodded his followers to commit violence against some of them in the past. Conservatives ― including the president himself ― implied or outright stated that the bombs were a so-called false-flag operation committed by the Democrats.