Barely had James Holmes, the so-called batman massacre shooter, faded from memory and here we have yet another merciless mass killing. This time Wade Michael Page, 40, of South Milwaukee, WI was the man wielding the gun. Older and less educated but like Holmes he killed innocent folks, this time worshippers in a Sikh temple, perhaps targeting them because of their dark skin, their style of dress, their ‘otherness’.
According to reports the FBI was investigating whether the killings at the Sikh temple were an act of domestic terrorism. Page affiliated with hate groups and was described as, “a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.” After the Army cut him loose in 1998, a frustrated Page went on to sell everything except for a motorcycle and what he could fit into a backpack. In a world receptive to white guys with even an ounce of ambition, Wade Page spiraled downward even living on the streets at one point. Since hating is far easier than success, it appears the man made hating those he deemed ‘different’ his career of choice.
During an April 2010 interview with Heidi Beirich, who heads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which tracks hate groups, Page said he started his band ‘End Apathy’ in 2005 out of frustration that, “we have the potential to accomplish so much more as individuals and a society in whole.” Wade stated he wanted to get involved but doesn’t offer specifics.
Who are these guys and why do they do what they do?
A profiler on the news opined guys like Wade Page, James Holmes, and Jared Loughner are like missiles seeking the hot glare of the spotlight. But living to tell or enjoy one’s infamy isn’t guaranteed. Page is a perfect example.
Hate group activity, according to Beirich, spiked significantly since the election of President Obama. Last year the law center listed 1,018 hate groups in the USA, up from 602 in 2000. Beirich gives three reasons for the increase: the rise in immigration; the election of the country’s first black president, which she says is a result of the demographic shifts and the bad economy. She says during hard economic times, more people join extremist groups. “People are unemployed, frustrated,” she says. “People need someone to blame.”
An internet commenter, mirroring Beirich’s reasons stated: The shooter is typical of the ultra-right wing here in America. The immigrants coming here now are well educated, and generally run their own businesses. These losers just can’t compete on a level playing field, and lash out because they’re too lazy (or too stupid) to put in the time and hard work it takes to be successful. Instead of looking at their own failings, it’s always someone else’s fault why they are failures. It’s only going to get worse, especially if Obama is re-elected. They just can’t cope with people who are supposed to be “inferior” living a better lifestyle than they do. Welcome to the New World losers.
A dear friend once said, “There are three sides to a story, yours, mine, and the truth.” The commenter doesn’t mince words, but could this be the cold, hard truth? Do these mass murderers, mostly white guys, find solace in hate when failure is eminent? Hatred they then direct at those deemed somehow responsible for that failure. Of course this is all conjecture, not a proven fact. The unfortunate truth is that another twisted man with a gun spilled innocent blood for whatever reason and folks got to remain vigilant until next time. And there will be a next time.