The horrific murder of eight people at three massage parlors near Atlanta ignited suspicions that the deadly onslaught may have been a hate crime since six of the eight victims were Asian women. Police have not ruled out the possibility that the attacks were a hate crime, but authorities also have not indicated that the shooting was racially motivated.
Police did say that the mass murder suspect told them he blamed the massage parlors for "providing an outlet for his addiction to sex." Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker informed the media that the suspect viewed the massage parlors as "a temptation that he wanted to eliminate."
The suspect informed investigators that the "crimes were not racially motivated." Despite the killer's motive not yet determined, it didn't stop many from inserting race into the discussion.
The Root is a website that claims to provide "an unflinching analysis of important issues in the black community through insightful and savvy commentary from black thought-leaders." The site published an article titled "Whiteness Is a Pandemic." The Root, which has a site motto of "The blacker the content, the sweeter the truth," a play on the old adage "The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice," was accused of racism for publishing the controversial article on Wednesday.
The author of the confrontational article is Damon Young, who is a contributing writer to the New York Times covering race and culture as well as the co-creator of Very Smart Brothas. "Very Smart Brothas launched as a blog in 2008 focused on black American popular culture and politics and has built a following covering everything from Beyonce to police brutality," the Associated Press reported in 2017. Very Smart Brothas is a vertical of The Root, where Young regularly contributes.
In the article in question, Young declared, "Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expectancies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses, and it kills people."
Portland Community College, which held a "Whiteness History Month," defines "Whiteness" as the "construction of the white race, white culture, and the system of privileges and advantages afforded to white people in the U.S. (and across the globe) through government policies, media portrayal, decision-making power within our corporations, schools, judicial systems, etc."
The community college adds, "Whiteness has a long history in European imperialism and epistemologies. It does not simply refer to skin color but an ideology based on beliefs, values, behaviors, habits and attitudes, which result in the unequal distribution of power and privilege based on skin color."
Without evidence, Young said that the suspect in the massage parlor shooting is a "white supremacist."
"A line can and should be drawn from the actions of the white supremacist who walked into three Atlanta-area massage parlors yesterday, and allegedly killed eight people — six of whom were of Asian descent — to the relentless anti-Asian rhetoric pollinating national discourse over the past year," Young stated, according to Fox News.
He also said that former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party "should be blamed for this and the sudden increase of racist violence against Asian Americans."
Without evidence again, Young concluded that past mass shootings, COVID-19 deaths, gerrymandering, gentrification, voter oppression, and the subprime mortgage crisis are all interconnected, hinting that all of these abhorrent events may have been caused by white supremacy.
"White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect," Young wrote. "Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it. I guess a vaccine could work, too. But we've had 400 years to develop one, so I won't hold my breath."
Many commenters called the article "racist."
The Federalist co-founder Ben Domenech proclaimed, "This is the definition of racism."
Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter tweeted, "The Root is racist."
Twitter user @KIR_bigg50 reacted to the article by saying, "Don't get too much more racist than this folks."
Conservative commentator Carmine Sabia wrote, "The Root is racist and is ignoring the plague of black men attacking and murdering Asians."
Grabien founder Tom Elliott commented, "If we simply kill all of the white people, surely then all of our problems will go away."
The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon noted, "While it's unacceptable on these platforms to say things like 'boys can't become girls' or 'there may have been some election fraud,' it's perfectly acceptable to write and share pieces calling for the extermination of white people."
Political commentator Kmele Foster slammed the website, "The Root is [ often little better than ] a divisive cesspool."
There are no shortage of articles on The Root regarding "White People," including headlines such as
- "Dear White People: Here's a List of Things We'd Wish You'd Stop Doing,"
- "Why Calling the Cops on White People Is a Great Form of Self-Care,"
- "A Brief History of White People Blaming America's Problems on Everyone Else,"
- "Patriotism Is for White People,"
- "White People Don't Make No Sense,"
- "White People Need Better Hobbies,"
- "How White People Colonized the COVID Vaccine,"
- "7 Rules for White People With Black Friends,"
- "10 Reasons Why Inviting White People to the Mythical 'Cookout' Is Stupid and Silly and Needs to Stop Forever," and
- "White People Have Gentrified Fried-Bologna Sandwiches."
The Root is part of the Gizmodo Media Group, which is a handful of blogs that survived the Gawker bankruptcy in 2016.