The mass shooting in Jersey City earlier this week is officially being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism based on a hatred of Jewish people:
The couple who burst into a kosher market in Jersey City with assault weapons appear to have acted alone even though they had expressed interest in a fringe religious group that often disparages whites and Jews, New Jersey officials said.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the attack was driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement and is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism…
“The evidence points toward acts of hate. I can confirm that we’re investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs,” the attorney general said. He said social media posts, witness interviews and other evidence reflected the couple’s hatred of Jews and police.
The suspects entered the Jewish market with multiple guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. The Mayor of Jersey City has offered his opinion that the goal wasn’t simply to attack the market but to attack to the Jewish school next door where 50 kids were inside at the time of this attack:
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said he believes the shooters in Tuesday’s attack were clearly targeting the children at the yeshiva school attached to the kosher supermarket, citing footage of the shooting.
Fulop said it was “easy to conclude” the shooters’ intentions were not just to shoot at those in the deli but to continue to the adjacent school — which contained 50 students, according to Fulop — given that footage and the number of weapons the two shooters possessed.
“It is pretty apparent that he goes to the adjacent door first and then turns. Secondly, it is pretty apparent from the amount of firepower and weapons he brought to that location,” Fulop told the USA TODAY Network New Jersey. “Clearly he had intentions of doing more damage than just murdering three people in a deli.”
This video posted on Twitter appears to be the video the Mayor is referring to. It’s a bit hard to make out but it appears the shooter fires and then tries the door to the school before entering the market:
In newer surveillance footage from the Jersey City massacre, you can see the killers shooting at another door before turning and entering the supermarket.
That door is the entrance to a Shul, as well as a Yeshiva upstairs, where there were 50 children at that very moment. pic.twitter.com/XIpyKfgu2J
— The Meturgeman (@DraftRyan2016) December 13, 2019
There are also a few pieces today about the aftermath of the shooting. The Washington Post published a story about community tensions between black residents and their relatively new Jewish neighbors, most of whom moved to Jersey City recently as rents in New York have gone up. The article seems to mostly conclude that no one felt a lot of tension prior to this attack but it’s still a somewhat odd way to frame a story about a mass shooting. Ben Shapiro suggested no similar frame would be applied to a shooting involving victims from another minority group:
Imagine if WaPo ran an article in the aftermath of the Walmart massacre about racial tensions among white El Pasoans thanks to increased Hispanic immigration. That would rightly have been deemed insane. That’s this article, but it’s all fine, because Jews. https://t.co/K3UuAVG31Y
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 13, 2019
Personally, I didn’t find the Post piece as offensive as the awkward NY Times editorial that attempted to refocus readers on the danger of right-wing anti-Semitism two days after this attack. And that brings me to the other piece that’s worth a look today. At the Atlantic, author Yascha Mounk points out that the Jersey City attack creates is an inconvenient reality for critical race theorists:
Since most American Jews are supposedly white (whatever that means), they are presumed to enjoy special privileges. As one of the founders of the Women’s March argued in a statement that, incredibly, was meant to address accusations of anti-Semitism in her movement, “White Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy.”…
In this mental schema, the identity of the Jersey City victims is a bit inconvenient. The identity of the perpetrators is as well.
At its most extreme, the exclusively structural view of racism not only entails the idea that those who supposedly stand at the top of the social hierarchy, such as Jews, are incapable of becoming the victims of racism; it also suggests that those who supposedly stand at the bottom of the social hierarchy, such as people of color, are incapable of being perpetrators of racism. Vice’s Manisha Krishnan made the point succinctly: “It is literally impossible to be racist to a white person.”
The Jersey City shooting demonstrates pretty conclusively that this isn’t true. Unfortunately, there are more horrible things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in critical race theory.