It’s Not Only About White Supremacy

Nor simply the Great Replacement, either

J. Andrew Shelley
4 min readMay 22, 2022


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

We see stories everywhere about Payton Gendron’s Buffalo Massacre.

What a horrible thing to do…especially for someone so early in life.

Learning about Gendron’s Twitch feed, his “manifesto” and his social media, it is no surprise that writers are railing about his delusions of white supremacy and his complaints about the Great Replacement.

“A new generation of white supremacist killer.” — LA Times on May 15, 2022

“A teenage gunman entranced by white supremacist theory…” — NYTimes on May 14, 2022

Gendron’s views are despicable, and he is not the only person in America with them.

Just as awful, though, is the fact that his was the 197th mass shooting in 2022. By May 14. In the week since, Gun Violence Archive has recorded thirteen more mass shootings with a total of twelve people killed and 59 injured.

The broader issue of American violence is not primarily about white supremacy. American society makes it easy to equip a potential killer: both physically and emotionally.

Guns are everywhere. Body armor is easy to find.

Ideologies of resentment, self-centeredness, and hate are a dime a dozen.

Gendron’s story, and that of most shooters, is more complex than we would like to believe. And these stories are repeated in America in so many ways.

October 4, 2013, Memphis, TN — A 15-year-old black man put a gun to an adult white man’s neck in broad daylight, took the wallet and iPad handed over by the man, saw his accomplice (a 16-year-old robbing the Latino co-worker) leave for the getaway vehicle (just as happens commonly when gang members rob construction workers on payday Friday), and chose to pull the trigger on his .40-caliber pistol.



J. Andrew Shelley

People first. Ideas next. Top author in culture. More listening, more understanding, less outrage. Book: American Butterfly

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