This morning, as I was leaving work, I figured that I would be posting about the capture of the MAGAbomber, but upon waking up this afternoon, I learned of the mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue which resulted in the death of eleven persons.
I have not been in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh in many years- the first and last time I was there was when I helped a high school friend of mine move into an apartment when he started his MFA program in lighting design at Carnegie Mellon University. It was a nice place to visit, but my trip was a whirlwind- I was tasked with returning the rental van my friend used to move his worldly possessions, so there was no time for lollygagging.
Demographically, Squirrel Hill's population is forty percent Jewish, with the neighborhood housing one-third of Pittsburgh's Jewish population, which has been in the neighborhood for a century. I can think of no other place, besides neighborhoods in NYC and LA, in which Jewish Americans felt more secure in their lives, their faith, their culture. This attack was perpetrated by a deranged bigot who was convinced that the Central American migrant movement trumped up by right wing media outlets is a Jewish plot to undermine 'white America'. It was a textbook case of terrorism, an attack designed to make the Jewish population of the United States feel unsafe no matter where they are- if a massacre can happen in Squirrel Hill, a haven for Jewish people and a diverse college town, a massacre could happen anywhere. The right-wing media, including such mega-corporations as Fox, have been pushing the narrative of an invasion caravan for the better part of a month, so they, and Trump, bear some culpability in the radicalization of the shooter.
This massacre has been a particularly horrific coda to a terrible week, and I sincerely hope that my Jewish friends stay safe. The bigots are a small percentage of the population, and they WILL LOSE.
If there's one ray of sunshine in all of this darkness, it's that the MAGAbomber case was broken because the jerk left a latent fingerprint on a bomb meant to harm Maxine Waters- the lady can kick right-wing ass without even breaking a sweat. In a week as terrible as this, any bit of good news is precious.