Mass and spree shootings are now an accepted regular occurrence in the US. The news will be sure to tell us each time another is reported that we are in danger of reaching some tipping point that we are still not yet at despite all the handwringing done over “why are we okay with this? When will we say enough is enough? Why are we killing each other?” These meaningless questions are repeated over and over between the clips of “live coverage” given by spineless robots who ask what the witnesses or survivors (or actors) were feeling at the time of the assault. Drugged-out seeming family members are paraded before glaring studio lights and tell us they are ready to heal, to move on, to forgive, and that they feel nothing but love for “the community” coming together.
Many of us who have any passing interest in tracking mainstream news in general know the scripts very well by now. Some lone individual snapped because of work/relationships/troubles with the law/racism/sexism/mental illness/religion or some combination of the many flavors. There was no other answer for these individuals, always working by themselves, than to kill innocent people. With each new iteration the newsmakers and their law enforcement teams work to reach a different demographic in order to terrorize anyone who dares to go outside or go about their regular daily routine.
Terrorism is, first of all, violence devoted toward political ends. That, at least, draws a line between terrorism and regular crime, although the two may overlap. It is somewhat more difficult to distinguish terrorism from other forms of warfare, and the distinction is not that one is waged by government and the other by gangs. Terrorism may be carried out by rebels, by secret police, by soldiers. But most forms or warfare, at least in theory, recognize a category of civilians who are not directly engaged in the struggle – women and children, for example – and who therefore are not targets of violence. Terrorism recognizes fewer “civilians”. To terrorists, one may be considered an enemy, and therefore a target, solely on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, or religion. Or one can become a target by mere happenstance – by watching a movie in a theater when a bomb goes off, or by passing through an airport waiting room when passengers are machine-gunned.1
Tweaks are made to the scripts as needed, as regional settings go. To the left, pictured with his happy children (whose faces I blurred for obvious reasons), is the now slain Cedric Ford who was the suspect in a mass shooting that took place just this last month, on 25 February, in the small industrial and farming town of Hesston, Kansas. He was murdered by the local chief of police acting as executioner with the judgment passed after the fact in the media frenzy around the event.
For those in the urban areas on the coasts who have not known life in the middle or south of the country, there is often an assumption made about any person of color, particularly black, in that they do not even exist in these locales. I’ve experienced this phenomenon in a joking manner, in jest. What in the hell are they doing in Whitesomewherehicksville? As if “they” don’t belong there. Hesston, Halstead, McPherson — working class people of color are erased from these sorts of areas in the (usually white) American mind fed a diet of pop culture with a heaping helping “black culture” crafted for their consumption.
I only became aware of this story at all because “legacy friends” still in the state posted a few things on it. I put it at the back of my mind for a while as I already had some idea of the implications of a black man in this area being accused of carrying out such a crime. I came back to it after seeing my cousin’s “wtf?” post in response to a recent report on Ford being served twice with the paperwork that was said to trigger his “rampage”. Although Hesston was not far from me in the towns and cities I grew up in and around, I always remember viewing it as a very cloistered community. No one I knew just up and took a trip to Hesston because they had a nice ice cream parlor or something. Machinery was made there — particularly at the Excel Industries plant where Ford worked and is reported to have shot up — and there was a concentration of people with certain German surnames which seemed nonexistent elsewhere beyond its tiny borders. Varying Mennonite branches are dotted throughout the rural areas of south central Kansas, and Hesston is no exception to that.
Faith was said to have played a role in the recent San Bernardino shooting, for example, but that was the wrong sort of course and created into the kind that promotes “violent jihadism”. Searching the #HesstonStrong hashtag on twitter will bring up many results on the literal faith-based healing that needs to take place in order for the community to move on. And the media has played their part in promoting this narrative. In the video below we see an apparent survivor wheeled around who seems barely able to contain his joy at being shot four times just the day before (twice in the chest!) because, well, “it’s a God thing”.
But who am I to question another’s faith? Especially one so white, male, “blue collar”, and squeaky clean, at that. In any case, to accept that this shooting even took place seems like a matter of faith itself by the only accounts we have available, those being from the heavily controlled corporate press of course. The jumps in logic we have to take in order to accept that Ford acted alone means ignoring the bizarrely conflicting timelines and claims of the identities of those surrounding Ford and the shooting. In other words, they got their man, their black man, and that’s all that needs to be understood. Case closed.
First off, the “official story” I’ve been able to piece together after reading on it for the last couple of days is just ridiculous. Ford showed up to work at the Excel plant around 2PM that day, where he worked as a painter of, presumably, the turf care equipment they produce. At 3:30, he was served a protection order filed by his ex-girlfriend who apparently now lives in Wichita, which is in Sedgwick county, by the Harvey county sheriff’s office. However, he didn’t start shooting just then. He went back his home in Newton first, which is about ten miles southeast of Hesston, for some inexplicable reason — to get his allegedly illegally obtained guns? But that is not clear, and there is only one source that I’ve been able to find that said he went home first at all.
The shooter, whom [Harvey County Sheriff T.] Walton identified as 38-year-old Cedric Ford, was served the order at 3:30 p.m. CT at the Excel Industries manufacturing plant in Hesston where he worked. An hour and a half later, the shootings began.
First, Ford went to Newton, Kan., where he shot and injured one victim, Walton said. He then drove his car into a ditch, shot another driver in the leg and stole that victim’s car. Ford traveled back to the Excel Industries plant and shot one person in the parking lot and more than a dozen others inside the building, the sheriff said at a news conference early Friday.
The suspect’s whereabouts between the time he was served the order and when the shooting began aren’t clear.2
But even this source, NPR, is not clear on those specifics. We are just supposed to believe that he went back to Newton to randomly shoot people. And then there is the fact that he is reported to have driven his car into a ditch. Bustle reported that one of his coworkers who arrived for work at the same time as he did, meeting him in the parking lot even where they discussed his new truck.
Matt Jarrell, a paint-line worker at Excel Industries, said he arrived to the parking lot at the same time as Ford — around 2:05 p.m. Ford seemed normal that afternoon, Jarrell told Kansas.com, as he threw a peace sign to Jarrell and asked him, “How you doing bro? How you feeling?” Jarrell said he and Ford made small talk and discussed a problem with Ford’s new truck, which Jarrell had agreed to help with after their shift. In his interview with Kansas.com, Jarrell detailed how Ford began attacking the plant during break time, when he saw Ford fire three shots outside before entering the plant.
Okay, so it’s totally possible for him to have had both a truck and a car. The picture above with his children appears to have been taken in a car, and he had posted pictures of his car on Facebook. However, the photo here of his car being towed was posted on 6 February. That he could have gotten a new truck to replace it is also possible.
However this witness, who was not any old bystander but as we come to find out his partner at work, specifically mentions that he got out of “his truck”, even though the NPR story mentioned that he stole a car in order to get back to Excel to continue on his supposed rampage. As “his partner” makes the rounds with the different outlets however, he seems to get his story mixed up. Originally when he says “the shooter”, he mentions Ford’s truck. An odd title to give someone you know “personally” having spent some amount of time together on the job. Either way, he seemed to know him well enough to know that he drove a truck like the witness above stated in the Bustle piece. But it gets a little stranger when we find out, as this video goes on to document, that the police were looking for a grey Dodge Charger as he has been shown to have apparently owned.
So still we are left with a couple of weird strands here: he was driving his car shooting people before he got back home to Newton as documented by the police but discussing his new truck with a coworker when he first arrived at work that day who was going to help him fix it after their shift, presumably in the parking lot: “Jarrell said he and Ford made small talk and discussed a problem with Ford’s new truck, which Jarrell had agreed to help with after their shift.” And his lovely partner who was so quick to spill about “the shooter” couldn’t keep it straight since he knew he had a truck. At any rate, NPR was not the only source to report on Ford’s stealing of a car to get back to Excel in Hesston.
The gunman […] drove onto Highway 81 and toward oncoming traffic, causing a car to veer off the road and into a ditch, where he shot and injured the driver before climbing into that vehicle and driving toward Excel, Walton said.
After taking that car, Ford shot someone in the parking lot before heading inside and shooting another 14 people, killing three of them, Walton said. Some of these people remained in critical condition Friday, Walton added, though he did not specify the number.3
The shootings began about 5 p.m. when the gunman was in a car and shot a man on the street, wounding him in the shoulder. A short time late, another person was shot in the leg at an intersection.4
Edna Decker was one of 38-year-old Cedric Ford‘s first targets.
“My car stopped, he was already out of the car and had this big machine gun.”
He tried to carjack her, but shot and missed. Decker said she ducked just in time. “I could have been his first victim that died because it was directed right at my head.”
Just up the road, Ford shot and carjacked another person, then drove that car to his job, Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas.5
In this ThinkProgress piece, not only are two of the above claims about his truck being present on the day of the shooting contradicted, but they name Ford in his car that he drove directly to the Excel facility.
Ford reportedly opened fire around 5 p.m. as he was driving his car to the Excel facility, creating multiple crime scenes. Two victims were shot in theirs cars before Ford arrived at Excel, bringing the total number of injured to 14. The identities of the victims haven’t been publicly released yet.
Our progressive friends at TP aren’t so much concerned about the facts as they are related by their counterparts as they are about your safety, dear reader.
Kansas has some of the laxest gun laws in the country. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign gave it an “F” rating in a 2013 state-by-state report, but the state has actually loosened its gun laws since that time.
As I have written about before, I do not buy the too-simple narrative of an all-out gun ban that these events are pushing for. I don’t think it’s in the federal government’s best interest, at least at this point.
Since Obama took office, the neocons have been scaring everyone with “Obama’s gonna take our guns!” Yes and no seems to be the answer — if someone has had a difficult time of getting a hold of one even with the most benign intentions in mind, chances are it’s only gotten more difficult. If some have not, there may be some probability that under the most advanced surveillance state in history they have been monitored as someone who may be useful at some point to the establishment. Without careful consideration, who knows, they could just be that guy.
Overall I am of the opinion that the pure spectacle of gun control it is most useful to the masters by having their political puppets continually playing out the strategy of tension as they have been while real people continue to die by the hands of their goons in these “exercises”. Sectarian and ethnic strife remains at a high simmer — yes in these united states, as if this is a term exclusive to the orientalized regions — and having disproportionately legally armed populations is not only a fun hunger game for them to watch from above, but works to form the total order and control they seek to create out of this seeming chaos.
Kansas does indeed have very lax gun laws, but they also have a ruling political class that favors keeping these laws just the way they are.
I am digressing from the timeline of events in the Hesston shooting here, but the strategy of tension at work with regard to Ford’s ability to possess guns is very important because it is so blatantly racist. There are a few repeated photographs where he is presented as a crazy thug alongside text that emphasizes his criminal record, accusations of domestic abuse, and the scary “assault rifles” and pistols he had in his possession. In quite a few of the articles I’ve already linked, staff writers have made sure to quote women as saying that “he came out with the biggest gun I ever saw!” and other statements to that effect.
Although I am not sure what message YouTuber user “Prim Rose” was trying to get across with their videos on Ford, they do a good job of portraying him as a human and not THE KANSAS GUNMAN that has been splashed all over media coverage.
But while I’m on the topic of Ford’s big guns (wink wink go the pathetic lackeys), there is no reason why he should have been prevented from owning guns under Kansas state law. No background checks are required for private sales, and there is no assault weapon law. Furthermore, Brownshirt Brownback signed law not even a full two years ago that, equally applied, can be viewed as working in favor of the rights for those convicted of crimes: “If a weapon is seized from an individual and they are not convicted or adjudicated of a crime that prevents firearms ownership, it shall be verified it is not stolen and upon verification returned to the individual from whom it was seized within 30 days.”6
Brownback wouldn’t be a good brownshirt if that wasn’t meant to protect a certain class and race of criminal, however. The easily accessible legalities have been thrown out with regard to how this story has to be spun to achieve the tension the newsmakers desire. Even under federal law that has attempted to rein in gun ownership by felons, this can vary from state to state based on the length of a prison term served for a felony conviction. Again we are faced with the fuzziness of the spectacle surrounding how gun control actually works, and if NBC says that he shouldn’t or couldn’t own guns, isn’t that enough?
A Kansas woman was charged Friday with giving guns to the felon who shot up a Kansas plant, federal prosecutors said.
Sarah Hopkins, 28, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of transferring the Zastava AK-47-style semi-automatic rifle and a Glock .40-caliber handgun to ex-boyfriend Cedric Ford, 38. She is charged with one count of transfer of a weapon to a convicted felon.
Prosecutors said Hopkins knew Ford was a convicted felon and was not allowed to have the firearms. The ATF said Hopkins told investigators she had been in a relationship with Ford but moved out in July 2015.
Hopkins is not the woman who sought a protection from abuse order in February, which was served to Ford at work about 90 minutes before the first shooting began, authorities said.
Court records show that Ford was a felon who previously lived in Miami and was on probation with a series of convictions in Florida, including burglary in 2000.
He had a criminal record stretching back to October 1996, when he was charged with carrying a concealed firearm when he was 18 years old, the records showed.
Still, those dictating what NBC publishes aren’t stupid, and the mention of her transferring the guns is an important tidbit to include if they might ever be officially challenged in bourgeois terms on spreading lies based on actual legality. Brownback did indeed come through in making sure that there is plenty of leeway for his goons to have in disarming certain people through the use of fuzzy but official sounding language when he signed the aforementioned law into effect.
48-1906. (a) When the transfer of a firearm requires certification by a chief law enforcement officer in accordance with 27 C.F.R. § 479.85, in effect on January 24, 2003, a person may apply for such certification to a chief law enforcement officer. Within 15 days of receipt of a request for certification, the chief law enforcement officer shall provide such certification and approve the transfer unless a condition as provided in 27 C.F.R. § 479.85 exists which the chief law enforcement officer cannot certify because of specific acts or information directly related to the applicant. A generalized belief by the chief law enforcement officer that certain types of firearms have no lawful purpose or should not be possessed even by those who are not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing or receiving them shall not be sufficient reason to deny certification under this section. If certification of the application is not completed, the chief law enforcement officer, or such officer’s designee, shall provide written notification to the applicant that certification of the application cannot be completed and the reason for such denial of certification.7
You just have to have nice notes for everything to be smoothed out so there’s nothing to see. This is not unlike the judgment that is essentially left up to law enforcement on a broader scale, by the US Sentencing Commission’s own guidelines no less.
The favored left liberal argument online for stricter gun control legislation is that this time, “we” are really going to get those guys, those wild white lone gunmen out there committing all the crimes. There is so much wrong with this oft repeated statement it’s hard to know where to begin. Facts I never see raised in these hand-wringing pleas are what the legislation they want looks like or what constitutes violations presently. In order to assess a possibility of the former by examining the latter, here the US Sentencing Commission summarizes as follows:
The offense level under this guideline is determined principally by the type of firearm in question, the defendant’s prior convictions for violent felonies or drug-related felonies, and the defendant’s status as a person prohibited by law from possessing firearms (e.g., a convicted felon or an illegal alien), in addition to other offense and offender characteristics, as discussed below.8
What is extremely curious about the charges against Hopkins is how speedily she was taken into custody after the shootings that the sheriff’s office claimed were spread over four different crime scenes. There have been several discrepancies reported as to when 911 calls started coming in and at what time Ford was murdered by police officers — again, more weirdness there with regard to whodunit; several sources claim he was taken down by “police officers” plural or “law enforcement agents”, but a hero soon emerged who humbly refused his hero status because he was doing what anyone would do, his job!
What I found particularly boggling was that NPR on Friday 26 February claimed that “[Sheriff] Walton did not release […] the identity of the officer who killed the shooter.” But earlier in the same article they linked to a Wichita Eagle article pinning Ford’s murder on Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder. The Eagle had published this on the same day hours before NPR ran their story, and even after NPR updated their article that evening, it still didn’t reflect that the Eagle had indeed released Shroeder’s name as the killer. The piece continues to claim that Walton did not name Shroeder with the information that proves otherwise hyperlinked in their own text: “Walton said he believes the protection order — served because a girlfriend had alleged that Ford was abusive, according to the Wichita Eagle newspaper — triggered the attack.”9
Ford had to be a man of superhuman ability to carry out the shootings in the timeframe given by multiple sources. But as the media has told us for decades, black men are perfectly suited to do such things because of their natural inclination to possess these sorts of unique traits; never are these aberrations to be questioned because of dubious reporting by news outlets with white supremacist agendas. Ninety minutes after being served, the shooting at the Excel plant began. From approximately 5PM to either 5:09 or 5:23, Ford successfully killed three people and wounded 12 others after having shot two people en route to and from his home in Newton back to Excel.
On 10 March, CBS affiliate KWCH presented the apparently just released 911 calls. Before those calls came in however, first responders were radioing in on assisting victims on the highway at 4:57. Four minutes after another victim is reported on the road, 911 calls started coming in from Excel. Schroeder was able to get to Excel just 20 seconds after the first call went out as reported two weeks after the shooting took place. ABC affiliate KAKE also ran a story on 10 March about the recently released emergency calls, but contra the CBS account of such lightning quick action taken by Schroeder, off the bat the pretty dark haired robot informed the audience that it took “several minutes before they realized the full scope of what was unfolding”. The middle aged bald man we can all trust did the difficult work of listening to all these “harrowing” phone calls and told the audience tuning in to that particular channel that “you can tell” it took “some time before dispatchers and law enforcement could get a handle on what was happening”.
Why do these discrepancies and conflicting reports exist? Most affiliates report the exact same things as their counterparts when it comes to mundane fluff “human interest” stories, so why is the case of such a traumatic event riddled with these inconsistencies? Even the nature of the phone calls and emergency team dispatches presented are different. As I postulated toward the beginning of this post, these stories are so common now that different tweaks are indeed needed depending on the regions they take place in. The viewing demographics of these outlets are of vital importance, and the newsmakers must study carefully their desired audiences in order to maintain any relevance as their greater, always-airing national cable news outlets towering overheard continue to lose marketshare as an example of what might follow if they aren’t so careful.
Jane watched KAKE, Bob caught KWCH; the details differ, but what they can agree on is that the black man got what was coming to him, and despite the mismatching accounts (if they are noted at all), someone knows what is going on and They will figure it out. What do mere minutes matter? This is the impression one gets when trying to ascertain when Ford was taken down, but they do matter when trying to make sense of this allegedly bloody spree that happened in a flash and if we are concerned in the least with police killing with impunity and fatally depriving the accused of any semblance of a fair trial. Again and again the different sources start off naming Ford as the suspect while going on to mind-numbingly refer to him as “the gunman” just sentences later. The effect this is supposed to have is to create such cognitive dissonance that one simply browses past the varying reporting on the time of his murder.
Cedric Ford of Newton, a worker at Excel Industries in Hesston, killed three people inside Excel and wounded 14 others — at least five critically — before police chief Schroeder fatally shot him a little before 5:30 p.m.10
Hesston police chief Doug Schroeder gets to Excel 20 seconds after the first call went out. Two minutes later at 5:06, the shooter turns his gun on chief Schroeder. Schroeder reports to dispatch the shooter is in the lobby and says that many people are hurt. […] Dispatch tells paramedics to wait for law enforcement before responding to victims. The shooter is still going. […] Then, at 5:09, just 26 minutes after the shooting spree began, […] an Excel employee calls 911 to help chief Schroeder who just shot and killed the gunman.11
Authorities say the first call about gunshots came in just before 5 p.m. on Thursday about the initial shooting. The gunman was fatally wounded at 5:23 p.m. by a Hesston police officer who has not been identified by law enforcement officials.12
A now deleted tweet from a local reporter claimed that Ford was gunned down police a full hour or more later, depending on the time that outlets are “officially” now running with.
At 4:57PM local time Thursday, authorities receiving a call about a man shooting from a vehicle. One person shot in the shoulder; another reportedly shot in the leg. Minutes later, Ford allegedly entered Excel Industries where he worked and had clocked in earlier that morning.
They then go on to report the time of police arrival as KWCH also did, at 5:06: “police arriving on the scene minutes after the gunman opened fire”. But moments later with a time stamp of 5:23 showing, the Voice informs us that “the first police officer on scene singlehandedly taking down the shooter”. Within seconds we are presented with an incoherent account: police arrive nearly 20 minutes before Ford is slaughtered, but the first police officer on scene shot him as soon as he could. They exchanged fire, but only one was affected, losing his life, while the authority is a hero. The clashing accounts are simply lost in the typical fare meant to distract that does remain fairly unchanged with each new Mass Murder Nightmares reality show: witnesses heard a “pop pop pop”; the mature but attractive woman caretaker arrives to see if her loved ones are all right with an almost tear-stained face; quick cuts to and from witnesses mumbling about the injuries of others; sirens blare; the robot roving reporter on the ground steps momentarily out of the camera’s view so we can see “the scene” — a building with police vehicles surrounding it, so we must know it’s all very real and very scary.
Amazingly, police were able to determine that the above-mentioned Sarah J. Hopkins, the mother of Ford’s two children, was complicit in providing the guns for Ford straight away. Never mind that by all rights he legally possessed them, barring the documentation that could restrict him from doing so that hasn’t been presented anywhere publicly, she was still booked into Sedgwick county jail at 5:38PM just the next day even though the presumably illegal transfer of arms was apparently conducted in Harvey county were the guns were allegedly kept in his home. This sharp detective work moved rapidly despite the “mishandling” of Ford’s “triggering” protective order served the day of his alleged “rampage” between both Harvey and Sedgwick county.
Mishandled paperwork forced authorities to deliver a court summons and temporary restraining order to Cedric Ford a second time, an incident blamed for triggering his deadly shooting on Feb. 25 at Excel Industries in Hesston.
Had the documents been processed as intended by the Sedgwick County District Court and later by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, authorities would not have returned to Excel to serve Ford with the same paperwork again, The Eagle found.
Both times, law enforcement officers served the papers to Ford at the lawnmower manufacturing plant where he worked as a painter. The documents were part of a protection from abuse case filed by one of his girlfriends alleging she had been abused by him on Feb. 5.
The first time Ford received the papers, on Feb. 12, he acted annoyed but not out of the ordinary, according to the Hesston police sergeant who served him.
The second time, on Feb. 25, Ford left Excel and went to his home in Newton to retrieve two guns. On the drive back, he shot at cars before opening fire inside Excel when he arrived. […]
Whoever serves protection from abuse paperwork is responsible for forwarding proof of that service to the court. Ideally that would happen before the scheduled hearing, court officials say.
But it took the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office 10 days — until Feb. 22 — to notify the court that Ford had been served. His hearing was set for Feb. 18. […]
Questioned about the delay, [Sheriff’s office spokesman Lt. Lin] Dehning said Sedgwick County District Court should have sent the documents to the Harvey County Sheriff’s Office at the outset, rather than to the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, because the woman seeking the protective order asked that Ford be served in Hesston at Excel, which is in Harvey County.
But, he said, one of his deputies decided to track down and serve Ford.
Sedgwick County District Court acknowledged the initial routing error when contacted by The Eagle. […]
On Feb. 22, the deputy returned to work and took the proof of service to a court clerk to be filed. But by then it was four days past Ford’s hearing date, Dehning said.
The court, not knowing Ford already had been served, sent out a second set of documents — this time to the Harvey County Sheriff’s Office — to be served. A Harvey County deputy did so around 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 25. […]
Dehning said that after the sheriff’s office realized the mistake, the agency changed how it routes faxes. […]
Although a procedure in place at the sheriff’s office ultimately caused the 10-day delay — and the court to issue the second set of paperwork — Dehning said the agency shouldn’t be blamed for the shooting.
“I think Cedric Ford’s actions on that day need to be placed squarely on the shoulders of Cedric Ford,” he said.
Why should any one of us assume this is “squarely on his shoulders”? Varying reports on the events on 25 February are unable to account for the time between when Ford allegedly left Excel Industries, going home, and then coming back, so I am more curious as to what transpired between him and these upstanding “hero” authorities throughout this period of time. Further, when the police (and presumably, as history informs us, outside agencies such as SWAT that are commonly called in now) literally swarmed his residence, terrorizing the entire neighborhood alongside, they did so with the guidance of Harvey county sheriff Walton who suspected that an accomplice might be found.
Ford lived in Newton, Kansas, the town where one of the shootings occurred. A trailer park there was swarmed by officers about an hour after the initial shootings, KWCH reported. Police with AR-15s and in body armor have swarmed the area, telling anyone in the home to come out with their hands-up. The sheriff said they believed someone was in the house where Ford lived, refusing to come out, but later determined it was empty.
Of course we are being conditioned to think that none of this paucity of evidence presented or contrasting reportage is as strong as any of the “resilient” survivors. There are banners and signs and candlelight vigils and flowers and of course money to be made (big cartel, anyone?) off the reminders of how strong they, and by transference, “we”, really are. Over what? Over the diffuseness delivered in snippets, bits, and bytes of white nationhood coming together over the newest technological means of lynching a black man.
In a small town of not even 4000 residents, with a large number of Excel’s 1000-strong workforce commuting to Hesston from other surrounding cities, perhaps this is a clear message of who does and does not belong in such a resilient community. Perhaps it is also yet another chapter in continuing to stoke the subject of race leading up to a election the masters want to make more out of than it really is to the public and that CNN is comparing to the 1988 election with their Nightmare Reality Presidential Election series. And perhaps Excel Industries is making hay of this advertisement considering their recent expansion in the Kansas City market. Reports peppered throughout the links I have provided document the wonderful treatment workers have been receiving since the brief closure of the plant. Anger has been brewing for years over the diminishing bargaining and political power forced on Kansan public workers by the Koch brothers’ tangled web, and Hesston representative Don Schroeder’s image has certainly been boosted in this godly showing of support despite his involvement with beating down labor.
In the end, no matter what else may surface on this mass shooting, three innocent bystanders are dead due to the “happenstance” results of terrorism that the various robot anchors are sure to tell us is not terror as carried out by the lone gunman Cedric Ford. But we have no substantial reason to believe he acted alone or that he was able to carry out this violence on his own in such a short amount of time. And the “healing” Hesston is apparently undergoing is the result of terroristic deeds — how could it not be?
So the result is undoubtedly government terror as they plot and lie and then spread that over the airwaves to serve multiple agendas. Among the dead, we are told, are Renee Benjamin, Brian Sadowsky, Josh Higbee, and of course the lynched Cedric Ford, carried out by “heroes”. We are to believe that this was simply senseless, random violence, but what did they know? What were they involved in that might have made them targets of this suspicious event that is looking more and more like a plot as the days go by when all the holes and questions are put together? And what is to happen to the lives of two young children who have been robbed of both their parents by state violence and overstepping of legal bounds? To ask these questions is unpatriotic in this climate, a strike against what nationhood is supposed to mean in the fuzzy realm of the spectacle, but that does not mean we should quit asking them or fail to hold these criminals and liars accountable.
Notes and sources not hyperlinked:
6 See the Wikipedia link above for “Kansas Gun Laws”.
9 See supra note 2
11 Transcribed KWCH television report from above discussion on conflicting CBS and ABC affiliate coverage on 911 calls released two weeks after the shootings.
12 See supra note 3