When will we start holding racism and misogyny accountable for the violence they rationalize and inspire? The man who opened fire in a Lafayette, La., movie theater showing of the arguably feminist film “Trainwreck” was, by all accounts, a far-right ideologue. “He was anti-abortion,” a radio host who knew shooter John Russell Houser said. “The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights.” He reportedly encouraged “violent” responses to abortion and the idea of women in the workforce. A bar Houser owned reportedly flew a Nazi flag out front as an anti-government statement. He lashed out against “sexual deviants.” He posted comments against immigrants and the black community. Plus, he ranted against social service programs and “had lot of anti-tax issues,” another person who knew Houser said. Houser was steeped and stewing in right-wing xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist and racist hate.
He was obviously crazy. It’s generally safe to assume everyone who commits mass murder is. But Houser was crazy and held some beliefs that were variations of more mainstream conservative beliefs. The roots of some of Houser’s political views are hard to distinguish from ideas espoused by many, if not most, of the candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.