By Felipe Vera
The man behind the synagogue shooting in Poway, California was arraigned Tuesday in San Diego County Superior Court, entering a plea of not guilty, charged for murder and three counts of attempted murder – all as hate crimes.
On Saturday April 27, 19-year-old John T. Earnest entered the Chabad of Poway synagogue and opened fire with an assault rifle on the congregation. He murdered Lori Gilbert-Kaye and injured Almog Peretz, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, and eight-year-old Noya Dahan.
Earnest clearly identified himself as an “anti-semite” and “white supremacist” in his manifesto, which was posted on the reactionary 4chan and 8chan websites. His attack was carried out on the last day of Passover, a time when the synagogue was known to be especially crowded.
While media outlets and law enforcement have claimed that these murders occurred in isolation, this could not be further from the truth. White supremacy is a fundamental characteristic of the United States, entrenched in its roots. It has left the working class in disunity and led to the continuous rise of racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and misogynistic attacks.
Over the years, fascists have made several attacks on the people. In 2015, white supremacist Dylan Roof murdered nine black people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. At the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd, murdering Heather Heyer. Just last year, anti-Semitic xenophobe Gregory Bowers massacred eleven people at the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Former DHS agents claim that more funding will reduce these attacks, however it will fail in the same ways that right-wing appeals for more police and stricter punishments failed to deal with the root causes of gang violence. Similarly, gun-control advocates refer to these attacks without mentioning the ideology that gave birth to the massacres, and they evidently do not understand the history of the US – in particular who controls the gun.
Armed anti-Muslim rallies, anti-Semitic attacks, and xenophobic militias will continue to exist. The Communists and the people have to do away with US imperialism altogether, and as long as it continues to exist, will keep on generating fascists and white supremacists like John Earnest.
It is the duty of Communists in the US to devote time and energy for weapons and self-defense training not only for themselves, but in order to lead, train, and arouse the masses in combatting reactionaries and fascists. But without a People’s Army, as Chairman Mao said, the people have nothing. These attacks will not stop until US imperialism has been dealt its final blow.