There was an attack at the Capitol last week by a devotee of Louis Farrakhan, the 87-year-old in charge of the Nation of Islam. Noah Green bought a knife and rammed his car into the barriers on Good Friday, injuring one Capitol Police officer and killing another, Billy Evans, who leaves behind two young children.
How could he do this? What would motivate him to buy a knife, drive his car into the Capitol, murder one officer, and try to murder others? It’s all a great unsolved mystery to authorities and corporate media.
“Suspect in attack at U.S. Capitol described as average jock whose mental health appeared to quickly unravel,” a Friday night USA Today headline read.
“Green’s motives are not entirely clear,” a Monday story in The Hill read. “A U.S. official told the Associated Press over the weekend that Green had been suffering from delusions, paranoia and thoughts of suicide.”
“The suspect’s motive isn’t known,” The New York Times reported Wednesday morning, “but he posted on social media about his struggles during the pandemic.”
In a Monday statement professing the peaceful nature of the Nation of Islam, the organization blamed mental illness for the attack. “I am sure had he been blessed to come through the crisis that he was going through,” Farrakhan said, “he would have been a star in the mission of the resurrection of our people. We need to know what happened to our brother.”
Too bad, indeed. “He would have been a star.”
For those as unfamiliar with the tenets of the Nation of Islam as its leaders would like, it preaches some things like self-empowerment and self-sufficiency, but it does all this toward black supremacy, virulent racism, shocking antisemitism, and conspiracy theories that would be hysterical if so many angry, vulnerable young men didn’t believe them.
Its creation story tells of white people being made by an ancient mad scientist over centuries in his laboratory to torment the noble black race. It all begins well over 6,000 years ago, when Islam (which, they might be surprised to learn, is only a 1,400-year-old religion) controlled Africa and Asia, which were just one massive continent back then. The American Indians were bad Muslims so the black Muslims sent them to North America, but they’re generally still cool with the Nation. And the white devils, who are subhuman and have no souls, by the way, were kicked out to live in caves in Europe where our love of bestiality birthed apes and, somehow, donkeys I guess.
It’s an obviously ridiculous and deeply hateful religion, and it’s sold to vulnerable young black men in prison, on the streets, and increasingly on the internet, where Green appears to have begun his “studies.”
“For us, human life is sacred,” the organization claimed, and a lot of people might buy it.
The New York Times, one of the few corporate outlets showing any interest in the story since Easter, describes Nation of Islam as “a black nationalist movement that has advocated African-American self-sufficiency” and preaches on the coming fall of the United States. Hardly the definition they might give for a white nationalist militia group.
The Associated Press seemed to struggle with the concept that a black supremacist had killed a police officer at all, tweeting Monday that Evans died “when a car rammed into him and another officer.”
It’s all reminiscent of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, when authorities just couldn’t discern why a man who said “I did it for Islam” did it. Or the Mall of America stabbings, where the first charging documents didn’t list a motive, though he would go on to confidently tell the judge he was answering “the call for Jihad.”
Or when CNN claims, “White supremacy and hate are haunting Asian Americans,” despite no evidence that anything other than prostitution played a role in a sick and sex-addicted man’s March massage parlor shootings. Or how when it emerged that the national surge in attacks on Asian Americans isn’t driven by white Americans after all, NBC explained how that’s not a hate crime. Or how the corporate media struggles to confront black attacks on Orthodox Jews.
It’s rare that just one thing plays into a person’s radicalization or racial violence. Financial problems, COVID lockdowns, mental illness, terrible parenting, and the rest are all worthy of any serious investigation. But when hateful, conspiratorial, anti-American cults and religions pray on just those very people, well, it seems a crucial detail. And when white supremacy is far from a driving force in rising hate crimes, it seems important to focus on what is.
But crucial details can complicate the narrative. And we couldn’t allow that, could we?