Name Misogyny and Racism as Motives for Mass Shooting

Anti-Gun Violence Rally

Target: Jim Craft, Lafayette Police Chief

Goal: Stop ignoring the roles of misogyny and anti-semitism in Lafayette theater shooting.

It’s recently been discovered that the man who murdered two women in a mass shooting inside a screening of Amy Schumer’s film Trainwreck posted many misogynistic, anti-semitic and racist rants online before he committed this final hateful act. However, Lafayette police are stating that they “may not find a motive.”

Ignoring the bigotry of white male mass murderers has become a clear pattern with police in the U.S. They’ll easily find anti-American sentiment as a motive if the shooter is Muslim, but when an openly sexist and anti-semitic white Christian man open fires at a crowd of women viewing a movie with feminist themes made by a half Jewish woman, police are stumped.

The shooter, John Rus­sell Houser, was known for his previous appearances on a local TV talk show in which he expressed extreme right-wing views, including a belief that women shouldn’t get a say in anything, according to a former host. Once they stopped letting him on the show, he turned to the Internet to air his hatred, as well as his fondness for Adolf Hitler.

If we ever want to confront the problem of systemic misogyny and the growing resurgence of anti-semitism in the U.S. and across the globe, police need to start acknowledging the role of these forms of bigotry in the deadly crimes of white men. Sign to demand that Lafayette police release a statement naming misogyny and anti-semitism as motives for Houser’s mass shooting.


Dear Chief Craft,

It’s been recently revealed that the Lafayette mass murderer, one John Russell Houser, expressed his disdain for women and Jewish people (as well as many other marginalized groups) online quite frequently. It’s clear that the man was an extreme misogynist and anti-semite.

Your department has stated that you may never find a motive for Houser’s actions. However, when you consider who was killed and where along with the groups of people that the man hated, the motives become clear. He committed this planned act of murder at a screening of Trainwreck–a movie hailed as being quite feminist and made by a very outspoken feminist woman with a Jewish father.

People across the nation are connecting the dots, and I’m sure you, as a police chief, can do the same. You wouldn’t hesitate to name anti-American sentiment as a motive if the shooter had been a Muslim person who ranted about how much he hated Americans and then committed a mass shooting at a screening of American Sniper. Houser should not be treated differently because he was a white Christian.

Misogynistic and anti-semitic violence are on the rise. We can’t hope to counter this problem unless we acknowledge that it exists. A big part of that is the naming of clear bigoted motives when they present themselves. I urge you to release a statement naming misogyny and anti-semitism as Houser’s motives for the Lafayette shooting.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Maryland GovPics

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