Manning: AR-15s Didn't Cause the Buffalo Shooting - The Media, Education System and Churches Did


Buffalo is horrific. Not only have I seen the pictures on the news, I’ve seen the pictures that went up on social media before they got scrubbed. I spent part of my Saturday looking at a still of a woman being shot square in the head by an evil racist. Again, Buffalo is horrific.

The narrative being very quickly created is that both the AR-15 and white supremacy are to blame.

If you want to stick to the most surface level explanations, those two will suffice.

But there is so much more to this. My guess is that there’s a lot of nihilism involved, which would come from secularism multiplied by the insane level of prosperity most of us enjoy. If you don’t have faith and you don’t have something to work for because modernity has given you a base level of affluence with very little effort on your part, life is a horrible burden instead of an honor and blessing.

There’s also a massive amount of identity politics playing out. The media’s constant drumbeat of neo-marxist intersectionalism has cleaved the culture into infinitely and increasingly small slices of humanity, all pitted against each other in false zero-sum games of prosperity, power and privilege.

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Faith in institutions has eroded in such a way that we increasingly only trust those who have the same niche ideas as we do, and social media has created the perfect positive feedback loop to make sure we all get connected to the most extreme people in those niches.

The media has told blacks specifically that white people and white culture are the sources of all of their problems – that without whiteness the world would be a much different, much better place. And while the academic version might have seemed anodyne in the 1990s, the boilerplate version of CRT that now gets passed down into schools and company cultures isn’t. It’s “white = evil.”

That has, of course, gotten the attention of the tiny, extremely fringe and infinitely incestuous white supremacist culture, taken it from a relic of bygone eras and inflamed its adherents’ sick sensibilities.

What’s worse, in playing the intersectional game, the media has looked for white supremacy everywhere, falsely reported it (Rittenhouse and Sandmann are the easiest super high profile cases to cite) and stupidly (and predictably) made white supremacists themselves more relevant.

The West spent 250 years working to obliterate slavery and racism from our own culture (fun thought exercise: can you name another culture that has done that without outside prompting?), only for charlatans and neo-marxists to swoop in during the last 50 years and bite and scratch and claw at the slow-healing wound.

Has this country lost its way?

We’ve gone from a country whose Founders did their best to stymie and roll back slave culture in the American South (remember, the Three-Fifths Compromise wasn’t about minimizing black existence, it was about denying slave states more power in the House of Representatives, which in turn would deny slave states the ability to spread — and ultimately defend — slavery), to a country where neo-racism and segregation are proudly taught on the other side.

If racism produced Nat Turner, anti-racism in this insane media and social media-amplified culture will produce more Buffalo shooters — God help us.

We have an entire media complex that stokes racial animus, allows narratives unsupported by data to be taken as fact (black genocide at the hands of police officers) and pumps out both secular psycho-babel (you’re the most important thing in your world, you can save yourself, you’re all you need) and peak materialism (all you need is success — the spiritual world is a figment of ancient imaginations).

We also have an education system that undermines the founding values of the Republic, teaches neo-racism, denies faith any place on public grounds and, on top of that, neglects to give children both the foundations and building blocks of the Western canon and fails to give them the basic skills necessary to make it through life.

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Finally, we have a church focused not on living a rich, spiritual life conformed to the image of Christ, but instead living authentically (whatever that means), being your best self (also whatever that means), loving others without speaking truth (which is impossible and turns into nothing but non-stop license) and also increasingly fails to do the patriotic (small p) things that actually help unite us as a culture. (Just today I saw an article in “The Atlantic” decrying the presence of American flags in an evangelical church — oh the horror of an American institution trying to keep Americans united.)

With that media, that education system and that church, no wonder black on black crime is insane, white on black crime (and vice versa) is insane and insane shootings like this keep happening.

The root isn’t the gun. The root isn’t a defective kid. The root isn’t even racism per se. The root is the systematic murder of the West at the hands of it’s most powerful institutions — media, academe, and the church.

At this point the only way to dig out that root is by returning to traditional Judeo-Christian values, returning to pride in America’s unique place in the world and most of all returning to Christ Himself.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Josh Manning is deputy managing editor for assignment at The Western Journal. He holds a masters in public policy from Harvard University and has a background in higher education.
Josh Manning grew up outside of Memphis, TN and developed a love of history, politics, and government studies thanks to a life-changing history and civics teacher named Mr. McBride.

He holds an MPP from Harvard University and a BA from Lyon College, a small but distinguished liberal arts college where later in his career he served as an interim vice president.

While in school he did everything possible to confront, discomfit, and drive ivy league liberals to their knees.

After a number of years working in academe, he moved to digital journalism and opinion. Since that point, he has held various leadership positions at The Western Journal.

He's married to a gorgeous blonde who played in the 1998 NCAA women's basketball championship game, and he has two teens who hate doing dishes more than poison. He makes life possible for two boxers -- "Hank" Rearden Manning and "Tucker" Carlson Manning -- and a pitbull named Nikki Haley "Gracie" Manning.
MPP from Harvard University, BA from Lyon College
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, tiny fragments of college French
Topics of Expertise
Writing, politics, Christianity, social media curation, higher education, firearms