The tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, in which a gunman killed nine people and wounded a number of others, elicited a strong response among a sampling of extremists. When the media released information that the shooter, 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, had listed himself as “mixed race” on an online dating profile, white supremacists called his actions a form of “white genocide.”
White supremacists were also quick to reject some media reports that said the gunman had white supremacist leanings. They claimed the gunman was motivated by hatred of whites and Christians. They also blamed Jews for everything from encouraging blacks to kill whites to downplaying the story once the shooter turned out to be non-white.
Since Mercer had expressed an interest in online postings in Vester Flanagan, a black former reporter who shot and killed two white ex-colleagues, posters on Stormfront, the largest white supremacist Internet forum, promoted the idea that blacks were targeting whites en masse. One poster called Mercer and Flanagan “anti-white terrorists.”
Others on the site focused on Mercer’s mixed race heritage as the cause of his actions. One poster wrote that “light-skinned blacks are the most racist of all. They hate their white blood with a passion.” Another person posting as “White Nationhood” claimed that Mercer’s “interest in the left-hand path [a reference to the occult and black magic] plus racial anxieties probably fueled his anti-white, anti-Christian massacre.” Still another wrote, “Half castes secretly wish to be white, the denial of this godly privilege makes mulattoes insane.”
Some posters on Stormfront saw the shooting as an indication that whites need to take action to arm themselves or live separately from non-whites. Someone posting as “14 words of truth” wrote that the reaction to the shooting would be “many armed men world wide bringing justice to the guilty.” The person added, “All that violence could be avoided by halting white genocide and allowing white folk to live within our own nations in peace.”
“Tenniel” had similar sentiments, writing, “Given the open warfare being now perpetrated against Whites by nonwhites, particularly negroes, in America, it is vital that White people be able to be ARMED AT ALL TIMES IN ALL LOCATIONS IN AMERICA.”
Many of the posters on Stormfront blamed Jews for the shooting. One poster declared, “White genocide is real and there is always a filthy jew [sic] behind it.” “Laidbackguy71” wrote, “Don’t let the Jews jive ya because they are the ones with blood on their hands for all of this.” Another poster claimed, “The jews [sic] keep trying to brainwash people that race mixing is love and a demonstration of tolerance and equality. It is the worst thing a parent can do to a child.”
Still others claimed that the shooting would lead to gun control and disarming the population. A poster on another white supremacist Internet forum, Vanguard News Network, wrote, “It doesn’t matter this was a gun-free zone or that the shooter was a mulatto. Talmudic media won’t report this anyway! What matters is that this story, along with others before, will be exploited to entertain a mentality that ultimately, leads towards disarming American people.”