His motives, for the moment, remain a mystery. And if not for the heroic efforts of the people in the temple and the first responders, the carnage could have been much worse.
Over the days and weeks to come, there will be much discussion about what causes a person to take this kind of step. Since the shooting, the major right wing blogs have been whining that liberals will probably try to stick this killing on them and their philosophy. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "we thinks they doth protest too much."
Were there signs? You be the judge. As we write this, we are just about 24 hours past the first shots being fired in that house of peace on South Howell Ave. in the quiet Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek.
But we do know that Page fancied himself something of a musician. And a white supremacist record label in Linthicum, Maryland,
liked his music enough to pay him to record it.
Label56 runs an independent record label. Odd thing. Most of their groups seem to be of the sort that play music known as hate rock. Groups like "Short Cropped" with songs titled "Feel the Anger, Feel the Hate" and "Drink, Fuck and Fight." Like "Enforcer" with tunes like "Gather Up Your Guns" and "Blood of the Martyrs."
Leading the pack at Label56? The group that seems to be their biggest money maker? A group called "End Apathy." Their leader? An angry man named Wade Michael Page. The Label56 website interviewed Page in April 2010 and asked him about the band's origins.
(Note: The interview was online at http://label56.com/2012/05/end-apathy-interview
-- it has since been taken down.)
End Apathy began in 2005 and the concept was based on trying to figure out what it would take to actually accomplish positive results in society and what is holding us back. A lot of what I realized at the time was that if we could figure out how to end peoples apathetic ways it would be the start towards moving forward. Of course after that it requires discipline, strict discipline to stay the course in our sick society. So, in a sense it was view of psychology and sociology. But I didn’t want to just point the finger at what other people should do, but also I was willing to point out some of my faults on how I was holding myself back. And that is how I wrote the song “Self Destruct”.
Well, it seems like Page finally got to the bottom of what was "holding him back."
The "indy" label's website lists a mailing address of Label 56 P.O.Box 172 Linthicum, MD 21090.
The press conference just started, and we'll add info as we hear it being shared.
"End Apathy" was not the sort of group you would likely want to book for your wedding. Songs like "Self Destruct," "Insignificant," "GCPC", "Usefull (sp) Idiots" and "Submission". The music is angry, the lyrics incomprehensible. They have five songs on their MySpace page, which you will have to look up yourself because we are not going to share the URL.
This hatred did not grow out of nothing. As the right wing scrambles and tries to hide from the cold, glaring light of truth, it can not escape the responsibility for the hatred that breeds people like Wade Michael Page.
This is not the sort of music, or artwork, or behavior that arises from progressives. This is the sort of hate that comes from constant reinforcement of racism, from right wing sources which shall remain nameless that confirm in these people that their hatred is justified, that their fears of being overrun by "the brown people" are real, that the "Kenyan pretender" in the White House is going to come and steal their penises -- sorry, we mean, their guns -- while responsible Republican leaders turn a blind eye and a deaf ear towards the hatred being spewed by members of their own caucuses.
Mitt Romney says it's not his job to tell people what to think when Michele Bachmann stokes fear and mongers hatred against the Muslim community. It's not his job to tell people what to think when people question the religion, the country of origin of the President of the United States. There's a whole "news" network dedicated to spreading this message of hatred, bigotry and intolerance. They encourage people to eat unhealthy, deep fried chicken sandwiches to show how much they hate gay people. During the heights of the tea party days, this network encouraged people to attend the rallies to question the legal status of that "pretender" in the White House. The talk show hosts preach hate on a daily basis, then rock back on their heels in surprise and squeal "don't blame us" when things like this happen.
A prominent meme on the conservative blogs right now is that this whole event was planned by President Obama to give him yet another reason to come into our homes and take our guns. The answer to gun violence, buy more guns! If only those peace loving Sikhs had been armed. If only the people in the Aurora movie theater had been packing heat. If only the crowd that came to see Congresswoman Gabby Gifford in Tucscon, Arizona, had been carrying heat-seeking missiles.
Oh. And be ready for when the Zionist Occupied Government that people like Wade Michael Page warned us about comes to take away the last vestiges of your freedom.
It seems funny now to listen to the commentators on CNN saying this killer may have been a member of a White Supremacist group. They have the same Internet access we do. They can see the pictures, listen to the music, and make up their own minds.
We don't blame the right wing bloggers for what happened. That responsibility goes to one man, the man who had a gun, walked into the Sikh temple with the object of killing as many of the "brown people" as he could.
We do blame the right wing and its stormcrows in the media for creating the atmosphere that feeds off of this hatred, that justifies it, that encourages it, and then disavows it when it happens.