As I am writing this article, thousands are gathering in front of the Virginia Capitol rallying against new gun control laws that the new Democratic Virginia governor, Ralph Northam, had been advocating for. Governor Northam declared a temporary state of emergency earlier this week, banning all weapons from state capitol grounds, to ensure that the events of the deadly Charlottesville riots are never repeated. Militia groups are currently standing outside the capitol grounds, fully armed and in military gear, shown in pictures taken by The Washington Post.
The events unfolding in Virginia are scaring many on the East Coast, but how should people in California react?
The amount of race and LBGTQ+ targeted crimes in Los Angeles County had reached its highest in nearly a decade, according to the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations. The LA Times reported a resurgence of many hate groups in the state of California in 2017 as well. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that “In California, law enforcement agencies said 1,095 crimes in 2017 were motivated by the victim’s race, ethnicity, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.” Of those 1,095 crimes, 603 were motivated by race and ethnicity.
Almost every article I found said that “Experts say,” that the surge of hate crimes was motivated by Donald Trump’s election in 2016. People always seem to think of California as a deep-blue state, but that has just led to the few right-wing voters to be even more radical than before, especially with Trump’s election.
So with that I ask that people don’t just dismiss the mass shootings that have happened in Republican-majority states as something that would never happen in “Liberal California”. Domestic terrorism related to race is a very real threat in all parts of our country.