This morning, authorities identified Wade Michael Page as the shooter who attacked a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI, killing seven people before morning services. The shooter may have confused Sikhs with Muslims or targeted people of color regardless of faith.
More facts are coming to light about Page. We know that the shooter was involved in the white supremacist movement as a musician and visited the white supremacist web forum Stormfront. Page was also a former service member in the US Army.
Page was never deployed overseas, which discounts the racial implications of foreign invasion, but I see a connection between his racial views and his domestic armed forces experience. Page was stationed in Fort Bragg in the 1990’s in a Psychological Operations position. Around this time, a white supremacist culture grew in the base, emboldened by racist publications like The Resister, Special Forces Underground, and The Turner Diaries (Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh also read Resister and Turner Diaries)
White supremacy in the base also motivated servicemen Jim Burmeister, Malcom Wright, and Randy Meadow to drive to a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Fayetteville, near Ft. Bragg, and murder Michael James and Jackie Burdern in December 6, 1995. All three servicemen were sentenced to life in prison. The media attention around murders prompted a congressional investigation about extremism in the military and a later investigation of same by the Pentagon.
Army representatives have not disclosed the years Page was stationed in Ft. Bragg yet. I pose this question to investigators in the FBI because it is relevant to my safety as a person of color in America. I cannot accept a lone-wolf excuse for this tragedy in the state I was born. Wade Page was part of a culture in the U.S. that will never forgive me for the fact that I was born at all.
As I keep posted on news, I also read that a Joplin, Missouri mosque was attacked and destroyed a few hours after this event. Fortunately, no one was harmed. A bunch of lone wolves, you say?