Cultural Revolutions

Hitting the Headlines

Ronald Taylor, I'd like you to meet Buford Furrow; Buford, this is Ronald. You guys have so much in common. For one thing, you both hit the headlines. Buford Furrow became a celebrity of sorts in August 1999 when he shot up a Jewish community center in Los Angeles. Buford's a real Aryan hero, going up against all those unarmed schoolgirls, and then taking out a mailman who happened to be Filipino. Back in March, Ronald Taylor did pretty much the same kind of deed in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, when he decided that the janitor was a racist for not fixing his door quickly enough, and went out to shoot down any white men he could see. He killed three men, the first being 71 years old, before trying to take hostages in a building containing a daycare center, a senior center, a hospice: Now why didn't you think of targets like that, Buford? There's lots of people there who couldn't fight back. The other person I suppose I'd like to have here as well is Benjamin Smith, who made a lot of news last July when he went on a rampage in the Midwest and started randomly shooting Jews, blacks, and Asians, though he also had the decency to shoot himself in the end. Pity: If he were here, that would have made it a trifecta, wouldn't it?

The three of you would have so much to talk about. For one thing, all of you fit the classic profile of mass killers—loners with serious problems with drink and psych wards. All of...

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