In Southern California: Laura Ann Carleton, a mother of nine and loving wife, was shot and killed by an anti-LGBTQ+ extremist over a Pride flag at her clothing store Mag Pi. The killer made disparaging comments about the Pride flag, murdered Carleton, and escaped on foot before being killed by police. The flag had fallen to the ground when officers found her body. The anti-LGBTQ+ murder occurred in Lake Arrowhead, California in San Bernardino County— a region leading local attacks on LGBTQ+ rights. The LGBTQ+ community in Lake Arrowhead is reeling after this terrorist attack.
Carleton, 66, was not a member of the LGBTQ+ community herself, but a devoted supporter. Anti-LGBTQ+ terror has skyrocketed in Southern California, led by Republicans and fascist extremist groups like the Proud Boys, LEXIT, and Leave Our Kids Alone. Far-right influencers like Chaya Raichik (Libs of TikTok), Matt Walsh, Tucker Carlson, and Christopher Rufo contributed to this violent climate by targeting people across the country for displaying Pride flags. Now: their stochastic terrorism has manifested.
Media outlets, who often cover up violence by these groups, did not refer to this killing as a terrorist attack or a hate crime. The Human Rights Campaign has already declared a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ rights. It's becoming clear that media terms like "moral panic" and "culture war" are not painting an accurate picture of what's happening in the United States. We are faced with a genocidal campaign by the radical right to violently eradicate LGBTQ+ people and their supporters.