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Suspect in Baton Rouge cop killings: “Don’t get a woman if you cant keep her in check”

"Cosmo" explains himself on YouTube
“Cosmo” explains himself on YouTube

The man suspected of murdering three Baton Rouge police officers in what’s being called an “ambush” shooting earlier today has been identified as a 29-year-old ex-Marine named Gavin Long.

On the internet, Long was better known as Cosmo Setepenra, a self-described “freedom strategist, mental game coach, nutritionist, author and spiritual advisor” who expressed his peculiar worldview at length in a number of YouTube videos, in blog posts and in several self-published books with titles like “The Cosmo Way: A W(H)olistic Guide for the Total Transformation of Melanated People Vol.2 The Ascension (Volume 2).”

“Cosmo,” who was killed by police in the shootout this morning, seems to have dabbled in an assortment of ideologies, many of them fringe. In a video posted earlier this month that looks in hindsight like an announcement of today’s shooting rampage, he declared himself both a former Christian and a former Nation of Islam member. Police say he carried a membership card for a black “sovereign citizen” organization. He was a regular poster on conspiracy websites and a member of a group that claimed to fight against the imaginary evil of “gangstalking,” as well as “Remote Brain experimentation, Remote Neural Monitoring of an entire Humans Body” and “Patented Voice-to-(Human)-Skull (the forceful 24/7 of projected noise to a citizen’s head).”

While it will take some time to untangle his paranoid, often delusional, worldview, a few things are pretty clear. He had a deep animus towards police, and was angered by recent police shootings of unarmed black men. In a Tweet, he hailed Dallas police shooter Micah Johnson as “one of us!” and declared that “my religion is justice.”

He was also a raging misogynist, a self-proclaimed “alpha male” and “alpha preneur” who believed that men need to keep women “in check.”

In a blog post/podcast in June, he declared:

The Man is the leader, he has to take responsibility for keeping his woman in check at all times. Dont get a woman if you cant keep her in check. …

Alpha Males Dont Leave A Bitch Un-Checked!

He then listed the names of a number of celebrity athletes who, in his mind, illustrated the dangers of allowing “bitches” to remain “un-checked.”

Ray Rice, Terrel Owens, Ben Rothlesburger, Ray McDonald, Lamar Odom, etc etc etc They let their woman get them into some shit and it cost them Millions. Well Its because they didnt have their woman in check.

Ray Rice, as you probably recall, was caught on a surveillance camera knocking out his fiancee with a blow to the head. Ben Rothlesburger has been accused more than once of sexual assault. Ray McDonald has been charged with “rape by intoxication … domestic violence, felony false imprisonment, child endangerment, and violating a court order.”

But in Cosmo’s mind, the real crime of these men was insufficient bitch-checking.

Yea Ray Rice woman swung on him first, but my thing is that…Do you think that’s the first time that she did that? Im sure she displayed signs of un-Checkability before. Because if a bitch is swinging on you, then you know she been out of line before. Violence against a Man is a clear sign that you simping. There is no worst violation than to be assaulted by your woman.

In another blog post, Cosmo urged men to “be territorial” with “their” women. “Sometimes you might need to invade her independence,” he explained.

Why bring any of this up? Gavin Long/Cosmo Setepenra didn’t target women; he targeted cops, and the three cops he shot dead were men, two white and one black.

I bring it up because there are deep links between traditional “macho” masculinity and violence. But it isn’t just the most macho men who turn to violence to “check their women” or assert their dominance over other men. Men who are anxious about their masculinity are also more likely to resort to violence. As Salem State University professor Felix Amato notes in a recent study, “men’s fear of femininity” can lead to an assortment of “maladaptive and restrictive behaviors” including violence.

The sort of hypermasculinity that “Cosmo” preached on his blog — in which even the brutal woman-abuser Ray Rice is deemed insufficiently macho — looks a lot like a fantasy dreamed up by someone deeply anxious about their own masculinity. That also seems to describe the hypermacho “Red Pill” lifestyle preached daily on the Red Pill subreddit and on sites like Roosh V’s Return of Kings.

In many cases, the victims of this anxious hypermasculinity are women and children. Indeed, murder-suicides — in which a man guns down his girlfriend or wife or ex-wife and sometimes her children before killing himself — are so common they rarely make it beyond the local news, though the body count from such crimes (to be crass about it) is far higher than the body count from domestic terrorism.

Several weeks ago, a Las Vegas man murdered his wife, chasing her down and shooting her in the parking lot of a Walgreens; he returned to their apartment, where he shot and killed their three children and then himself. None of the networks cut away from their programming to go live to the scene of the crime. Trump didn’t Tweet about it; Obama didn’t make a statement. Outside of a handful of stories (on Raw Story, the Inquisitr and the Daily Mail), the only coverage this horrendous crime got was in the Las Vegas media.

Terrorism makes the headlines. But domestic violence, much of it driven by macho entitlement and/or anxious masculinity, causes more deaths and more damage to our society. If we want to fight violence, we need to start talking about this.

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LittleLurker
LittleLurker
4 years ago

@wwth, joekster
Thanks for your replies.

Wwth, such an attitude is indeed scary. Although, thinking more about it, intelligence as it’s measured currently might not neccessarily be a terribly useful indicator on its own. IQ tests only measure a very specific kind of mental skill after all and even school performance can have a lot of different reasons (at least that’s the case with the current state of the educational system here in Germany). You can do “badly” on both and still have critical thinking skills or excellent social skills and empathy, which are also important. And if you did psych evaluation you’d run the risk of getting ableist results in filtering out only those with the “scary mental disorders” which again does not neccessarily correlate with the kind of abilities/traits that are needed to wield power responsibly. I’m not saying you implied any of that, I just keep thinking about this and running into obstacles everywhere when trying to think of ways to improve the system. There is probably not much people in other countries can do for you anyway, apart from raising awareness (and watching our own police force closely), but you have my sympathy, it must be so scary right now especially for POC.

@Axe
What you said about how this only seems a terrible year because suddenly the bad stuff is happening close to us, is so true. I wonder how many of my countrymen who are currently enjoying their holidays at the mediterranean give a single thought to the fact that they’re bathing in a giant graveyard. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to see those beaches again without a feeling of horror.
In a way I think that’s a good thing. If enough people here wake up to the reality of the rest of the world maybe they will finally take some meaningful action. We live on this tiny island of (relative) peace and prosperity in the “west”. And we can live like that because we essentially exploit and oppress the rest of the world. And people seem to think this is going to last forever. At some point the reality of the world will come crashing down our gates (cf refugee “crisis”) and I can’t even blame those people. Not one bit.

@EJ
I didn’t read the last part of your rant as condescending, more as a kind of ironic “And yes, I’m doing the very thing I’m criticizing here because of the way I’m criticizing it, so I’m not painting myself as exempt from the problem, but f*ck it, I’m angry!” That’s what I got from it, anyway, but text is kind of tricky to convey such things.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ axe

I was trying to find a TV clip that encapsulates your point so well; but I can’t, so I’ll just have to inadequately describe it.

There was a TV show here in the 70s called “Not the Nine O’Clock News”. Amongst other things it spoofed news reports. There was a great sketch that so perfectly illustrated the common tendency to only consider things newsworthy if they affected us at home.

So it was stuff like

“There was an earthquake today in (country) but none of the people killed were British so that’s all right then”

“The casualties in the air crash were, in decreasing order of importance…..”

And my favourite:

“A British man in Bangkok was hurt today, by a sarcastic comment about the cut of his suit.”

EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Ddog:
My apologies. No condescension was intended to you or to anyone here.

Several months ago, I was engaged in an online discussion about whether slavery could be portrayed respectfully in a video game. (I maintained that it could not.) I wrote what I thought was a thoughtful and moderate response on the matter. The next day I found that people had been quoting my response in a totally different discussion, in a context which made it appear as though I was justifying genocide. I was very upset at that, especially because several people had added comments like “see? EJ agrees with us, and he’s normally a moderate and thoughtful guy so we must be in the right.”

Since then, I have tried to add lines to my writing which make it more difficult for people to do such things, and I was very worried that it would happen in this case.

I think perhaps I should not write when I’m angry. David, please feel free to delete that rant if you don’t want it on your site. I won’t be offended.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
4 years ago

@Justice Sorceress,

I have to admit that all this racial tension is getting to me too. It just feels overwhelming. I didn’t grow up in this country and cannot get used to the vitriol and the love of guns here.

Hope you are able to get help and wishing you well. I can just imagine how hard it must be for young POC growing up in a country where their lives are devalued by those who are supposed to protect them and often put at risk by their “own” people. Sigh.

Plus, Black families cannot even eat peacefully at a restaurant in some parts of this country without being racially abused.
https://mic.com/articles/148628/black-family-in-san-antonio-stands-up-to-racist-white-couple-at-chester-s-restaurant

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

Excuse me, but I’m going to have to be blunt, here.

@EJ

Fuck every organisation and every industry which benefits from this: sports, music, the military, video games and many more. Fuck every single person who works in any of those industries.

Fuck you, EJ, for assuming that everyone who works in those industries has the privilege to just be able to pick a new job like it’s that fucking easy. Like we can all just decide that our jobs are unethical and so we should just find a new one. Like there are any jobs out there that aren’t contributing to the world’s problems in some way or another.

I used to work in one of those industries you listed. The organization I worked in was full of open sexism and not once did I feel in a position where I could safely speak out against that sexism, though I did what little I could to subtly influence attitudes. But fuck me for having been employed by them, right?

And fuck me for being employed where I currently am. After all, the company I work for contributes to the bullshit that is the U.S. medical insurance system. I’m sure some piece of code I wrote allowed someone to deny a claim somewhere that caused someone to lose their home from crippling debt. Plus, there’s lots of sexism in Software Engineering as a field, so fuck me for that, too, right?

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

If the shooter talked about Ethiopia a lot I would guess that he’s likely a big fan of emperor selassie

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Little Lurker,

Yeah, I typed out my comment quickly before I started work and didn’t have time to clarify. I didn’t mean to imply that intelligence tests are a perfect indicator of intelligence or that intelligence is even clearly defined. I just find it disturbing that they make an effort to weed out those who are deemed intelligent.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@kupo, EJ

Definitely no sexism in astrophysics or whatever though. No siree.

Shaenon
4 years ago

Oh my gosh, he was a gangstalker. For the uninitiated, “gangstalking” is the belief that you’re being followed by a large, coordinated group of people. Anything from a person walking too close behind you to a phone ringing in your vicinity can be evidence of gangstalking.

It’s a fairly common delusion among people with certain mental disorders. The problem is that a bunch of sufferers have found each other online and built a whole conspiracy theory around the belief that it’s real. They spend a lot of time sharing their stories and trying to figure out what shadowy organization is coordinating it all.

Ellesar
Ellesar
4 years ago

Orion (and anyone else interested in Haile Selassie):

The irony is that Haile Selassie was a close friend of one of Englands most outspoken and left wing feminists – Sylvia Pankhurst, a woman who refused to marry and had a child with an Italian anarchist.

Rastafarians, and others who look to him as the ‘living god’ etc clearly look at what he represented, not what the man himself was actually like.

History Nerd
History Nerd
4 years ago

i think some of the gangstalking people have mental disorders and for others it’s just delusional thinking not caused by a specific disorder. It’s best not to armchair diagnose people.

Many sexist beliefs are delusional, for example. That is, people firmly believe in them even in the face of clear contrary evidence. You can choose to reject clear evidence without having a mental disorder that makes you out of touch with reality.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Is there overlap between the gangstalking people and the people who are convinced that cell phone towers are used for mind control? It seems like the Venn diagram might be close to a circle there.

On the subject of working for an industry making you complicit in violence, I’m wondering if I’m basically a rapist and abuser because I’ve done market research on behalf of the NFL? Just curious.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Or does being a former contractor for the VA make me responsible for war?

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

I wish these people would quit shitting on Ethiopia. They don’t need your bullshit. Rastas are far from unproblematic, but this is a whole nother level. Ethiopia’s ancient, mysterious, and ethnically diverse. It has Jewish, Christian, and Muslim influences. It’s in the East, so ‘proud’ black guys can act like the Ethiopians were too awesome to be subdued into the Triangle Trade. It’s a great place to base an ideology on. Doesn’t justify passing your stupid ideas off on a country instead of your own bigotry

@Sorceress
I’ve never had a bad experience (of 2 total) with cops. Once it was community outreach with a snake. They’re not slimy, go figure. The other was when a car was stolen and they found the guys. Too late to get the car back, but I appreciate the effort. Nonetheless, I realize that, 1 of these days, I could meet the ‘bad apple’. Who knows what happens then. I’m kinda light, as well, so maybe that does me some good. And that last sentence made me really sad…

@Alan
Teehee

@EJ

please feel free to delete that rant if you don’t want it on your site

David can do what he likes, but if I may disagree. That comment is a record of your feelings. There are feelings we do get rid of, but your rant didn’t seem to register as such. You’re trying. To make sense of it, to express yourself, to be good. And sometimes you come off as the whitest guy at the BBQ (well, Alan’s the whitest guy) in a madiba shirt lecturing about reparations. It’s annoying, but it’s the kinda thing that’s worth keeping for posterity. The comments here are littered with my nonsense, and it’s helpful for me to know that my fuck ups are permanent 🙂

Edit: autocorrect

kale
kale
4 years ago

waait, so theres a black MRa type group that encorporates Ethiopian history into their whole… thing… ? ….but Ethiopia has a history of strong female queens… soo…. ?

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Axecalibur

I think I should at least be mentioned among the whitest. I get blisters all over my head if I stay out in the sun. I even took my wife’s Spanish last name as an alibi. :p

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ axe

I am pretty white 🙂

@ IP

I’m now pronouncing Petal with the accent on the last syllable.

ETA: Great comment on Newsnight when they were talking about President Obama and the stress of 8 years in office: “If his hair was any whiter it could stand for leadership of the Tea Party”

Tragedy of the Commas
Tragedy of the Commas
4 years ago

Reading Futrelle’s blog on “Cosmo” brings to mind the song Civilized by Henry Rollins, from his Rollins Band years.

Specifically the following parts (just as a fair warning, he uses the word “pig” in its derogatory meaning):

Shirt on your back and a gun in your pants.
Thinking you’re the man but you’re only a stand in,
Standing in line to be the next bad guy.
I see what you do when you use what you got,
But what do you do when you do what you want?

You’re so civilized. You get brutalized.
You’re so civilized. Man, I see you get cut down

I hear you say you hate pigs so much. Then
Why the hell do you act like one?

Because you’re civilized. You get brutalized.
You’re so civilized. Man, I see you get cut down.

I wonder what you’re like without the gun?
I’d like to see when you’re not hiding behind the gun.
How you would live your life without the gun.
Cause I know how I live mine.
Cause you got one, yeah. Cause that’s what it is.
You hide behind your gun.
You take life, you’re just another pig to me.
You think you’re different, but you’re just another pig.
Yeah, a pig. Yeah.
You gotta have a gun then you’re just another pig to me.
You think you’re different, but you’re just another pig.

A gun in your hand makes a fool out of you. Oh yeah!
A gun in your hand makes a target out of me. Oh no!
Freedom? You need your freedom? You want your freedom?
Your freedom is killing you man. Freedom?
You can’t handle freedom. Hey!
And now you’re dying for it.

A. Noyd
A. Noyd
4 years ago

kale says:

but Ethiopia has a history of strong female queens… soo…. ?

Nah, that fits in with misogyny just fine. The hoteps all manage to praise “queens” as a way of denigrating any woman who doesn’t live up to what they’ve decided is queenly behavior (and looks).

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
4 years ago

@Alan

For some straaaaaaaaaaaaaange mysterious reason, the job of President does have that effect on ALL of those who get elected to that office whether they only get 4 years before they’re done or the more common 2 terms = 8 years. It’s like they’ve got a reverse Dorian Gray thing going…the portrait is of them as a super old person and gets younger as the job sucks the life out of them. Stress? Maybe. Or a pact with the devil, their soul + some aging for the lifetime benefits and guaranteed income of a decent amount?

@Kale

From the comments I read at the earlier provided link about the ‘Hoteps’, yes there is and the thing about Queens/Ethiopia is oddly part of the whole mess that the writer and those who agree with her about the assessment that her post made: the BMRAs like to say they support/uplift/ treat Black women like Queens…unless they’re ‘Black Bitches’* – which is a terrible view to have of 1/2 of their community, decided arbitrarily, and the opposite of treating Black women well let alone like queens.

*I am conflicted about using that term: I understand and have dealt with the arbitrary part of encountering misogynists in the wild where things seem fine and good until you don’t respond the way they want to street harassment/dick pics/go along with what they want from you and suddenly you’re a c%nt and a bitch who they rabidly attack for the rest of their days or as long as they can remember to do so or get reminded to do it. It feels like I’m doing a “Well they call each other that…” and am ashamed that my first explainy-comment included “they used this terminology themselves…”.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ msexception

Ooh, there’s probably a short story idea there.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ msexception

“Cursed Among Equals”?

Bina
4 years ago

All this talk of “hoteps” puts me in mind of a guy I once knew from a progressive board. I don’t think he was one of these black sovereign citizen types, though. His monicker was Bozohotep, his avatar was a clown in whiteface, and his location was “The Temple of Mot-Le” (referring to motley, the old English word for colorful, patchy harlequin-type clown costumes). He was wry, funny, and generally on point. I don’t believe he had anything in common with these guys other than the latter half of a name.

I kind of miss him, too. I wonder what became of him.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

Getting a woman for them is the same as getting a dog, albeit a dog you can have sex with. They are robbed of all agency and humanity. What kind of people wish to denigrate human beings to animals? They only see women as things to use, then throw away, they might get their pets ‘put down’ when they’re done with them, would they do that to women? Yes, of course they would. They are afraid of women, and of gender binary, gay or trans people they can’t put in that ‘other’ box. To them, men are supreme and the only human beings fit to wear the mantle human being.

ColeYote
ColeYote
4 years ago

Ooh, I know we’re supposed to avoid armchair psychology, but with that bit about projected noise, it’s really hard for me to not think he had some sort of schizophrenia.

I wish those people who keep saying “we have a mental health problem” to deflect attention away from gun laws actually cared about mental health.

proudfootz
proudfootz
4 years ago

It’s my impression that the First Italian-Ethiopian War was an inspiration for lots of people who identified with Africa and gave hope to those who opposed colonialism.

Although African-American awareness of modern Ethiopia and its fight against colonialism can be traced to the 1896 Battle of Adwa, use of the term “Ethiopia” as a synonym for all of Africa and the subsequent movement of American Ethiopianism dates to America’s colonial days. As the historian William R. Scott notes, the term “Ethiopia” was commonly used to designate non-Caucasians, especially in British domain. Therefore, even African slaves, who were primarily brought from the West Coast of Africa, thought of themselves as Ethiopians (Scott 13). African American identification with Ethiopia stemmed from Biblical references to the Nubian kingdom, especially the prophecy in the Book of Psalms that “Princes shall come out of Egypt and Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God” (Scott 14). This Ethiopianist tradition, which worked its way into the language of both antebellum abolitionists such as David Walker and Frederick Douglass and post-war activists like Marcus Garvey, was strengthened by the Ethiopians’ Christian beliefs (Scott 19-21). This religious connection was solidified through the Emperor Haile Selassie, who claimed to be descended from the Biblical King Solomon and Queen of Sheba (Joel Rogers, Norfolk Journal and Guide, January 14 1933).

African-American interest in modern-day Ethiopia, kindled by the Italian defeat at Adwa, was strengthened by the two coronations of Ras Tafari Makonnen, first as negus (king) and then as Negus Nagast (King of Kings) Haile Selassie, in 1928 and 1930 respectively. The lavish coronation of November 1930 was especially well-covered, appearing in movie theater newsreels and dominating the headlines of African-American newspapers for weeks (Scott 179-80).

http://freshmanmonroe.blogs.wm.edu/2012/08/24/african-american-participation-in-the-italo-ethiopian-war-blog-post-4/

SpukiKitty
SpukiKitty
4 years ago

Wow! If you think than known domestic abusers are “too soft” on the women they use as a punching bag….you’re a really warped person.

Also; The “Sovereign Citizen” thing is so dopey! None of their schemes or secret “legalese” formulas ever work….yet they keep on using them!