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homophobia mass shooting toxic masculinity

Did toxic masculinity cause the Boulder supermarket shootings?

We don’t yet know the motive behind the shootings at the King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, which left ten dead. But we’re learning some telling details about the alleged shooter, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa.

According to several of Alissa’s former high school wrestling teammates, interviewed by the Denver Post, the accused mass killer was a big angry ball of toxic masculinity. Though they didn’t use the term, they told the Post that he was “violent, short-tempered and paranoid” and that in the past he had physically attacked and threatened to murder people who challenged his fragile masculinity. According to his teammates,

He has a short fuse:

“[H]e was a pretty cool kid until something made him mad, and then whatever made him mad, he went over the edge — way too far,” former teammate Dayton Marvel told the Post.

Another former teammate, Angel Hernandez, remembered Alissa’s

dark side … If he did get ticked off about something, within a split second, it was like if something takes over, like a demon. He’d just unleash all his anger.

“He was scary to be around,” Marvel recalled.

He is acutely sensitive to slights — real or imagined. whether they were directed at his Muslim faith or his wrestling prowess (or lack thereof). The Post reports:

In 2017, Alissa, then 18, attacked a classmate at Arvada West High School, according to an affidavit filed in the case. He punched the classmate in the head without warning, and when the boy fell to the ground, Alissa continued to punch him. The classmate suffered bruises and cuts to his head, according to the affidavit.

Witnesses told police they didn’t see or hear any reason for Alissa to attack the classmate. Alissa told officers that the classmate “had made fun of him and called him racial names weeks earlier,” according to the affidavit.

He believes that violence is the solution to many of his troubles.

His attack on a classmate in 2017 wasn’t the only time he tried to solve his problems with his fists. After losing one match, Hernandez said,

Alissa got into a fight in the parking lot …

“(The other wrestler) was just teasing him and goes, ‘Maybe if you were a better wrestler, you would have won.’ (Alissa) just lost it. He started punching him,” Hernandez said.

After losing out on a spot on the varsity wrestling team, Alissa reportedly threatened to murder the whole team. Though “nobody believed hiim,” Marvel said, “we were just all kind of freaked out by it, but nobody did anything about it.”

He is homophobic.

On a now-deleted Facebook page thought to have been Alissa’s, he reportedly “expressed anti-LGBTQ sentiments,” according to the Post.

We will almost certainly learn more about Alissa’s motives for the shooting in the coming days. But it’s already clear that toxic masculinity deserves some of the blame.

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GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
13 days ago

My brother just told me his ex (who he’s still close to) randomly decided not to go grocery shopping on her day off. Guess where and when. She heard the sirens about half an hour after she decided not to go.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
12 days ago

Bookworm in hijab:

Although with covid and masking I’m basically a niqabi-in-crowds these days myself. I’m kind of enjoying it: my skin feels much better in the cold! Anyone else finding that with masks?

I try to avoid wearing a mask outdoors in freezing winter weather because it gets quickly damp from condensing moisture, and also it fogs my glasses. The health authorities here (in Finland) warn endlessly against the perils of poor mask hygiene; for example a damp mask is said to be ineffective for filtering and more likely to pass on any germs caught in it. Obviously, this is also a problem when it’s rainy, or in summer when it’s warm and humid enough to make me sweaty (which doesn’t take much).

Now in spring the days are somewhat warm, and the air is dry and often dusty from gritting sand and pollen. In these conditions, I find masking easy, and it does occasionally even make breathing outdoors more comfortable. People here mainly wear masks indoors, though.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
12 days ago

@bookworm in a hijab

Vaccines are going well. I’ve gotten my first one already because I work with children in my first job and then I work out a restaurant in my second. I will be getting my second one in April. My husband has had both vaccines and everyone in my immediate family has been vaccinated with the first shot at least. It’s been going so well that we’re planning a family trip to Massachusetts in the summer.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
12 days ago

GSS ex-noob,

(often with gold chain

Which is also not considered ok for men due to the showoffy nature of it (visible ostentation. For women it was traditionally different because it’s portable wealth and therefore a hedge against all the shitty ways men could treat us. I mean, now I’d rather have a separate bank account, but you get the idea). My husband’s wedding ring is silver because of this. But yeah, there’s still a lot of gold around on some dudes! Sigh.

So I glare at him

Lol. May I make a suggestion? Say salaam aleikum to his wife, and then glare at him. If it were me, I might assume that someone glaring at my husband was glaring at all of us. But if you start with super-smiley salaams,lol, it would probably be clear! 😆

Elaine, I’m so glad things are going so well where you are! I hope you have a lovely family trip this summer. I wonder if you folks will see more tourists now that the Cheeto is no longer in office?

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
12 days ago

GSS ex-noob, I just properly read your comment about your brother’s ex. I’m glad she’s ok!

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
12 days ago

@Bookworm, thanks for the sympathy and the advice. These bozos of which I glare tend to make the wife walk the stereotypical 3 feet behind (because OF COURSE they do), so I’ll have to glare at him and then greet her and the kids cheerfully.