Vivek Ramaswamy blames ‘racialized culture’ — not White supremacy — for racist mass murder in Jacksonville

Vivek Ramaswamy
'We have a culture largely created by media and establishment and universities and politicians that throw kerosene on that racism.'

A Republican presidential candidate is offering his take on a White man killing three Black people at a Jacksonville Dollar General on Saturday, and he doesn’t think a mistaken belief in White supremacy is to blame, since he doesn’t think it exists.

Vivek Ramaswamy told CNN viewers Sunday that a “racialized culture” and “mental health deficiencies” were to blame for the slaying in the New Town neighborhood, by a killer who was initially thwarted from entering HBCU Edward Waters University.

The killer had written a manifesto and had a swastika on his AR-15, seemingly clarifying his intent for most observers, but not Ramaswamy, who blames environmental factors rather than the gunman.

“The reality is we’ve created such a racialized culture in this country in the last several years. That right, as the last few burning embers of racism were burning out, we have a culture in this country largely created by media and establishment and universities and politicians that throw kerosene on that racism,” Ramaswamy said on the “State of the Union” Sunday. “And I can think of no better way to fuel racism in this country than to take something away from other people on the basis of their skin color.”

“I’ve been saying that for years and I think that is driving sadly a new wave of anti-Black and anti-Hispanic racism in this country,” Ramaswamy added, seemingly explaining away the gunman’s decision to drive from Clay County to commit murder by blaming the “media and establishment and universities and politicians.”

Republican Sheriff T.K. Waters, who is Black, explained it differently Saturday.

“All of the deceased victims are Black. Plainly put, this shooter was racially motivated, and he hated Black people,” Waters said. “He wanted to kill n——. That’s the one and only time I will use that word.”

Ramaswamy was also confronted with statements he made in Iowa claiming White supremacy didn’t exist. While he is “sure the boogeyman white supremacist exists somewhere in America,” he said he’s “never met him” and added that maybe he’ll meet a unicorn sooner and maybe those exist too. His response was to say that he didn’t want to “politicize those victims” and “bring them into partisan politics.”

In the segment, the candidate also made the argument for mental health institutions.

“The reality is we have a mental health epidemic in this country. There are reports that this particular individual, the perpetrator was indeed evaluated for mental health deficiencies as well,” Ramaswamy said.

“And I think we need to have to have the courage in this country to bring back a practice of putting back psychiatrically ill people who pose a risk to their communities into psychiatric institutions, not just drugging them up, but faith-based approaches and other approaches that fill out longing for purpose and meaning in this country,” Ramaswamy added. “I think it is just a shame that we even have mass shootings like this.”

Law enforcement identified the shooter as Ryan Palmeter, a 21-year-old who lived in neighboring Clay County with his parents. Waters said Palmeter had been involved in a 2016 domestic violence incident that did not lead to an arrest and was involuntarily committed for a 72-hour mental health examination the following year. Palmeter used two guns — a Glock handgun and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Waters said they were purchased legally earlier this year.

The victims were Angela Michelle Carr, 52, who was shot in her car outside; store employee A.J. Laguerre, 19, who was shot as he tried to flee; and customer Jerrald Gallion, 29, who was shot as he entered the store. No one else was injured.


The Associated Press contributed to this post. Republished with permission.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • SteveHC

    August 27, 2023 at 11:27 am

    “The reality is we have a mental health epidemic in this country.” Given that Ramaswamy is so delusional regarding white supremacists and his belief that none actually exist, I would suggest that he knows of said “epidemic” first hand…

    • Earl Pitts "Earl Told Ya So" American

      August 27, 2023 at 11:42 am

      Good mornting America
      There’s SteveHC, another white boy self proclaimed spoksman for all of us Black folk in The USA. SteveHC sit down and shut up you political fool.
      Sure the shooting was bad and stupid. But SteveHC we dont need white liberals telling us how to politically frame everything that happens. Steve you are a political idiot and not helpfull.
      Thank you SteveHC,
      Earl Pitts American

      • My Lord

        August 27, 2023 at 12:53 pm

        He was a nazi and wrote manifestos. It politically frames itself.

      • M. Mouse

        August 27, 2023 at 12:56 pm

        And you, Earl, are as helpful as herpes! Squeak!

      • Sparky

        August 27, 2023 at 2:48 pm

        According to most black people, you don’t speak for them either.

      • Mike

        August 27, 2023 at 4:56 pm

        Steve only said white supremacists exist. Your comment attacks him over things he didn’t even say. How is your comment more helpful?

      • SteveHC

        August 27, 2023 at 5:04 pm

        So say the incredibly incoherent Arm Pits of (presumably) America.🤮

        • magnumman

          August 27, 2023 at 7:22 pm

          What a jackass

      • Earl Pitts "Earl Told Ya So" American

        August 27, 2023 at 10:57 pm

        I’m a shrimp peened, cum colored white man cosplaying as Black. My mother should’ve been gang raped and tiki torched to a crisp during the last trimester with me. An ALS diagnosis isn’t good enough for me.

      • Zak

        August 30, 2023 at 3:56 pm

        Since when is murdering in mass shooting and the urge to stop them and racism political?

  • Ocean Joe

    August 27, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    Vivek is a genius!
    Folks complaining about racism are the ones causing it!
    Let racists be racists and you wont have any trouble, unless of course you’re the target.
    The good old days. It’s 1958 again!

    • jimmy

      August 27, 2023 at 6:06 pm

      are you trying to be funny or sarcastic? it’s not working. It’s also borderline incoherent. sad.

      • My Take

        August 27, 2023 at 10:38 pm

        Amusingly on target to me.
        But missing satire or parody even mocking is fairly common on boards,

  • Richard Russell

    August 27, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    Thank Obama in 2004 speech as the initiator of the hateful rhetoric that has been echoed by the race baiters and the worthless media mouthpieces. If/when America returns to EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW AND THE MEDIA QUITS BAITING THE ISSUE, WE MAY RETURN TO A CIVIL SOCIETY.

    • PeterH

      August 27, 2023 at 12:48 pm

      Obama’s simple heartfelt statement was twisted and fueled by Fox and Breitbart…..AND THE GARBAGE UNEDUCATED WHITE SUPREMACY FOOLS who post on these sites. Donald Trump further fueled the ignoramus MAGA crowd. Since Trump took office in in 2017 hate crimes including murder have increased over 400%.

      Republicans are America’s worst enemy!

      Vote all Republicans out of office!

    • My Lord

      August 27, 2023 at 12:54 pm

      Sure buddy.

    • Silly Wabbit

      August 27, 2023 at 12:57 pm

      You kwazy.

    • Terry Ward

      August 27, 2023 at 1:51 pm


    • US Vet

      August 27, 2023 at 2:04 pm

      When has it ever been equal justice of the law?

    • Tom

      August 28, 2023 at 7:17 am

      The shooter was two years old when Obama made whatever speech you’re talking about. I’m thinking that’s probably not the cause of his hatred.

    • MH/Duuuval

      August 28, 2023 at 8:31 am

      Senator Russell: Is that you, sir, have you come back from Hades to keep “the last few embers of racism burning”?

  • M. Mouse

    August 27, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    Wow! All those capital letters! You must be hopping mad!

  • jcsteam

    August 27, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Moslems believe that killing infidels will please Allah. White nationalists believe that killing blacks will please Jesus.

    • Todd Cray

      August 27, 2023 at 3:15 pm

      How do you know? Did you interview the remaining white nationalists in America? All three of them?

  • Terry Ward

    August 27, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    ramaswamy is quite the cunning little minx.
    krump will turn American into Yugoslavia.
    libertarians will turn America into their personal

    • Todd Cray

      August 27, 2023 at 3:18 pm

      OK, and socialists/communists like Bernie Sanders and the BLM founders will turn America into their own little real estate profit machine. Did that part slip your mind?

    • Anon

      August 27, 2023 at 4:24 pm

      And Democrats & Liberals are already letting BLM & ANTIFA run amuck as it is.

      Your point is?

      • WhatNow

        August 27, 2023 at 5:10 pm

        – You forgot your “Q” up there…

      • RonW

        August 27, 2023 at 6:10 pm

        care to cite ANYTHING in your statement there? you know, maybe some facts to back that up? Or is that just your gloriously important, if unfounded, opinion? Go back to hiding under your bed while watching Fox News, snowflake 🤦🏽‍♂️

        • My Take

          August 27, 2023 at 10:46 pm

          I haven’t heard word one on Antifa or BLM in many months. This guy may simpy delude them.

      • Tom

        August 28, 2023 at 7:21 am

        I’ve not seen any evidence of people running amok lately (give or take 01/06, and most of them are being dealt with) – where is this all happening?

    • Ocean Joe

      August 28, 2023 at 6:00 am

      Probably best comment ever, except it’s already happened.

  • GM

    August 27, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    This Numbnut is so delusional to think he has a chance of becoming a POTUS.

    Not sure why news medias are having him on their shows. I guess for sensationalism since he is such an aberration.

  • Todd Cray

    August 27, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    The writer of this article sets up a false dichotomy by claiming that Ramaswamy “blames environmental factors rather than the gunman.” The gunman is undoubtedly to blame for his actions, and no one has said otherwise. It’s leftist ideology that denies individual agency in the face of environmental factors. Ramaswamy may be many things, but most certainly NOT a leftist ideologue.

    Any sensible and intelligent person will be perfectly capable of blaming an individual for their actions while also recognizing what the environment is like. And it’s readily apparent that while white supremacy is real, it represents a tiny constituency compared to the onslaught of race baiters and race profiteers–staunch racists in their own right–so typical of the left. So Ramaswamy may very well be on to something here.

    • My Take

      August 27, 2023 at 4:06 pm

      If the southern GOP were a hay bale, racist hate would be the wire.
      Particle board, the glue.
      A concrete block, the Portland cement.
      Minor volumetrically, but essential

    • SteveHC

      August 27, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      “Ramaswamy may be many things, but most certainly NOT a leftist ideologue.” Of COURSE he isn’t. He’s a just Trumpian MAGA nutjob who cannot be trusted to exercise even the slightest bit of rational common sense in American politics as he consistently and deliberately shoots himself in the foot (politically) every time he opens his mouth trying in vain to justify Trump’s entirely self-serving actions and general idiocy.

  • Tjb

    August 27, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    Ramaswamy Is a con man with money. He made his fortune ripping off investors in his company, knowing that his company would fell. He is a pump and dump scammer.
    Now, he will try to rip off the American voters with his BS.

  • Stacey Jett

    August 27, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    Did he take talking points from Stafford Jones? Sounds just like him.

  • TBG

    August 27, 2023 at 4:39 pm

    The reality is that we have too many totally useless politicians who will say anything for attention and a media that will let them.

    • Tom

      August 28, 2023 at 7:25 am

      Paul Ryan summed it up. There are some decent, thoughtful Republican politicians and then there is the entertainment wing of the party which is interested in nothing more than getting likes on their social media feeds. The media sells advertising so they’re all about the eyeballs. It’s a match made in heaven.

  • World'sGreatestGuy

    August 27, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    A deranged bigot writes an article claiming deranged bigotry does not exist. How Republican of him.

    • Nope

      August 28, 2023 at 8:52 pm

      The writer of the article did not say these things, the wanna-be politician did. And it’s a public service to show people who VR really is. Be careful who you slander.

  • Michael L Hays

    August 27, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    I credit Mr. Ramaswamy with have taken Governor DeSantis’s AP history course, the one which deletes most of the history of Blacks and racism in America. Seriously, the man is pandering to the racists in this country by claiming that they no longer exist in this country.

  • Dead Republicans

    August 27, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    Viveck needs to take his criminal ass with his verminous parents & go back to India where he can drink & bathe from the feeces filled Ganges river with bloated corpses floating by.

    • WhatNow

      August 27, 2023 at 5:21 pm

      So you say you enjoy vacationing in India?

  • Lowell boggs

    August 27, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    Clearly the shooter was both a racist and crazy. His mental health history proves it.

    So why does everyone point to his racism being the cause of his actions instead of pointing at his mental health problems as being the dominant reason for his murderous behavior? Is it that the media has something to gain from blaming racism and nothing to gain if he were just crazy?

    If there are so many murderous “racists” as the media suggests there are, why are there not more heinous acts like the one committed by this murderer? Perhaps, rather, it is really the mental health problem that causes these murders and that the perpetrator’s racism is just an excuse they use for picking their victims. That is, that these mentally ill perpetrators might well have picked someone else, if they weren’t also racist — but pick someone to kill they were destined to because they are crazy.

    • My Take

      August 27, 2023 at 6:00 pm

      Mental health —> murder
      Racism —> targets

    • SteveHC

      August 30, 2023 at 9:34 am

      “So why does everyone point to his racism being the cause of his actions instead of pointing at his mental health problems as being the dominant reason for his murderous behavior?” – Because it was not his mental illness that caused his murderous behavior but rather his *racist* thoughts, beliefs and – most importantly – his racism-driven *behavior* that fueled his murderous behavior… for without THAT those poor folks would still be alive.

  • Mickey R

    August 27, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    Even though Ramaswamy wants to blame just mental health and not racism, I’d wager that if he were asked to support red flag laws, he would not be in favor.

    • SteveHC

      August 30, 2023 at 9:35 am


  • My Take

    August 27, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    He should be asked his take on the renewed violence by Hindus on Muslims in India.
    The extremist Hindus say they want India to be Hindustan.
    Sound famiiar?

  • Bonnie Sheets

    August 27, 2023 at 6:14 pm

    Ramaswamy added. “I think it is just a shame that we even have mass shootings like this.” That sure sounds like a guy with a plan to reduce mass shootings.

  • Shaunob

    August 27, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    You people in the comments do not even realize you are proving Ramaswamy’s point, you are picking sides that the media has created or at least popularized. Racism is not the only division the media has popularized btw, left vs right, gay vs straight, obviously black vs white, Trump supporters vs Trump haters, immigration vs boarder security, I mean the list goes on and on. They are always there to remind you how terrible the other side is instigating like a child trying to start a fight.

    • My Take

      August 27, 2023 at 8:29 pm

      And the racists always want to pretend it has all gone away. That the deep problems caused by entrenched racism went away in 1865. Or at very worst, 1965.

  • John Livingston

    August 27, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    why cnn keeps platforming this idiot is the miscarriage of journalism and serious problem solving. He was probably a teen abused by white kids and has spent his life trying to measure up and be declared good enough by white ppl. No true American roots, by the time his family got here black folk had paved the way for all against brutal white supremacism. For a person seeing mass murders by self proclaimed white supremacist turn and blame it on the ppl who were killed. Should be cause to never let him on mainstream media again. Send to the world of delusional fox

  • My Take

    August 27, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    Radicalized white supremacy, is what it really is.

  • Orville

    August 29, 2023 at 8:33 am

    I think AG is voting for Ron DeSantis and it couldn’t be more obvious. Ronny signed the everyone should have a gun law. With that said, I love Ron. So maybe instead of talking about shooting that will never end. Lets talk about things that matter, like the cost of bread.

    • PaddyC

      August 29, 2023 at 4:54 pm

      Or the cost of funerals.

  • PaddyC

    August 29, 2023 at 4:53 pm

    If it looks quacks like a duck and walks like a duck… it is probably not a duck. It is the media that has convinced you it is a duck. In reality, it is probably a Lamb of God. And absolutely NOT a socialist Canada duck.

Comments are closed.


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