Chapel Hill killer Craig Hicks said his ethnicity is Native American, and he prefers Muslims to most Christians

by Michael Nugent on February 16, 2015

I am reporting here information about what Craig Hicks has said online about his beliefs. I am not speculating about why he murdered his neighbours, because I do not have enough reliable information to do this.

I have previously written about what his Facebook page actually tells us about his beliefs. I am writing here about two other issues: his stated Native American ethnicity and his defence of Muslims, and his anger at people driving in passing lanes on highways.

He has described his ethnicity as Native American and, while promoting religious freedom, he has highlighted the historical injustice of Christians violating the rights of Native Americans, not allowing them their ancestral hair or garments, their given names or their native tongue.

It would be outrageous for anyone to speculate that his Native American ethnicity is related to his murders. However, his stated ethnicity may be related to his stated empathy for Muslims as another minority group in America.

He was explicitly supportive of the right of Muslims to build a controversial Mosque near Ground Zero. He has said he knew several dozen Muslims for most of a decade, that they aren’t what most people think of them, and that he would prefer them to most Christians.

He also posted on several online forums about his opposition to people breaking traffic laws, linked to a video of a trooper dealing with a motorist with an anger management problem, and liked eight different Facebook pages on the subject of being angry at people who drive in passing lanes.

Native American ethnicity and defending Muslims

He joined Debate.org three years ago, under the username crpadiem, but was not active there. On his profile, he described his ethnicity as Native American and his religion as Deism (he has more recently said on Facebook that he is an atheist).

He is a member of XDtalk.com, under the username crpadiem.

He wrote there about the rights of both native Americans and Muslims, when responding to a poll in 2010 about whether a Mosque should be built near Ground Zero in new York. There were the options.

1) I support the project: its goals seem laudable, and it would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
2) I am indifferent about the project itself — I can see the arguments both for it and against it. But this is a free country, and the developers certainly have a right to express themselves.
3) I’d rather that the project weren’t built, especially so near to Ground Zero. But it’s certainly not the government’s business to stop its construction.
4) I’m opposed to the project and hope that it isn’t built. But I’m indifferent about whether or not the City should act to stop it.
5) I’m definitely opposed to the project, and the City should exercise its authority to prevent it from being built.

He wrote this as his reasons for his vote:

I voted #2 for several reasons.

The first amendment to our constitution guarantees freedom of religion, which takes precedence over any other “feeling” that any of us as Americans may have.

Beyond that though after being in D.C. for a decade and knowing several dozen Muslims for most of that time I can say that they aren’t what most think of them. In fact, I’d prefer them to most Christians as I was never coerced in any way by the Muslims to follow their religion, which I cannot say about many Christians.

While the terrorists who did the 9/11 attacks were Muslims, they were extremists in that faith which isn’t common. I know of many Christian extremists personally, much less the ones we have heard about on the news. People of this country don’t seem to hold that against Christianity though(probably because they’re a majority in this country).

While it may cause problems with those that don’t want it there with vandalizing and such, what if that excuse stopped our forefathers from starting a new nation. Civil rights, suffrage, heck even our own gun rights have been “fought” for at times. On that matter, the vast majority of our own ancestors in this country had to fight for their rights as Americans as most of the ethnic groups in this country were looked down on at some point(some still are).

This country was founded on freedoms, and many forget that one of the biggest freedoms that was fought for was freedom of religion. Then after all was said and done, Americans pushed west and took the lands of the Native Americans, put them on reservations(land that has no use), and stuffed religion down their throat. Their children were often taken from them to be taught Christianity(brainwashed might be a better word). They were not allowed to have their ancestral hair or garments, not allowed to use their given names but had to use the Christian ones assigned to them, and not allowed to speak their native tongue among other things. Funny how during World War 2, the same government that violated the Native Americans 1st amendment rights in the previous century were called upon because of their ancestral language.

With all that being said, I don’t see how anyone who calls themselves American can claim that a Mosque shouldn’t be TWO BLOCKS AWAY from what is known as ground zero.

Other posts on human rights and equality

I wrote in a previous article about posts on his Facebook page.

  • At Thanksgiving in 2012 he posted a graphic on Facebook saying: “Thanksgiving is a time to remember all that we have… and the genocide it took to get it.”
  • He shared a diagram posted by ‘Being Liberal’, which showed seven identical skeletons, labeled in turn as white, black, gay, straight, Catholic, atheist and human.
  • He posted an image of a census question asking ‘What race do you indentify yourself as?” All of the answers are crossed out, and the word ‘Human’ has been written in and ticked.
  • He also shared an image that reads: “So let’s get this straight… God didn’t judge America over the millions of natives that were raped and murdered and had their land stolen. God didn’t judge America over the millions of Africans that had boulders tied to their legs and were raped, murdered and enslaved for centuries. And God didn’t judge America over not taking care of the homeless, hungry, sick and dying poor. But now God will judge America over abortion and gay marriage.”

Speeding and driving in passing lanes

On Facebook he liked different eight pages on the subject of driving in passing lanes.

  • It’s called a PASSING LANE for a reason, get the F*ck out of my way!!!!
  • If people in the right lane are passing you, GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!
  • People who understand that the LEFT LANE IS FOR PASSING.
  • If you’re not passing traffic, GET THE #%@* OUT OF THE LEFT LANE!!!!
  • Get out of the left lane unless you are passing!!!
  • I CAN’T STAND PEOPLE THAT DRIVE SLOW IN THE PASSING LANE
  • People who drive slow in the passing lane piss me off
  • I’m tailgating you because you are driving slow in the PASSING lane, dbag.

He is a member of Carolina Shooters Club forum, under the username crpadiem.

In a discussion started by a member who had been stopped for speeding and who was complaining about the NCSHP, he wrote:

Just to clarify, you were riding in the passing lane and the silver Volvo had to pass you in the right lane?

Later in the discussion he wrote:

I just wanted to clarify that. I cannot speak for NCSHP, but having several good friends in the VSP(Virginia State Police) from when I lived there, and ISP(Illinois State Police)where I’m from, I can see why you got that ticket(besides the simple fact that you were speeding).

Like Wahoo said, if a trooper clocks two people speeding at or close to the same speed, they’ll most often go after the one in the passing lane. Reasoning is that per the rules of the road in VA (and most states), and the law in IL, the left lane is for passing and that driver should have been going faster(and per the troopers I’ve known, if they weren’t they shouldn’t have been in that lane so they more deserve a ticket).

As far as the attitude, I cannot speak for the trooper that pulled you, but I’ve never been given an attitude by a LEO. Most of them end up joking around with me, if not they’re at least courteous. Course it’s been well over a decade since I’ve been pulled over(closer to 2 decades).

Finally, States are looking for revenue, and the troopers that I’ve kept in touch with in both states have told me that they were given the green light to pull drivers for any speed above the limit, not the old 10mph above then pull at discretion.

He also linked to this video in which a trooper is dealing with a motorist with an anger management problem, and he wrote:

I guess that this trooper is guilty of being a jerk by some peoples standards(beware, some foul language):

In another discussion about a newspaper article “Slowpokes in left lane face fines under Georgia bill,” he wrote:

I’m for it. I was brought up that the left lane is for passing only, regardless of what speed a vehicle is moving. It’s just common courtesy, which I think many in this country nowadays could use a few lessons in.

Besides, it would create a ton of revenue here in N.C.

Summary

I am not speculating about why Craig Hicks murdered his neighbours. It may be that he murdered them because he was an atheist and they were Muslims, and that he simply did not reflect that part of his personality online. But the available evidence does not support that idea, and those who are engaging in speculation should take into account the available evidence.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shatterface February 17, 2015 at 12:23 am

There’s a tool you can use which looks at the most common words you use on your Facebook page.

It’s useful if you want to see what a casual visitor might think out are obsessed with. I haven’t posted on my page for a year or so but when I ran the tool among my most frequently used words were ‘train’ and ‘late’.

Had I gone on a killing spree I can imagine what armchair psychologists would think might have motivated me.

Other frequently used words were ‘spider’, ‘crab’ and ‘clown’ and the most common pictures I posted were of spider crabs and clowns.

Not one picture of me or any member of my family; not a single reference to any of them by name.

A lot of rather surreal jokes, often quite dark. Nothing party political. No swearing. A lot of

My point is that our Facebook profiles are, at best, partial reflections of our interests or may even be deliberately misleading. Facebook isn’t a confessional or a journal, it’s a performance. Facebook is a role we play.

If you went to a psychologist they’d take weeks or months before they’d offer even a tentative diagnosis. That’s intense, one on one discussion, in private. with a qualified professional.

Unfortunately people want simple answers and they want them fast.

And if they’re opportunistic they probably have those answers already and they’re just waiting for an case they can attach those answers to.

In this case we have people who had the answer raging atheist ready and enough key words on some outlier’s Facebook page they can link to it. They aren’t interested in the rest of the profile that doesn’t fit.

2 Dian Meidiani February 17, 2015 at 3:50 am

It is an interesting point of view… but i think all this can be avoided if guns and arms are prohibited from civilian possession.

Best regards from Indonesia

3 Michael Kingsford Gray February 17, 2015 at 4:55 am

“…if guns and arms are prohibited from civilian possession.”
– Dian Meidaiani

This would place livestock farmers in jeopardy, as they would be committing a crime every time that they had to rapidly euthanise livestock in the field, but used anything other than a firearm.
Livestock farmers are civilians, yet most are required, under animal cruelty statutes, to possess adequate firearms for this very purpose.

How would you propose that this very common case be handled?

4 Bill February 17, 2015 at 6:04 am

I’m in aw at this idiots actions. I’m sure many atheists are embarassed by this man’s actions. I am as well. Atheists are not well liked in America and I’m sure many would like to blame this mans actions on the very thing they hate most about him. Whether you don’t like this man’s atheism, his gun ownership, or his progressive politics I’m sure the people of the US are going to blame it on the things they hate most about him.

I am embarrassed as an atheist, a man, and a gun owner. I’m sure someone like Sam Harris would agree with me.

5 Jan Steen February 17, 2015 at 7:19 am

Consider also the following exchange in the comments on Benson’s piece on the Guardian editorial:

Katherine Woo says

February 15, 2015 at 4:43 pm

“full of very typical gnu atheist mockery and similar rhetoric”

You are acting just like the Guardian when you say things like that. Hicks was a vocal supporter of abortion rights, LGBT equality, religious freedom, and supported liberal social NGOs like the SPLC. He even…wait for it…spoke out against rape along the lines of rape culture theory.

To reduce him to his snarky attitude about religion is your profoundly misguided war on non-theists like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins who reject your specific brand of feminist politics (which I do to as a liberal feminist). In fact Hicks is so orthodox in his ‘progressive’ views, he could readily pass for the A+ if you ignored the deal breaker of gun ownership. Deal with it.

To which Ophelia B. replies:

Ophelia Benson says

February 15, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Katherine, do stop with the attempted mind-reading. It’s very irritating. That’s not what I was saying at all – what I said had nothing to do with Dawkins and Harris. I wasn’t saying Hicks wasn’t interested in other things too, I was saying he wasn’t making violent threats. You seem to have completely misread what I wrote, and then gone from that to Lecture From On High #7 million.

Note that she says what she is not saying, but doesn’t elucidate what she was saying. She has still not explained why something being “full of very typical gnu atheist mockery and similar rhetoric” made her very uneasy.

Ophelia should learn how to express herself clearly. For now I give her a C-. An A+ will be permanently out of reach, but a B should be possible with some effort.

6 Jan Steen February 17, 2015 at 7:21 am

Oops, that was meant for the previous thread.

7 Ashling O'Brien February 17, 2015 at 7:37 am

Michael Sherlock has released the following statement after CNN displayed his Facebook page in association with Craig Hicks’ atheism.

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1216454?ref=feeds%2Flatest

8 kraut February 17, 2015 at 7:39 am

I’ve got it now – he killed because he was Native American with traffic issues but couldn’t get hold of white folks to kill for violations so he bagged himself some muslims – explains everything, easy peasy.

9 Shatterface February 17, 2015 at 9:00 am

This would place livestock farmers in jeopardy, as they would be committing a crime every time that they had to rapidly euthanise livestock in the field, but used anything other than a firearm.
Livestock farmers are civilians, yet most are required, under animal cruelty statutes, to possess adequate firearms for this very purpose.

This guy was licenced to carry a consealed weapon.

Unless you are a bodyguard what legitimate use is such a permit?

10 Minnow February 17, 2015 at 10:06 am

“Facebook isn’t a confessional or a journal, it’s a performance. Facebook is a role we play.”

Shatterface is consistently the most lucid and interesting commentator that I come across. If more people understood this points, there would be a lot less poison swilling around on the internet and a little more sweet reason.

11 Minnow February 17, 2015 at 10:13 am

“How would you propose that this very common case be handled?”

It is handled very easily all over Europe. I have seen very few livestock farmers rounded up for firearms offences and yet the livestock sector is in rude good health. I suspect that even Americans could find a work around.

12 Aneris ✻ February 17, 2015 at 11:33 am

Michael Nugent wrote: I am not speculating about why Craig Hicks murdered his neighbours. It may be that he murdered them because he was an atheist and they were Muslims, and that he simply did not reflect that part of his personality online. But the available evidence does not support that idea, and those who are engaging in speculation should take into account the available evidence.

It is mostly unknowable and only reflects what people see in it. Those who want to see a terroristic attack against Muslims. The ordinary accommodationists, the Social Justice Warrior atheists / Atheism Plus, who have a strong Islam accommodationist streak, blame New Atheism. Rebecca Watson and PZ Myers blame their opponents. And so on. As posted in the previous entry, what the “Thinker thinks, the Prover proves”.

Whatever the motives, what’s clear to me is that the US American gun culture is in part to blame. Whatever the motives are; whatever his temperament, things like this happen much easier when people carry guns around or are used to the idea that they can fetch one. Gun violence is obviously possible everywhere, and there have been spree shootings elsewhere, too. However, it’s all too common in the US, because it’s easy to own a gun and then use it in a spur of the moment. I find arguments like “but some people need guns for their job” ridiculous, because people who need them, and are trained appropriately, can obviously have rules for that specific usage. Just because you need to be safe on your ranch far away from civilisation doesn’t mean everyone should be allowed to carry their rocket launcher into Starbucks, or indeed be allowed to have one. Arguments about how cars or knives can also be used as weapons fail, because guns are obviously designed to be deadly and that with a simple pull of a trigger. It’s (relatively) easy to pull a trigger compared to stab someone, or bring your car into someone’s appartment to overrun them in their living room.

13 Billie from Ockham February 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm

I’m embarrassed that someone with a similar nym to my own is embarrassed when people who have irrelevant common attributes do bad things. At the risk of invoking Godwin before comment #20, I’ve also heard rumors that Hitler had the same number of arms, legs, eyes, and ear as I. To make up for all this, I will start wearing red polo shirts.

14 Shatterface February 17, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Shatterface is consistently the most lucid and interesting commentator that I come across.

Which proves how misleading our online personas are.

15 Aneris February 17, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Billie of Ockham wrote: I’m embarrassed that someone with a similar nym to my own is embarrassed when people who have irrelevant common attributes do bad things. At the risk of invoking Godwin before comment #20, I’ve also heard rumors that Hitler had the same number of arms, legs, eyes, and ear as I. To make up for all this, I will start wearing red polo shirts.

Hitler ate sugar.

16 Phil Giordana FCD February 18, 2015 at 10:43 am

At least a good thing came out of Michael’s efforts: The Pharyngula/SJW crowd shine as the most cretinous people ever.

17 Jan Steen February 18, 2015 at 2:35 pm

For another abysmally stupid take on the Chapel Hill murders by someone who tries to implicate the New Atheists, read this piece in the New Republic by a certain Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121036/chapel-hill-muslim-murders-show-atheism-has-violent-extremists-too

Some choice quotes:

Led by luminaries such as the late Christopher Hitchens and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, New Atheism takes as its core creed a species of Enlightenment liberalism that exalts reason and free inquiry, without bothering to define reason or to explain what is worthy of inquiry, and why.

Good heavens, they are exalting reason and free inquiry. Why can’t they be exalting ignorance and dogma instead?

New Atheism tends to simply baptize the opinions of young, educated white men as the obviously rational approach to complicated socio-political problems.

A piece like this wouldn’t be complete without some white men bashing.

In each case, the assumed obviousness of Islam’s putative wrong-headedness is accompanied by a thoroughgoing persecution narrative, in which those few brave atheists willing to offend Muslims view themselves as crusaders for common sense.

There is nothing obviously wrong-headed about shariah law, terrorism, intolerance, true misogyny, anti-intellectualism, etc.? And those atheists who dare to offend Islamists suffer from a persecution complex when they fear for a violent backlash? If you say so, Ms. Stoker Bruenig, if you say so.

And perhaps this is another parallel with the religious attitudes New Atheism takes as its target: Like any number of global faiths, New Atheism presumes its framework and considers its truth-claims to be either self-evident or demonstrable by whatever means it already assumes legitimate.

Those means happen to be reason and free inquiry, formalised in science. Yeah, that is just like religion.

And, like any other religion, its adherents can take its reasoning too far, and cross the line into violence. New Atheists like Dawkins will point out that nothing in New Atheism necessitates violence, and that many principles of the movement directly oppose it; they should be used to this kind of statement by now, as it’s precisely the argument they encounter and dismiss time and time again when it issues from religious faiths.

They can dismiss it when it comes from religious faiths, because these happen to have magic books that demonstrably incite hatred, violence, and intolerance and celebrate narrow-mindedness and dogma. There is no atheist ‘scripture’ that does any of these things.

Enough of her drivel. Ms. Stoker Bruenig almost managed to surpass Rebecca Watson’s hit piece in sheer stupidity and nastiness. Not quite, but it’s a gallant effort.

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