Suspect Frank James was spewing racist hate years before Brooklyn subway shooting

How did Frank R. James, the apparent black nationalist arrested for Tuesday’s subway rampage, become radicalized?

The social-media rants of the 62-year-old suspect reveal a man consumed with hatred of white people and convinced of a looming race war.

“O black Jesus, please kill all the whiteys,” was one meme he posted.

He’s not too complimentary about Hispanics, Asians and his own race, for that matter, and claims to have had long-term mental-health problems. The 29 victims of Tuesday’s shooting were a multicultural mix, as you would expect in a crowded rush-hour subway train. Police say James detonated smoke grenades before firing 33 shots on the Manhattan-bound N train. Police found a hatchet, three ammunition magazines, fireworks and gasoline. It’s a miracle no one was killed.

But whatever his psychiatric issues, James sounds very much like other ideologically fixated, identity-obsessed killers who have emerged since the BLM-Antifa racial movement of 2020 and the hate speech it unleashed.

Like Darrell Brooks Jr., who allegedly plowed his car into the Waukesha Christmas parade last November, and Noah Green, the Nation of Islam adherent who rammed Capitol Police last April in a quickly memory-holed attack, James espoused the rancid, racist ideology of black supremacy, once known officially as “black identity extremism,” which we have been assured by the FBI and other legal experts doesn’t exist. 

Suspect Frank James at the Ninth Precinct after being arrested for his connection to the mass shooting at the 36th St subway station on April 13, 2022.
Alleged subway shooter Frank James had been posting racist material on YouTube for years.
Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Extremist ideology

James posted material on social media linked to black identity extremist ideologies, including the Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, Black Liberation Army, BLM and an image of black nationalist cop killer Micah Johnson.

“White people and black people, as we call ourselves, should not have any contact with each other,” James rants in one of hundreds of YouTube videos posted to a channel under the user name “prophetoftruth88,” from which police took a screenshot to identify him as a suspect, and which was removed from YouTube Wednesday.

In another video, he weeps over the news that new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is married to a “white man,” whom he described as the “enemy.”

Emergency personnel gather at the entrance to a subway stop in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 12, 2022.
Police have tallied 29 victims of the subway shooting.
AP/John Minchillo

“You hear black people [inspired by Jackson] say my daughter . . . dreaming to be a part of something that does not want you be a part of it . . . You’re not white, you’re not European . . . You want to force yourself on these people and they’re going to kill you.”

James, a fan of CNN, in many of his videos appeared in front of a large TV tuned to the left-wing cable channel. His grievances against “whitey” could be ripped from the teleprompters of any of the race-baiting hosts of CNN and MSNBC. The only difference between the dehumanizing racial hatred he spews and the commentary by Joy Reid when she sneers at “white tears” and argues that Americans only care about the war in Ukraine because the victims are “white and largely Christian,” is that James advocates violence. “I’m wanting to kill everything in sight” he says in one video.

“These white motherf–kers, this is what they do,” he says in a video about the Ukraine invasion, claiming it presaged a black genocide in the United States.

“Ultimately at the end of the day they kill and commit genocide against each other. What do you think they gonna do to your black ass? . . .”

He also criticizes Mayor Adams and black people who don’t perceive themselves as victims. “You got your Ph.D. career and nice shoes. You got an education but now you’re just a carbon copy of the person who made you a slave . . . you’re there to serve these motherf–kers.”

Of white people, he says, “I don’t know how well-intentioned they can be because if you look at the history of black people in this country . . . how many really stood with us or were there for us when we ­really needed it . . . They didn’t go on our side until we started to rise up.”

In another rant, he says: “I wanted to watch people die right in front of my f–king face immediately.”

‘Terrorist’ attack

We were told by the NYPD within hours of the subway attack that it was not terrorism.

But it sure looked like a lone-wolf terrorist attack motivated by a hateful ideology.

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell attends a news briefing on April 12, 2022 in New York City.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the shooting initially wasn’t being investigated as an act of terrorism, but suspect James was charged with federal terrorism offenses.
Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Sure enough, at a press conference Wednesday, Brooklyn US Attorney Breon Peace said James had been charged with a federal terrorism offense.

In that same presser, the FBI refuted reports that James was on any watchlist, saying agents had not previously investigated him.

Maybe if the FBI didn’t waste so much effort chasing down white-supremacy hoaxes, entrapping Trump supporters and investigating bogus reports of nooses in NASCAR garages, it might have been better placed to notice James’ hate-filled rants on social media for years.

Get the latest updates in the Brooklyn subway shooting with The Post’s live coverage.

Just an idea, but maybe the FBI shouldn’t allow elite opinion and politics to dictate where it places its resources.

It wasn’t so long ago that the FBI’s counterterrorism division acknowledged that black identity extremist ideology was a domestic terrorism threat.

In a report dated Aug. 3, 2017, the bureau cited the 2016 massacre of five police officers by Micah Johnson during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas.

A person is aided outside a subway car in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 12, 2022.
James detonated smoke grenades before firing 33 shots in the subway car, police said.
Will B Wylde via AP

“Based on Johnson’s journal writings and statements to police, he appeared to have been influenced by BIE [black identity extremist] ideology,” the FBI report says.

“The FBI assesses it is very likely [BIE] perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.”

The backlash was immediate, with the media and activists accusing the FBI of racism. “There is no such thing as black identity extremism,” Kristen Clarke, president of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told Congress. “It is not a real threat.”

Within months, the bureau had abandoned the term black identity extremism, and FBI Director Christopher Wray was telling Congress in 2019 that “what you might call white supremacist violence” was behind much domestic terrorism.

The Center for Security Policy, a conservative, Washington, DC-based think tank, claims that the FBI came under “political pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus and left-wing media to eliminate the category of black identity extremism as a potential terrorism motivation.”

According to Kyle Shideler, the center’s director for homeland security and counterterrorism, “The FBI, DHS and other elements of the intelligence community have routinely downplayed the potential risk of violence from black identity extremists . . .

“As a result of this political pressure, there has been minimal study and training done to educate law enforcement on the intricacies of the black identity extremist thought, and its various strains and idiosyncrasies,” he wrote in a paper published Wednesday.

New York City Police Department officers handcuff subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, in the East Village section, of New York, Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
NYPD officers handcuff James in the East Village more than 24 hours after he allegedly fired shots in the subway.
AP/PC Keyes

“Instead, the tendency is to deny that such attacks are politically motivated, and thus deny any terrorism angle for further investigation.”

End identity politics

How about law enforcement just does its job, without kowtowing to identity politics.

How about acknowledging that racist hate speech has the potential of radicalizing unhinged people, no matter who is the intended target. How about everyone in a position of influence, from the president on down, stops exploiting racial division for political capital.

How about we admit that America is the most equitable, welcoming, multiracial country in the world, and we’d like to keep it that way.

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