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[Dayton Massacre]
Award-winning journalist and filmmaker Greg Palast has announced that his assistant producer, Jevin Lamar, lost his cousin, Thomas "Tee Jay" McNichols in the Dayton Massacre.
Photo: Ilene Procter\ Zach D. Roberts

Thomas James “Tee Jay” McNichols Jr., 25, the cousin of our assistant producer Jevin Lamar, was one of the 9 people murdered Saturday in Dayton, Ohio, by a racist gunman.

Our hearts go out to Tee Jay’s family and our Jevin. Jevin is here in the Swiss Alps with me and Leni Badpenny — he was ring-bearer at our wedding this week at her family’s chapel on Monte Laura.

Only a few hours ago, Jevin was celebrating his 25th birthday and the release of his three new hip-hop tracks for Badpenny Records. We received the horrific call from Dayton while I was on the air on Rev. Jesse Jackson’s radio program discussing the Dayton massacre. Jevin was very close to Tee Jay as a kid: “We played kickball all the time.”

Jevin told me his family went to the club in the Oregon district because it was considered the safest place in Dayton. But no place is safe from a Neo-Nazi with an assault rifle and a President who gives a wink and a nod to white supremacy.

“Tee Jay was the oldest after his brother was shot, so he took care of his mom and sisters and brothers. His mom just died, young. It seems that none of us are allowed to live a long life.”

Jevin organized the ground operation for the Dayton scenes in our film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, in which we showed the desperate economic conditions of a city destroyed by finance vultures. And Jevin located the victims of Ohio’s systematically racist voter purges. You can’t have a racist voting system and a racist economic system without inciting racist violence.

What Trump and a thousand other politicians have done so well is to distract hopeless, young white men by making Black people the targets of their rage — instead of the white wealthy monsters who stole the future of Dayton and America’s other dead-end Daytons. Jevin is also distantly related to Lola Oglesby, a new mom, gunned down in the Dayton massacre.

Eight years ago, in Vultures’ Picnic, I fantasized about marrying Badpenny here in the Alps. But even in my daydreams, the shadows of my investigations intrude: It’s impossible for me to forget that deep underneath all our wedding cakes, BP still pumps satanic chemicals into the aquifers; a donkey-headed blogger is going mad in Baba’s jail cell; the VLCC Raven, loaded by industrial vampires sucking at Mama Nature, still plies Arctic waters. And Chief Criollo’s son won’t ever come back... …and damaged Dayton, neo-Nazis and a President who blesses them is calling me to return from my personal fairy-tale.

This will be a sad way to return to America. In fact, we wouldn’t — if there wasn’t so much work to do. Again, our condolences to Tee Jay’s family, especially our Jevin.

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