James Baldwin said it best:
“As long as white Americans take refuge in their whiteness…they will allow millions of people to be slaughtered in their name.”
During 72 hours, there has been a Trump-radicalized bomber that sent 14 pipe bombs political critics of the current United States President. There as a man that killed two Black grandparents in a Kroger supermarket; with his intention being of the familiar parallel of Dylan Roof.
And on Saturday, there was Anti-Semitic murderer who killed 11 people in a synagogue. Some of whom were actual German Holocaust survivors.
What cannot be scrolled over, ignored or placated anymore is inactions of the current United States President. He is normalizing and radicaling the country’s racist underbelly.
It is no secret people like this have existed; since the beginning of time. However, it has been up to the waking, sentient public to beat them back to the shadows. If not, their ideology and systems exposed. Even dismantled.
This new permutation of leader has come from the shadows as some monster in a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The fact of the matter is these incidents are not new. They are far too frequent due to the current administration being more concerned with rallies for an underclass. Ignoring the cries of an entire nation.
There is a selfish, rotten air to these current incidents which have their roots in the Reconstruction era of the nation. That same rotten core that allowed ‘necktie parties’ to be family events. It’s the same motivation that made ‘Dynamite Bob’ Chambliss put a bomb in a church that killed 4 Black girls. That same boldness that made anything seem as Black and male dangerous. It is that same skewed vision which made Black women ‘not having the ability to be raped.’
It is that same normalized vitriol which allows a United States President to say, ‘there are good people on both sides’. This was said in response to a Unite The Right rally where Heather Heyer died at the hands of a Nazi. What also must be examined is what these people in positions of power, practicing thoughts of supremacy have been taught.
This is the basis for systemic and institutional racism.
What can be seen and surmised is the idea of white supremacy must be indoctrinated. It must be retaught to be reinforced with every generation born! They must be told that people with different religious beliefs are to be feared and suspected. They have been taught anyone whom has melanin in their skin is dirty, evil and somehow not human. They must be taught that humanity has an echelon—and whiteness is its sole aspiration; the peak desire of all humanity. Aside from that, any afront to that, must be eradicated.
In peeling back, we can see the layers of this rotten tree, rife with rotting fruit. We see the same motives for this violence which have always existed: the loss of privilege and power. No more, no less. The need to retain that outweighs any strive for equality, peace or justice. At the threat of its loss, at the confrontation its straw man/red herring nature, it lashes out! It sends bombs to critics. It seeks scapegoats that which seek to demote its superiority. It convincing the willing and fearful to open fire on people whom are only following the tenents of their faith. The violent reaction is to stop those who seek justice, equality and a voice.
From those whom are the remnant of the eras having seen ‘strange fruit hanging from Southern trees’, have found a mascot in the current administration. They are emboldened with the legends of their grandparents, and family rumors. Perhaps infatuated with the romance of these legends of whom may have participated in crimes against non-white people.
They have seen a savior in a president that does what they wished they could have—or have done without repentance. This is the same president that feeds on adulation with no concept of what it means to govern, to lead or listen. Whom says what he wants and has no idea what he says.
It is inherently American to have a voice and to be reactionary. When that reaction becomes and seeks to threaten the lives of other people? This means your actions have to be examined, reorganized and stopped. The right to exist and live in this nation cannot be subjugated by someone that is threated by it. The right to critically think, critique or provoke discourse is not exclusive to the monied. It does not lie with those whom are concerned with a status quo.
It does not lie with those whom believe to revert the progress of a nation is to make it better. Or stronger. Or safer. Cinematic history tells us that in times of fear and chaos, a hero shows up to save the day. I wish he’d hurry up.