The nation trembles at the fear of Muslims killing Americans in our streets, Syrian refugees as a Trojan horse to more terror, Latinos crossing our borders and raping our women, killing, stealing jobs, blacks refusing to remain under white control, Native-Americans not having the understanding to realize their race and peoples no longer are a concern, yet when white persons, born in the United States, kill people for political purposes it is categorized just as the usual, ordinary domestic violence our society produces naturally. It is regrettable yes, so the approved narrative goes, but it is necessary for Americans ability to enjoy the freedom our nation values above all else—guaranteed by Second Amendment freedoms to have the populace armed to the teeth.
Is not this state of affairs utter madness? Is it not total depravity? Is it not evidence that not mere white privilege, but white supremacist beliefs underpin the foundation of what the United States is, as opposed to what we tell the world we are?
The obvious factual reality is a strong affirmative yes to all these questions.
White terror has been present in America since the very first European contacts, whomever you credit with discovering that humans lived here too. Native-Americans have had to stand by and watch as their lands, cultures, and very persons were destroyed on a mass scale over five centuries. Millions of black people from Africa brought here against their will, and in horrendous conditions, made slaves by their lack of whiteness for centuries in a nation professing to believe that God gives all humans birth free and equal, with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as self-evident moral truths, obvious to even the most un-intellectual of slugs. More recently, people who in their desperation for freedom from violence and oppression, and most of all economic opportunity, entered the nation in violation of our immigrations laws are demonized as nothing but criminals of the worst type.
Following the long period of enslavement as property, and not humanity, blacks were forced to submit to beatings, rape, lynching’s, systemic injustice that endures to this very day with names like Martin, Brown, Garner, and McDonald, shot sixteen times, armed with a knife when an officer with eight other officers, all armed with powerful firearms feared for their lives at a lunging black banshee ten feet tall. The videotape reveals a black teen walking in the opposite direction.
By gargantuan contrast, names like McVeigh, Dybold, and virtually every single mass killer thus far who are white are not terrorists, whatever the reason of their attacks, race or not, are just criminals. It is as if we are asked to believe that white terror is just not possible. That somehow, terror for political purposes is confined to those dark people who menace the rest of us and who must somehow be stopped. That we should fear them, and simply accept the crime of those who happen to have the approved melatonin levels in their skin cells as the tragic but inevitable product of modern life.
Misogyny too is consulted to the full, as dozens of States pass laws that insult the intelligence, social autonomy, and personality of half the population, denying health choices they and their doctors deem vital to their physical well-being matter less, if at all, then those made by white males with no experience or ability to understand the female state of mind, soul, or physicality of these humans. People with minority sexual orientations, and gender ID’s have been objects of terror and not simply wanting to get married before a Kentucky magistrate as violence committed to her person.
In last Friday’s attack on a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado we are told that police have yet no idea whatsoever about why the gunman there chose to attack the clinic. This despite interrogating him for hours last night following his capture, being a town at ground zero for anti-abortion evangelical fervor, and the very clinic itself being the one singled out with the abortion doctor accused of the greatest perfidy and crime in killing babies and selling their fetal parts, in a now totally discredited and misleadingly edited series of videos shot by an anti- abortion group, and the subject of intense and continuing harassment by a Congressional Committee dominated by anti-abortion Republicans intent on demonizing abortion. Defenders of the right to choose are forced to resort to pointing out that what Planned Parenthood does is not only legal, but remains the law of the Land to this very hour. However ill and confused the man in Colorado Springs was in killing people and wounding them, he terrorized people who survived with the horrific possibility of mass death via gun violence.
The double standard of hypocrisy is so strong that were McVeigh and Dybold and so many others to have been of color, the female gender, or of a minority social position, it would have immediately been labeled as an act of terror. How strange that the race and gender with the greatest power in our society has blame for obvious acts of terror mislabeled as something else. It means that like so much of what people of color or those who take unpopular positions or are of a minority social position have to endure, they also have to face the greatest amount of vilification for their acts legal or not.
Let me close with the greatest statement about how sick America has always been, possessing the greatest psychological denial among all nations as to its own cancer eating out its moral substance:
“What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.”
–Frederick Douglass, Fourth of July Speech, 1853
How sad that this utterance could be repeated with full truth in 2015.