President Donald Trump’s difficulty with specifically denouncing the “Unite the Right” rally and White terrorist violence committed in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend confirms what many people of color already felt about the Trump regime: it’s Al-Qaeda or Islamic State in khakis and polo shirts, hiding behind perverse and ancient renderings of a noble religion to justify its violent goals and actions.
On that last point about perversion — scriptures say that Jesus Christ supported the liberation of poor and oppressed people. He didn’t advocate this:
Osama Bin Laden’s last days as leader of Al-Qaeda mirrors what I see in Trump today: figurehead leadership who would make public appearances to stir-up followers while the real work of terror is run by lieutenants.
The mainstream media’s handling of all this domestic terror is different from how it sees Al-Qaeda or Islamic State, however. A pissed-off Muslim with a machete is quickly labeled as a “terrorist” while guts flee from news editors when they identify the White folks marching through Charlottesville who chanted “White lives matter.”
But that’s no big surprise to Black folks either.
While African descendants who haven’t committed crimes can’t drive across town without being stopped, questioned, and sometimes killed by police officers, many of us immediately saw the two faces of law enforcement when 20-year-old White terrorist James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio managed to speed through the town of Charlottesville, Virginia to kill as many people as possible.
You know, an Islamic State-styled attack.
Some Americans are still waiting for a newspaper or government official to call Dylann Roof’s mass shooting of innocent Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina an act of terrorism, but others simply see a troubled kid.
Meanwhile, African descendants never held their breath in lieu of delivery.
I wrote about Roof a while ago and used a device to describe people like him, which easily applies to the Charlottesville terrorists: fractals of racial hatred.
My writings are typically stuffed with imagery which, for obvious reasons, I tend to avoid breaking down for readers. Besides, this blog is not a home for longform pieces.
But a more detailed explanation is important.
As an African descendant who studies the history of race in America,I hold the opinion that state-sanctioned terrorist acts against people of color do not represent new horrors, born from the Trump era. We’ve seen this pattern for decades.
Some Americans are visually-driven in the most current sense and possess only a transactional view of events — a combination which results in divorcing what happened in Charlottesville this past weekend from Roof and much of American history.
But this is a mistake. These terrorists — in speech, form and results — are identical to the terrorists who committed acts of violence against people of color throughout the decades.
In other words, they are fractals. The Charlottesville terrorists could switch places with anti-Freedom Summer Mississippi terrorists from the 1960s — and neither group would feel out of place.
That’s how fractals roll.
And just like what we witnesseed in Charlottesville, where police officers watched the clashes between terrorists and counter-protestors for hours without apparently lifting a thought to stop the violence, local, state and federal government organizations have dragged their feet to deal with these violent fractals since the decades-long birth of White terrorism.
But unarmed and non-violent Black families in Ferguson Missouri can’t even protest on their home lawns without police officers attacking them with tear gas.
Peace to Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis for reminding us of this point in their new film.
The mislabeled “Reconstruction” — properly-titled if the goal of the exercise was to bail out rich plantation owners who went bust after the Civil War, and roll back the progress of freed Black slaves — is saturated with stories of racial violence committed by Ku Klux Klan terrorists, and the US government’s slow reaction to condemn or stop these acts from occurring.
The government and the terrorists exhibited the same behavior during the labor riots of the early 1900s.
Research the lynchings in America and you’ll find the same story: White terrorists who murdered Black people in the name of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, while Congress couldn’t even agree on a bill to outlaw lynching.
Let’s pause for a moment — we needed a BILL to outlaw lynching …
… and that bill never arrived.
We saw a similar story during the acts of White terrorist violence against civil rights protesters during the 1960s. We also witnessed government agency support for these terrorists, in the name of preserving segregation and voter suppression.
Conversely, we also saw the destruction of the Black Panther Party through infiltration and assassination.
America is so mired in racial terrorism that a reasonable view of race relations in this country is nearly impossible to achieve.
For example, look at Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s public statement to the Charlottesville terrorists:
You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. You want to talk about patriots, talk about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, who brought our country together.
Both “patriots” cited owned slaves, and one of them even felt that we lived in a post-racial America. In the late 18th century. When slavery still existed.
This is why I have problems with the phrase “This is Trump’s America.”
No — this is America.
And like the past, there’s no serious talk about ending White terrorism …
song currently stuck in my head: “canto fatal (full album)” – filó machado
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