If Rittenhouse Walks It’ll Be Open Season For White Supremacists On our Streets

I swear, sometimes it seems like people don’t even pause for a second to consider the consequences of their choices. I’m not talking about basic things like adding a serving of vegetables to every meal (though people should do that too). No, I’m talking about idiots holding seats of power who make abysmally idiotic choices on a regular basis.

It seems like our Supreme Court gets every single decision wrong. Even when it comes to flat out basic ideas that should be no-brainers for law students on their first day of class. The people occupying the Supreme Court are supposed to be the best of the best, yet every time they get into the spotlight they reveal themselves to be absolute FOOLS!

Those decisions trickle down, and now we’re in a situation where a 17 year old kid allegedly walked around the streets of Kenosha and allegedly killed two people. I’m saying “allegedly” because the case is still at trial. He’s claiming self-defense, but let’s pause for a moment and take a macroscopic look at this.

Do we really want to live in a society where frustrated individuals feel emboldened to buy military grade weapons and march around our city streets shooting people? What’s the best case result in that scenario? The best thing that can happen is that the people go home without shooting anyone. That’s the TOP! Anything else that might happen is a tragedy.

Just pause for a minute, I’m begging you, pause and consider what kind of a world it would be if yet another court emboldens yet more frustrated people to buy guns and become armed vigilantes. Will that end well? Do we want that? Just shut up about your rights and your sacred beliefs and consider the potential loss of life. We don’t have to live in that world. It’s a bad world. It’s an ugly world.

All the conservatives I know want to kill people

If you ever have the misfortune of talking to a conservative, it doesn’t take long for them to bluster about how they want to kill people. First they start blustering about their guns. They’ve got this gun and that gun and a scope for this gun and a whatnot thingamabob for that one. Then they pivot and start talking about what they’d do if the police ever came to their house and asked to take their guns.

“I won’t live in tyranny!”

“You’re saying you’d shoot them if they came to your door?”

“Dang right!”

Then they put on YouTube and start watching heavily edited riot videos and working themselves up into a murderous rage. They conveniently ignore that it’s white police officers in disguise throwing bombs at houses. Conservatives don’t care about the truth because they’re racists and at the root of everything they just want to slaughter black people with their AR-15s.

It is a historical fact . . . that law enforcement frequently infiltrates progressive political movements using agent provocateurs who urge others to engage in violence. It is also a historical fact that, more rarely, such provocateurs commit acts of violence themselves

It escapes me why the authors of that paragraph use the word “rarely” at the end. The whole point of their article is to demonstrate how infrequently law enforcement and the media take seriously how often police forces are guilty of inciting violence at peaceful protests. This is something that should be prominent in every legal proceeding related to any form of civil unrest.

Somebody needs to stand up and say, “It’s a well known fact that our police forces frequently engage in activities either to commit acts of violence themselves, or urge others to do so.”

The police create kill boxes. They escalate the violence. Does “defund the police” still seem like a bad idea to you fools? Why are we using tax dollars to fund groups that run around inflicting violence on our communities? Why won’t the media cover this? This seems like pretty big news. Every single time there is a riot, some journalist should be investigating whether or not there was any covert police instigation of violence.

But nobody cares.

The Supreme Court wants more guns

Even with the tragic loss of life that came with the Rittenhouse incident, the Supreme Court is looking to make it easier for citizens to carry guns around.

Faced with the question “does the constitutional right to possess a gun extend outside the home?” the majority of the Supreme Court appears to be heading toward the answer “yes.”

On Nov. 3, 2012, justices heard oral arguments over New York’s restrictions on the carrying of firearms in public. Supreme Court watchers reported that conservative justices — who make up the bulk of the court — appeared to be of the view that the state’s laws contravene individuals’ right to self-defense outside of their own property

Morgan Marietta

At what point will the right to life be part of the question? That’s in the Constitution too! These absolute morons with nothing to lose and a couple hundred bucks in their pocket are free to run around with military grade weapons. What about MY right to live?

Even if these losers don’t intentionally want to kill me, there’s a high chance I’ll be hit by a stray bullet. It’s like bringing an alligator to preschool and then being shocked when a child gets eaten.

If there wasn’t an alligator at the preschool, the alligator couldn’t have eaten anyone.

Why do I have to trust that a person is going to handle his alligator responsibly? What part of living in American society provides an indication that gun owners are responsible? They don’t take vaccines, they don’t believe the Earth is a sphere, they think JFK Jr. isn’t dead and is planning on being Trump’s running mate in 2024.

These people are unhinged! I don’t want them toting military grade weapons around! Why is that so hard to understand?

There need to be consequences for loss of life

The self-defense argument is so broad, and brainwashing tactics are so effective, that it might actually work in the Rittenhouse case.

Another factor is that Americans are flat out stupid and half of them (or more) are flat out racist. We all need to recognize the fact that there are millions of hostile white people in this country who are looking for any excuse to take to the street to shoot black people. That’s the reality of the United States. That needs to be acknowledged in the media, in politics, and in schools.

Deceitful white supremacists will try to frame the narrative as a person’s right (they’ll ignore race when they talk about it), to defend himself/herself (they’ll ignore who incited the violence), and try to make fearful suburban housewives think a guilty verdict represents an assault on their ability to protect their children.

The argument of whether people have a right to walk around our streets without the threat of being shot will never even be mentioned. But here’s the wild card that, in my opinion, might hurt the defense.

Though Rittenhouse and all three men he shot are white, many people saw racism at the heart of Kenosha — an armed white teen, welcomed by police to a city where activists were rallying against a white officer’s shooting of a Black man, and allowed to walk past a police line immediately after shooting three people — In Kyle Rittenhouse case, Americans see what they want to see.

Did you catch that? The dead people are white. If you don’t think that makes a difference then you’re delusional. I’m not saying it’s right, in fact, I think it’s utterly and completely wrong. But that is the reality of our racist nation. The defense needs to mention the race of the victims again and again and again.

Here’s what I’ve learned about white supremacists over the years, at the end of the day, they don’t care if the dead people are white or black. They don’t care if they are innocent or if they are rioters. They don’t care if they are police officers or private citizens.

White supremacists just want to see Americans dead. They want to pick up their military grade weapons they got at the local sporting goods store and slaughter as many people as possible because they get off on it. They get off on the fantasy, and when the fantasy stops getting them off, they do it in real life.

Why doesn’t the political left use that argument to terrify cowardly suburban housewives to vote the way they want them to? It’s actually something to be afraid of! Why doesn’t anyone hammer home the real threat of these white supremacist psychopaths that have such an influence on our society?

If something is going to kill you in America, it’s going to be them!

How about if we try to make our streets safe?

There’s just a blatant disregard for human life in the United States of America. The important questions don’t even enter the conversation. The lawyers and the media pick and choose the parts of the Constitution they care about, and completely disregard the segments that give us the right to life and liberty.

When people end up dead, we need to do something about it. The tradition of having enraged private citizens pick up their guns and take to the streets to engage in violence and death does not have a positive historical precedent. Oh, make no mistake, it’s happened before. It’s part of the history the right doesn’t want taught.

Ultimately, we determine the direction our society takes in the voting booth and in court. We should not tolerate the idea that people can pick up their guns and walk around killing each other. That concept is offensive. The people who think that’s acceptable are despicable human beings. This isn’t the Middle Ages. The people out there who vote because of fear, are voting the wrong way. They’re voting to make the world more dangerous. They’re voting to put the lives of their children at risk.

If you kill people, there have to be consequences, otherwise more people will die. Why isn’t anyone pushing that message? If you don’t make an example when a life is lost, the armed psychopaths in our society will become emboldened. Right now their fear is the only thing keeping them at home. Bit by bit, our courts and the political right are wiping that fear away.

Every day, it gets more likely that you’ll be shot by a lunatic in the United States. That should bother you. That should bother everyone. But the people who live in gated communities with their own private police forces just don’t take it seriously. They’re too dumb to recognize, sooner or later the white supremacists will come for them too.

This is the problem that should be keeping you up at night. White supremacists want to kill you, and a large number of your fellow Americans are urging them to take to the street with military grade weapons.


The Right Wants to Cancel the Truth

When conservatives attack Critical Race Theory — or any meaningful discussion of systemic racism in American history — they insist they do so only because such material ignores the progress made since the nation’s founding and leads students to think badly about America.

But actually, the right wants to paper over historical injustices — to cancel the truth — so as to keep students from asking difficult questions about inequality in the present.

But actually, the right wants to paper over historical injustices — l to cancel the truth — so as to keep students from asking difficult questions about inequality in the present.

They fear that if students realize how central racism has been to the country’s development, they may connect the dots between that historical injustice and ongoing disparities in the present.

And if they do that, they may seek to challenge the existing political and social order — as many millions did last summer after the murder of George Floyd.

Ultimately, the right wants students to be uncritical thinkers who accept the racial inequities they can see in contemporary America as naturally occurring or even the fault of Black people themselves.

It might sound like a hyperbolic claim. But it’s not hard to prove.

Conservatives fear the truth because it might inspire more activism

Although conservatives insist they merely want to stress the progress made since the nation’s founding — and they fear CRT and other anti-racist approaches don’t do enough of that — the right doesn’t actually want to discuss racism historically, even if only to point out how far we’ve come since the days of enslavement or segregation.

How do we know they have no interest in honestly presenting that history — even in its “look at all the progress we’ve made” version?

Simple.

First, we can watch what they’re doing and the material they’re attacking in their current crusade.

Across the country, groups like Moms for Liberty have been seeking to ban the teaching of children’s books about MLK, Rosa Parks, or Ruby Bridges, who was the first Black student at a previously all-white elementary school in New Orleans.

These books don’t teach that whites are “inherently oppressive” or evil — the claim made by some in their attack on Critical Race Theory. Instead, they simply tell the truth of the fight for civil rights and against segregation.

There is nothing in the books that is historically inaccurate, and indeed even the critics have pointed to nothing factually wrong in them.

But they wish to ban them anyway because the material might make white children “feel bad,” or make kids dislike police (because cops were often the ones brutalizing civil rights protesters), and because the stories “don’t offer white people redemption.”

There is nothing in the books that is historically inaccurate, and indeed even the critics have pointed to nothing factually wrong in them.

But they wish to ban them anyway because the material might make white children “feel bad,” or make kids dislike police (because cops were often the ones brutalizing civil rights protesters), and because the stories “don’t offer white people redemption.”

In other words, these are attacks on the truth, on actual history, by people who would prefer we lie to children, to pretty-up the past, to ignore the fact that most white people either supported segregation and institutional white supremacy or stood by and acquiesced to it, for generations.

For final confirmation that this is what the right seeks — the utter whitewashing of history — one need only listen to what one Republican activist and “concerned parent” in Virginia recently said, quite openly, to an interviewer for a segment on Showtime.

So there you have it — the whole gamut of right-wing racism denial and rationalization:

  1. Racism is only a problem because we talk about it.
  2. Teaching about what Andrew Jackson actually did to Indigenous people amounts to “putting down” whites “for the color of their skin.”
  3. Rather than discussing that genocide, Indigenous folks need to “forgive” and move on.
  4. Teaching accurate history about oppression leads to “giving people of color an advantage” over white people because it keeps us “feeling sorry for them.”
  5. When Black males are pulled over by police and treated differently, it’s not because of racism but because of their behavior and how they interact with cops.
  6. It should be up to parents whether or not to teach their children about racism, either in history or today.

It is nearly impossible to add much to this, other than to say what it obviously suggests: if it were up to the right, American history would be stripped of the history part.

All we would be left with would be the fictional narratives of George Washington and the cherry tree (which was a fake story, by the way) and other meaningless tales of uncomplicated greatness.

In their version, the founders were extraordinary men whose ownership of human beings is irrelevant to understanding who they were.

In their version, “mistakes were made” along the way, but by and large, America has been a place of freedom and liberty except for — as one Moms for Liberty activist puts it — “these small slivers” of injustice.

And to the extent this anti-historical narrative is blended with white fear about “preferential treatment” for Black people and rationalizations for current inequities — in the case of policing, as noted in the above segment — we can see the real fear here.

It’s not that kids might feel bad about being white. After all, as I’ve explained before, we could always teach students the history of white anti-racist allyship and give them strong white anti-racist role models so as to short-circuit guilt. But conservatives never want to do that.

Because it isn’t guilt that concerns them.

What they fear is that students taught the truth might put two and two together and realize that there is a connection between the history some would rather us not teach and the reality today, which they would rather us not confront.

These parents fear that young people, once apprised of the truth, might decide that America should right the wrongs of our history.

And that would challenge the very system upon which those white and conservative parents have come to depend and have long accepted.

They know children have an innate sense of justice — that is what scares them.

We know how the right would prefer history be taught — we did it that way for generations

If you want a sense of how conservatives would prefer history to be taught, especially regarding matters of racial injustice, you need only look at how it was taught for generations.

Only in the last 25 years or so have schools in most parts of the country begun to introduce multiple perspectives and voices to the history and literature curriculum, and even then in a spotty and inconsistent way.

Too often, literature classes throw a few Black or brown authors in the mix or focus on Black historical figures for February before pivoting back to the standard material with which the teachers themselves were typically raised.

It’s not necessarily because those teachers or schools were overtly or deliberately racist that voices of color were missing, but simply that “you can’t teach what you don’t know.”

I cannot recall being taught even one piece of literature by a Black author in school. Not one.

We did read Black Like Me, but that doesn’t count because the author was a white guy who only darkened his skin as an experiment to discover what segregation felt like to Black people — which apparently was easier than just listening to Black people or reading their books.

I cannot remember a single conversation in school about race or racism, historically or in the present.

And this was in Nashville — one of the most central locations of the civil rights struggle.

We took field trips to all kinds of places in town: to the state capitol, the Parthenon (yes, we have one, don’t ask), even some stupid tea house downtown for reasons I still can’t understand.

This was where warriors for justice like John Lewis and Diane Nash and Bernard Lafayette confronted the city’s white power structure, as others did in cities across the South that year.

And yet, we never went there, even to discuss what had happened on that spot.

We learned nothing about the Nashville freedom movement.

We had no speakers come in to talk about that movement.

Nothing. At all.

We went to the Hermitage — the home of Andrew Jackson — where we uncritically imbibed the history of one of the nation’s most depraved and racist Indian killers and enslavers. But we could not spend even a day learning about real heroism.

Why not?

There is only one reason: because to discuss their struggle would have confronted us with the reality of what this nation was for most of its history — a formal, official, and legally accepted system of white supremacy.

Even more, it might have led us to ask: “Where were our parents and grandparents when all this was happening?”

And because we know the answer to that for most white students, it was thought best to leave it alone.

To the parents storming school board meetings, screaming about CRT, and demanding the removal of books from school libraries, it still is.

They would have their children remain ignorant. They would lie to them. All because to tell the truth might encourage them to do something to make the country more fair and equitable.

And conservatives quite like things the way they are.

They always have.

Is America Heading Towards Another Civil War?

There’s a question that’s been eating away at me. I’ve tried not to ask it, but it keeps coming back to haunt me. It’s an ugly one, a difficult one. I’d bet, perhaps, that it’s occurred to you, too. It goes like this. Is America headed for a second civil war?


Before you object to me even asking, or call me “alarmist,” as so many Americans love to do even as their nation collapses, let me outline why this question keeps on eating away at me. And while you do, bear in mind, that I’ve lived through civil wars, and studied them, too. America today reminds me of those collapsed societies I was unlucky enough to grow up in. There’s something going badly wrong in America today. But just how wrong?

Here are the five reasons why I think there’s a distinct possibility America is headed towards another Civil War. In fact, may already be in one —as many of those that I follow on Twitter are calling it, a “cold Civil War”  — so let’s begin there.

I read a statistic today that finally made ask the question out loud. Like so many of today’s statistics, it’s shocking, grim, and yet unsurprising, all at the same time. Four out of ten Republicans who believe the election was stolen think political violence is justified. And let me remind you, a whole 70% of Republicans still think the election was stolen from Trump.

Think about that for a second. Four out of ten Trumpists support violence as a means to address their political grievances. Those are incredibly dire numbers.

Let me put them in perspective. If we saw them in any other society, we’d say: that society is on the brink of civil war. That’s the same level of widespread, mass-scale support for violence that existed in, probably, the Balkans. In African genocides. In Islamic sectarian conflicts. In fact, in many of those places, and at those times, there was less support for violence.

Imagine seeing a headline that said: “40% of Germans support violence to resolve political differences.” You’d shudder — and think of Nazism. Or think of reading “40% of the Dutch (or Swedish, or Danish) back violence on a mass social scale.” It’d be faintly ridiculous, because today those are happy, trusting societies. To really drive the point home, imagine “40% of Canadians support large-scale political violence.” LOL — Canadians are nice.

But all that should put in perspective how eerily wrong it is to see such statistics in America. Where else do we see numbers like “40% of one of two political sides support large-scale violence to attain their authoritarian ends”? Only in failed states. Serious, hardcore failed states. It’s hard to even find other examples today. Not even in Pakistan or India or Nigeria would you see such numbers — which is how shocking this finding really is.

And yet it’s also, like I said, unsurprisingWhy? Because something’s in the air. Something poisonous. And we all know it. We can see it. Many of us are experiencing it. Americans are at each others’ throats. The culture wars are spilling over into real harm, violence, intimidation.

Americans’ cultural differences appear to be irreconcilable.

What cultural differences are those? Well, one side — you know which — still wants America to be something very much like a supremacist, segregated, patriarchal state, where women and minorities are second-class citizens, if even that much. The other wants something less than a social democracy, but at least some semblance of an open, modern democracy. Now, the side which wants America to be a supremacist state has always wanted that, and appears totally unwilling to give up on it.

Hence, all those now infamous school-board wars. Moms and dads — perfectly seemingly normal ones — erupt in rage at teachers and school administrators. It’s murderous rage, too. They threaten their lives. Over what? Over having kids read books about slavery. Little Johnny’s feelings were hurt. He cried. He had nightmares. Because he was told how horrific it really was to enslave people, to genocide them over centuries. Wait — who’s the snowflake now?

American pundits have gussied all this up in a kind of tacky lingerie. They’ll tell you that one side is “opposed to critical race theory,” and the other isn’t. Don’t kid yourself. Teaching kids that slavery is bad is what American conservatives object to — as is the idea that America was founded a slave state, that many of its founding fathers were part of the enterprise of mass subjugation, and that even today, the benefits of all those centuries of supremacy accrue to a certain social group of people.

None of that’s remotely “critical race theory.” Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” the book in question which has fuelled these conflicts among neighbours, isn’t some kind of textbook about critical race theory. It’s just a book about what it was like to be a slave.

So these cultural wars aren’t really about abstruse theories or even “wokeness.” Not really. They’re about the same old things that America’s always been conflicted about. Supremacy. Hate. Greed. And violence, to attain those ends.

All those parents shouting at teachers and school administrators want to ban books. What kind of society does that remind you of? North Korea. Iran. The Soviet Union. Don’t kid yourself that this is some kind of academic fight about “theory.” It’s about the same old thing: hate, and the “freedom” to live in a hateful way, to reproduce, to teach your kids that supremacy and hate are virtues, too, just like you were taught, that you’re superior by virtue of purity of blood and faith, and everyone else is inferior, not a “real American.”

Now. The problem is this. Those differences are irreconcilable.

Let’s take an example of where those school board fights have led. Now a place like Northern Virginia is riven. That might strike you as irrelevant, but it shouldn’t, because Northern Virginia is about the closest thing America has to Canada or Europe. It’s full of people from around the globe, who enjoy functioning public services, and enjoy, by and large, happy and stable lives.

But now things are different. “Youngkin” signs line the yards — of some people. In case you don’t know, he’s a mini-Trump.

Now you know that your neighbours are racists. Supremacists. That they want their kids to have power over yours. The power to abuse and subjugate your kids, too. They think that their kids’ feelings being hurt by being taught the truth about slavery is more important than…the truth about slavery. Which means, of course, that slavery and supremacy and hate can’t matter very much at all, or teaching kids that they’re wrong. So plenty of Virginians, it turns out, even affluent ones, want to raise their kids to be little Southerners, of the old world — racist, hateful, violent, brutal, stupid. How do you live with that? Can you?

Let me say it again. These differences are irreconcilable. They’re not just about a culture war, but about something much deeper. Let me give you a parallel or two to explain why they’re so important.

Why did the Islamic World, for example — one among many — keep on melting down into civil war? Because one sect believed it was superior. And everyone else was inferior. By virtue of purity of faith and blood. In other words, your impurity wasn’t something you could change. The only option possible for you was surrender. You accepted the domination of those “superior” to you, or else. Or else what? Or else it was time for serious, serious violence.

Those difference were irreconcilable. Such differences are always irreconcilable. You cannot negotiate in good faith with fanatics and supremacists.

If someone believes that they are inherently superior to you, and deserves the power to abuse you, to dominate you, to subjugate you — well, then where does that leave you? Where does that leave a society? The only option for most such societies is that they erupt into violence. I gave you the example of the Islamic world, but it could have just as easily been the Balkans, or Africa’s failed states, or Latin America’s endless implosions. You can’t negotiate with people who want you enslaved, subjugated, dead.

And it’s no joke to say that that is what Trumpists want. It’s no exaggeration. No hyperbole. Let’s think about it together.

We now know that 40% of Trumpists back using violence. To what? To attain their political ends. But what are their political ends? To put Trump into power. Why? Not because Trump is a nice guy, or a wonderful leader, or even that he’s going to fix America. But because Trump is a textbook demagogue.

What’s a “textbook demagogue”? Someone who scapegoats minorities and demonises others for the woes of the pure and true. In other words, the Trumpists want Trump in power because he is a supremacist. Think about what Trump does (if you even have to.) He looks at America, sees a broken country, ignores the plight of the most powerless — Black people, Native Americans, the women at their intersections — and instead tells white America that it’s the real victim. Then he turns right around and blames their woes — a loss of community, opportunity, mobility — on minorities. The very people at the bottom of the social ladder.

White Americans don’t have good jobs anymore? It’s not because they voted for Republicans who hollowed out the economy — nope, it’s the fault of…Mexican babies.

Put them in concentration camps. White America’s experienced a catastrophic decline in trust over the last few decades? It couldn’t be because those old values of supremacy still manifest in greed and selfishness and mistrust and hostility — nope, it must be the fault of “foreign invaders.” Quick, hunt them in the streets. And so on.

Trump performs the classic demagogues’ trick of scapegoating minorities and women and othered figures for the woes of the pure and true — when, just like in any good social collapse, the woes of the pure and true are nobody’s fault but their own. Who made White America vote for the Republicans that then looted its retirement funds, healthcare, destroyed its towns, left it jobless and adrift. Nobody. So then why did it? Because of supremacy, in short. Reagan found a new code to appeal to the ugly old racist sentiment in white America. Now “real Americans” didn’t have to “pay for” the schools and healthcare and retirement of “welfare queens.” You don’t have to read too hard between the lines to see the racist dog-whistles.

So clinging to supremacy is what destroyed White America’s own chances at a future.

And then Trump came along, and performed the demagogues’ trick, of blaming minorities for all that. He did something crucial, which only a demagogue can really do. He licensed violence on a mass social scale.

It would’ve been unthinkable, say, a decade ago, to read a figure like “40% of conservative Americans support mass-scale social violence.” Sure, they might have been deluded or simple or just terrible people, whatever (not to say liberals can’t be, either, but) — yet that hardly would have led to the place America’s at now.

What’s different now is that Trump licensed violence. He didn’t just “incite” or “stoke” it, as pundits say. He did something far, far more dangerous than that. He told his followers that it was OKDesirable. Totally normal. That if it was the only way, then so be it, and it wasn’t really violence at all, just justified civil disoedience, maybe.

So now Trumpists see themselves not as regressive fanatics, but as noble crusaders for civil liberties. Hence, they’ve gone down the rabbit hole of radicalization. If you say to a Trumpist, hey, my man, you believe all that, essentially, because you’re a supremacist, a fascist, a racist, they’ll look at you like you’re the crazy one. They’re just defending their kids’ rights. To have pure bodies and minds, untouched by the poisons of vaccines and “critical race theory.” They genuinely appear not to see the way that the old, old hatred of supremacy underlies all this, because they think this is what freedom is: the entitlement to reign supreme over the rest of a society, subjugate, dominate it, abuse it, repress it.

If you think I’m kidding about that, just go ahead and take a hard look at Texas, where women now don’t have basic freedoms of speech, association, or privacy anymore. Anyone can act as a vigilante now, police women’s speech and association anywhere, and if they show the merest hint of wanting to exercise their rights to reproductive healthcare, they can be sued into oblivion, and jailed if they don’t the damages. Sound like freedom to you? It’s not, for the women. What it is is supremacy for the men.

And that is what America’s irreconcilable differences are — and have always been about. Freedom confused with supremacy. My right to keep you in your place — the place I’ve assigned you — as a second, third class citizen, a non-person, someone 3/5ths human, someone with no real freedoms of your own. But if my freedom is taking away yours — then where do we end up? Is freedom little Johnny not having to have his precious feelings hurt because he learned the truth of the horror of slavery? Or is freedom expanded when little Johnny matures into a decent, thoughtful, human person — not someone just like his supremacist parents? America’s never understood the answer to this question, which is simple. Freedom is expanded when we are all sane, thoughtful, wise, empathic, gentle, kind. Because only then is my life not about taking something away from you.

Let me try and crystallise the thoughts above. Something poisonous is in the air in America today. It’s not just Covid. It’s something even more deadly than that. It’s the foul stench of ancient hatreds. Americans of a certain kind — Trumpists — have been truly radicalised now. They have always believed that they were supreme, chosen, pure and true, and therefore the only “real Americans,” the thus the ones who the soil and everything on it “belonged” to. But now thanks to half a decade of simmering rage, a demagogue leading them on, they are willing to use violence to get their country back.

Which country is that? Ah, you know the one. The Jim Crow America. The America that genocided the “red Indians” and then…turned them into sports teams. The one that didn’t let women vote until 1920. The one in which Black people had to drink from separate fountains until 1971. That was just a few years before the average American was born.

Trumpist America wants its country back. All that rage on all those parents’ faces? The way that suburban soccer moms have turned into screaming banshees of supremacy? The way little Johnny should never have to cry over the unspeakable horrors of slavery, because, well, he should never have to grow up and be different from his mommy? The way his daddy practices shooting a machine gun every weekend with his buddies?

All that looks a whole lot like a country preparing for something, my friend. Something they — the Trumpists — already call “the Storm.” That is how America got here, which looks a whole lot more like the brink of civil war by the day.

Millions upon millions of Americans still believe they are the supreme ones, by virtue of blood and faith, and everyone else in society is inferior to them, below them, and so is “their” history, culture, so are their bodies, minds, stories, truths, meanings, lives . There’s no reconciling with a position like that — unless you want to live in subjugation. When a society has irreconcilable differences, history teaches us that violence becomes almost inevitable. And America has the oldest irreconcilable difference of them all. Sadly, even after all these centuries? America’s differences appear not to have moved one inch. The hateful America is right where it always was. Seduced, tempted, aroused by violence, for the purpose supremacy, to bring hate right back to life.

If that scares you, my friend…it should.

Lady Irish Queen

No Two Sides To the Holocaust Means No Two Sides to Slavery, Right?

The recent outrage over both-siderism should apply to Black people too

Since the summer, White people, mostly conservatives, have been rampaging against Critical Race Theory. They made the argument that America’s children should not learn about the ills of slavery, Jim Crow, or systemic racism. Many White people insisted a critical look at these structures would make White children feel uncomfortable. It’s funny how these same critics never seemed concerned with how Whites-only history makes Black children feel.

But, when audio from a Southlake school district meeting in Texas revealed that the new laws require teachers to provide “both-sides” to controversial issues without showing a preference for one or the other, liberal White people just about lost it.


‘Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979,”’Peddy could be heard saying on tape, according to NBC News. ‘And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.’

NPR

You could hear the stress and anguish in the teachers’ voices as they responded to the news — that they would have to provide books or resources that provide “an opposing” view to the Holocaust. Teachers couldn’t imagine two sides to the Holocaust because, of course, the tragedy is inexcusable and undeniable.

But, I can’t help but see the irony in White people rejecting both-siderism when it comes to the Holocaust, but not slavery. But, seriously, where was this outrage all summer long when Black scholars were defending attacks on “critical race theory?”

White teachers should have risen up then, and to be fair, some did. Still, the outrage has never been as concise as when it provided a non-Black example of both-siderism. It’s only now that they seem united in their disapproval. That’s because even amongst sensible, left-leaning White folks, there is an undercurrent of racism that makes other marginalized groups more important than Black people. Black perspectives don’t seem to matter as long as White people don’t feel uncomfortable.

Millions of Jewish people lost their lives because of anti-semitism, and White people enslaved millions of Black people, killing and torturing many. So, the bottom line is — why is it so easy for White people to understand there are no two sides to the Holocaust without also equally conceding there are no two sides to slavery?

Simply put, marginalized groups are not treated equally, and more often than not, Black people find themselves at the bottom of the totem pole. Too often, school curriculum relies almost solely on White people’s accomplishments while hiding anything that exposes their slave-owning, humanity disregarding, bigoted behaviors.

For instance, elementary school teachers will often have children draw or color pictures of Christopher Columbus, even though he was a known rapist and murderer. It’s as if Black and Indigenous lives don’t matter to White people because when it comes to fighting over what children should learn in history class, preference is always given to the colonizer’s side of things.

“Columbus kidnapped and enslaved more than a thousand people in Hispaniola.” Tell me, White folks, are there two sides to what he did, or can we only show disdain for Nazis’ treatment of Jews? It’s frustrating to see only certain types of European people condemned for bigotry while others are praised and called heroes. But, seriously, what is the other side to this other than racism, greed, and corruption? And also, history is filled with stories of White people who actually fought against bigotry, so it seems ridiculous that we keep celebrating the ones who choose cruelty. They know what they’re doing.

Two Americans, Issac Franklin and John Armfield, were two of the most wealthy slave owners in American history. They bought and sold more African slaves than any other White men in American history. Essentially, “they created a modern machinery to support the business of human trafficking.”

Both Franklin and Armfield bragged about abusing and raping African slaves. So tell me White folks, should we read about their side of the story and acknowledge the pleasure they experienced from owning and abusing people? Or can we just be adults about it and safely say that there were no two sides to human trafficking?

We can’t really complain that there are no two sides to the Holocaust without acknowledging the hypocrisy of American history classes, which has long shown the “other side of slavery.” We got here to a place where Jewish people’s experiences are undermined in Texas classrooms because White people couldn’t care less when it was happening to Black folks. If we fix how we teach the Holocaust, then we need to address how we teach about slavery and the genocide of Indigenous people in America.


Within moments of the audio released that exposes the both-side fallacy of the Southlakes’ school board meeting, White folks (mostly liberals) railed against the injustice of teaching two sides to the Holocaust. They are right. No matter how anyone tries to twist it, the Holocaust was an undeniable tragedy and we should do everything in our power to ensure Jewish people never feel the threat of anti-semitism again. However, I can’t help but think it would be nice if we lived in a world where White folks also acknowledged there were no two sides to slavery and fought for a critical evaluation of the role slavery played in America’s founding and its current social structures.

No group of people’s suffering is greater than another. And my goal is not to diminish the experiences of Jewish people. However, by failing to fight for a history that tells the truth about America’s sins, White folks are like the pot calling the kettle black. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but if there are no two sides to the Holocaust, there are no two sides to slavery, Jim Crow, or anti-Black racism either.

Race & Racism for Dummies

For those who are confused (and there always will be those who don’t get it… or won’t), I’d like to offer five points that, hopefully, are easily digestible.

1. White privilege is not about individuals and whether they have or have not.

It’s about a system that was designed to favor one race over all others and still does.

2. Every White person in the US benefits from White privilege.

It doesn’t necessarily make them rich. It doesn’t necessarily make them evil. It doesn’t necessarily make them racist. If you’re White, having White privilege is not your fault. But if you wield it — or refuse to acknowledge it — that’s on you.

3. Racism is not just a Southern phenomenon — or a historical one.

The end of slavery was not the end of racism or discrimination. I do not have to be a slave to be affected by the legacy of slavery, and if you are White in America in 2021, you don’t have to own slaves or even be descended from slaveowners to benefit from their legacy.

And although Southerners have historically been cast as the primary villains of racism, they weren’t the only ones and still aren’t. George Floyd was murdered in Minnesota, one of the northernmost states in the US.

4. I enjoy a degree of economic privilege (yep, I can admit it), but that doesn’t preclude White people who make considerably less money than me from benefitting from White privilege.

Our legal system tends to favor White people on both sides of crime, and that is one of the most glaring examples of White privilege. It’s why when young White men drive down dark roads late at night, their mothers have one less thing — trigger-happy cops — to worry about.

5. We won’t achieve truly meaningful change until we all face America’s collective failings and stop looking for loopholes to escape incrimination: being poor, being colorblind, etc.

The collective failings will continue to mean collective failure as long as some insist on burying their heads in the sand and denying the harsh reality that most of us in racial minorities are unable to simply disregard, as we are stuck on the short end of it. You can tune us out — a privilege we are unable to exercise in return — but you won’t shut us up.