“Fascism” is nothing new in this nation. The loaded word was part of conversations throughout the country when two mass shootings occurred in a 24-hour period.
A confused nation can’t come up with rational answers, even though most Americans are sincere in their desire to end the carnage. A dangerous combination of racism, political cowardice and violence accepted by some of the well-intended is a recipe for inaction.
Don’t see similarities
The same people who may shake their fist at the National Rifle Association will shrug their shoulders or openly support killing if it is carried out by someone wearing a U.S. military uniform. Those who steadfastly oppose American imperialism and all of its violence are few and far between.
Most people are cheerleaders for death and destruction if it is carried out by their government. They don’t bother to question – much less oppose – U.S. imperialism, the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Civilians are killed without warning in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, just like the unsuspecting shoppers in El Paso. They die from lack of medicine in Iran and Venezuela due to U.S. sanctions.
At the same time, racism is at the heart of domestic violence. A settler-colonial state depended upon gun-carrying White people to uphold the social order. The militias referred to in the Second Amendment were slave patrols needed to enforce “the peculiar institution.” Those militias continue in the modern-day police force and in the minds of millions of people.
What about the cops?
All the hate crime talk is a reminder that police commit more of it than anyone. Every day, one Black person and two others of different races will be killed by the police. Yet the term “hate crime” is rarely applied to the people who kill at will and with complete impunity.
The police have little to fear because most White Americans trust them and support their effort to keep Black people under physical control. Even people who responded with outrage or attended a vigil for the victims don’t question the dictates of U.S. imperialism and police brutality. Both phenomena are White supremacist to the core.
The El Paso police took the killer into custody without firing a shot, or putting him in a chokehold. Nor did the killer turn his gun on them. There seems to have been a mutual understanding that the police and White people are on the same side, even when Whites are mass killers. Fortunately the Dayton, Ohio police were less reverential and killed the gunman.
Americans have an openly racist president, racist foreign policy, racist law enforcement and racist corporate media. The heirs of the slave patrols promise not to give up their guns and politicians either agree with them or cower in fear of the well-organized lobby.
White supremacy is foundational to the United States. Rooting it out requires more self-awareness than this country is currently able to muster. In the meantime, no one should be shocked when the next mass shooting makes the news.
White supremacy is not the province of crazy killers or orange-faced presidents. It is a normalized belief system for millions of people.