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American Exceptionalism = Mass Murder

American exceptionalism = mass murder

Originally published: Black Agenda Report (August 8, 2019)   | 

U.S. police agencies, including the FBI, are incapable of mounting an effective offensive against their soul mates in the armed white right.

In the Age of Trump, the New York Times  and other corporate media have discovered that militant white supremacists are over-represented among the practitioners of the nation’s peculiar pathology: mass shootings. Patrick Crusius, the El Paso gunman who last weekend killed 22 people and injured dozens, mostly Latinos, was apparently a devotee of the French racist writer Renaud Camus, who warned that whites were in danger of being “replaced” by non-white immigrants. Before going on his Wal-Mart rampage, Crusius posted online that he was resisting “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The Times notes that the shooter who killed 51 people at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, last March, left a manifesto with the same title as Camus’ book, The Great Replacement, which is also thought to have inspired the shooter that killed 11 congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October of last year, as well as the gunman that attacked a synagogue outside San Diego, in April. According to “replacement theory,” Jews are the orchestrators of non-white people’s incursions on “white” territory. The white supremacists that marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the first summer of Trump’s presidency, chanted, “Jews will not replace us!”

The Times  article (“The El Paso Screed, and the Racist Doctrine Behind It”), fails to mention an even more influential racist writer, William Pierce, leader of the National Alliance and author of The Turner Diaries. Pierce’s race war-inciting book sold half a million copies and inspired a generation of white nationalist terrorists, including Tim McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber who killed 168 people in 1995. But Times  correspondent John Eligon goes back even farther than that, digging up Madison Grant’s 1916 work, The Passing of the Great Race, which argued that Nordic people’s were endangered by non-white hordes. Grant’s book inspired the Immigration Act of 1924, drastically limiting immigration to the U.S., and was the basis of Adolph Hitler’s program to cull unwanted peoples from the human herd. “White supremacy is a global threat,” the Times concludes, quoting Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League.

But of course, the primary inspiration for Hitler and all the lesser exterminators was not a book, but a social system that grew out of the slave trade, colonial plunder and global white settler colonialism. U.S. Jim Crow created the world’s first totally racially regimented society in what became the most powerful and dynamic white settler state. White supremacy, as an ideology, has been half a millennium in the making, reaching its “intellectual” — as well as economic and military — zenith right here in the U.S.A. The American “Exceptionalist” version of white supremacy is still a work in progress, having claimed 20 to 30 million lives since World War Two–six million in the Democratic Republic of Congo, alone–and still counting. At least 40,000 Venezuelans have already died from lack of medicine due to strangling U.S. sanctions and outright theft, and tens of thousands more will surely perish as a result of Washington’s economic blockade of Iran. Yes, white supremacy is “a global threat,” but not in the way the ADL’s Greenblatt meant.

Domestically, the U.S. created the world’s largest police-prison system, primarily to contain and control its Black, formerly enslaved population, as well as other non-whites within its borders. The vast American Gulag is the most dramatic proof that white supremacy remains a structural bulwark of U.S. society. The dawn of the Age of the Mass Shooter, arriving around the turn of the 21st Century and quickening in pace of slaughter by the year, shows us that America’s history of mass murder is coming home to roost.

The term “American Exceptionalism” is useful because it reveals the method and purpose behind the constant lies that white America tells to justify its barbaric, racist behavior. It is a polity of deflection, projection and wholesale invention, in which the mass corporate media are the most adept practitioners. The contradiction baked into the polity–the absurd proposition that the United States, founded by slave owners and Native American genocidaires, is a citadel of human freedom–is compounded by the racist behemoth’s superpower status. Thus, it tells super-lies, on a worldwide scale. Yet all the while, it’s more volatile, white male denizens fester in a murderous funk of escalating resentment feeling daily diminished by the growing presence of darker peoples in a White Man’s Country. They see 2044, the year the U.S. Census Bureau predicts Anglo whites will become a minority of the population, as a racial End Time, and are willing to risk their own lives–and take the lives of many others — to forestall the racial-lingual eclipse.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the New York Times’  favorite source on white terror, “Nearly 75 percent of the extremist murders committed in the United States over the past decade were carried out by people espousing white supremacist ideology such as the ‘great replacement.” But that’s surely nothing new. White settler states are created through massive racial violence and sustained by maintaining a white monopoly on violence. Violence is a virtue in America, where white criminals become folk heroes but uppity Blacks are national security threats.

The corporate media, most Democrats and even lots of Republicans are finally using the term “terrorism” to describe the armed white supremacist movement. The latest atrocities have compelled even Donald Trump to condemn “racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.” However, U.S. police agencies, including the FBI, are incapable of mounting an effective offensive against their soul mates in the armed white right.That’s not the kind of enemy they signed up to subdue. White cops are more racist than their civilian counterparts, according to a study by sociology professor Ryan LeCount, of Hamline University. As an article in Mint Press News reported, last year:

Altogether, LeCount finds that white police officers indeed possess more racially conservative views than white citizens. For instance, white police are nine times more likely than their white citizen counterparts to believe that black citizens are more violent than white citizens, and they are over three times more likely to agree with the phrase:nI resent any special considerations that Africans Americans receive because it’s unfair to other Americans.’ White officers are also 1.4 times more likely to agree that the government is spending too much money on black citizens, and nearly twice as likely to say that racial discrimination is not an obstacle to black citizens’ success. And, finally, white cops are 1.4 times more likely to believe that affirmative action programs hurt white citizens, and they are three times more likely to say that the white citizens experience racial discrimination in the workplace.

Black cops, it turns out, are nearly identical to Black civilians in their racial views–and in some instances, somewhat more enlightened.

The FBI has always behaved as if armed white supremacists were a potential reserve force to help crush Black rebellions. Last month the Bureau claimed it is abandoning the term “black identity extremism” as a targeted category. Previously, the FBI had defined “black identity extremists as individuals who seek, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society, and some do so in furtherance of establishing a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions, communities, or governing organizations  within the United States”–a definition that, as I wrote in BAR last May,

Encompasses demands for community control of police, schools, or any other ‘governing’ or even ‘social institutions’ in the U.S. By such definition, damn near all Black folks are Black Identity Extremists.

Instead, the Bureau is going to throw all “racially motivated violent extremism” into the same categorical pot — allowing the FBI to duck questions about the relative resources it has committed to dealing with white supremacist violence. The FBI has always given unarmed Black dissent a higher priority than armed white supremacists, a record of repression that did not change under President Obama and surely won’t change under Trump.

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