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Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; Dayton Ohio-more tragedies; more shootings with military-style assault rifles by deranged men, aimed at innocent people; more grieving families; more babbling by politicians about thoughts and prayers; more demand for control over these guns; and more-nothing. That has been the ritual over the years whenever these incidents occur.
(On August 14, there was an incident in the Nicetown-Tioga section of North Philadelphia: a gunman opened fire upon police officers, injuring six of them. There is no information about the shooter. No place is safe from this scourge.)
It has happened in houses of worship, schools, places you have out at for fun. Young men-almost entirely men-who pick up white-supremacist propaganda from the internet, and are inspired by the maniac-in-chief lurking in the White House, with his ravings about the “invasion” of people-including children-from Central America, escaping poverty, gang violence, and political repression in their countries-due to our government’s intervention in those countries over the decades, thus creating destabilization in those countries.
trump has enabled and encouraged racism and violence to be normalized in this country, after decades of both being unacceptable. The Republican Party does not have the will or the courage to challenge trump on this, but is in the thrall of the trump voters-they actually think that the MAGA hat wearing racists and bullies are the true American people, the “silent majority” Richard Nixon deigned to speak for. They act as if ALL Americans are like them, and are not working and low-income people conscious of the true state of affairs in this country; are not people of color-the Republicans have bragged about making inroads in attaining votes from Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans, when not appealing to fears of dark-skinned rapists, drug dealers, and welfare cheaters; and are ignorant of how the Republican tax policies of the past forty years have shoveled more money for the already-billionaire class while making workers work longer for decreasing paychecks. This indicates how ignorant the Republican leadership-ALL our political leadership in this country-knows nothing of rank-and-file Americans and what they go through.
trump is as much the symptom of the racist appeals of the Republican Party as he is the end result. His racism is all his own; it shows in his preventing Black families from renting in his company’s buildings in the seventies-resulting in lawsuits and hiring the notorious sleazebag attorney Roy Cohn; in his stereotyped statements about Jews being handy about money; in his continued demanding that the Central Park Five, accused falsely of raping a white woman, be executed, even after their innocence was proven; in his ordering Black employees off the floor of his casinos when he and Ivana came in; when he started his presidential campaign by saying Mexicans were rapists, drug dealers, criminals, “and some, I assume, and good people;” in his saying that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the destruction of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, when they didn’t; and when he demanded a “complete shutdown” of Muslims entering this country-I’ve just scratched the surface. trump’s racism melded with the racist appeals of the Republican party, and this is the result. The Republican party is stuck with trump.
Also-the myth of the almighty, all-scary National Rifle Association (NRA) is falling apart. The story in that politicians were scared to implement any meaningful gun controls for fear of the votes of NRA members; but recent scandals among the NRA leaders-Wayne LaPierre and Oliver North (of Iran-Contra infamy)-concerning living deluxe lifestyles from the NRA treasury, and big payoffs to the public-relations firm it hired, Ackerman-McQueen. (usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/03/nra-faces-financial-crisis-claims-might-unable-exist/902918002/)
Many of the men who committed these terrible crimes are part of neo-Fascist, white-nationalist extremist movements-with some “Christian” rhetoric thrown in- encouraged by the words of the racist idiot-in-chief in the White House. Social networking sites-such sites as Gab and 8chan come to mind-connect these men to each other, encouraging each other in these beliefs. It’s no different from a young man in the Middle East being recruited similarly into Al-Qaeda. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports that there are NOW over a thousand of such racist, neo-fascist, and white nationalist groups in the United States. (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/us/hate-groups-rise.html?fbclid=IwAR3I_WO6rGM6fCgomURq2MpL3Ei9jGdrPTW4vZR6ELkxD16WSmdCTneCCbg)
But-People are reluctant to call this by its right name-TERRORISM!-which Britannica calls “the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective.” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/terrorism) The US of A is NOT immune to terrorism; company thugs and official law enforcement have applied violence against organizers of workers, and still do; and let’s never-EVER-forget the sacrifice of Civil Rights activists facing beatings and murder at the hands of the Klan and the police (often the same thing).
Let us not wait for the “leaders” to come their “senses,” let us hit the streets to fight against the scourge of gun violence, the easy availability of military-level assault rifles, and the rise of a murderous neo-fascist movement. The fight is ON for the future of America, and the planet.
Coming up is Labor Day, the holiday of, by, and for American working men and women. Let us enjoy our burgers and beer-and afterwards, let us remember and relearn the struggles working people went through to organize themselves for their mutual benefit; how THEY endured terrorism, by sheriff’s deputies, police, militia, and company thugs to attain a better life for themselves and their children, knowing they were worth the struggle. I will take part in the Philadelphia area’s Labor Day parade and family celebration on September 2, and I hope you’ll all join me.