Why They Aren't Calling It Terrorism
Everyone's talking about the #CharlestonShooting, but no one's talking about the things that matter...again.
I don't like to talk about racism, I like to talk about White Supremacy. An ideology that underpins world history since Europe colonized most of the world.
To challenge White Supremacy is to challenge the combined history and Id of BILLIONS of people and hundreds of years of history.
To challenge White Supremacy is to challenge history as we know it. It's to challenge religion as we know it, it's to challenge geography as we know it. How do you tell BILLIONS of people that what they've been taught, what they "know in their gut"...is wrong? How do you tell BILLIONS of people that White Supremacy isn't some nutcase with a Swastika...but White Supremacy is me, you and everyone that has been formally educated in the last oh...600 years?
It's a daunting task, but if we want to solve the problems that today are caused by White Supremacy, then we must speak it's name and we must call it what it is.
The Charleston Shooting wasn't an act of a lone, crazed "extremist". It was an act of White Supremacy. It was a terrorist attack on a historical church that's been a symbol of challenging white supremacy for 200 years.
n : the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.
The FBI says this wasn't a terrorist attack. Not surprising. The system has to protect itself...and besides, Terrorism's for Brown people! Any violent, politically driven act meant to influence people through fear is an act of terrorism; unless of course that act doesn't challenge the hegemony of patriarchal White Supremacy.
This is White Supremacy at work. White goodness is inherent, hence this is an act of "evil" or mental illness...despite the fact that mentally ill people are more likely to be a danger to themselves than anyone else.
None of these things surprised me because I'm well aware of my place in this world. I'm well aware of White Supremacy and well aware of how to get by in it. It didn't make me any sadder or stop me from spending most of the morning in tears or stop me from having the worst day at work in a long time.
The truth of the matter is, the US, while it "renounced" slavery, NEVER renounced White Supremacy.
I ended up in tears because of this shooting...not because I'm surprised it happened, but because I knew the familiar route this would take.
Absent any witnesses aside from those left alive "to send a message" and who lived by playing dead, there was no doubt about who the shooter was or what their intention was. Unlike the Trayvon Martin case.
Absent any "questions about what they were doing" to cast some sort of guilt on the victim (like Trayvon Martin), there is no doubt about the "respecatibility" of the victims...unlike Mike Brown.
Absent any excuses that White Supremacy has taught us to look for in the culpability of the victims as if they somehow played a role in their own tragedy, the media will seek to paint this murderer as a "lone wolf" as if he sewed and created those Rhodesian and S. African flags himself. They will seek to "humanize" him by showing baby pictures, talking about what a good kid he was, etc...
This is White Supremacy at work. All White ppl are good and any deviation is just that...a deviation, an abberration from inherent White goodness as opposed to the extension of and logical endpoint to an ideology built on lies and enforced through terror.
Whether that terror takes the form of the KKK (the oldest functioning domestic terrorist group in N. America) or the idiot who shot up those people in church, White Supremacy has always been enforced with violent terrorism.
To indict this young man as a terrorist would be to indict White Supremacy. To indict White Supremacy, you would have to indict the entire history of America in relation to it's treament of African Americans.
White Supremacy wasn't defeated in the 60's. It was wounded and all it did was test the boundaries of what was "acceptable" in the modern world. See Lee Atwater's "nigger, nigger. nigger" speech for better understanding.
So the Charleston shooter will be a lone wolf, mentally disturbed "bad apple" in the same city where this happened, in the same state that flys the confederate flag, in the same country that DEMANDED their PRESIDENT prove he was born there.
If money and military power are how you define greatness. Then indeed, America is great...but I consider greatness to be first and foremost a testament to character and good character speaks the truth.
For America to be truly great, the truth of its past and its present must be spoken and that truth should start by calling what happened in Charleston, South Carolina...terrorism.
If America, indeed most of the civilized world is to be as "great" as we claim, then we need to "never forget" these terroristic acts against African Americans the same way we never forget 9/11 or the Holocaust.
The reality is though, to "never forget" you must first KNOW about something. You can start by clicking the link that this picture takes you to.
Most people have no knowledge of these acts of terrorism against African Americans, because "erasure" is a key tenet of White Supremacy.
Watch erasure play out over the next few days as Dylan Roof becomes, not the logical end point of centuries of hard and soft White Supremacist education, but a "mentally disturbed lone wolf".