Mass Shootings: As American As Apple Pie

Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, given the name, “Sharp Knife” by the Cherokee for all the Native Americans he killed

White Supremacy is part of the DNA of America. Native American genocide for land grabs a capitalist system, that encouraged the enslavement of millions of Africans for about 246 years and then, after their freedom is granted, subject those same people to state sanctioned violence and laws that allow for their economic disenfranchisement for another 100 years. Terrorizing imperialism in the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean killing hundreds of thousands due to military action and disease. The imprisonment of child refugees seeking asylum from a despotic Latin America that this current administration and previous administrations have been a part of destabilizing for well over 100 years. We speak the language of violence in this country, be it in the name of profit, or in the form of “liberating” a foreign nation to control a natural resource they provide, we’ll use our military might to get what we want, and cover up the greed in a lie of liberation and freedom.

In a post Howard Zinn world, it can be surprising to see revisionist history still reign supreme in the ideology of these mass murders, but we can NO LONGER LET THIS SHIT RIDE. We have a president, who is an outlier of hate. A reality show star that has created a fake reality since the 80’s. He preaches his abhorrent dogma from the pulpit of social media. A medium that often is the home of bogus conspiracy theory and fake news, our President echoes these untruths and then turns them into policy. Banning brown people of Muslim faith in fear of terrorist traits, yet the violence we suffer at the hands of the domestic terrorist isn’t from our brown brothers and sisters. It’s not Sharia Law that killed 20 people and in El Paso and 9 Dayton. These people weren’t radicalized by Islam, as much as a 24 hr news cycle of xenophobic rants on Fox News. After that indoctrination, go to YouTube and fall down a rabbit hole of white supremacist gospel, and an algorithm of hate will take you on a path of white nationalist propaganda.

Trump promised us that he would drain the swamp. He spoke to the people in a language they could understand. No ivy league elitist double talk, a Washington outsider, a business man with a track record of failure and a product of inherited wealth was speaking to a disaffected populous about relating to their economic problems and being the only one who could fix them. Pure demagoguery. It isn’t mental illness or video games. It isn’t the NRA and guns. The US is the largest arms dealer in the world. If you don’t think innocents die in drone bombings Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, Somalia, Libya, in the name of a war on terror, then we can’t have a proper dialogue about white supremacist terror happening here at home.

The country is in deep trouble. We’ve forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that’s the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word

-Cornel West

The only thing trickling down in this current administration is violence. The economy for the 1% is doing well, while wages stay stagnant. Fighting for a living wage, fighting for human rights like healthcare, calling for an end to senseless wars are all deemed un American. Fredrick Douglas’s fight against slavery is as American as Donald Trump’s racist hyperbole. We are a complicated nation, and we’re STILL trying to understand our intricacies. I don’t have the answer to solve our problem of this current wave of violence. I do know that arming teachers, and Walmart greeters isn’t gonna fix ANYTHING. I do know if we don’t truly discuss issues that effect us all like a broken education and healthcare system, wealth inequality, and of course supremacist systems, then expect more white men, rendered impotent by the system to act out in violence.

I scream/sing play guitar in Bitter Lake and host the This is Revolution Podcast. Oakland, CA born, Richmond raised. Words and thoughts from the Lower Bottoms.

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