by Greg Joly
As Scott Nearing observed in his 1929 classic, Black America:
“Consciousness of their racial inferiority is constantly forced upon the Negroes by a widespread system of discrimination and exclusion levied against them for no other ground than their skin color.”(163)
Nearing refused to relegate Afro-Americans into the sociological catch-all labelled “social problem,” and instead explored their plight as a blatant example of race-based white oppression. All the Governmental rhetoric intoning “freedom and justice for all” cannot absolve the Founding Fathers of their personal racism, which was subsequently institutionalized in our founding documents, jurist prudence and the birth of police forces created exclusively to recapture runaway slaves. As Professor Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan notes: “American law demonstrated that it was perfectly possible to have racist legislation even if it was impossible to come up with a scientifically satisfactory definition of race.” Thus, any protestation of racial superiority will inspire its adherents to practice segregation as a means to ideological racial purity. As one white lynch-mob member declared: “What is lynch justice, if not the natural resistance of the Volk to an alien race that is attempting to gain the upper hand.” (Whitman, see below.)
After hearing W.E.B. DuBois speak in Chicago, Nearing wrote:
“A monstrous wrong, perpetuated through centuries, cannot fail to have a profound influence upon the cultural pattern in which it develops and upon the peoples who knowingly tolerate the wrong and use it for their own material profit.”(World Events #71, June 1951)
Now we have the executive and legislative branches of government, aided and abetted by various militarized government agencies, enacting travel bans against people of color who practice an “alien” religion, the implementation of aggressive forms of “extreme” vetting, and a Head of State who vilifies an entire “race”, Blacks as “THUGS’ and Hispanics as “rapists and murderers”, while installing a pillar of the Alt Right, Steven Bannon (whose services were paid for by the very system he plans to throw into chaos and dismantle) as Main advisor to the President, later blending in Steven Miller, Kayleigh McEnany and Larry Kudlow to the toxic mix. Add to this the private army made up of federal prison guards, without name badges or identifying insignia, that AG Wm. Barr put together to clear Lafayette Park of peaceful protestors so that the President could enact a bible photo-op. Thus, you have the makings of, at best, the power-consolidation of a racist autocrat with a personal army or the fledgling form of a proto-fascist state with FoxNews and OAN utilized as State-sanctioned propagandists.
There is a white tendency to view Fascist Nazism as an exclusively Germanic disease, one which could never take virulent hold in the US democratic body politic because of our sanctimoniously enshrined Constitution. This is the same document which entombed “those bound to Service for a number of years”, i.e. Slaves (Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3) to be counted as three-fifths a person to give slave owners greater representation in the new Federal Government without in any way ameliorating the Slave’s condition. Where there is a malevolent will, there will be found a founding lie. It is also a documented fact that the Nazis studied the US Native American Reservation model as the basis for their own concentration camps (note that White South Africans were also inspired by this US export for the construction of their apartheid state).
James Q. Whitman in his book, Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of the Nazi Race Law, brings forward the cinemascopic depth of white paranoia enacted through American race laws, which “sprawled over a wide range of technically distinct legal areas…Indian law, anti-Chinese and Japanese legislation, and disabilities in civil procedure and election law…Anti-miscegenation laws on the state level featured especially prominently…[as] did immigration and naturalization laws on the federal level…” Sound familiar? Brent Staples in his May 22, 2017 NY Times essay, How the Swastika Became a Confederate Flag, exposes President T-45’s support of “new-age white supremacists who want eagerly to expand their market share…” The latter day Alt Right racists have revivified the toxic rhetoric of white racial superiority through the symbol of the Confederate flag. They would have us dismantle Federal and State antidiscrimation laws for the labyrinthine swamp of a white homeland gerrymandered separate from the surging races of “inferior color”.
As Scott observed in 1933:
Fascism to the masses means a continued life under a decaying social order, with the insecurity that accompanies chronic unemployment; with wage cuts so low that living standards fall below the level of physical starvation; with war; with the growing corruption of a putrescent social organism. For the masses, especially the proletarian masses, fascism is the way of death.(Fascism, 52
No wonder that after 400 years of white lynch mobs, claims of the superiority of state’s rights and a single senator’s obstruction of Federal anti-lynching legislation, that George Floyd protests have torn the bronze heads off four Confederate soldiers in Portsmouth, VA and elsewhere. Thus far, the bravery and principled stance of the Black Lives Matter protesters have shamed Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Milley and Defense Secretary Esper into issuing an apology for the use of federal troops in police actions. The real test will come when these white gentlemen are ordered by their white President to retake the “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone” in Seattle or the streets of Atlanta while POTUS holds a campaign rally on Juneteenth in Tulsa, OK, site of the worst white slaughter of black civilians in US history .
What can we expect of a man threatening to “Make America Great Again” by siccing police dogs on black protesters, the Orwellian difference the government insists there is between “tear gas” and pepper bombs, the use of “non-lethal” rubber bullets which are 4 times the size of bullets and weigh 5 times greater, which maim, blind and kill, while workers and voters are forced to sign waivers so that when they become sick with Covid-19 the monied interests that make these demands are completely held legally unliable for any illness, injury or death?
In 1929, Scott declared:
“Emancipation must come from the exploited, not from the exploiters.”
After decades of opposition to and demands for the removal of Confederate flags and war memorials from Federal and State public properties, the protesters have enacted en masse what legislatures, governors, mayors, city councils and municipal authorities have been unwilling to do. Instantaneously, those of the “law & order” strip decry the desecration of historically important objects (to them) while making no apologies for slavery, Jim Crow laws, the labor prison that was/is share cropping, separate but equal educational boondoggles continued and exacerbated by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a legal system that feeds victims of a racist constabulary into a for-profit prison system, not to mention all the sickening racially-motivated rapes, burnings, lynchings, mutilations and killings.
As Scott noted:
“…the subject Negro race is held in its subject position by the dominant white race through organized violence…law enforcement in the United States is an exclusive function of the dominant white race, and thus far the dominant race has not hesitated to break the law when any need arose for keeping Negroes ‘in their place.’”(212)
Author, director and activist, Kimberly Jones summed up the present situation thus:
The game is fixed.
So when you say why do you burn down your community, why do you burn down your own neighborhood,
IT’S NOT OURS. We don’t own anything…
You broke the contract when you killed us in the streets & didn’t give a fuck. You broke the contract when for 400 years we played your game and built your wealth.
You broke the contract when we built our wealth again on our own, by our boot straps in Tulsa where you dropped bombs on us. And we built it in Rosewood and you came in and slaughtered us.
YOU broke the contract.
So fuck your Target. Fuck your Hall of Fame.
Far as I am concerned they can burn this bitch to the ground and still it wouldn’t be enough. And they are lucky that what black people want is equality, and not revenge.
And what will happen in the US if these protests do not succeed? The likely future is best summed up by Valarie Castile, mother of Philandro Castile who was shot dead by a policeman in Minnesota, who, of course, was later acquitted:
But nevertheless it never seems to fail us, the system continues to fail black people and they will continue to fail, you watch.
Like I said, because with this that happened to Philander, when they get done with us they’re coming for you & you & you and all your interracial children.
You all are next.
And you’ll be standing up here fighting for justice just as well as I am.