I’ve been trying to write this one since the assaults on the two mosques in New Zealand, but I kept having a nagging feeling that the words I wanted to say were not original. They were my own words, but I had that feeling of deja vu like I had written those sentiments already. So, I went through my archives on a hunch tonight, and lo and behold, I came across this little gem here that explained that nagging feeling inside my brain that I was trying to understand.
I wrote that on April 14, 2014 which was the day after a white supremacist killed three people near and at the Overland Park Jewish Community Center.
I decided to read it again to see if that post was the source of my writer’s frustration, and I feel that I could simply update the stats and call it a night. Five years (almost to the day) after that post and ten years since the release of the DHS report titled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, it seems that we still refuse to listen to the canary in the mine while it is chirping its ass off. As a matter of fact, I’d go as far to say that canary has basically said eff it and flown off to safety on its own.
The same contributing factors that existed then are still in play today minus the black American president. We’ve since replaced him with a white American president who has green lighted white supremacy in his words and actions. The economic anxiety is still there now. That anxiety also runs parallel with that anxiety that some have of no longer being the “majority” in America. I laugh at that because that infers that being considered a minority is equitable with being considered to be inferior when we’ve been told countless times that minority does not mean inferior by the same group of people.
The problem with the 10 year gap however is that the rise in extremism isn’t just an American thing anymore. This is not some sickness that’s confined within our national boundaries. Thanks to the internet, anyone can self-radicalize at any point where they can access the internet. We’re seeing a rise in right wing violence in all directions of the world from Europe to now New Zealand.
Some people choose to not say the shooter’s names after these incidents to avoid giving them any time in the light. I used to think that way, but then I looked back on how that worked in the past. People remained silent during the Red Summer of 1919 when innocent people died at the hands of white supremacists. Even in the 1960s, we saw the justice system look the other way when white supremacists killed with reckless abandon. Not saying their names or speaking of their evil deeds does nothing more but give them the freedom to continue their murderous ways. I think we need to adopt a new strategy if we want different results than what we had before.
The way to fight ideas is with better ideas. White supremacy is nothing more than an idea. It is not real. It is not factual. Don’t cower from these people. Blast their names in the news. Talk about the evil they’ve done. I’d go as far as to say that we need to quit sanitizing the news and show the graphic nature of these incidents without filters or blurred images. The evilness of these killings need to be burned into the brains of us all to remind us that evil exists.
At the same time, we need to counter that evil with better ideas and examples to show that we can all co-exist without killing each other. No single race is superior. We are all the same. The only things that makes us different is our ability to learn and adapt to our environments. I’m trying to teach my oldest child that doing the same thing over and over again will get you the same results over and over again. Judging how things have gone over the past 10 years, it seems that she isn’t the only person who needs to learn that lesson.
In 2009, Republicans and conservatives whined and complained enough about that one report that it got ignored and the part of the FBI that was tracking right wing extremism got disbanded. Think of how many lives we could have saved had President Obama not caved in to placate a bunch of crybabies. Don’t expect any of the crybabies to own up or apologize for this either. They will never admit to being wrong, even with the mounting body count to prove them wrong.