The notion that the loss of a presidential election could spark widespread violence being perpetrated by members of the losing political party is something the vast majority of Americans would have considered total nonsense a scant four years ago. But the notion that we would put a greedy, self-serving madman in the Oval Office — a person who is willing to destroy the country if he can’t have his way — and that the Republican Party would suffer a total moral collapse seemed just as laughable back in 2016. Nonetheless, we now find ourselves — our nation — in a time of perilous turmoil as the election looms.
The fact that we’ve always had a substantial cohort of fellow citizens — if they can be called that — who sincerely believe that might makes right and that justice — at least the kind they believe it — can come out of the barrel of a gun is not news. These paramilitary types have been around since the birth of the nation, although they didn’t become a dangerous entity until after the South lost the Civil War. But since that loss, there has been a substantial — and as our last election proved, now growing — number of people in this country who basically want a do-over. They want to refight the war that made blacks equal, and that’s downright frightening, or at least it should be to any sane member of our society.
As nations around the world lurch politically to the right, primarily in response to issues of immigration (that are, for the most part, caused by their long-standing histories of patriarchal and exploitive colonialism), a portion of the American citizenry has allowed a godless demagogue to win office by creating a sense of impending doom through castigating and demonizing an entire group of people who have, over the decades, added more to our country than they have taken away. He created, and then tapped into, a sense of xenophobic hatred the majority of Americans thought no longer existed. And by doing so he was able to create a slogan that easily struck a responsive chord: “We’re going to build a wall.”
But the real wall was, and is, the barrier that still exists between black and white Americans, in spite of Obama’s ascendency to the White House. In fact, it was the blowback, the seething sense of political incredulity on the part of some right-wingers over “a black man in THEIR White House,” that gave rise to the Tea Party and paved the way for an inept charlatan to win in 2016.
This unexpected victory gave license to the racist/haters and Jew baiters who had been hiding under rocks in every corner of the nation and empowered them to once again figuratively burn crosses and actually hold parades where they could display their deep-rooted and long-standing pathologies. The surprising thing is, no one knew just how many of these knuckle-dragging throwbacks still existed in our nation. Something else no one knew — but many suspected — are the strong ties between neo-Nazis, latter-day Klansmen/Skinheads, and American law enforcement. Evidence exists that proves these haters belong to all branches of the U.S. military as well.
Last year the widely respected investigative news organization Reveal published a series of articles that documented “the prevalence of racism, white supremacy, and far-right militancy in law enforcement” and “the federal government’s nonexistent response to it.” Frank Meeink, who was interviewed by the Daily Beast and characterized as “once one of the most prominent neo-Nazis in the U.S. — and the inspiration for the character Derek Vinyard, played by Edward Norton in the 1998 film American History X — thinks he knows why.” He stated that many of his former Nazi friends are now cops.
But back in October of 2006 the FBI released an intelligence assessment titled, “White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement” which has sat on the shelf unacted-upon since its publication. Additionally, last month, former FBI agent Michael German compiled an exhaustive report detailing the prevalence of “racism, white supremacy, and far-right militancy in law enforcement” and the federal government’s non-existent response to it.
While these revelations go a long way in explaining why incidents of white cops shooting black men in the back are still so prevalent, to black folk this is information is nothing new. We’ve known for centuries that some of today’s cops are the philosophical descents of slave catchers.
However, it wasn’t a shot from a handgun, but instead a case of strangulation — a lynching under color of law — that served as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Part three of “Follow the Leader?” to soon come …
From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsIn