“We’ve seen the worst that human beings are capable of. We’ve seen what happens when leaders abandon common decency in favor of rage and hate.”— This and other quoted material by Max Joseph.
ROLLING FORK—We’ve traded our hoods for AK-47s and our burning crosses for rage-filled, pitiless rants on social media sites but when we reduce what we see and hear all around us every day to its lowest common denominator, when as we Southerners like to say, “shuck it down to the cob,” what always remains, what we always find is nothing more or less than hate.
Shroud it as we might, mitigate it as we certainly try, dilute as we would prefer through application of the vagaries of psychology, sociology and even political science, the ugliness that is hate rejects the varnishes we seek to apply.
As the incidents multiply, as the body count rises, hate stands astride the carnage, pounding its chest in the satisfaction of victory like the fictional King Kong in one of the countless remakes of the Beauty and the Beast allegory that never seems to grow old.
Except there is no beauty in white nationalism. There is no giant simian protector of it in white supremacy. There is only ugliness and death and an almost unbelievable cruelty, passed on for its very sake from one generation to the next.
“Our lack of forgiveness makes us hate,” Mother Angelica said, “and our lack of compassion makes us hard-hearted. Pride in our hearts makes us resentful and keeps our memory in a constant whirlwind of passion and self-pity.”
And maybe that wise woman of God was right in her explanation but it strikes me as far too easy for those of a wont to—a “those” far larger in number than I ever wanted to believe—to turn explanation into excuse for what was, is and always will be the inexcusable notion that to the exclusion of all else, white makes right.
It has always been with us, of course. From the genocide carried out upon the Indian nations, to slavery to Jim Crowe to the current frenzy-fanning warnings of “invasions” of Hispanics from our South, the result of which would become an “infestation” of our homeland.
The Homeland. The Motherland. The rightful abode of our alabaster Master Race.
Yes, that’s crazy. Of course, that’s crazy. But if you don’t think exactly that and much, much worse is being preached every day, you simply don’t know where to look to find it and don’t know how to read between the lines of when it is contained in the open discourse of political speeches and “tweets.”
We have seen this before, dealt with this, before. We have driven it back into the sewer of society where it belongs on more occasion than one. But, then again, we have never had a President of the United States who not only tolerated but empowered it before. The pilot light of hate and violence that has flickered in this country since its founding, is being fed fuel, intensifying in its heat produced with every tweet its new champion types and every increasingly Mussolini-inspired speech he delivers.
White supremacy is again rising in America. White separatism is again rising in America. Neo-Nazism is again rising in America. The hate that forms the necessary foundation for all of it is rising again in America and if you don’t want to accept that from some backwater columnist in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, then ask the FBI. Ask the counter-terrorism experts at every intelligence agency in the country.
They know it is the truth and they are desperately trying to warn a population they are sworn to defend, but which steadfastly does not want to hear.
Scared of the terrorist who might slip, unnoticed, into the country? You better be a lot more afraid of the white male in his 20s who “chats” with the only friends he has on dark web sites and stocks up on weapons and ammunition like a squirrel anticipating a bad winter.
Because that is the new face of terrorism in America. That is the real face of terrorism in America. It is not some Middle Easterner who manages to fly in on an airplane. It is more apt to be that odd boy who lives down the street or the quiet, slightly older man who doesn’t socialize, but never misses a gun show.
We as a people are shocked, heartbroken, sickened, because a 21-year-old hate-filled and fashioned kid drove nine hours to gun down a Wal-Mart full of Hispanics in El Paso on a tax-free holiday he knew would ensure it was full of them.
And we should be all of that, but we cannot be surprised, because we need but to look and listen to know that it was coming, to be sure there will be more to follow.
And you know, just sending “thoughts and prayers” won’t get it, anymore.
“Through the lens of history, the Holocaust happened yesterday, the civil rights movement was this morning, so we are not as out of the woods as we might have thought.”
Ray Mosby is editor and publisher of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork.