The United States of Guns and Racism

Last week's executions in the United States - of five police officers and two young black men at point blank range - should have the shock value to wake up that nation, but it won't. Politics has immediately taken hold, with the black president a sitting target. Apparently it was his job to fix racism because he's black. Apparently he has failed.  

On CNN at the end of last week one of the commentators, sad face on, remarked that “this (the Dallas shootings of police and the latest two police executions of black men) is not America”.

News flash: gun violence is exactly what America is, and its victims are overwhelmingly black..

The immediate politicization of the shootings and the inevitable blame game were heightened by the fact that the country is in the midst of probably its most bizarre election cycle ever.

One of the more obscene angles is that it is all the fault of President Barack Obama.

The ‘logic’ goes that he is the first black president of the United States and he was supposed to fix the racism/discrimination issue.

However every initiative he has taken to curb the proliferation of assault rifles in the US has been blocked overwhelmingly by Republicans. Republicans are so terrified of the powerful National Rifle Association’s ability to have them turfed out of their seats that they will not permit any gun control, not even the ability to refuse a gun to a person who is on the No Fly List.

Too dangerous to get on a plane, but can’t curb their sacred Second Amendment rights.

To these people the Constitution is a living document, except when it comes to the arms  the Second Amendment declares every American has a right to bear.  

Apparently the Founding Fathers were OK high calibre killing machines. 

The presumptive leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, has recently in his typical fact free way pronounced word for word the slogan of the NRA - that the only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

His ‘research‘ being that if everyone in the Orlando nightclub were 49 were massacred, was armed, fewer would have been killed.

Fast forward to the Dallas shootings of 11 police, five of them fatally.

They are/were apparently the ‘good guys‘ in Trump’s fable, yet one bad guy with a gun took down 11 of them.

Argument blown.

Or so you would think.

But no. Trump and supporters including Sarah Palin are never wounded by logic.

Their strategy is to double down, and double down they did.

The guilty for them are those black people who protest at the police killing their black sons, brothers, fathers. The have taken to the streets under the banner of Black Lives Matter (BLM). Palin, Fox and other right wing commentators also blame politicians who support BLM and of course the media.

Palin took to Facebook to announce

“Shame on our culture’s influencers”.

“Shame on politicians and pundits giving credence to thugs rioting against police officers and the rule of law in the name of peaceful protests”.

It is the media, she claims, that has blood on its hands “for perpetrating the perverted message evil men thrive on to intimidate and wrap malleable minds that would believe one race matters  more than another. Blood is on your complicit hands when you naively or purposefully refuse to tell of this movement’s truth” 

No, she is not talking about the perverted messages of the Trump presidential campaign where truth is as hidden as pocket lint.

Apparently according to Palin. “every life matters”. 

Hand hitting forehead moment - yes Sarah, that’s the point. 

Shooting black kids and men matters just as much as when the police (virtually never) shoot white kids and white men.

Trump declared the police in the US to be the “force between civilization and total chaos....every American has the right to live in safety and peace”.

Yes Donald, that’s the point.

Yet it is clearly an inconvenient point because his concern was solely with the dead police officers, not the other “every Americans” killed in the same week.

This from the man who makes his political gain out of stirring up racial tensions.

The ‘backbone” of his campaign is to allow angry, predominantly white, disgruntled voters the right to say what they really think about ‘foreigners’.

Like some hideously dangerous cheerleader he has empowered them to hate Mexicans, Muslims, women (who don’t top his creepy 10 scale), people with disabilities, the media (which has actually been a key Trump enabler), lawmakers he doesn’t like because they are suing him, war veterans who are prisoners of war and therefore losers, losers in general, anyone with actual policy knowledge, anyone who questions him, and anyone else his disaffected bunch of supporters basically don’t like.

A key target is the black president.

Trump was the obsessed ‘birther’ in chief.

When he couldn’t prove that Obama was not an American, he went for him in overtly racist ways in his claims that Obama is responsible for destroying America.

That appeals to an audience which has been primed to believe they now have a right to say anything about anyone they don’t like and attack those they disagree with - such as BLM protesters at Trump rallies, and even turn up to the BLM Dallas protest and pull an illegal gun (but not shoot) on the protesters.

Yet who was arrested at that rally? A black protester with a permit to carry the rifle he had.

Obama has failed these Trump types because he is black and it was his job to fix racism.

However if Obama calls himself “African-American”, Palin has news for him...”people who hyphenate their racial backgrounds further divides our nation”.

According to public Trump “America’s first black president has only worsened racial tensions...our nation has become too divided”.

Private Trump intends to ride that division all the way to the White House.

This notion that Obama’s blackness means it is his job to fix racism is perplexing.

In the Times of London under the headline “Obama has done nothing for race relations” Justin Webb accuses Obama of failing to act black and to fix the poverty and imprisonment and violence of and against blacks. He hopes however that when Obama is freed from office “he might even decide to be black” and help.

Obama has been subjected to racism his entire presidency and it will continue until he leaves office.

When unarmed black kid Trayvon Martin was shot Obama told the nation that Trayvon could have been his son walking home from the store; he revealed he knows how the colour of his skin meant he was followed by security in stores.

He is consistently lambasted for being soft on ‘black’ and soft on ‘muslims’.

That is racism.

His single most grievous failure is also racist in its claim.

The first ever black president of the United States was to undo the consequences of the  injustices of 245 years of slavery and then a further 150 years or so of discrimination against blacks in America.

From 1619 ‘foreigners’ were brought to the USA as slaves.

Slavery was (officially) abolished in 1865.

Now between 2008 and 2016 one man, one black man, was supposed to undo hundreds of years of damage caused by white men because he was elected President.

His task was to do it with all the forces of modern day government against him.

The task was his because he was black.

The white guys before him had failed.... if they even tried...and the problems have multiplied.

That is a doctrine that believes race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities.

That doctrine is called racism.