Police brutality, racism

America is on the cusp of what happens to all developing countries when they want radical change. The government attempts to control the people in an extreme way, likely martial law here. Then the people revolt and overthrow their government. In the midst of all that, civil war is inevitable.

To be clear, despite what fascists would have you believe, a civil war in American would not be about race. Not even a chance. But it would be about class. A class war, which is much more likely given the economic status of the majority of Americans, is likely. I do strongly suspect it’s a matter of when, not if, Trump will declare martial law. 

Think of it this way: what’s one of America’s biggest industries if not the military? The country is pulling out of the war and has no other country on the docket to war with next. The military industrial complex is losing support for war from their own Americans. Fewer people are enlisting, So, how do they keep the money machine going? Move it home and start a war there.

Trump is in an election year, it’d be in his best interest not to rock the boat. But we know his entire campaign hinges on him keeping the economy strong. Without that, he’ll surely lose his voters. Military does a lot for the economy, it’s undeniable and without a war, how do you generate money?

We also can assume he wants desperately to be a dictator, he’s eluded to as much. What better way to try and seize power than implementing martial law? Assuming of course that citizens will submit.

Hopefully I’m wrong, but that’s the way I see it.

The problem with oppression

The fundamental flaw with any type of oppression is that the oppressed group can only be pushed so far before they have nothing left to lose by revolting. This is why people are waking up to the true reality of capitalism and speaking out against it. 

Institutional racism is no different. What do BIPOC, perhaps especially Black people, have to lose? They cannot even exist without fear of police killing them. There’s institutional racism within medicine, education, criminal justice, employment, etc.

American society is saturated with racism. If America had all those forms of institutional racism but lacked the constant threat of death, then maybe Black people would have something to lose. But it’s well beyond that point now. 

That’s not to say the police are suddenly more violent. Or that there’s been a recent uptick in Black people being murdered by their hands. Just to say that now there’s more visibility about the issue. And people are reacting with this newfound wealth of information.

I often wonder when trump will overtly declare martial law. He must be panicking with the election is only a few months away. More and more WP are supporting the BLM protests and removing confederate statues. More importantly, WP are shifting more left than right. These are votes he was counting on to win the election.

Meanwhile, his core voters (the overt racists) won’t continue to stand for civil unrest that they’re not the cause of. What else is he going to do? 

The current situation

He’s already taken to twitter to threaten people like usual, that didn’t work. Next he usually abuses the law to force people to do what he wants or he distracts with a smear campaign. With international protests about George Floyd’s murder it would be political suicide to go the smear campaign route.

In his mind it’s likely that the next best thing would be protesters. So he tried that and protestors did not seem to care what he has to say. 

Almost forty million people are now unemployed and almost half of unemployment claims are being denied. More and more people have little or nothing to lose by protesting for change and equality. Martial law seems like a likely response given his proclivity for tantrums when people don’t do what he wants. 

Yet even if he hadn’t “won” the 2016 election, Clinton would not have been all that much better. We have her career to reflect on as proof. She simply would have kept us, white folks, from having to look at the racism around us. In many ways, it seems like Trump’s presidency was inevitable, doesn’t it? Racism is interwoven into the fabric of America. 

A silver lining

This moment in history is as inspiring as it is scary. We can feel the monumental change that’s on the cusp of unfolding. A lot of things in life are uncertain right now. No one feels secure because we just don’t know how things will turn out. 

What I do know though is I’ve seen more positive, compassionate, and supportive behaviors and actions coming from more WP in the last several days than I have in the last several months. Finally, more WP are waking up and stepping outside of the white privilege to see how everyone else lives. Book sales by Black authors who’ve written on anti-racism and Black history are sky rocketing.

At long last, we’re waking up. We’re finally ready to do the heavy lifting. To do the work required to dismantle the white supremacy that we refer to as policing. 

It will take years for many WP, a lifetime for others, to not only correct the subconscious racist teachings we have been taught but to also learn to become actively anti-racist. It’s embarrassing and heartbreaking that Trump became president. But when institutional racism exists in every single institution of America-including all levels of government- it was really only a matter of time before a Trump got elected. 

We also can’t ignore the fact that every president there has been has done their part in upholding white supremacy. Otherwise, it wouldn’t still be a part of society. Trump is just more overt about his racism than recent presidents have been.

The Next Step

Tragically, I think it’s what most WP needed to see in order to wake up. Most WP aren’t overtly racist, but that doesn’t change the impact racism has on BIPOC. We’re comfortable turning a blind eye and existing within our white privilege.

Racism doesn’t disappear for others though. Only for us. Everyone else knew the reality, we were just comfortable living in denial. Now it’s at a place where WP can no longer look away.

We should seize this moment to start conversations about racism and race issues within our circle of influence. If we’re oblivious to racism, we can bet other WP are too. If we want to obtain equity for everyone, we need to spread awareness of the issues at the very least.

It’s undeniable that this is the work we should have done long ago. It’s gut-wrenching to consider how the alternative if only it had been centuries ago that WP had had the cultural awakening that we’re now experiencing. The number of Black lives that would’ve been easier, or spared altogether is incalculable.