Friday, June 19, 2015

Dylann Roof did not operate in a vacuum.

Just a few more thoughts about the Charleston massacre. Richard Mellor

The headline in the Wall Street Journal this morning referred to the racist terrorist assault on the historic black church in Charleston SC.  What jumped out at me was the description of the perpetrator, Dylann Roof a white supremacist. He is not a white supremacist with money or real social power like the Dick Cheney type of white supremacist and the others that are in the ruling circles of this nation, but his intentions appear to have been clear.  He is a terrorist for sure, but the headline in the WSJ began, "Loner" (Held in Church Killings).

This is not an accident.  It is not uncommon for terrorist acts of this nature to be described solely as the act of a "loner"------unless that is, when the perpetrator is a Muslim.  There is no talk of the "church" that Roof attended on two occasions being investigated if he attended one at all. There is no mention of his religion at all as far as I can see although he comes from a "churchgoing" family according to the media. 

Roof is a European American and most Europeans are white skinned although not all of us. The WSJ  alleges Roof is "linked to racist groups" but this doesn't seem to play much of a role as he is a "loner".  Roof was wearing the flags of two white racist regimes,  Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa. For a rural youth with apparently little world experience he managed to seek out and find a jacket with these symbols on it or the symbols themselves.  His gave his middle name as "Storm" on more than one occasion which is common among European/white racist groups like this one for example.

For European workers this is a disastrous philosophy as there is no such thing as  "white race".  I recommend reading Theodore Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" or watching Jeffrey B Perry's video presentation on the book and how the concept arose.  Without going in to it in detail I do not find it useful to use the term "White Privilege" or "White Skinned Privilege" unless it has class content, unless it makes it clear that the idea comes from the white ruling class with the intent of dividing workers along color lines and weakening class unity. Malcolm X said, "You can't have capitalism without racism" and you can't eliminate capitalism without working class unity.  Undermining working class unity is the aim of the "white privilege" concept. This is not to deny that making "white" a race gave privileges to the poorest white worker that Africans or people of color didn't have and led to centuries of the most brutal and violent assault on the African American population of the US.

When I came to this country I was asked my race by an immigration official. I answered that I was English, as this was on my discharge papers from the hospital I was born in. I would not have said my race was "white" when asked as a youth.  I became white when I cam to America. It is a trap that links us to the white ruling class in this country and it is harmful to workers of European ancestry whose well being lies with workers of all colors.

There are 16 white supremacists groups in South Carolina according to reports in the media and these groups are not considered terrorist groups by the US state dept. They are also Christian groups though this is never mentioned either as it always is with Muslims. I am not saying it should as most Christians aren't terrorists, I'm merely pointing out the bias.

Roof is not a loner in the sense that he is a product of a racist society.  Racism is embedded in our society, it is endemic to it.  Yes, individualistic racial prejudice and unpleasant, nasty, but it is a social problem and requires a social solution.  As I pointed out yesterday, commentators like Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage contribute to racist ideology and influence people like Roof by their comments that are cloaked behind "conservative views". Hannity shamelessly defends racist state terror in the form of the police and the murder of African Americans, particularly black youth.

We cannot rely on the capitalist state to solve this problem. The police won't solve it as their job is to defend the ruling class and the ruling class needs racial division to maintain it's rule just as the English invasion and occupation of Ireland needed religious sectarianism to facilitate its plunder of that country. In order to subjugate a people they have to be demonized.

The white ruling class in the US from the slaveowners to the Industrial capitalists and the financial moguls of today need racial division which is why they tend to address it more as a personal problem than a social one-----society, capitalism, is fine. They spent centuries constructing the racialised state and creating this idea of the white race in order to undermine the natural tendency toward class unity and bring the white workers closer to them. They won't give it up, it is their most useful divide and rule tool.   Here's what Lerone Bennet wrote about it:
“….before Jim Crow, before the invention of the Negro or the white man or the words and concepts that describe them, the Colonial population consisted largely of a great mass of white and black bondsmen, who occupied roughly the same economic category and were treated with equal contempt by the lords of the plantation and legislatures. Curiously unconcerned about their color, these people worked together and relaxed together.  They had essentially the same interests, the same aspirations and the same grievances. They conspired together, and waged a common struggle against their common enemy-------the big planter apparatus and a social system that legalized terror against black and white bondsmen………….the available evidence, slight though it is, suggests that there were widening bonds of solidarity between the first generation of blacks and whites.  And the same evidence indicates that it proved very difficult indeed to teach white people to worship their skin.”  Lerone Bennett, The Shaping of Black America Chap. 3 p 62

Since Bennett wrote those words, Ted Allen discovered much more evidence supporting this view.

And lastly, maybe this horrible terrorist act in SC will finally force those racist politicians who support the confederate flag flying over the state capital to take it down, or encourage the European American population of SC to make them do it.

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