Systemic Racism on Display: SCOTUS on Roe v. Wade

A very intelligent and wise woman, Dr. Wilson, pointed out a lack of citations to provide evidence for the loaded claims made by Supreme Court Justice Samuel “I Hate Women” Alito. I read the passage again with this insight in mind, and that is when I saw it. The old white supremacist language I was raised to speak and hear and understand.

For those who don’t speak fascism, racism, or bigotry in the deeply rooted systemic dialect, I would like to offer a translation.

-Justice Samuel Alito, Initial Draft: Majority Opinion courtesy of Politico.

The lack of citation to provide evidence for his claims is standard practice in the fascist dialect. It is often employed when in the act of committing or supporting evil. Simply, a claim is made and we’re supposed to assume it to be unerringly true—like they do with the Bible.

The phrase “enflamed debate” means their argument is inferior and the claim lacks the weight of merit. In short, they can’t get their way by reason or debate. This is where the phrase “deepened division” comes into play.

Division is a dog whistle to rally defense of something generally indefensible. We don’t call out Uncle-Brother Billy Joe Bob for his racism at Thanksgiving because it would cause division.

Division is the phrase pulled out when fascists no longer want to debate, they just want their way. An example of this is excusing grandma because she grew up in another time, and we can’t reason her out of it, so we just give her a pass so not to cause division.

Where else do you see this use of division to rob power from the people so that it may be used to uphold oppressive structures, systems, and institutions? If you guessed white evangelical churches, you would be solidly right.

Now why do you see that similarity? Well, it’s not coincidental. The relationship between the white evangelical church and white nationalism in America runs deep. While that goes beyond the scope of what I’m doing here, I would invite you to consider how many of these far right wing fascists claim to be Christians. Then, consider all the ways in which these Christians argue for legislation against abortion rights, the entire existence of the LGBTQIA+ community, the poor, and women.

I’m not proud that I can still read white supremacy, but I feel it imperative that I should make very plain what has actually been said here. I would also ask that we pay very close attention to which States enact bans on abortion, birth control, contraceptives, and abortion medication. They’ll probably be the same ones enacting legislation targeting the LGBTQIA+ community and their families. Probably the same ones that are Republican run. Probably the same ones that have a long history with racism/segregation/slavery/lynching. They will probably rank low in education and high in poverty. Probably have some voter suppression history there, too.

Again, this not the scope of this writing, but do take notice of the common connection. GOP, white supremacy, and white evangelical Christianity always seem to be found hanging out at all the same clubs together. Just saying.

Systemic Racism on Display: Tacoma, Washington

Over 40 Cops Arrive After a Washington Sheriff Falsely Claimed a Man Threatened Him.

I share these stories because we need to see how common this is. Racism isn’t in the past, but here and now. It is embedded in our systems and institutions. We can only change these things by voting out the powers that keep these racist systems alive and well.

It is not enough to simply vote out the enabling powers behind life crushing institutions and soul sucking policies; we must replace them with powers willing to transform those structures imbued with racial bias.

If Sedrick Altheimer had been killed, we wouldn’t be reading the story of a racist sheriff doing racist shit—we would be reading stories framing Altheimer out to be a criminal. He nearly became another name for us to say out loud.

Yes. Some will rightly claim this is just speculation, but let me point out a fact in this case—that sheriff isn’t behind bars. He made a call to clearly put Altheimer’s life on the line. The sheriff put out a distress signal to his fellow law enforcers that a badge was in danger. The sheriff intentionally manufactured a scenario which drastically increased the risk to Altheimer.

The sheriff walks. He might be sued, might lose his job, might go bankrupt—but he walks. A black man accused of some minor offense finds themself thrown behind bars to rot. But, the sheriff walks.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can create a more equitable and free system, but it takes all of us stepping up to vote for real change. We must weed out those who continue to cling to the racially biased structures destroying our neighbors.

At the very least, we ought to demand a system in which even a sheriff is held accountable for attempting to have a man lynched.

The Sheriff & Sedrick Altheimer

Why I Speak Racism with White People

Tiktok’s @jolly_good_ginger shared a video that resonated deeply with me. In fact, if he grew up in an abusive environment and was raised in a cult, I’d think we were the same people. I’m not as good looking as he, but there are some physical similarities. We are both veterans. We are both poetic. And, it seems, we both have a unique insight into race, racism, anti-racism, and the part we’ve played in this very American problem.

Like @jolly_good_ginger, I wasn’t raised around racists, I was raised by them. I was them. And by God’s grace I escaped them, and continue to escape them. It is why I speak about racism with white people. My privilege, my insight, my experience—but especially my whiteness—grants me an open door to discuss these dehumanizing issues with people who refuse to even listen to the “other.” Those who—as Toni Morrison once pointed out—would rather these awful, horrific, and detestable acts of evil against our humanity be kept “drawn behind the veil” to protect our sensibilities.

It is not just our fellow humans who look differently from us that we mistreat. No. Those that are different—whose religion, race, ethnicity, sexuality, identity, poverty (that is, their poorness), family make up, etc., etc., etc. are “wrong”—we treat with the utmost indignity.

Let me draw the veil completely open. That which I shame are the same things I practiced. I speak to white supremacy with intimate knowledge which no amount of propaganda can ever dissuade—which can no longer dissuade.

And before any accuse me of suffering from “white guilt” caused by “CRT,” as some who cannot even spell “CRT” have already accused me, let me offer this:

Repentance is the turning away from something—an act, behavior, habit, etc.—in agreement that the thing from which you repented is wrong. This boldness of bigotry and racism in the American 21st century is wrong—is evil—and if I say nothing, do nothing, then I am equally culpable in that evil. If I go on pretending not to notice it because it doesn’t “hurt me directly”—which it does—then my repentance is nothing and my growth as a human being is a sham.

Those who have experienced, and repented from, the side of the aggressor like @jolly_good_ginger and myself, have an obligation to speak up not only of the blatant racial and bigoted injustice that plagues America, but of the tactics and strategies used by whites to further sustain and uphold white supremacy.

Racism, and all the other prejudices borne out of white supremacy, is not solely the problem of its victims. White supremacy dehumanizes all of us—transforms us into animals and a means of profit for a system which benefits only a few. This problem is a problem for all of us.

God Save Ukraine

A woman and child peer out of the window of a bus as they leave Sievierodonetsk, the Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The whole Ukraine thing hits different. Not only is this a mirror of Hitler’s pre-WW2 invasions, but a number of our own citizens and elected officials have been primed for pro-fascist action.

Texas and Florida are not accidents. Trump’s support of Putin’s action is strategic—his filthy hands still rest on the rotting crotch of the GOP, among whom he is considered by many to be a god. His comments will be echoed by GOP loyalists and his own fractured and morally bankrupt base.

Cold War memories have kept our fingers close to The Button, but the promise of Mutual Destruction has prevented us from pressing it.

This is not America’s fight alone, but the world’s. The world’s governments must come together to present a unified response.

But, too, I recognize my own trauma responses firing up. I can hear the voice of my sperm donor screaming in slurs and white supremacy, cheering on a new ally brought into the mainstream by his own political, fascist, racist heroes. I see the war mongers licking their chops and growing with arousal at the sight of so much death.

I am certain we will fail as a nation to condemn this atrocity with a unified voice as this violence becomes another marker of division. To support the violence is loyalty to the right; to condemn it is loyalty to the left. In the middle is a growing river of blood.

God save us.

The Noise

In a small town somewhere in America, parents–not particularly bright, nor well informed, nor given to things like compassion, empathy, or kindness–gather to concoct plans to bully a school district into ignoring a statewide mask mandate for k-12 schools.

They are a minority. A terribly loud, terribly obnoxious, and terribly dumb minority. Armed to the teeth with conspiracy theories, debunked information, and a zealous confidence that they alone are awake in a world full of deceived sleepers.

This group looks like any other disturbed rightwing-conservative mob drooling and slobbering and dragging its knuckles at school board meetings across the country. Carbon copy, peaked-in-high-school, can’t spell “CRT,” book-burning fascists trapped on a hamster wheel of fear and lashing out, fear and lashing out, fear and lashing out ad nauseum.

If their lunatic ravings harmed no one but themselves, I wouldn’t care. As it stands, their brand of stupid puts the whole community at risk.

These unmasked, unvaccinated, pandemic-denying, petri dishes of disease want their plague-carrying spawn to run wild and mask-free where they can infect and spread their illness to those just trying to attend school without catching a case of COVID.

They say masks are inflicting psychological trauma on our children, impeding their ability to learn the naturally evolved emotional responses ingrained in our species, and leaving them in deep emotional ruin. This, however, is only smoke they hope to blow up our collective ass.

I said, if we cared about the psychological wellbeing of our children, then we would have done more to address school shootings. They, of course, jumped to the defense of the gun. This is how we know it isn’t about the kids; this is about scratching some white nationalist-affirming political itch. As if, somehow, getting rid of masks means Jesus wins and Trump is king of America.

God save us from these idiots.

Only Half the Story

“These days, most interviews don’t even show up for an interview, let alone come to work. When we do get a guy, he wants to go by his schedule and he wants $20 or more to wash dishes,” explained Maglieri.

-Nico Payne, “Valley restaurants struggle to find long-term staff

So what about those companies and managers who work their staff to death? Those many times laves which pay less than a living wage? The places where staff is treated with a lack of respect? Why aren’t we talking about that part of the industry? Why aren’t we talking about the fact that while inflation rocketed costs, we left the minimum wage at $7.25–and NOW that places are willing to pay $15 an hour, we need a bump in that number to keep up with the perpetual rising costs—like the soaring rent costs.

Let’s address that side of the story, too. Maybe that will shed light on the real failures contributing to the “labor shortage” in the service industry right here in the Central Valley.

Or are we just here to validate conservative fears and grumblings, ABC30?

“I figured once the funds ran out, once they stop all the benefits and stuff. I assumed that people would be back already,” explained Maglieri.

Payne

Valley restaurants struggle to find long-term staff,” ABC30.

When History Repeats

An observation:

During the fight for Civil Rights in America, confederate statues and flags were raised throughout the South to intimidate the communities demanding Civil Rights for all. Community leaders swore black people would never be equal with white people.

Today, as we continue the fight for equality and equity for the marginalized (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, women, disabled, poor, etc.) schools are under attack as demands for books and lessons which weaken white supremacists systems and power be removed.

Additionally, the same powers which resisted all paths to allowing diverse voices to be included in the American conversation during the Civil Rights Era, are now actively trying to strip away those gained seats through voter suppression, community intimidation, and substituting education with propaganda.