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Flickr Trial Documents Show Dylann Roof Had Mental Disorders – New York Times
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Trial Documents Show Dylann Roof Had Mental DisordersNew York TimesBut documents unsealed this week reveal that less than two months earlier a court-appointed psychiatrist had found him to have a host of disorders and that several months before the June 2015 massacre Mr. Roof had described himself as deeply depressed.Unsealed records shed light on Charleston shooter Dylann Roof’s mental stateLos Angeles TimesDylann Roof’s mental state revealed in court recordsThe Seattle Timesall 20 news articles »

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Unsealed documents shed light on Dylann Roof’s mental health issuesCharleston Post CourierNewly unsealed court documents reveal that white supremacist Dylann Roof had been diagnosed with a variety of possible mental health issues before he stood trial for killing nine black worshipers at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. Psychiatric records …and more »

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Flickr « ... leftist protesters — No, I'm not a Neonazi !» declares Richard Spencer seconds before he gets punched in the face at a streetcorner
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RICHARD SPENCER: « ... new world where the leftist protesters — No, I'm not a Neonazi »
BLACK FEMALE OFF-VOICE: « Do you like black people? »

YouTube automatic-translation strangely transforms "a Neonazi" into a "in do not seem like that long" ...

« Spencer ... was in the midst of telling an Australian TV crew in DC that he was not a neo-Nazi, while pointing to his neo-Nazi Pepe the Frog lapel pin. » Natasha Lennard
26th Jan: Richard 🐸 Spencer ‏@RichardBSpencer
answers to .@natashalennard @thenation
« Have you considered that the usual response to last weekend's activities is escalation? »

White nationalist Richard Spencer punched in the face camera while doing interview Clip uploaded by Sarah Burris on 20th January 2017
25th Jan: CALLS: 2.117.211, LIKES: 17.327, DISLIKES: 3.766

December 18, 2016: Trump Win Propels White Nationalism and Chauvinism to Center of US Politics
Historian Gerald Horne says social movements will need to adopt an international strategy in order to push back against the coming reign of terror for communities of color.
biography
Dr. Gerald Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. His research has addressed issues of racism in a variety of relations involving labor, politics, civil rights, international relations and war. Dr. Horne has also written extensively about the film industry. His latest book is The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. Dr. Horne received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. from Princeton University.

transcript of the interview
Trump Win Propels White Nationalism and Chauvinism to Center of US Politics

KIM BROWN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Kim Brown in Baltimore. Convicted mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof was found guilty on Thursday of 33 charges related to the killing of nine black church parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina. During the trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence of Roof's beliefs and racist values, including Confederate and Rhodesian flags found in his possession. Plus, he claimed to have committed the murders to start a race war because, "Black people are killing white people every day. What I did is so miniscule compared to what they do to white people every day."

Now Dylann Roof's criminal actions were extreme but his views about black Americans and immigrants are representative of how these ideas are increasingly mainstream, the so-called alt-right. And, of course, we have seen this presented in President-elect Donald Trump, of course, on the campaign trail, his racist and xenophobic rhetoric along with some of this selections to his staff and cabinet have a lot of people concerned. But these are not new attitudes or behaviors in America, but why, in an ever-increasingly browning United States, are these beliefs seemingly on the rise and what are the roots of it?

Well, to discuss this we're joined today with Dr. Gerald Horne. Dr. Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He's also the author of many books including most recently The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. Dr. Horne, we appreciate you joining us again. Thank you.

GERALD HORNE: Thank you for inviting me.

KIM BROWN: Well, Dr. Horne, how would you categorize alt-right? Is this same old racism simply repackaged?

GERALD HORNE: I think that's a fair assessment. The alt-right in many ways is a euphemism, it sounds like a rock band or a punk band. What we're really talking about is white supremacy, what we're really talking about is white identity politics, what we're really talking about is white nationals, what we're really talking about are descendants of the neo-Nazi movement, descendants of the Ku Klux Klan. We're talking about racists, we're talking about misogynists, we're talking about anti-Semites. This is what we mean when we talk about the alt-right, whether we know it or not.

KIM BROWN: And there has been many expressing alarm that someone has been elected to the White House who is cozy with white supremacists, but surely this is not the first time for this, in the United States.

GERALD HORNE: Well, certainly not. I find it quite instructive that many people have drawn a parallel between the election of Andrew Jackson, a former slave trader who is on your currency in the 1820s, and the election of Donald J. Trump. That is to say that, that is an apt comparison, whether people realize it or not. Because when you elect a slave trader to the highest office in the land, you're basically suggesting that certain denizens of North America have more(?) rights that the majority are bound to respect. And I'm afraid to say that the election of Donald J. Trump, in some ways, represents the kind of sentiment that led to the election of Andrew Jackson in the 1820s. That is to say, the propelling to the forefront of politics a certain kind of white nationalism, a certain kind of national chauvinism, a certain kind of bigotry.

KIM BROWN: Dr. Horne, how does the alt-right movement -- and I'm actually loathe to use that term because it sounds like something, as you mentioned, like a pop band or a rock band, it's a smoothing over of the terms white nationalists and white supremacists. But how does the 21st century alt-right movement, what characteristics do they share with white supremacist movements of the past?

GERALD HORNE: Well, I think that both movements, that is to say, the past and the present of white supremacy, fundamentally feel that this should be a "white man's country". That is to say that, as Arlie Hochschild, the sociologist at Berkeley, puts it in her recent book Strangers in Their Own Land, the common ordinary perception of many Trump voters is that those of us who are not defined as white are somehow getting benefits that we did not deserve -- that we're cutting into to the queue, we're cutting to the line. Even if we're working hard and paying our taxes, that we, somehow, do not belong in North America.

Now, sadly, and unfortunately, many of those who are voting for Donald J. Trump may not hold such raw opinions, but the fact of the matter is, that by voting for Donald J. Trump, they're fundamentally endorsing such raw opinions which means they are complicit in what could turn out to be a massive crime against humanity.

KIM BROWN: The Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked hundreds of hate crime incidents since the election of Donald Trump in November, but we've seen throughout history there has been these rise and falls in racism. I guess it's burned hotter at different points in American history than it has others, and I'm thinking of, you now, in the Civil Rights era there was a visible Klan presence -- the Ku Klux Klan was abducting civil rights workers, murdering them -- and we had, I want to say a simmering down, but we didn't see that type of violence towards people of color, let's say, in the '70s and '80s from citizens. I mean, it can be argued that that anger or that violence, you know, transferred to the police force and it was taken out on communities of color in that way. But we seem to see it heating back up again. What does history tell us about these sort of ebbs and flows of how hot racism can burn at different points in time?

GERALD HORNE: Well, I think, one factor that we all need to focus on is the international situation. The international climate. What I mean is that in the 1960s, United States was on the defensive because it was in the midst of the Cold War where it was seeking to point the finger of accusation at the socialist camp, charging that camp with human rights violations and, in return, the socialist camp pointed the finger of accusation back at the United States, charging the United States with human rights violations because of treatment of peoples of color.

Now, with the dissolution of the socialist camp, that kind of international pressure has basically dissolved. And surprise, surprise, with the dissolution of that international pressure, once again you see the resurgence, you see the propelling of this ultra-right movement that is putting many of us in jeopardy.

KIM BROWN: So let's talk about how this pertains to the potentially incoming administration of Donald Trump, his selection to head the Department of Justice, his pick for Attorney General, is Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama, who has a long history of fighting against civil rights, not only in his own state but doing so from the senate, as well. What does this speak to you about what people can expect in terms of racial justice from this administration?

GERALD HORNE: Well, unfortunately, it's not just Steve Bannon of Breitbart News who is the chief political strategist of Donald J. Trump now ensconced in the White House -- or soon to be ensconced in the White House. Of course, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is also the US Supreme Court. You know, I'm sure, that the Republican Majority in the Senate stonewalled President Obama's attempt to appoint Merrick Garland to the seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia when he passed away in February 2016. The perspective nominees from Donald J. Trump, I think it's fair to say, will continue the dirty work of Antonin Scalia, which in the first place, means gutting further of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it means turning a blind eye to police terrorism. It means, basically, putting the stamp of approval on a kind of reign of terror that will be inflicted upon our community. That's what's in store for 2017 going forward.

KIM BROWN: So let's look at that from the other side of the coin, Dr. Horne. How, historically, have communities of color responded to inflamed periods of racism? And what should, if you have any advice for communities of color, what should they do in the era Donald Trump?

GERALD HORNE: Well, some things that we've been doing, we need to continue doing. I'm speaking of the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the rise of mass protests in the streets, but I think what's missing from our movement now is an international outreach. That is to say, taking our case, taking our concerns to the United Nations in New York, to the Organization of American States in Washington, DC, where it's headquartered.

We know that President-elect Trump will seek to deport many people, particularly those of Mexican origin. We have a common concern with the Mexican government and certainly we need to be sending delegations to Mexico City to help to bolster our international effort. We also know that Donald J. Trump will be seeking to escalate tensions with China. I dare say that China will be seeking to reach out to Mexico because both governments will be in the crosshairs. We need to reach out similarly. I think that's what's missing from the recipe that has been concocted by our movement thus far.

KIM BROWN: And, Dr. Horne, just to go back for a moment because you reference the election of Andrew Jackson as an example of a white supremacist being elected to the White House in the 1800s. In the past century, have we seen a comparable white supremacist be elected? Because a lot of, you know, conservatives or white supremacists would say that, you know, racism went away after the Civil War and it's been hundreds of years since black people were free, or freed out of bondage. But, in the last century or so, who have we seen that could qualify as a white supremacist be elected to the White House?

GERALD HORNE: Well, I would point to Woodrow Wilson who, even though he was Governor of New Jersey and President of Princeton University before entering the White House, was actually Virginia-born, and actually was a scholar who wrote some of the most racist histories that this racist country has seen thus far. Recall that it was Woodrow Wilson who screened in the White House, one of the first Hollywood blockbusters, I'm speaking of Birth of a Nation, the film produced and directed by D.W. Griffith which portrays the Ku Klux Klan as heroes who redeemed the so-called "white self". I mean, the sad and tragic part is that Woodrow Wilson is not necessarily unique or sui generis -- he represent a decided strain in terms of the occupants of the White House, not only with regard to the 19th century but, I'm afraid, with regard the 20th century, as well.

KIM BROWN: Indeed. Well, we've been speaking with Dr. Gerald Horne from the University of Houston. He's the author of the most recent book titled, The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. Dr. Horne, we appreciate your insight today. Thank you very much.

GERALD HORNE: Thank you for inviting me.

KIM BROWN: And thanks for watching The Real News Network.

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January 22, 2017: Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer Got Punched—You Can Thank the Black Bloc A dispatch from inside the J20 protests. By Natasha Lennard
The transcendental experience of watching Roger Federer play tennis, David Foster Wallace wrote, was one of “kinetic beauty.” Federer’s balletic precision and mastering of time, on the very edge of what seems possible for a body to achieve, was a form of bodily genius. What Foster Wallace saw in a Federer Moment, I see in a video of neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting punched in the face.

You may have seen it, it’s a meme now, set to backing tracks of Bruce Springsteen, New Order, even a song from Hamilton. The punch, landed by a masked protester on Inauguration Day, lends itself perfectly to a beat. Spencer, who states that America belongs to white men, was in the midst of telling an Australian TV crew in DC that he was not a neo-Nazi, while pointing to his neo-Nazi Pepe the Frog lapel pin. A black-clad figure then jumps into frame, deus ex machina, with a perfectly placed right hook to Spencer’s face. The alt-right poster boy stumbles away, and his anonymous attacker bounds out of sight in an instant. I don’t know who threw the punch, but I know by his unofficial uniform that this was a member of our black bloc that day. And anyone enjoying the Nazi-bashing clip (and many are) should know that they’re watching anti-fascist bloc tactics par excellence—pure kinetic beauty. If you want to thank Spencer’s puncher, thank the black bloc.

The black bloc is not a group but an anarchist tactic—marching as a confrontational united force, uniformed in black and anonymized for security. Once deployed, the tactic has an alchemic quality, turning into a temporary object—the black bloc. On Friday, the bloc I joined in DC numbered well over 500, the largest of its kind since the antiwar protests over a decade prior. As I wrote in advance of the inauguration, if we recognize fascism in Trump’s ascendance, our response must be anti-fascist in nature. The history of anti-fascist action is not one of polite protest, nor failed appeals to reasoned debate with racists, but direct, aggressive confrontation. While perhaps best associated in the United States with the anti-globalization movement’s major summit protests nearly two decades ago, the black bloc is part of the longstanding visual language of international anti-fascism, or antifa. For example, bloc tactics have been used by European anti-fascists marching against neo-Nazis since the 1990s in Germany. The symbolic value of a large black-bloc presence at Trump’s inauguration resided in drawing a connection between anti-Trumpism and anti-fascism.

The “anti-capitalist, anti-fascist bloc,” Friday’s black-bloc march, was just one among a number of direct actions called by organizers of the Disrupt J20 Inauguration Day protests. Unlike Saturday’s vast Women’s March, Disrupt J20 aimed to directly impede, delay, and confront the inaugural proceedings. This message was delivered with human blockades, smashed corporate windows, trash-can fires, a burning limousine, “Make America Great Again” caps reduced to ashes, and a blow for Richard Spencer. The police responded with fountains of pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, and the mass arrest of over 200 people, most of whom now face felony riot charges. Along with the Women’s March’s joyful scenes of togetherness, the disruptions of J20 should be celebrated as an opening salvo of resistance in the era of Trump.

The black bloc I joined met at Logan Circle, some two miles north of the inauguration parade route. We peered through bandanas to find friends. We gathered in bloc formation behind wood-enforced banners, filled the street, and began to march. The bloc takes care to stay together, move together, and blend together. Within minutes, bottle rockets were shooting skyward and bricks were flying through bank windows. You don’t know who does what in a bloc, you don’t look to find out. If bodies run out of formation to take a rock to a Starbucks window, they melt back to the bloc in as many seconds. Bodies reconciled, kinetic beauty. If that sounds to you like a precondition for mob violence, you’re right. But this is only a problem if you think there are no righteous mobs, or that windows feel pain, or that counter-violence (like punching Richard Spencer) is never valid.

We were heading south when riot cops cut us off just a few blocks from the unimpressive inauguration crowds. We ran, altogether, for some short minutes, which felt long. The Metropolitan Police Department doused us with pepper spray and dispensed flash-bang and smoke grenades, and finally trapped a large section of the bloc against a wall. These members of the black bloc were kettled there for over four hours, forced at various times to form human cubicles around those detainees who could no longer hold their bladders. The bloc never found full force en masse again, but clashes with cops, mild altercations with rowdy Trump supporters, and attacks on property continued throughout the afternoon and evening in fits and starts. At some point, someone punched Spencer. While the over 200 arrestees were held for 24 hours, jail support volunteers waited for them patiently while the Women’s March filled DC streets and then dispersed. The J20 detainees have been released, some with felony rioting charges to be tried in DC Superior Court next month—a harsh prosecutorial reaction that seasoned DC activists had not expected.

Not everyone can participate in a black bloc. Those with a vulnerable immigration status, or arrest records, or good reasons to fear police repression because of the color of their skin, often don’t participate in activities where the risk of arrest is high. Friday’s bloc was by no means all white, but it was predominantly white. If bearers of white privilege can do one thing, it is put ourselves on the line and take risks where others can’t. This was just one tactic. And numerous white participants I knew from Friday place racial justice front and center of their activist work. Disrupt J20 actions also included a series of temporary blockades at inauguration security check points, each representing different points of struggle, from the movement for black lives, to activists declaring “the future is feminist,” to Standing Rock and Indigenous rights, to queer resistance and more. A number of Trump supporters walk sheepishly from a line of blockading protesters shouting, “This checkpoint is closed.” These were small acts, but disobedient ones and the call to be “ungovernable,” which echoed through the Women’s March, will not be answered with obedient behavior.

To talk with any romance for the black bloc risks falling into the worst tropes of bombastic revolutionary writing. We don’t don black masks and become instant revolutionary subjects. We don’t necessarily achieve more with property damage than a larger, more subdued rally achieves. In every case, the standard of achievement depends on the aims of the action, and all of us are far from creating the rupture we want to see in the world. One broken window, or a hundred, is not victory. But nor is over half a million people rallying on the National Mall. Both gain potency only if they are perceived as a threat by those in and around power. And neither action will appear threatening unless followed up again and again with unrelenting force, in a multitude of directions. You don’t have to choose between pink hat and black mask; each of us can wear both. You don’t have to fight neo-Nazis in the street, but you should support those who do.

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24.01.2017: Warum Neo-Nazis nicht gehauen werden dürfen Und Schadenfreude über den Schlag gegen Richard Spencer nicht cool ist. Auch ironisch nicht. Echt nicht.
Kommentar von Friedemann Karig
• Alt-Right-Gründer Richard Spencer wurde geschlagen: War das okay?

Seufz. Dass man es immer noch aufschreiben muss, nervt ja eigentlich am meisten. Aber meine Timeline läuft über vor dieser dick aufgetragenen Ironie, die den harten Kern der Botschaft aufweichen soll wie bei einem moralischen Tiramisu. Sie sagen: Eigentlich ist es nicht okay, Menschen zu hauen. Aber Neo-Nazis – vor laufender Kamera, hihi, vielleicht als Meme geremixt, hoho, mit cheesy 80er-Musik unterlegt, hehe – dann halt doch.

Richard Spencer, seit seiner „Hail Trump“ Rede zur US-Wahl weltweit bekannter amerikanischer Neo-Nazi, hat eins auf die Fresse bekommen. Von einem schwarz vermummten Antifaschisten. Bei einem TV-Interview in Washington. Während ansonsten bemerkenswert friedlicher Proteste. Ohne ernsten Schaden. Und das Netz johlt. Genau wie sein Anführer Trump ist Spencer zum Netz-Witz verkommen, oder besser: Der Moment, in dem ihm ein Fremder ansatzlos aufs Maul haut.

Ironische Distanzierung bei gleichzeitiger Verbreitung – genau so machen es gerade Millionen Pazifisten. Mit einem Gewaltvideo
Und während auf der ernsten Ebene doch diskutiert wird, ob man (Neo-)Nazis schlagen dürfe, springt der große Humor-Fleischwolf namens Internet an. Und bietet auch den ethisch sensibelsten Linken in meinem erweiterten Netzwerk die Möglichkeit, das Video zu feiern. „Ich bin gegen Gewalt. Aber irgendwie kann ich trotzdem nicht aufhören, hinzuschauen. Was stimmt mit mir nicht?“, schreibt jemand. Und teilt das GIF mit dem Angriff. Ironische Distanzierung bei gleichzeitiger Verbreitung – genau so machen es gerade Millionen Pazifisten. Mit einem Gewaltvideo.

Der Druck scheint hoch. Die letzten Jahre haben uns, die friedlich-liberalen „Gutmenschen“, langsam gekocht wie den Frosch im Wasser. Gegen alle Unverschämtheiten, Bosheiten, gegen Trumps Pussygrabbing und Höckes Holocaust-Hetze, gegen Populismus und Rassismus und gegen den ganzen Dreck auf Facebook und Twitter waren wir machtlos. „When they go low, we go high“, forderte Michelle Obama uns auf. Lasst euch nicht auf deren Niveau herunter. Der Klügere gibt nach. Die andere Backe und so.

Haben wir versucht. Und mussten mitansehen, wie die Arschlöcher dieser Welt unsere Offenheit und Friedlichkeit nicht als Angebot oder wenigstens Waffenstillstand annahmen. Sondern ausnutzten. Wie sie jeden Kompromiss, den wir ihnen ließen, verseuchten mit ihrem Gift.

Also schlagen wir jetzt zurück. Mit einer Faust. Und den Bildern davon, zur Not eben ironisch verbrämt. Denn natürlich wissen wir, dass Gewalt falsch ist. Immer. Gegen jeden. Sogar gegen den Neo-Nazi mit den rasierten Schläfen und den Maßanzügen, der alles verkörpert, was wir verabscheuen. Aber jetzt, wo es nunmal passiert ist, gönnen auch wir aufrechten Linken uns ein kleines bisschen Schadenfreude. Haben wir das nicht auch mal verdient?

Die Haltung: Wenn die die Fakten verdrehen, dürfen wir Gewalt verdrehen. Was für ein Quatsch

„That wasn't a punch. That was an alternative hug“, schrieb die Amerikanerin Shannyn Moore auf Twitter, und lieferte uns Ironikern eine clevere Doppel-Codierung, um moralisch aus der Nummer raus zu kommen. Die Haltung: Wenn die die Fakten verdrehen, dürfen wir Gewalt verdrehen. Was für ein Quatsch.

Wir haben zwar nicht selbst zugeschlagen. Aber der Antifaschist, der hat zugeschlagen. Auch, weil wir darüber lachen und uns insgeheim freuen. Den Schlag vor der Kamera anzusetzen war schlau von ihm, vielleicht sogar Taktik. Der Angreifer wusste: Wenn das gut geht, geht es um die Welt. Weil wir, die „Gutmenschen“, es verbreiten. Mit oder ohne Ironie. Der Schlag ist damit sofort symbolisch geworden. Als seltene Ausnahme, die unsere Regel der Gewaltlosigkeit bestätigt.

Normalerweise teilen wir solche Videos nicht. Und darum ist es umso wirkungsvoller in seiner psychologischen Botschaft: Wir können auch anders. Und wir sind im Recht. Das erinnert mich in der Mechanik an Terroranschläge, die absichtlich vor laufenden Kameras durchgeführt werden, damit ihre Wirkung sich maximiert.

Diese Faust, ihre Verbreitung und vor allem das ganze Haha und Hoho, das es als Gleitmittel schmiert, nerven. Weil es den Graben an einer empfindlichen Stelle vertieft: dem Humor. Unsere Ironie verstehen viele Leute sowieso nicht. Wenn wir sie dann auch noch benutzen, um Gewalt zu relativieren, zu Recht nicht. Schon fragen die ersten Eierköpfe auf Twitter hämisch: Na, was ist jetzt mit eurer Toleranz? Seid ihr etwa gar nicht so gut, wie ihr immer tut? Ist Gewalt als Meme okay?

Die Faust nervt. Weil bei dem bösen Spiel mit den lustigen Videos jemand der Spielverderber sein muss. Weil dann jemand wie ich so einen belehrenden Text mit einer eigentlich selbstverständlichen Forderung schreiben muss. Weil sonst so viel Unsinn stehen bleibt. Zum Beispiel dieser Tweet von Julia Schramm, ex-Piratenpolitiker, Buch-Autorin und Netz-Publizistin: "Wie wir nach der Shoa ernsthaft darüber diskutieren, ob Nazis gewaltsam gestoppt werden dürfen, erschließt sich mir nur widerstrebend."

Widerstrebend, aber hoffentlich doch noch. Hier kommt noch ein letztes Mal die, je nach Perspektive, schlechte oder gute Nachricht: Das Gewaltmonopol, die Menschenrechte, sogar der ganz normale Anstand gelten auch für Neo-Nazis. Die Shoa für eine andere Argumentation heranzuziehen, ist platt und schäbig und öffnet Türen für noch platteren und schäbigeren Missbrauch. In dem Moment, indem wir nicht mehr leben, was wir predigen, haben sie gewonnen.

Mit den Richard Spencern dieser Welt braucht man nicht diskutieren. Aber den viel zu vielen Leuten, die ihnen momentan zuhören, denen kann man etwas Wichtiges zeigen: Wir sind besser. Wir halten uns gegenseitig aus. Ohne Fäuste. Also kommt doch rüber. Wir haben die besseren Drinks und das bessere Essen.

Und wenn jemand geschlagen wird, ist er für uns kein Loser. Dann hat er es nicht verdient, weil er einen schlechten Deal gemacht hat. Dann ist er nicht selbst schuld, egal woran er sonst für uns schuld ist. Wenn bei uns jemand geschlagen wird, lachen wir nicht darüber wie Trump und seine Fans über den Reporter mit Behinderung, den er im Wahlkampf nachäffte.

Nach-Angriff-auf-Alt-Right-Fuehrer-Spencer
Mitsamt seinem blauen Auge hat Spencer sich mittlerweile in einem Video-Statement zu dem Angriff gegen ihn vor laufender Kamera geäußert. Er sei zwar nicht zu Boden gegangen durch diesen „hinterhältigen“ Schlag, habe aber gelernt, in Zukunft nicht mehr so naiv zu sein, sich selbst in Gefahr zu bringen. Für Spencer ist klar: „Wir sind jetzt in einem Bürgerkrieg ('cold civil war').“ Die Alt-Right-Mitglieder müssten nun gemeinsam aufstehen und für die eigene Sicherheit sorgen.
Unter #punchanazi lassen sich viele Menschen darüber aus, wie gut es sei, einen Nazi zu verprügeln, vor allem einen wie Richard Spencer. Hier hat sich vor allem ein Account hervorgetan: @punchedtomusic twittert in kurzer Folge das immerselbe Video der australischen Fernsehanstalt, jeweils unterlegt mit verschiedenen Musikstücken, wobei der Schlag auf Spencers Kopf stets im Takt liegt.

24Jan: Before You Cheer the Attack on Richard Spencer, Consider the Strategy.
A nation where political assault is the norm is democracy at its crisis stage. By Michael Malice @ observer
On June 7, 2012, people in Greece and around the world watched a woman get hit in the face three times on national television. Liana Kanelli was a member of the Greek Communist party, despite the fact that Communists killed over 100 million people in the 20th Century and frequently engaged in genocide and ethnic relocations. The Soviet concentration camps preceded and inspired Hitler’s version.

Her assailant was Ilias Kasidiaris, a member of Greece’s Golden Dawn party. If there is any European party to which “neo-Nazi” can be applied without stretching the term, the Golden Dawn is it; their logo evokes the swastika itself. For anti-communists, the televised assault was a cheap thrill at best, but the reaction worldwide was of horror and disgust.

Last weekend, Richard Spencer—who coined the term “alt-right”—was similarly punched in the face on national television. Here the term “neo-Nazi” might be less apt but only marginally so. Spencer prefers to call himself an “identitarian,” but his Radix journal publishes such titles as Race Differences in Intelligence, Understanding Jewish Influence and The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Underman. I’ve seen no references to him advocating genocide, but a slippery-slope argument would be easy to make.

Many cheered the assault. But what, precisely, is the strategy here? Mussolini’s fascism was famously incoherent as an ideology, as he insisted on willpower being enough to force reality to work as the people would desire. It was a grittier, more intense version of President Obama’s “Yes, We Can!” But if slippery slopes can take us from racist arguments to full-blown genocide, they work in other ways as well.

We live in an age where “fascist,” “Nazi,” “racist,” “isolationist,” and “KKK” are regarded as synonymous. Yet far more southern racists than urban feminists fought Hitler and his legions during World War II. The current claim is that everyone who voted for Donald Trump effectively endorses a white supremacist agenda. Are 63 million Americans deserving of a punch to the face? Perhaps. But how would this play out? Red states are far more heavily armed than the gunless urban centers that form the basis of the anti-Trump coalition.

Kellyanne Conway was and remains accused of knowingly working with white supremacists. Steve Bannon was explicitly called a Nazi by former DNC chairman and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. And Politico just reported that writer Julia Hahn would be joining the White House; she’s already been decreed a white supremacist by the Twitterati. Unlike Richard Spencer, these people have real power to implement their views. If we’re at a point where White House staff, including women, should be freely assaulted, then arguments against fascism become laughable.

Many of us can remember the disgust we felt when the largely apolitical Michelle Obama was booed at a NASCAR event. One can’t fight a coarsening culture by ratcheting up the antagonism and aggression. Once violence becomes normalized as a means of political discourse, that on its face is a fascist society.

It’s no coincidence that the August 2014 Ferguson riots preceded the Republican landslide election that November. When the average person sees violence, they turn to law-and-order types to restore civility by any means necessary. It happened in the 1968 presidential election as well. Trump has spoken out against civil unrest more strongly than any president since Ronald Reagan. He has the will and the power to crack down on the populace if it came to that—and he would be rewarded for it by the voters, not punished. Does anyone really want that?

Hitler was almost certainly behind the 1933 Reichstag fire that allowed him to declare emergency powers and effectively become a total dictator. As Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.” If there is anyone who can exploit crises to his advantage, it is certainly President Trump. A nation where political assault is the norm is democracy at its crisis stage. There are far better ways to effect change, no matter how good they might feel.

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Declararon pena de muerte para Dylann Roof, el autor de la Masacre de Charleston ift.tt/2jnf5uy t.co/FoqBrhqxlc (via Twitter twitter.com/AgenciaCN/status/819574675340689409)
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Flickr Nurturing a Heritage of Hate? Evadale ISD 1608111128
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★★ Wise Intelligent Active Shooter (You Know the Deal) Prod. by DJ POCKET #np From the Upcoming Album Wise Intelligent Iz...Stevie Bonneville Wallace (Back 2 School - 4th Period) Active Shooter Lyrics by Wise Intelligent Paper chasers, nature rapers innocence sittin in prayer slayers Racial haters, germ creators third world populace depopulators Exploitators, people slavers confederate battle flag hatred wavers Great debaters, pseudo saviors eloquent orators but the wrong shit sayers Timothy Taylor, true NJer product of the same fuckin streets that raised ya opposition to the system put in place to degrade you my position was conditioned by da rich slave makers culture appropriators, vultures from middle agers enemy image painters, in the holy book pages fuck ya sages, integrators, every black apologist and capitulator Dylann Roof embracers, meet your maker to the victims that forgive him you can thank me later hate me haters, make me famous you don't understand how fuckin accurate my aim is I can make it painless, I'm poetically dangerous five rounds, 100 yards, check the minutes of angle that's a single inch grouper, Loophole user fuck a hot rhyme spitter, I'm an ACTIVE SHOOTER! VS2 Heavenly Father... life's bitch forgive me for the sin that I'm about to commit Forgive me for the men that the hollow points hit They will soon stand before you cause they didn't repent The souls of oppressors are the ones that I send women, children and men, with the gun that I spent, Sunday mornin cleaning tryin not to commit to the righteous indignation taken root from within The justice seekers, commandment keepers racially profiled how the beast police us chain and beat us, same when we was entrapped, kidnapped, maimed and breeded claimed and deeded, names deleted lynched, whipped, fuck this aim and squeeze it let it bang they bleedin for a gang of reasons make'em all believers in the name of Jesus, when I aim these heaters, flame releasers bullets lack names, addresses or pleaders, dodge and weave'em, hide and seek'em while Pinckney preachin...yea that ought to teach'em I can make it painless, I'm poetically dangerous five rounds, 100 yards, check the minutes of angle single inch grouper, Loophole user you a hot rhyme spitter, Imma ACTIVE SHOOTER! VS 3 its the world that I live in can't even trust the girls that I been in shot of pussy might be a nigga end-in germ warfare whoever said war fair when my enemy use every tendency every industry, just to get rid of me when do we...adopt A-symmetry show'em one thing publically while the other team poisoning everything under-covertly my queen so motherly, but I guarantee she will shoot ya shit up told my family, kiss and keep ya chin up cause when I leave my gate, shit could kick up may be the last day they get to kiss us cause the system is decidedly against us the consensus, bullies on bitch shit, when you're defenseless ridin on my bike, prayin in a church, walkin home with skittles, ...listening to music with my peoples are all men really created equal? you shouldn't give a fuck how they see you man up and defend what you need to I beseech you, stop being victims whenever you choose to walk with the Ruger, or walk into ACTIVE SHOOTER #likes #dailyuploads .zwj --- soundcloud.com/HipHop1Magazine ☚subscribe ★★
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The Emanuel African Methodist Church in downtown Charleston. Location of the infamous shooting by Dylann Roof that occurred on June 17, 2015. 9 people were killed; 6 women and 3 men. They were all African American. Dylann Roof was later caught and confessed that he was responsible for the shooting.
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February 26, 2016

Imagine: No Clintons

by Andrew Levine

Capital is Lord over all, but, even in a globalized neoliberal world, elections sometimes have non-trivial consequences. The ridiculously long election seasons that we Americans endure when the White House is up for grabs can be consequential too.

There has been one humdinger of a consequence already: the House of Bush has fallen, and all the money that the plutocracy had poured into Jeb Bush’s coffers, technically the coffers of the PACs supporting his candidacy, might just as well have been flushed down the toilet! Hallelujah! Perhaps there is a God, after all.

Well, no so fast: the strange goings on this election season seem more like the doings of the mischievous gods of the mythologies of polytheistic religions. How else to explain the success of that buffoonish Caudillo wannabe, Donald Trump? “Behold I am the Donald, destroyer of the GOP!” And does not the very existence of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are playthings of mean-spirited divinities with uncanny powers and bizarre senses of humor?

Remember too that, unlike the Bushes, the Clintons are still with us. We must therefore also give the Devil his due.

Notwithstanding the ravings of liberal fear mongers on cable news channels, neither Trump nor any other presently active Republican candidate stands a chance of winning the White House this year; not unless God, the gods or the Devil Himself causes the moral and intellectual level of the American electorate to fall off a cliff.

Therefore, the Clintons – Hillary in particular — are the clearest and most present danger now.

***

By “Clintonism,” I mean neoliberalism, combined with liberal imperialist foreign and military policies, plus support for socially liberal domestic policies that most people already favor.

The Clintons themselves are also given to courting African American and Hispanic leaders, while neglecting, and even harming, the constituencies they represent.

Last Spring, I imagined, more or less seriously, that a workable way to hold off the Clintons, and to combat Clintonism, was to support Jim Webb’s campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

It wasn’t his politics that appealed, though, from what I knew of it, it seemed that his views on many issues were no worse than Hillary’s. I thought this knowing that, even today, Webb still thinks that the Vietnam War was “necessary,” and that, three decades ago, he was the Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan.

Though formerly a Goldwater Girl, Hillary’s views on Vietnam and Reagan are better than that. But, unlike her, Webb is neither a neocon nor a “humanitarian intervener.” All indications were that he looks at the world with the eyes of a professional soldier, and is therefore repelled by clueless chicken hawks and sabre rattlers – like Hillary and Bill, and Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.

Unlike Hillary too, Webb showed no signs of friendliness towards “malefactors of great wealth.” The former Virginia Senator seemed instead to side with the victims of corporate moguls and Wall Street banksters. His appeal was much like John Edwards’ in 2008; the interests of his rural and working class constituents, and their counterparts throughout Appalachia and in the country’s rustbelts, was, or at least seemed to be, his main concern.

I was impressed too by the fact that Webb is an uncommonly gifted writer; some of his war novels are extraordinary.

He may not regret having supported the Vietnam War or having fought in it. [As a Second Lieutenant in the Marines, he was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism, the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.] But, thanks to his experience in Vietnam, he understands, as no Clinton possibly could, what wars do to human beings.

I thought it especially telling that, over the past half century, he has become a close observer and good friend of Vietnam and of other countries in the region. He may not think that he is doing penance, but he has certainly paid his dues.

Positions on “issues” are important, of course; and, on that score, Webb seemed just OK; neither better nor worse than the average Democrat. But a deep and penetrating intellect and a degree of moral depth unrivaled within the political class is important too.

Paradoxically, since Webb is white, Southern and male, there were identity reasons too for imagining that his candidacy could be useful in the struggle to rid our politics of Clintonism.

Although I have no personal attachments to the South, I had high hopes for Webb because he was an articulate proponent of Southern pride, who emphatically rejected the racist practices and attitudes associated with it.

Unlike the Clintons, but like more than a few populists of bygone times, he was, as a Senator, an advocate for the interests of his African Americans constituents.

I imagined that, were he President, the vast majority of African Americans, not just the notables among them, could expect more than Obama-style neglect, or the kind of treatment dealt them in the nineties, when Bill Clinton brought on the mass incarceration of black male youth, ended most forms of welfare support for impoverished families, and cut off opportunities for advancement by instituting economic and trade policies that effectively eliminated union jobs.

In short, I saw in Webb the best, indeed the only, chance of empowering constituencies that the Democratic Party relies upon for votes, but then does nothing for – unless keeping Republicans at bay counts.

But Webb never found a billionaire to bankroll him, and corporate media showed no interest in his campaign.

Worst of all, after pictures of Dylann Roof, the killer of nine African Americans at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, went viral, Webb’s nuanced and intelligent positions on the condition of rural white Southerners, and on the history of the Confederacy and later-day Southern politics, became the kiss of death.

Roof had photographed himself alongside the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. Thereafter, for a Democrat, all things Confederate became toxic.

After that, Webb’s candidacy was more than just a long shot; it was a non-starter.

***

At first, I thought that the Bernie Sanders campaign was a non-starter too – not because his anti-austerity message wouldn’t be wildly popular, but because, for obvious reasons, he was an unlikely rock star; and because the only way to defeat the Clinton juggernaut was with rock star charisma and money. I was wrong; it turned out he has plenty of both.

I was also wary of how Hillary would play the “glass ceiling” card; I didn’t realize that the younger the target audience, the less effective it would be.

And so, I thought, until December or so, that if anybody had a chance to defeat Hillary on anti-neoliberal grounds, it was Elizabeth Warren. But I was sure too – correctly, it turns out – that she meant what she said when she said that she wouldn’t run.

The situation was therefore glum. A pointless electoral exercise was about to suck up all the political air; and, in the end, we would be left with Hillary Clinton.

At that point, my view of Sanders’ candidacy resembled the thinking of the fox in the Aesop fable who, seeing that he could not reach the grapes that he coveted, convinced himself that those grapes were sour.

I was not the only one to go sour grapes on Bernie; many others were doing the same; some still are.

The temptation was – and still is – hard to resist because, in his case, sour grapes are so easy to spot. Sanders’ “democratic socialism” – actually, old-fashioned New Deal-Great Society liberalism – is better than Clintonian neoliberalism by orders of magnitude, but his views on foreign and military policy are not much better than the average Clintonite’s. Webb had him beat there. So did Ron Paul; and, on a good day, even his son Rand did too.

But then, as the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary came into view, Bernie’s prospects started to look better and Hillary no longer seemed quite so inevitable. Money flowed into the Sanders campaign – not from Super PACs or plutocrats but from ordinary people. The sour grapes were becoming sweet again.

Even corporate media started paying attention. Before December, they ignored Sanders almost as thoroughly as they ignored Webb or as they currently ignore the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

But once it started to look like Bernie could cause Hillary grief, the regime’s propagandists could no longer pretend that his campaign wasn’t happening. Their pro-corporate ideology didn’t change at all, but they could no longer ignore a story line that promised to boost ratings, and therefore advertising revenue. In their world, the bottom line is all.

The same thing had happened with Trump months earlier. Media moguls didn’t care for him either – they still don’t — but he has been a godsend for their bank accounts. Bernie could be too.

This has come to seem less likely, however, after the Nevada caucuses and with the South Carolina primary looming. The Clintons called in their chits, and the deep, institutional Democratic Party has been more than happy to respond: Harry Reid, Jim Clyburn, John Lewis, the whole sorry crew.

The result: Hillary “won” in Nevada; not by a lot, but by enough for media pundits to say that Sanders has lost momentum; “the Big Mo,” as the first George Bush famously called it.

Of course, it’s not over, ‘till it’s over; there could be major surprises still– especially if more African Americans and Hispanics come to the realization that the Clintons are not exactly on their side.

Don’t count on that, however. Even if the grapes don’t start souring again, the Clintonite party, with corporate media in tow, is ready and able to fight Bernie tooth and nail.

And so it is again looking like Hillary, unloved and even unliked by nearly everyone falling in line behind her, is the inevitable candidate – and therefore the inevitable President as well.

A glum state of affairs indeed!

***

It is not time, however, to abandon all hope, or even to abandon hope in Bernie. Not yet.

Bernie’s prospects could revive; and, even if he craps out, there are still ways to imagine Clintonism’s demise.

No one knows yet how the deep, institutional Republican Party will deal with Trump; it is not impossible that what they do will cause him to bolt, taking his voters with him.

Neither is it impossible that Michael Bloomberg will decide to run as an independent. If he does, it is hard to see how Republican establishment types could prefer Marco Rubio or even John Kasich to him. Many of them might therefore defect from the GOP as well.

Please, O God or gods or the Devil, let it come to pass! The GOP “as we know it” is finished, thanks to Trump, but if, in addition, the party splinters apart, its fall will be magnificent to behold.

It would be nearly as wonderful if the Democratic Party would fall apart too. But, unlike Trump, Sanders will not bolt. That is unimaginable.

Indeed, a major problem with his candidacy all along — right up there with his Clintonite foreign policy views — has been that he is soft on Hillary. He has said, from Day One, that, if and when the time comes, he’d back her a thousand percent. There is no reason to doubt his word.

However, if some sizeable chunk of his supporters would bolt nevertheless, all kinds of possibilities would open up. Lesser evilists think that no greater disaster is imaginable. In truth, however, nothing could be better – for the country and, given Hillary’s warmongering predilections, for the world.

Having been Clintonized for so long, the Democratic Party is probably by now beyond redemption. Let Bernie try; and, if he succeeds, more power to him. But the chances are not only that he won’t succeed, but that no one could. The Democratic Party has been part of the problem for far too long to somehow become even a modest part of the solution.

What could Sandersnistas sans Bernie do on their own? The obvious answer is: join forces with the Greens.

The Green New Deal program offers everything Bernie does and more; and Green foreign policy views are what Bernie’s sour grapes critics, myself included, fault Bernie for not sharing.

But how to get from here to there? That is what used to be called the sixty-four thousand dollar question.

The problem is that the Greens are not now, and never have been, a pole of attraction in American politics. I voted for Jill Stein, the Green candidate, in 2012, but whenever I tell anyone who is not already interested in “third party” politics, the inevitable response is “Jill who?” I would give a hundred to one odds that, if asked, this is what many, if not most, of the people now “feeling the Bern” would say about her today.

By running as a Democrat, Sanders avoided that fate, notwithstanding the media’s determination to pretend that his campaign didn’t exist. Had he not run as a Democrat, he could never have gotten anywhere near to where he now is.

But there may be a limit to what anyone, opposed to any significant part of the Clintonite agenda, can accomplish, running as a Democrat.

Perhaps Sanders has reached that limit already. I hope not; I hope that ever-wider swathes of the electorate will still rally to his cause. The jury is still out.

But if and when the institutional Party succeeds in running the Sandersnistas into a wall, how wonderful it would be if Sanders’ supporters would turn away from the Democratic Party altogether, and do for the Greens, what the Greens could never do on their own. It is far more likely that they will fall into the Hillary camp for lesser evil reasons, but what I am imagining is not out of the question.

Perhaps my hopes are again leading my imagination astray, as happened last spring when I reflected on the merits of Jim Webb’s campaign for the nomination. Perhaps.

But remember, first, that neither Trump nor any of the loony tunes competing against him stands a chance of winning, even running against such an inept campaigner as Hillary Clinton. The allegedly unelectable Bernie Sanders would be a more formidable opponent, but the Republican brand is, by now, so damaged that even Hillary would be a sure winner.

It won’t, but this ought to make the lesser evil temptation less compelling than it would otherwise be.

There is another consideration that ought to have a similar effect, but won’t: that it is not as clear as is widely assumed that, running against Trump, Hillary Clinton would actually be the lesser evil.

It goes without saying that Trump’s express views on Muslims and Hispanics put him beyond the pale – whether or not he really believe what he says. I doubt that he does – I think that he is only working his marks – but it hardly matters. A vote for Trump is a vote for unmitigated vileness.

However, on many pertinent issues – among others, coddling banksters and corporate profiteers, trade policy, overseas interventions, job creation through public works, health care, the provision of social services, and even U.S. policy towards Israel and Palestine – Trump’s views, compared to Hillary’s, are not all that bad.

Again, this doesn’t trump Trump’s racism, nativism and Islamophobia; not by any means. But it does provide yet another reason why even the most fretful lesser evilists should realize that it would not be quite as awful as they think if, running against the Donald, Hillary per impossibile were actually to lose.

Were Sandersnistas and Greens to join together, the American political scene would be a far, far better place.

But because Sanders still has a chance, and because, despite everything, he is a force to be reckoned with in national politics while the Green Party is practically unknown, the time for that is not now.

However, if and when Sanders gives up and folds his campaign into Clinton’s, the time will be right as can be. We will have nothing to lose but the Clintons and the political culture they have foisted upon us.
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ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What’s Wrong With the Opium of the People. He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).
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Tomgram: Engelhardt

The Fate of Our Earth
Posted by Tom Engelhardt

January 5, 2016.

Why the Islamic State Is the Minor Leagues of Terror
Putting Threats into Perspective for 2016
By Tom Engelhardt

It’s time to panic!

As 2015 ended, this country was certifiably terror-stricken. It had the Islamic State (IS) on the brain. Hoax terror threats or terror imbroglios shut down school systems from Los Angeles to New Hampshire, Indiana to a rural county in Virginia. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, citing terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, cancelled a prospective tour of Europe thanks to terror fears, issuing a statement that “orchestra management believes there is an elevated risk to the safety of musicians and their families, guest artists, DSO personnel, and travelling patrons.” By year's end, the Justice Department had charged an ”unprecedented” 60 people with terrorism-related crimes (often linked to social media exchanges).

While just north of the border Canada’s new government and its citizens were embracing the first of 25,000 Syrian refugees in an atmosphere of near celebration, citizens and government officials in the lower 48 were squabbling and panicking about the few who had made it here. (“Sid Miller, the Texas agriculture commissioner, compared Syrian refugees to rattlesnakes, posting on Facebook images of snakes and refugees and asking, ‘Can you tell me which of these rattlers won’t bite you?’”)

In the two presidential debates that ended the year, focusing in whole or part on “national security,” the only global subject worthy of discussion was -- you guessed it -- the Islamic State and secondarily immigration and related issues. Media panelists didn’t ask a single question in either debate about China or Russia (other than on the IS-related issue of who might shoot down Russian planes over Syria) or about the relative success of the French right-wing, anti-Islamist National Front Party and its presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen (even though her American analog, Donald Trump, was on stage in one debate and a significant subject of the other). And that just begins a long list of national security issues that no one felt it worth bringing up, including the fact that in Paris 195 countries had agreed on a potentially path-breaking climate change deal.

As the Dallas Symphony Orchestra signaled, “Paris” now means only one thing in this country: the bloody terror attack on the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan theater and related assaults. In fact, if you were following the “news” here as 2015 ended, you might be forgiven for thinking that we Americans lived in a land beset by, and under siege from, Islamic terror and the Islamic State. The latest polls indicate that striking numbers of Americans now view the threat of terrorism as the country’s number one danger, see it as a (if not the) critical issue facing us, believe that it and national security should be the government’s top priorities, and are convinced that the terrorists are at present “winning.”

You would never know that, if you left out what might be called self-inflicted pain like death by vehicle (more than 33,000 deaths annually), suicide by gun (more than 21,000 annually) or total gun deaths (30,000 annually), and fatal drug overdoses (more than 47,000 annually), this is undoubtedly one of the safest countries on the planet. Over these years, the American dead from Islamic terror outfits or the “lone wolves” they inspire have added up to the most modest of figures, even if you include that single great day of horror, September 11, 2001. Include deaths from non-Islamic right-wing acts of terror (including, for instance, Dylann Roof’s murders in a black church in Charleston), a slightly more impressive figure in recent years, and you still have next to nothing. Even if you add in relatively commonplace mass shootings, from school campuses to malls to workplaces, that are not defined as “terror,” and accept the broadest possible definition of such shootings (a minimum of four killed or injured), you would still have the sort of danger that couldn’t be more modest compared to death by vehicle, suicide, or drugs -- phenomena that obsess few Americans.

The Islamic State in Perspective

Still, as 2016 begins, terror remains the 800-pound gorilla (in reality, a marmoset) in the American room and just about the only national security issue that truly matters. So why shouldn’t I join the crowd? Who wants to be left in the lurch? But first, I think it makes sense to put the Islamic State in perspective.

Yes, it’s a brutal, extreme religious-cum-political outfit, the sort of movement that probably could only arise on a shattered landscape in a shattered region filled with desperate souls looking for any explanation for, or solution to, nightmarish lives. There can be no question that it’s had remarkable success. Its self-proclaimed “caliphate” now controls territory the size of (to choose a common comparison) Great Britain with a population of perhaps a few million people. Since there are seldom reporters on the scene (for obvious reasons of health and well-being), we have no idea whether IS has 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, or 50,000 fighters and potential suicide bombers under arms. We do know that those arms (despite a couple of captured tanks) are generally light and the bombs largely of the homemade variety.

The Islamic State has shown quite a knack for generating a stream of revenue from black market oil sales, ransoms from kidnappings, the ransacking of the region’s archeological heritage, and wealthy Sunnis elsewhere in the region. In addition, it's been skilled at promoting its “brand” in other parts of the Greater Middle East and Africa, from Afghanistan to Libya, Yemen to Nigeria, where local populations are also facing shattered landscapes, failed states, oppressive governments, and desperation. Finally, thanks to the talents of its social media militants, it’s shown a facility for attracting disaffected (and sometimes whacked-out) young Muslims from Europe and even the United States, as well as for inspiring “lone wolves” to acts meant to unnerve its enemies in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere.

So give credit where it’s due. Compared to a few training camps in Afghanistan -- the al-Qaeda model before 2001 (and again recently) -- this is no small thing. But the Islamic State should also be put in some perspective. It’s not Nazi Germany. It’s not the Soviet Union. It’s not an existential threat to the United States. It’s a distinctly self-limited movement, probably only capable of expanding its reach if even more of the region is laid to waste (as is, for instance, happening in Yemen right now, thanks in large part to a U.S.-backed Saudi war on the Iranian-inclined Houthi rebels).

IS is so deeply sectarian that it can never gain the support of a single Shia, Christian, Alawite, or Yazidi. Its practices, religious and political, are too extreme for many of the Sunnis it might want to appeal to. It is also an embattled movement. It has already lost some of the lands it captured to U.S.-backed Kurds in both Syria and Iraq and to the U.S.-backed, U.S.-equipped, and U.S.-trained Iraqi Army as well as Shiite militias. Its extremity has clearly alienated some of the Sunnis under its control. It’s unlikely to take seven decades, as in the case of the Soviet Union, to implode and disappear.

On the other hand, if the Islamic State, at least in its present form, is crushed or driven into some corner and the region is “liberated,” one thing is guaranteed -- as images of the rubble and landscapes of skeletal buildings left behind at the “victorious” battle sites of Kobane, Sinjar, Homs, and Ramadi will tell you. Combine the massively bomb-laden, booby-trapped urban areas under Islamic State control, American air power (or, in parts of Syria, the barrel-bombing air force of the government of Bashar al-Assad and now the firepower of Russia), and fierce urban combat, and what may be left in the moment of “victory” could be a region in utter ruins. One expert suggests that it may take decades and cost $200 billion -- three times Syria’s prewar gross domestic product -- to rebuild that country, bringing to mind the famed line from Tacitus: “They make a desert and call it peace.”

And just remind me, who’s going to help with the reconstruction of that shattered land? Donald Trump? Don’t count on it. And don’t for a second believe that from such devastated worlds nothing worse than the Islamic State can arise.

While we may be talking about a terror machine, IS represents a far more modest and embattled one than its social media propaganda would indicate. Its ability to threaten the U.S. bears little relation to the bogeyman version of it that at present occupies the American imagination. The sole advantage the Islamic State has when it comes to this country is that it turns out to be so easy to spook us.

“A Republic of Insects and Grass”

Still, don’t for a second think that terror isn’t on the American agenda. You really want terror? Let me tell you about terror. And I’m not talking about 14 dead (San Bernardino) or 130 dead (Paris). What about up to 140,000 dead? (The toll from Hiroshima.) What about 285 million dead? (The official estimate of the dead, had the U.S. military’s Single Integrated Operational Plan, or SIOP, of 1960 been carried out via more than 3,200 nuclear weapons delivered to 1,060 targets in the Communist world, including at least 130 cities -- and that didn’t include casualty figures from whatever the Soviet Union might have been able to launch in response.)

Or what about -- to move from past slaughters and projected slaughters to future ones -- a billion dead? Despite the recent surprise visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Pakistani counterpart, that remains a perfectly “reasonable” possibility, were a nuclear war ever to develop in South Asia. India and Pakistan, after all, face each other across a heavily armed and fortified 1,800 mile border, having fought three major wars since 1947. Small armed incidents are commonplace. Imagine that -- to take just one possible scenario -- extreme elements in the Pakistani military (or other extremist elements) got their hands on some part of that country’s ever-expanding nuclear arsenal, now believed to be at about 130 weapons, and loosed one or more of them on India, starting a nuclear exchange over issues that no one else on Earth gives a damn about.

Imagine that, in the course of the war that followed, each side released “only” 50 Hiroshima-sized weapons on the other’s cities and industrial areas (“0.4% of the world’s more than 25,000 warheads”). One study suggests that, along with the 20 million or so inhabitants of South Asia who would die in such an exchange, this “modest” local nuclear conflagration would send enough smoke and particulates into the stratosphere to cause a planetary “nuclear winter” lasting perhaps a decade. The ensuing failure of agricultural systems globally could, according to experts, lead a billion or more people to starve to death. (And once you’re talking about a crisis of that magnitude, one humanity has never experienced, god knows what other systems might fail at the same time.)

I hope by now you’re feeling a little shudder of fear or at least anxiety. Perhaps not, though, since we’re remarkably well protected from thinking about the deeper terrors of our planet. And mind you, if you’re talking terror, that South Asian war is penny ante compared to the sort of event that would be associated with the thousands of nuclear weapons in the arsenals of the United States and Russia. Since the Cold War ended, they have more or less been hidden in plain sight. Call it an irony of sorts, then, that nuclear weapons have loomed large on the American landscape in these years, just not the ones that could truly harm us. Instead, Americans have largely focused in the usual semi-hysterical fashion on a nuclear weapon -- the Iranian bomb -- that never existed, while Russian and American arsenals undoubtedly capable of destroying more than one Earth-sized planet have remained in place, heavily funded and largely unnoted.

When you look at what might be posssible under unknown future conditions, there is no reason to stop with mere millions or even a billion dead human beings. A major nuclear exchange, it is believed, could lead to the shredding of the planetary environment and a literal liquidation of humanity: the wiping out, that is, of ourselves and the turning of this country into, in the phrase of Jonathan Schell, “a republic of insects and grass.” As he explained so famously in his international bestseller of 1982, The Fate of the Earth, this became a genuine possibility in the post-Hiroshima decades and it remains so today, though given scant attention in a world in which tensions between the U.S. and Russia have been on the rise.

Apocalypses, Fast or Slow-Mo

It’s not that we don’t live on an increasingly terrifying planet. We do. It’s that terror fears, at least in our American world, are regularly displaced onto relatively minor threats.

If you want to be scared, consider this unlikelihood: in the course of just a few centuries, humanity has stumbled upon two uniquely different ways of unleashing energy -- the burning of fossil fuels and the splitting of the atom -- that have made the sort of apocalypse that was once the property of the gods into a human possession. The splitting of the atom and its application to war was, of course, a conscious scientific discovery. Its apocalyptic possibilities were grasped almost immediately by some of its own creators, including physicist Robert Oppenheimer who played a key role in the Manhattan Project that produced the atomic bomb during World War II. As he witnessed its awesome power in its initial test in the New Mexican desert, this line from the Bhagavad Gita came to his mind: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

The destroyer of worlds indeed -- or at least, potentially, of the one world that matters to humanity.

The other method of wrecking the planet was developed without the intent to destroy: the discovery that coal, oil, and later natural gas could motor economies. It was not known until the final decades of the last century that the release of greenhouse gases from the burning of such forms of energy could heat the planet in startling ways and undermine the very processes that promoted life as we had always experienced it. It’s worth adding, however, that the executives of the giant oil companies knew a great deal about the dangers their products posed to Earth way before most of the rest of us did, suppressed that information for a surprisingly long time, and then invested prodigious sums in promoting the public denial of those very dangers. (In the process, they left the Republican Party wrapped in a straightjacket of climate change denial unique on the planet.) Someday, this will undoubtedly be seen as one of the great crimes of history, unless of course there are no historians left to write about it.

In other words, if enough fossil fuels continue to be burned in the many decades to come, another kind of potential extinction event can be imagined, a slow-motion apocalypse of extreme weather -- melting, burning, flooding, sea-level rise, storming, and who knows what else.

And if humanity has already managed to discover two such paths of utter destruction, what else, at present unimagined, might someday come into focus?

In this context, think of the Islamic State as the minor leagues of terror, though at the moment you wouldn’t know it. If we are all now the children of the holocaust -- of, that is, our own possible extinction -- and if this is the inheritance we are to leave to our own children and grandchildren, perhaps it’s understandable that it feels better to fear the Islamic State. Its evil is so specific, so “other,” so utterly alien and strangely distant. It’s almost comforting to focus on its depredations, ignoring, of course, the grotesquely large hand our country had in its creation and in the more general spread of terror movements across the Greater Middle East.

It’s so much more comfortable to fear extreme Islamist movements than to take in two apocalyptic terrors that are clearly part of our own patrimony -- and, to make matters harder, one of which is likely to unfold over a time period that's hard to grasp, and the other under as yet difficult to imagine political circumstances.

It’s clear that neither of these true terrors of our planet and our age has to happen (or at least, in the case of climate change, come to full fruition). To ensure that, however, we and our children and grandchildren would have to decide that the fate of our Earth was indeed at stake and act accordingly. We would have to change the world.

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com. His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

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Flickr 148/365/2704 (November 6, 2015) - Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Charleston, South Carolina) - November 2015
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In town for the Charleston Conference, here are some pictures of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, also known as "Mother Emanuel." The 1891 church is located at 110 Calhoun Street near the College of Charleston. The church gained national notoriety on June 17, 2015 when nine people attending Bible study were gunned down by Dylann Roof.
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Tomgram: Barbara Ehrenreich, America to Working Class Whites: Drop Dead!

Posted by Barbara Ehrenreichat 8:00am, December 1, 2015.

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[Note for TomDispatch readers: Who knew? Not me, but there’s now something called “Giving Tuesday” -- this very day, no less. It’s meant to be a response to the commercialism of Black Friday and to spur your impulse to put your money where your non-commercial mouth is during a holiday season increasingly devoted to private gift-giving of an extravagant nature. So if you’re in a Giving Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday, or even a Giving December mood, we wanted to remind you not to forget TomDispatch. To keep our analytical heads above water, we rely to a remarkable extent on the generosity of our readers, so check out our donation page where, for a contribution of $100, you can get signed, personalized books from a number of TomDispatch regulars, including Nick Turse and me. Tom]

It’s the American mean season. No question about it. Racism. Xenophobia. Refugee bashing. Seemingly endless blatant police killings (and other kinds of mistreatment) of black citizens. All of it out in the open for anyone to see and denounce -- or cheer. And at rallies nationwide, Republican candidates, especially Donald Trump, are indeed being cheered (and protestors ejected, spit upon, or beaten up) by large, almost totally white crowds for saying whatever comes next on the downward slope to hell. Even on the right, a few commentators and pundits are starting to raise the ugly word “fascism” when it comes to prospective federal registries of Muslim Americans and the like.

We know now that election 2016 is increasingly an open portal into an age-old American dark side of slavery, repression, internment, and know-nothing-ism that couldn’t be grimmer. And behind it all, running like an interstate highway through our history, is a powerful sense of white skin privilege that has traditionally extended even to those who were relatively powerless. Much attention these days is being given to the next outrageous statement, whatever it might be, from Donald Trump, Ben Carson, or Ted Cruz. Far less attention is being paid to those cheering them on in their collective folly or to the media which is, post-Paris, pounding the drums, 24/7-style, when it comes to the threat of Islamic terrorism, which has since 9/11 been one of the lesser dangers in American life. The "news" has become, in essence, a fear-creation machine and so, despite all Donald Trump's attacks on it, a promotion machine for the likes of him.

Of course, in the 2016 campaign season, it couldn’t be clearer that the billionaire version of white privilege is going great guns, but as for working class whites, not so much. As Barbara Ehrenreich, founding editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, notes today, the sense of white privilege has taken a hit in America and that’s not surprising. A recent study she cites suggests that middle-aged whites with no more than a high-school degree now have death rates that, in developed countries, come close only to those last seen among Russian men after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In other words, whole cohorts of white Americans have ever less to cheer about in their lives, which may help explain all those public cheers for Trump et al. Tom

Dead, White, and Blue
The Great Die-Off of America's Blue Collar Whites
By Barbara Ehrenreich

The white working class, which usually inspires liberal concern only for its paradoxical, Republican-leaning voting habits, has recently become newsworthy for something else: according to economist Anne Case and Angus Deaton, the winner of the latest Nobel Prize in economics, its members in the 45- to 54-year-old age group are dying at an immoderate rate. While the lifespan of affluent whites continues to lengthen, the lifespan of poor whites has been shrinking. As a result, in just the last four years, the gap between poor white men and wealthier ones has widened by up to four years. The New York Times summed up the Deaton and Case study with this headline: “Income Gap, Meet the Longevity Gap.”

This was not supposed to happen. For almost a century, the comforting American narrative was that better nutrition and medical care would guarantee longer lives for all. So the great blue-collar die-off has come out of the blue and is, as the Wall Street Journal says, “startling.”

It was especially not supposed to happen to whites who, in relation to people of color, have long had the advantage of higher earnings, better access to health care, safer neighborhoods, and of course freedom from the daily insults and harms inflicted on the darker-skinned. There has also been a major racial gap in longevity -- 5.3 years between white and black men and 3.8 years between white and black women -- though, hardly noticed, it has been narrowing for the last two decades. Only whites, however, are now dying off in unexpectedly large numbers in middle age, their excess deaths accounted for by suicide, alcoholism, and drug (usually opiate) addiction.

There are some practical reasons why whites are likely to be more efficient than blacks at killing themselves. For one thing, they are more likely to be gun-owners, and white men favor gunshots as a means of suicide. For another, doctors, undoubtedly acting in part on stereotypes of non-whites as drug addicts, are more likely to prescribe powerful opiate painkillers to whites than to people of color. (I’ve been offered enough oxycodone prescriptions over the years to stock a small illegal business.)

Manual labor -- from waitressing to construction work -- tends to wear the body down quickly, from knees to back and rotator cuffs, and when Tylenol fails, the doctor may opt for an opiate just to get you through the day.

The Wages of Despair

But something more profound is going on here, too. As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman puts it, the “diseases” leading to excess white working class deaths are those of “despair,” and some of the obvious causes are economic. In the last few decades, things have not been going well for working class people of any color.

I grew up in an America where a man with a strong back -- and better yet, a strong union -- could reasonably expect to support a family on his own without a college degree. In 2015, those jobs are long gone, leaving only the kind of work once relegated to women and people of color available in areas like retail, landscaping, and delivery-truck driving. This means that those in the bottom 20% of white income distribution face material circumstances like those long familiar to poor blacks, including erratic employment and crowded, hazardous living spaces.

White privilege was never, however, simply a matter of economic advantage. As the great African-American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in 1935, “It must be remembered that the white group of laborers, while they received a low wage, were compensated in part by a sort of public and psychological wage.”

Some of the elements of this invisible wage sound almost quaint today, like Du Bois’s assertion that white working class people were “admitted freely with all classes of white people to public functions, public parks, and the best schools.” Today, there are few public spaces that are not open, at least legally speaking, to blacks, while the “best” schools are reserved for the affluent -- mostly white and Asian American along with a sprinkling of other people of color to provide the fairy dust of “diversity.” While whites have lost ground economically, blacks have made gains, at least in the de jure sense. As a result, the “psychological wage” awarded to white people has been shrinking.

For most of American history, government could be counted on to maintain white power and privilege by enforcing slavery and later segregation. When the federal government finally weighed in on the side of desegregation, working class whites were left to defend their own diminishing privilege by moving rightward toward the likes of Alabama Governor (and later presidential candidate) George Wallace and his many white pseudo-populist successors down to Donald Trump.

At the same time, the day-to-day task of upholding white power devolved from the federal government to the state and then local level, specifically to local police forces, which, as we know, have taken it up with such enthusiasm as to become both a national and international scandal. The Guardian, for instance, now keeps a running tally of the number of Americans (mostly black) killed by cops (as of this moment, 1,209 for 2015), while black protest, in the form of the Black Lives Matter movement and a wave of on-campus demonstrations, has largely recaptured the moral high ground formerly occupied by the civil rights movement.

The culture, too, has been inching bit by bit toward racial equality, if not, in some limited areas, black ascendency. If the stock image of the early twentieth century “Negro” was the minstrel, the role of rural simpleton in popular culture has been taken over in this century by the characters in Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. At least in the entertainment world, working class whites are now regularly portrayed as moronic, while blacks are often hyper-articulate, street-smart, and sometimes as wealthy as Kanye West. It’s not easy to maintain the usual sense of white superiority when parts of the media are squeezing laughs from the contrast between savvy blacks and rural white bumpkins, as in the Tina Fey comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. White, presumably upper-middle class people generally conceive of these characters and plot lines, which, to a child of white working class parents like myself, sting with condescension.

Of course, there was also the election of the first black president. White, native-born Americans began to talk of “taking our country back.” The more affluent ones formed the Tea Party; less affluent ones often contented themselves with affixing Confederate flag decals to their trucks.

On the American Downward Slope

All of this means that the maintenance of white privilege, especially among the least privileged whites, has become more difficult and so, for some, more urgent than ever. Poor whites always had the comfort of knowing that someone was worse off and more despised than they were; racial subjugation was the ground under their feet, the rock they stood upon, even when their own situation was deteriorating.

If the government, especially at the federal level, is no longer as reliable an enforcer of white privilege, then it’s grassroots initiatives by individuals and small groups that are helping to fill the gap -- perpetrating the micro-aggressions that roil college campuses, the racial slurs yelled from pickup trucks, or, at a deadly extreme, the shooting up of a black church renowned for its efforts in the Civil Rights era. Dylann Roof, the Charleston killer who did just that, was a jobless high school dropout and reportedly a heavy user of alcohol and opiates. Even without a death sentence hanging over him, Roof was surely headed toward an early demise.

Acts of racial aggression may provide their white perpetrators with a fleeting sense of triumph, but they also take a special kind of effort. It takes effort, for instance, to target a black runner and swerve over to insult her from your truck; it takes such effort -- and a strong stomach -- to paint a racial slur in excrement on a dormitory bathroom wall. College students may do such things in part out of a sense of economic vulnerability, the knowledge that as soon as school is over their college-debt payments will come due. No matter the effort expended, however, it is especially hard to maintain a feeling of racial superiority while struggling to hold onto one’s own place near the bottom of an undependable economy.

While there is no medical evidence that racism is toxic to those who express it -- after all, generations of wealthy slave owners survived quite nicely -- the combination of downward mobility and racial resentment may be a potent invitation to the kind of despair that leads to suicide in one form or another, whether by gunshots or drugs. You can’t break a glass ceiling if you’re standing on ice.

It’s easy for the liberal intelligentsia to feel righteous in their disgust for lower-class white racism, but the college-educated elite that produces the intelligentsia is in trouble, too, with diminishing prospects and an ever-slipperier slope for the young. Whole professions have fallen on hard times, from college teaching to journalism and the law. One of the worst mistakes this relative elite could make is to try to pump up its own pride by hating on those -- of any color or ethnicity -- who are falling even faster.

Barbara Ehrenreich, a TomDispatch regular and founding editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, is the author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (now in a 10th anniversary edition with a new afterword) and most recently the autobiographical Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

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A protester standing outside the whitehouse in DC, flying a version of the Confederate flag (top), the first National Flag (middle), and an upside down US flag at the bottom. He is protesting the removal of the Confederate flag from public buildings and several major US stores following reports associating it with killer Dylann Roof.
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Flickr An African-American man and woman take their photograph using a “selfie stick” outside the South Carolina State House in Columbia South Carolina
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An African-American man and woman take their photograph using a “selfie stick” outside the South Carolina State House, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Thousands flocked to the South Carolina Statehouse to see the removal of the Confederate flag. The flag flew above the capitol dome from 1961-2000, then was moved to the grounds. The flag, which is now permanently removed, will be stored at the Confederate Relic Room and Military Musum. The House voted for its removal after the shooting of nine African-Americans at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 17, 2015. Alleged shooter Dylann Roof, who published a manifesto on his website supporting white supremacist beliefs, was seen in numerous photographs holding the Confederate flag. (Photo by Carmen K. Sisson/Cloudybright)
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Flickr A man carries a Confederate flag outside the South Carolina State House in Columbia South Carolina
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A man carries a Confederate flag outside the South Carolina State House, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Thousands flocked to the South Carolina Statehouse to see the removal of the Confederate flag. The flag flew above the capitol dome from 1961-2000, then was moved to the grounds. The flag, which is now permanently removed, will be stored at the Confederate Relic Room and Military Musum. The House voted for its removal after the shooting of nine African-Americans at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 17, 2015. Alleged shooter Dylann Roof, who published a manifesto on his website supporting white supremacist beliefs, was seen in numerous photographs holding the Confederate flag. (Photo by Carmen K. Sisson/Cloudybright)
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Flickr Members of the Carolina Rebels Motorcycle Club leave the South Carolina State House after protesting the removal of the Confederate flag in Columbia South Carolina
Tags: usa   men   history   flag   south   southcarolina   columbia   historic   removal   brotherhood   protestors   statehouse   rebels   confederateflag   motorcyclegang   southernculture   emanuelamechurch   emanuelafricanmethodistepiscopalchurch   carolinarebelsmotorcycleclub   dylannroof   
Members of the Carolina Rebels Motorcycle Club leave the South Carolina State House after protesting the removal of the Confederate flag, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The flag flew above the capitol dome from 1961-2000, then was moved to the grounds. The flag, which is now permanently removed, will be stored at the Confederate Relic Room and Military Musum. The House voted for its removal after the shooting of nine African-Americans at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 17, 2015. Alleged shooter Dylann Roof, who published a manifesto on his website supporting white supremacist beliefs, was seen in numerous photographs holding the Confederate flag. (Photo by Carmen K. Sisson/Cloudybright)
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Flickr A parking garage attendant talks with a driver as he exits a full parking garage following the Confederate flag removal in Columbia South Carolina
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A parking garage attendant talks with a driver as he exits a parking garage, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Area garages and parking spaces filled quickly as thousands flocked to the South Carolina Statehouse to see the removal of the Confederate flag. The flag flew above the capitol dome from 1961-2000, then was moved to the grounds. The flag, which is now permanently removed, will be stored at the Confederate Relic Room and Military Musum. The House voted for its removal after the shooting of nine African-Americans at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 17, 2015. Alleged shooter Dylann Roof, who published a manifesto on his website supporting white supremacist beliefs, was seen in numerous photographs holding the Confederate flag. (Photo by Carmen K. Sisson/Cloudybright)
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Flickr Gun-Free Zones Act of 1990
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Banning guns in schools has caused the snowballing increase in school shootings.

This is because it makes schools a shooting gallery of helpless people who can’t fight back.The same is true of the growing bans on guns in schools, malls, and movie theaters

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Flickr No More My Lord
Tags: collage   charleston   churchshooting   emanuelafricanmethodistepiscopalchurch   motheremanuel   clementapinckney   dylannroof   
No More my Lord

There is no asylum, no escape, no redemption, no reprieve, no governor's pardon at the last minute, from the pain of life.


This collage is based on multiple news photos that I painted the original photos may be copyrighted and used here under the guidelines of fair use



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Flickr dylann-roof-anti-american-photos-1
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Flickr Dylann Roof

Dylann Roof on Patriotism

"I hate the sight of the American flag. Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke. People pretending like they have something to be proud while White people are being murdered daily in the streets. Many veterans believe we owe them something for “protecting our way of life” or “protecting our freedom”. But im not sure what way of life they are talking about. How about we protect the White race and stop fighting for the jews. I will say this though, I myself would have rather lived in 1940's American than Nazi Germany, and no this is not ignorance speaking, it is just my opinion. So I dont blame the veterans of any wars up until after Vietnam, because at least
they had an American to be proud of and fight for. "

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Dylann Roof's facebook photos
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Flickr USA CHARLESTON SHOOTING
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SCX01. Carleston (United States), 19/06/2015.- Charleston residents grieve at a makeshift memorial outside the historic mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to honor the nine victims slain by alleged killer Dylann Roof in Charleston, South Carolina USA, 19 June 2015. (Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/RICHARD ELLIS USA CHARLESTON SHOOTING
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Flickr Was8937548
Tags: usa   justice   unitedstates   southcarolina   charleston   crime   law   emanuelamechurch   
A morning view of a memorial outside the Emanuel AME Church June 19, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. US police arrested a white high school dropout Thursday suspected of carrying out a gun massacre at one of America's oldest black churches, the latest deadly assault to fuel simmering racial tensions. Authorities detained 21-year-old Dylann Roof, shown wearing the flags of defunct white supremacist regimes in pictures taken from social media, after nine churchgoers were shot dead during a Bible study class on Wednesday evening. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Flickr Dylann Roof, 21, has confess the massacre
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21-year-old Dylann Roof has admitted that he carried out the massacre in Charleston – but states that he almost changed his mind shortly before. During midsummer, in court for the detention hearing, and voices raised already for him to be sentenced to death.
In an hour, Dylann Roof, 21,...

www.broadleak.com/2015/06/19/dylann-roof-21-has-confess-t...

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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 26
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 23
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 21
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 20
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 17
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 16
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 15
Tags: charlestonsouthcarolina   domesticterrorism   amechurch   racisim   susiejackson   whitesupremacist   emanuelafricanmethodistepiscopalchurch   myrathompson   blacklivesmatter   revdepaynemiddletondoctor   revsharondasingleton   charlestonmurders   southcarolina2015   revdanielsimmons   tywanzasanders   dylannroof   cynthiahurd   revclementapinckney   dylannstormroof   
Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 14
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 13
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Flickr DC Vigil For Charleston Murders 12
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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Washington DC, Dupont Circle, the evening of June 18, 2015. Social justice activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Dupont Circle fountain for a vigil with speeches to honor the lives of the nine African Americans slain at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by white supremacist youth Dylann Storm Roof on Tuesday evening. Mr. Roof was gifted by his family with a .45 caliber hand gun for his 21st birthday last month. We mourn the deaths of Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and all other victims of racist terrorist violence.
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White mass murdering racists are often misunderstood. That is because no matter how many people the white racist murderers premeditatively murder, the misunderstood white mass murderers can never be called terrorists.

The word TERRORIST can not be used to describe them in US of Israel media.

Fortunately for misunderstood whites, TERRORISTS are definitionally exclusively the brown people, Russians with land and oil to steal, and Muslims with land and oil to steal identified by instructive Israeli media.
-RT
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Refusal to Call Charleston Shootings “Terrorism” Again Shows It’s a Meaningless Propaganda Term

By Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald
Yesterday at 12:31 PM
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Featured photo - Refusal to Call Charleston Shootings “Terrorism” Again Shows It’s a Meaningless Propaganda Term

In February 2010, a man named Joseph Stack deliberately flew his small airplane into the side of a building that housed a regional IRS office in Austin, Texas, just as 200 agency employees were starting their workday. Along with himself, Stack killed an IRS manager and injured 13 others.

Stack was an anti-tax, anti-government fanatic, and chose his target for exclusively political reasons. He left behind a lengthy manifesto cogently setting forth his largely libertarian political views (along with, as I wrote at the time, some anti-capitalist grievances shared by the left, such as “rage over bailouts, the suffering of America’s poor, and the pilfering of the middle class by a corrupt economic elite and their government-servants”; Stack’s long note ended: “the communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed”). About Stack’s political grievances, his manifesto declared that “violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.”

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The attack had all of the elements of iconic terrorism, a model for how it’s most commonly understood: down to flying a plane into the side of a building. But Stack was white and non-Muslim. As a result, not only was the word “terrorism” not applied to Stack, but it was explicitly declared inapplicable by media outlets and government officials alike.

The New York Times’s report on the incident stated that while the attack “initially inspired fears of a terrorist attack” — before the identity of the pilot was known — now “in place of the typical portrait of a terrorist driven by ideology, Mr. Stack was described as generally easygoing, a talented amateur musician with marital troubles and a maddening grudge against the tax authorities.”

As a result, said the Paper of Record, “officials ruled out any connection to terrorist groups or causes.” And “federal officials emphasized the same message, describing the case as a criminal inquiry.” Even when U.S. Muslim groups called for the incident to be declared “terrorism,” the FBI continued to insist it “was handling the case ‘as a criminal matter of an assault on a federal officer’ and that it was not being considered as an act of terror.”

By very stark contrast, consider the October 2014, shooting in Ottawa by a single individual, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, at the Canadian Parliament building. As soon as it was known that the shooter was a convert to Islam, the incident was instantly and universally declared to be “terrorism.” Less than 24 hours afterward, Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared it a terror attack and even demanded new “counter-terrorism” powers in its name (which he has now obtained). To bolster the label, the government claimed Zehaf-Bibeau was on his way to Syria to fight with jihadists, and the media trumpeted this “fact.”

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In his address to the nation the day after the shooting, Harper vowed to learn more about the “terrorist and any accomplices he may have had” and intoned: “This is a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.” Twitter users around the world en masse used the hashtag of solidarity reserved (for some reason) only for cities attacked by a Muslim (but not cities attacked by their own governments): #OttawaStrong. In sum, that this was a “terror attack” was mandated conventional wisdom before anything was known other than the Muslim identity of the perpetrator.

As it turns out, other than the fact that the perpetrator was Muslim and was aiming his violence at Westerners, almost nothing about this attack had the classic hallmarks of “terrorism.” In the days and weeks that followed, it became clear that Zehaf-Bibeau suffered from serious mental illness and “seemed to have become mentally unstable.” He had a history of arrests for petty offenses and had received psychiatric treatment. His friends recall him expressing no real political views but instead claiming he was possessed by the devil.

The Canadian government was ultimately forced to admit that their prior media claim about him preparing to go to Syria was totally false, dismissing it as “a mistake.” Now that Canadians know the truth about him — rather than the mere fact that he’s Muslim and committed violence — a plurality no longer believe the “terrorist” label applies, but believe the attack was motivated by mental illness. The term “terrorist” got instantly applied by know-nothings for one reason: he was Muslim and had committed violence, and that, in the post-9/11 West, is more or less the only working definition of the term (in the rare cases when it is applied to non-Muslims these days, it’s typically applied to minorities engaged in acts that have no resemblance to what people usually think of when they hear the term).

That is the crucial backdrop for yesterday’s debate over whether the term “terrorism” applies to the heinous shooting by a white nationalist of nine African-Americans praying in a predominantly black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Almost immediately, news reports indicated there was “no sign of terrorism” — by which they meant: it does not appear that the shooter is Muslim.

Yet other than the perpetrator’s non-Muslim identity, the Charleston attack from the start had the indicia of what is commonly understood to be “terrorism.” Specifically, the suspected shooter was clearly a vehement racist who told witnesses at the church that he was acting out of racial hatred and a desire to force African-Americans “to go.” His violence was the byproduct of and was intended to publicize and forward his warped political agenda, and was clearly designed to terrorize the community he hates.

That’s why so many African-American and Muslim commentators and activists insisted that the term “terrorist” be applied: because it looked, felt and smelled exactly like other acts that are instantly branded “terrorism” when the perpetrator is Muslim and the victims largely white. It was very hard — and still is — to escape the conclusion that the term “terrorism,” at least as it’s predominantly used in the post-9/11 West, is about the identity of those committing the violence and the identity of the targets. It manifestly has nothing to do with some neutral, objective assessment of the acts being labelled.

The point here is not, as some very confused commentators suggested, to seek an expansion of the term “terrorism” beyond its current application. As someone who has spent the last decade more or less exclusively devoted to documenting the abuses and manipulations that term enables, the last thing I want is an expansion of its application.

But what I also don’t want is for non-Muslims to rest in their privileged nest, satisfied that the term and its accompanying abuses is only for that marginalized group. And what I especially don’t want is to have this glaring, damaging mythology persist that the term “terrorism” is some sort of objectively discernible, consistently applied designation of a particularly hideous kind of violence. I’m eager to have the term recognized for what it is: a completely malleable, manipulated, vapid term of propaganda that has no consistent application whatsoever. Recognition of that reality is vital to draining the term of its potency.

The examples proving the utter malleability of the term “terrorism” are far too numerous to chronicle here. But over the past decade alone, it’s been used by Western political and media figures to condemn Muslims who used violence against an invading and occupying force in Afghanistan, against others who raised funds to help Iraqis fight against an invading and occupying military in their country, and for others who attack soldiers in an army that is fighting many wars. In other words, any violence by Muslims against the West is inherently “terrorism,” even if targeted only at soldiers at war and/or designed to resist invasion and occupation.

By stark contrast, no violence by the West against Muslims can possibly be “terrorism,” no matter how brutal, inhumane or indiscriminately civilian-killing. The U.S. can call its invasion of Baghdad “Shock and Awe” as a classic declaration of terrorism intent, or fly killer drones permanently over terrorized villages and cities, or engage in generation-lasting atrocities in Fallujah, or arm and fund Israeli and Saudi destruction of helpless civilian populations, and none of that, of course, can possibly be called “terrorism.” It just has the wrong perpetrators and the wrong victims.

Then there is all the game-playing the U.S. does with the term right out in the open. Nelson Mandela, now widely regarded as a moral hero, was officially a “terrorist” in U.S. eyes for decades (and the CIA thus helped its allied apartheid regime capture him). Iraq was on the terrorist list and then off it and then on it based on whatever designation best suited U.S. interests at the moment. The Iranian cult MEK was long decreed a “terror group” until they paid enough influential people in Washington to get off the list, coinciding with the U.S. desire to punish Tehran. The Reagan administration armed and funded classic terror groups in Latin America while demanding sanctions on the Soviets and Iranians for being state sponsors of terrorism. Whatever this is, it is not the work of a term that has a consistent, objective meaning.

Ample scholarship proves that the term “terrorism” is empty, definition-free and invariably manipulated. Harvard’s Lisa Stampnitzky has documented “the inability of researchers to establish a suitable definition of the concept of ‘terrorism’ itself.” The concept of “terrorism” is fundamentally plagued by ideological agendas and self-interested manipulation, as Professor Richard Jackson at the the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Zealand has explained: “most of what is accepted as well-founded ‘knowledge’ in terrorism studies is, in fact, highly debatable and unstable” and is “biased towards Western state priorities.” Remi Brulin is a scholar who specializes in the discourse of “terrorism” and has long documented that, from the start, it was a highly manipulated term of propaganda more than it was a term of fixed meaning — largely intended to justify violence by the West and Israel while delegitimizing the violence of its enemies.

What is most amazing about all of this is that “terrorism” — a term that is so easily and frequently manipulated and devoid of fixed meaning — has now become central to our political culture and legal framework, a staple of how we are taught to think about the world. It is constantly invoked, as though it is some sort of term of scientific precision, to justify an endless array of radical policies and powers. Everything from the attack on Iraq to torture to endless drone killings to mass surveillance and beyond are justified in its name.

In fact, it is, as I have often argued, a term that justifies everything yet means nothing. Perhaps the only way people will start to see that, or at least be bothered by it, is if it becomes clear that not just marginalized minority groups but also their own group can be swept up by its elasticity and meaninglessness. There is ample resistance to that, which is why repulsive violence committed by white non-Muslims such as yesterday’s church massacre is so rarely described by the term. But that’s all the more reason to insist on something resembling fair and consistent application.

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Top-down psychopaths run The US of Israel because facts never deter their mission.

Each yearns to avenge his and her righteous victimhood by murdering for perfectly rationalized reasons.

Luckily for racists, USI's lie media and Jesus forgive racist white terrorists for killing whomever they must. USI media ponders aloud, hand-wringing, "debating" aloud over its terrorists, assuaging, twisting, praising and then applauding corporate Nazi military and killer cops as nourishment to its satanic power.

Where do their precious kids get such pandemic ideas?...the sure-fire violence solutions?

Corporate media works perfectly for its "victimized" Nazi children, a media cult nourished and nurtured from some mysterious and unmentionable source: Another fatherless immaculate conception suggested by 24-7-365 hero media.

Amen. -RT
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Weekend Edition
June 26-28, 2015

America's Denial of Its Own History
Charleston, America
by ROB URIE

The American capacity to deny history might be heroic if it weren’t so persistently in the direction of social repression. The port of Charleston, South Carolina was the major entry and distribution point for kidnapped Africans forced into slavery in the American colonies. Slaves built the city of Charleston and were the force that drove the colonial economy of South Carolina. By 1709 South Carolina had the first slave patrols in the colonies, self-appointed groups that policed the movements of Blacks. By 1837 the Charleston slave patrols became the first official municipal police department in the U.S. Today Charleston’s role in the horrors of slavery has been sanitized through the storyline of the ‘progress’ of history. But with the blood of nine Black innocents freshly spilled, this history doesn’t wash away so easily.

The racist sociopath who committed the murders, Dylann Roof, made it clear that there was ‘nothing personal’ in the commission of his crime. His stated motive, to start a race war, was categorical— by reports the murderer knew none of his victims until shortly before he murdered them. In contrast to the willful obfuscation of the professional promoters of White supremacy among the chattering classes, the fact that the murders were categorical, were motivated by racism, makes them political. The murderer’s broader motives are White supremacist boilerplate, the generalities that signal tribal allegiance, not response to actually occurring offenses. Given American history, these motives are near perfect reversal of the facts of three centuries of torture, rape, murder and exploitation of enslaved and nominally free Blacks by Southern Whites.

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Rest in Peace: Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lee Lance, Susie Jackson, Daniel Simmons and Depayne Middleton.

The White resentment evidenced by Dylann Roof is over lost privilege that was never lost. The flag flying over the South Carolina State House isn’t the Confederate flag as has so often been reported, it is the Confederate battle flag— a potent and purposeful statement that the culture of racist repression was never defeated. And while the existence of the Emanuel AME Church where the murders occurred is evidence of resilience in the face an unbearably tragic, and purposely inflicted, history the theme of a reversal of this history, of ‘the country being taken over,’ is so radically delusional that discourse— a ‘conversation’ and symbolic acts, stands little chance of providing the needed link to social circumstances as they are actually being lived. The willful, insistent peace that led those murdered to welcome their assassin into their midst appears to be the ultimate target of Dylann Roof.

Of the official ‘remedies’ being put forward one makes symbolic sense and the other little to no practical sense. The Confederate battle flag that hangs atop state buildings in South Carolina celebrates centuries of systematic repression of Blacks by Whites. This may be “history,” but it is history that favors oppressors over oppressed— it is a symbol that actual power remains with the White establishment. Conversely, how covetous of history would the White ‘traditionalists’ be if Whites had been enslaved? That the flag still flies is evidence that this American history remains radically unresolved. Removing it would be symbolic. But without redressing the material differences that are the residual of this history mere symbolism is misleading. Paying reparations and political power-sharing that removes White privilege would be steps beyond the merely symbolic.

The modern gun control movement began after legally armed Black Panthers entered the Sacramento State House in California in 1967. The prior three centuries of White gun violence had nothing to do with it. Effective gun control would require actively taking guns from large numbers of people. Given the history and current state of policing in the U.S., what are the chances that White nationalists would be the targets of this effort? (Answer: none). The gun used by Dylann Roof appears to have been a gift from his father that was legally purchased. And the case of Australia, where strict gun control laws were implemented after a horrific mass murder was committed there, is less compelling than is generally presented. Data compiled by the World Bank has the murder rate falling less in both relative and absolute terms than in other comparable countries, including the U.S.

urieslaves1

Slaves produced American bounty and the capital now in the hands of the descendants of slavers. The coded language of economics is used in the present to wash this tainted history from current social relations. The ‘original sin’ of capitalism lies in the provenance of this ‘capital’ produced by slaves and its ongoing expropriation. Original image source: salient-points.blogspot.com.

Political economy was brought to the fore through the temporary alliance of the President of the North Carolina NAACP, Rev. Dr. William Barber, South Carolina State Representative Doug Brannon and the Chamber of Commerce in a recent piece on DemocracyNow! All agreed that the Confederate battle flag should be removed from State buildings. But when Rev. Barber argued for increased social spending and a living wage law to address the economic residual of slavery the alliance quickly dissipated. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley gave the game away when she offered that none of the corporate leaders who were relocating ‘their’ companies to the state had complained about the flag up to that point.

Historical metaphor is apparently not the strong suit of the Southern business class. In South Carolina three or more centuries of slave ‘owners’ claiming the product of slaves for themselves has been replaced in the present by the executives of multi-national corporations using the social / political and economic residuals of slavery to claim the product of modern labor as ‘profits.’ The White political class in South Carolina wants to remove the flag because the historical distribution of political and economic power that it represents is better served by the more effectively coded language of economics. With the preponderance of American history as a guide, the international business ‘leaders’ to whom Governor Haley referred selected South Carolina in large measure because of this distribution, not in spite of it.

uriecharls2

The current owners of luxury car maker BMW bought the company with the proceeds from Concentration Camp labor in WWII. Like the provenance of expropriated slave labor in the Americas, these proceeds are being used in the present to exert political and economic control over the social residuals of this tainted past. Even cursory investigation suggests that engineered dependence, coercion and directly expropriated labor are the material basis of modern capitalism. Original image source: thetruthaboutcars.com.

The profound moral and political differences between slavery and ‘free’ labor are as compressed in capitalist theory as they are by the material circumstances that are the residual of Southern history. The ‘human capital’ of capitalist theory can be owned, controlled or ‘free,’ with the determinant being that with the lowest cost. Among the business leaders to whom Governor Haley alluded, the owners of ‘luxury’ automaker BMW, now located outside of Greenville S.C., were major ‘users’ of concentration camp labor in WWII. The Boeing Corporation in North Charleston uses prison labor in its production processes. The ‘free’ labor that arrives at these doorsteps faces the historical question of why expropriated slave labor, now in the form of accumulated capital, is still owned / controlled by the descendants of Nazis and slavers?

The national ‘get over it’ chide that places current circumstance far removed from the legacy of slavery gets both current circumstance and the legacy of slavery wrong. In contrast to the ever-present ‘now’ of capitalist economics, slaves built substantial portions of the wealth and means of production that are presently owned and / or controlled by international capitalists. South Carolina is a particularly acute example of this history. And Northerners profited from trade in the cheap cotton produced by slaves, from the effect that slavery had in lowering factory wages and from the capital accumulation that resulted from these. Slave labor and its residual are deeply embedded in the fabric of current economic circumstance. The White and reactionary Black chides might make more sense if this past had ever been reconciled. Stating that history has ended while providing copious evidence to the contrary hardly makes it so.

uriekkk1

Contention over the Confederate battle flag that hangs over public buildings in South Carolina suggests a symbolic basis for the social residual of slavery. However, the unity of American and European ‘capital’ gained from slavery can be found across South Carolina, and more broadly, the capitalist West. Sleek corporatism may be replacing the crude and overt racism of the Ku Klux Klan and other earlier racist organizations, but the expropriated labor of slaves embedded in corporate capital suggests that better marketing doesn’t change intentions. Original image source: life.time.com.

This treatment of history that seems so intuitive in the present is, in fact, an artifact of capitalist ideology. Capitalist economics whitewashes the provenance of existing capital— land, machines, financial obligations and wealth in various forms, through inferring immaculate economic conception back in time. Land gotten through genocide against the indigenous population in South Carolina— the Trail of Tears was conceived to ‘free’ land for White European settlers, is modern day ‘real estate’ and the subsidized land on which slavers like BMW locate factories. What precisely constitutes the starting point after which subsequent capital and wealth accumulation is fairly gotten? Major Western corporations, including BMW, continue to knowingly use slave labor in the present, right now.

In the economic calculus of the business interests that locate in the low-wage, anti-union South the residual of slavery is incidental in the same way that imperial history is to Western capitalists who locate production in El Salvador, Vietnam or Malaysia. Boeing argues that it pays lower wages in South Carolina because the cost of living is lower— an economically circular and wholly self-serving, argument. Otherwise, business ‘leaders’ seek out ‘natural’ indicators of probable high profits like low / no wages, limited capacity for labor to organize, few environmental restrictions and subsidized infrastructure. Charleston has infrastructure built by generations of slaves, a pro-business leadership class that understands the political economy of economic expropriation and the added benefit of “history” devoid of history. From her statements, Governor Haley appears to understand who she answers to.

A superficial paradox can be found in the support that these corporations give to universalist-humanist causes. None other than BMW offers ‘partner’ benefits to LGBT employees in South Carolina even though the factory was built with the proceeds from slave labor and from competitors ‘bought’ on the cheap as their founders were being hauled off to concentration camps. This paradox unravels when the corporate distinction between workers and customers is made. Most modern corporations care not the source of customer dollars— any type of customer is fine as long as it supports further business. Profiting from captive labor in the present, as many large Western corporations do, is considered ‘efficient’ labor management but publicly advocating the use of, or celebrating, captive labor is poor customer relations.

This distinction helps explain the temporary alliance between people who have historically been on the wrong side of the Confederate battle flag and those who see it as a public relations problem. The bipartisan economic program currently being implemented in South Carolina (and nationally) instantiates permanent class divisions by relegating the social mechanisms that might produce rough social equivalence like public education, public health care and food and housing security to ‘personal choice’ when 90% of the population lacks the resources to make these a choice without going deeply in debt. This is an alliance of diametrically opposed interests once the flag is brought down.

This history of resisting all efforts at creating factual social equivalence explains both the persistence of the Confederate battle flag and the economic program being promoted by South Carolina’s political class. More broadly, America has a greater degree of racial segregation in its schools today than it did forty years ago. The shift from overt racism to the economics of oppression ties slavery to modern capitalism. Absent wholly implausible theories of racial superiority there is little to explain the persistence of White privilege and political and economic power other than continuing claims on, and control of, expropriated slave labor. The shell game in the present is immaculate economic provenance, putting forward the expropriated product of slavery in the form of accumulated capital as a continuing claim on economic privilege.

Life is no doubt more cluttered than theory, but that is the burden of theory. The modern American social strategy is to claim ‘opportunity’ while assuring that the material basis for it does not exist. The division of explicit from implicit has slavery formally ending one-and one-half centuries ago but its functional reconstitution occurring only days later. Leap forward and today we find police founded in slave patrols providing racial / social repression and a steady stream of captive labor to work for the descendants of slavers and Nazis who have never made recompense for past crimes. If one cares to look for a dependent class, it can easily be found in executive boardrooms, in the investment portfolios of the wealthy, in state assemblies across the country and in Federal government policies.

The murder of nine Black martyrs in Charleston is both tragic and horrific, but it is only surprising through aggressive resistance to American history. Indigenous rights and recompense belong alongside the mechanisms of social, political and economic reconciliation if any are sought. Dylann Roof murdered more than the nine martyrs with his crime, he murdered peace, as locally circumscribed and hard fought as it was. Calls for reconciliation without material redress for centuries of tortured history seem empty. It is an illusion to expect political economy built on subjugation and expropriation to produce the social goods that proponents claim. And the fact that past expropriation has never been disgorged and is now being used as tool of economic re-subjugation should help clarify the lines of contention.

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist.

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Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America
Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason

Post published by David Niose on Jun 23, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally

The tragedy in Charleston last week will no doubt lead to more discussion of several important and recurring issues in American culture—particularly racism and gun violence—but these dialogues are unlikely to bear much fruit until the nation undertakes a serious self-examination. Decrying racism and gun violence is fine, but for too long America’s social dysfunction has continued to intensify as the nation has ignored a key underlying pathology: anti-intellectualism.

America is killing itself through its embrace and exaltation of ignorance, and the evidence is all around us. Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter who used race as a basis for hate and mass murder, is just the latest horrific example. Many will correctly blame Roof's actions on America's culture of racism and gun violence, but it's time to realize that such phenomena are directly tied to the nation's culture of ignorance.

In a country where a sitting congressman told a crowd that evolution and the Big Bang are “lies straight from the pit of hell,” (link is external) where the chairman of a Senate environmental panel brought a snowball (link is external) into the chamber as evidence that climate change is a hoax, where almost one in three citizens can’t name the vice president (link is external), it is beyond dispute that critical thinking has been abandoned as a cultural value. Our failure as a society to connect the dots, to see that such anti-intellectualism comes with a huge price, could eventually be our downfall.

In considering the senseless loss of nine lives in Charleston, of course racism jumps out as the main issue. But isn’t ignorance at the root of racism? And it’s true that the bloodshed is a reflection of America's violent, gun-crazed culture, but it is only our aversion to reason as a society that has allowed violence to define the culture. Rational public policy, including policies that allow reasonable restraints on gun access, simply isn't possible without an informed, engaged, and rationally thinking public.

Some will point out, correctly, that even educated people can still be racists, but this shouldn’t remove the spotlight from anti-intellectualism. Yes, even intelligent and educated individuals, often due to cultural and institutional influences, can sometimes carry racist biases. But critically thinking individuals recognize racism as wrong and undesirable, even if they aren’t yet able to eliminate every morsel of bias from their own psyches or from social institutions. An anti-intellectual society, however, will have large swaths of people who are motivated by fear, susceptible to tribalism and simplistic explanations, incapable of emotional maturity, and prone to violent solutions. Sound familiar?

And even though it may seem counter-intuitive, anti-intellectualism has little to do with intelligence. We know little about the raw intellectual abilities of Dylann Roof, but we do know that he is an ignorant racist who willfully allowed irrational hatred of an entire demographic to dictate his actions. Whatever his IQ, to some extent he is a product of a culture driven by fear and emotion, not rational thinking, and his actions reflect the paranoid mentality of one who fails to grasp basic notions of what it means to be human.

What Americans rarely acknowledge is that many of their social problems are rooted in the rejection of critical thinking or, conversely, the glorification of the emotional and irrational. What else could explain the hyper-patriotism (link is external) that has many accepting an outlandish notion that America is far superior to the rest of the world? Love of one’s country is fine, but many Americans seem to honestly believe that their country both invented and perfected the idea of freedom, that the quality of life here far surpasses everywhere else in the world.

But it doesn’t. International quality of life rankings (link is external) place America far from the top, at sixteenth. America’s rates of murder (link is external) and other violent crime dwarf most of the rest of the developed world, as does its incarceration rate (link is external), while its rates of education and scientific literacy are embarrassingly low (link is external). American schools, claiming to uphold “traditional values,” avoid fact-based sex education, and thus we have the highest rates of teen pregnancy (link is external) in the industrialized world. And those rates are notably highest where so-called “biblical values” are prominent. Go outside the Bible belt, and the rates generally trend downward (link is external).

As this suggests, the impact of fundamentalist religion in driving American anti-intellectualism has been, and continues to be, immense. Old-fashioned notions of sex education may seem like a relatively minor issue to many, but taking old-time religion too seriously can be extremely dangerous in the modern era. High-ranking individuals, even in the military (link is external), see a confrontation between good and evil as biblically predicted and therefore inevitable. They relish the thought of being a righteous part of the final days.

Fundamentalist religion is also a major force in denying human-caused climate change (link is external), a phenomenon that the scientific community has accepted for years. Interestingly, anti-intellectual fundamentalists are joined in their climate change denial with unusual bedfellows: corporate interests (link is external) that stand to gain from the rejection of sound science on climate.

Corporate influence on climate and environmental policy, meanwhile, is simply more evidence of anti-intellectualism in action, for corporate domination of American society is another result of a public that is not thinking critically. Americans have allowed their democracy to slip away, their culture overtaken by enormous corporations that effectively control both the governmental apparatus and the media, thus shaping life around materialism and consumption.

Indeed, these corporate interests encourage anti-intellectualism, conditioning Americans into conformity and passive acceptance of institutional dominance. They are the ones who stand to gain from the excessive fear and nationalism that result in militaristic foreign policy and absurdly high levels of military spending (link is external). They are the ones who stand to gain from consumers who spend money they don’t have on goods and services they don’t need. They are the ones who want a public that is largely uninformed and distracted, thus allowing government policy to be crafted by corporate lawyers and lobbyists. They are the ones who stand to gain from unregulated securities markets. And they are the ones who stand to gain from a prison-industrial complex that generates the highest rates of incarceration in the developed world.

Americans can and should denounce the racist and gun-crazed culture that shamefully resulted in nine corpses in Charleston this week, but they also need to dig deeper. At the core of all of this dysfunction is an abandonment of reason.

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Why do exceptional white terrorists from The US of Israel routinely mass murder?

Scientists from Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the other US of Israel Confederate Exceptionalists study incessantly trying to uncover the ancient if elusive answer.

Exceptional Result: Muslims and blacks force exceptional white mass murder kids to do it. USI's misunderstood white terrorists aren't called terrorists by helpful USI media because they are white mass murderers. Ergo misunderstood murderers.

Those rascally exceptional knuckleheads. Those white pranksters with the funny confederate flags and guns are misunderstood victims of reverse racism. -RT
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June 23, 2015

On Burning the Racist Flag
Hypocrisy and Symbolism

by MISSY BEATTIE

After learning of Dylann Roof’s rampage, I went to Laura and Erma’s. We talked about this latest mass murder, number 14 (?), during Barack Obama’s presidency. Later, when I told them I’d read that Roof almost changed his mind, because the men and women at A.M.E. Church were so kind to him, I cried.

On Saturday, I continued to be a puddle of tears, watching movies, two dramatizations, based on actual events, and a documentary—“Happy Valley”—detailing the shame and denial surrounding the Penn State child abuse scandal in which a reverence for college football and the deification of Coach Joe Paterno resulted in Jerry Sandusky’s getting away with predation for years. This film congealed my enormous despair as I heard students, members of the community, and tourists express outrage that Paterno was fired instead of sympathy for Sandusky’s young victims. And, of course, Paterno’s handling of Sandusky’s crimes, a mere mention, followed by nothing more. Add to this the denial by Paterno’s wife that she or Joe even knew what pedophilia was. (Watch this video for a glimpse into the face of our nation.)

Remind you of anything? Indeed. South Carolina Gov, Nikki Haley said, “… we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another. Even though Roof specifically stated his reason for the slaughter to a woman he allowed to live. Not anti-Christian sentiment as Rick Santorum suggested, but hatred inspired by Roof’s perceptions of his own entitlement, mirroring U.S. exceptionalism.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said: Acts like this one have no place in our country. They have no place in a civilized society.”

Barack Obama spoke his usual “let’s be clear” message, the hypocritical gun-violence yada yada that goes nowhere—and this:

At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it’d be wrong for us not to acknowledge it, and at some point, it’s going to important for the American to come to grips with it … The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked, and we know the hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.

And there’s the issue of that flag, the Confederate Battle flag as a symbol. It’s meaning: honoring the Confederacy vs. a painful reminder of oppression that still exists.

I’d like to see the flag removed and burned, but this won’t prevent racial hatred. Because Loretta Lynch is wrong. The U.S. is not a civilized society. Instead, it’s a juggernaut of carnage and ecological degradation. That’s why the American flag should come down too. That’s why the U.S. Battle flag should be burned, but most important is to prevent the injustices these divisive pieces of cloth wave throughout the world.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore.

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Counterpunch

June 30, 2015

Why the South's Defeat was a Victory for Human Progress
The Confederacy was the Islamic State of Its Time

by JOHN WIGHT

If ever a cause was unworthy, that cause was the US Confederacy. If ever a cause was righteously defeated, it was the cause of the US Confederacy. And if ever a flag was and is an insult to human decency and dignity, it is the US Confederate flag.

The mere fact this is still being debated in the United States, the fact there are those who continue to accord a nobility, valor, and romanticism to the Confederacy – regarded wistfully as the ‘Lost Cause’ by its adherhents – this is evidence of the deep polarization that divides a society yet to fully come to terms with its legacy of slavery, racial oppression, and barbarism.

When white racist fanatic, Dylann Roof, slaughtered nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, he unwittingly exposed the truth that the US Civil War remains the defining event in the nation’s history, which still today informs a cultural divide between North and South.

The reason for this lies not so much in the legitimacy of the Confederate/southern cause – indeed, how could a cause defined by the right to keep human beings as slaves ever be considered legitimate? – but in the weakness of progressive forces in succumbing to the mythology that has been ascribed to the Confederacy and to those who fought and died for it. Indeed if ever a society was crying out for the aggressive assertion of human rights, racial equality, and justice, it is the United States.

Racial oppression, whether delivered from the gun of a mass murderer in a South Carolinian church, or the gun of a police officer, has yet to be expunged in the land of the free, even though 150 years have passed since the Confederacy was defeated in battle.

There are historical reasons why this is so, but one in particular: namely the decision of the 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B Hayes, to end Reconstruction as a condition of his entry into the White House with the support of southern Democrats, a tawdry political deal known to history as the Compromise of 1877. It marked the end of a decade in which so-called Radical Republicans (referred to pejoratively as Black Republicans), in control of the US Congress, had driven forward a federal program to promote and uphold the rights of former slaves throughout the South, according them the full civil and political rights that their status as free men and women demanded. This was absolutely necessary immediately upon war’s end, when local politicians assumed control of state legislatures across the South and enacted ‘black codes’ with the objective of keeping the newly freed blacks in as close to a state of slavery as was possible, refusing to grant them their rights or the vote.

The reaction of the North was to divide the former Confederate states into military districts and occupy them with federal troops to ensure the protection of blacks from white racists and to enforce their civil rights. This was accompanied by the demand that those former Confederate states support the passage of the three post-civil war amendments to the US Constitution – the 13th, 14th, and 15th – outlawing slavery and granting rights of citizenship and the vote to every person born in the United States regardless of race or color, and in every state.

The end of Reconstruction in 1877, and the withdrawal of federal troops from states such as South Carolina, resulted in the plight of blacks in said states suffering a sharp reverse. The Klu Klux Klan’s influence and power as America’s first terrorist organization instantly made its presence felt, measured in the rise and entrenchment of white supremacy as a state and culture of segregation returned across the South. Blacks were lynched, murdered, and tortured with impunity from then on, and their status as second-class citizens entrenched.

This mindset remains a fact of life not just across the South but also across the United States, carried in the hearts and minds of right wing Republicans and a reactionary media that on a daily and nightly basis whips up divisions and spews prejudice and racial stereotypes with blithe disregard for common decency.

By far the most compelling evidence of this culture of racial prejudice, however, has been the treatment of the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama, since he entered the White House in 2009. Never has a US President been subjected to such a sustained campaign of demonization and hate as he has.

In the face of this campaign, his dignity has never wavered, nor his understanding of the racism that scars the country to this day. His eulogy at the funeral service of South Carolina senator and pastor Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine victims of the recent slaughter, culminated in an inspiring rendition of Amazing Grace, reminding us of what might have been if he’d been president of a truly post-racial America.

At the start of the Civil War in 1861 four million men, women, and children were being kept as chattel across the Confederacy. They were sold, raped, beaten, tortured and murdered upon the whim of their owners, men and women whose barbarity finds its modern day equivalence in the barbarity of the followers and members of the Islamic State.

There was nothing noble or romantic about the Confederacy, and its defeat marked a victory for human progress. But the waging of total war that ensured its defeat was not followed by the waging of total peace to ensure that the culture which gave rise to it was likewise consigned to history.

The plight of blacks and other minorities across the US today is a daily reminder of that failure, a measure of the weakness of generations of US progressives in their attempt to foment unity when they should have been fomenting justice.

The most passionate Radical Republican of them all, Thaddeus Stevens, put it best: “There can be no fanatics in the cause of genuine liberty.”

John Wight is the author of a politically incorrect and irreverent Hollywood memoir – Dreams That Die – published by Zero Books. He’s also written five novels, which are available as Kindle eBooks.

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Objective fact became the subject of corporate media "debate." After that, their conquest of corporeal reality was a fait accompli:

Disneyland for infant killer heroes

Now corporate taxpaid military terrorists are operated by "exceptional" corporate anarchists. Each entitled infant monster is to the manner born thereby entitled to terrorize THEIR PLANET.

THEIR PLANET is PNAC's 21st terrorist century restructuring Earth using taxpaid terrorism in its own corporate military image.

That image is feudal 13th Century Europe resurrected. It is self-same bent on theft, under threat of death to non-corporate inhabitants who are subjugated, raped, then destroyed under military banking parasite fiefdoms.

PNAC 911 heroes follow the gunpoint & debt Nazi recipe used on each corporate military state target and nothing more. -RT
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Everything The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech

By John W. Whitehead
Global Research, July 01, 2015
The Rutherford Institute 29 June 2015
Region: USA
Theme: Police State & Civil Rights
Free-Speech-Anonymous

If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it….

Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use.

In totalitarian regimes—a.k.a. police states—where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be used. In countries where the police state hides behind a benevolent mask and disguises itself as tolerance, the citizens censor themselves, policing their words and thoughts to conform to the dictates of the mass mind.

Even when the motives behind this rigidly calibrated reorientation of societal language appear well-intentioned—discouraging racism, condemning violence, denouncing discrimination and hatred—inevitably, the end result is the same: intolerance, indoctrination and infantilism.

It’s political correctness disguised as tolerance, civility and love, but what it really amounts to is the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite.

As a society, we’ve become fearfully polite, careful to avoid offense, and largely unwilling to be labeled intolerant, hateful, closed-minded or any of the other toxic labels that carry a badge of shame today. The result is a nation where no one says what they really think anymore, at least if it runs counter to the prevailing views. Intolerance is the new scarlet letter of our day, a badge to be worn in shame and humiliation, deserving of society’s fear, loathing and utter banishment from society.

For those “haters” who dare to voice a different opinion, retribution is swift: they will be shamed, shouted down, silenced, censored, fired, cast out and generally relegated to the dust heap of ignorant, mean-spirited bullies who are guilty of various “word crimes.”

We have entered a new age where, as commentator Mark Steyn notes, “we have to tiptoe around on ever thinner eggshells” and “the forces of ‘tolerance’ are intolerant of anything less than full-blown celebratory approval.”

In such a climate of intolerance, there can be no freedom speech, expression or thought.

Yet what the forces of political correctness fail to realize is that they owe a debt to the so-called “haters” who have kept the First Amendment robust. From swastika-wearing Neo-Nazis marching through Skokie, Illinois, and underaged cross burners to “God hates fags” protesters assembled near military funerals, those who have inadvertently done the most to preserve the right to freedom of speech for all have espoused views that were downright unpopular, if not hateful.

Until recently, the U.S. Supreme Court has reiterated that the First Amendment prevents the government from proscribing speech, or even expressive conduct, because it disapproves of the ideas expressed. However, that long-vaunted, Court-enforced tolerance for “intolerant” speech has now given way to a paradigm in which the government can discriminate freely against First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum. Justifying such discrimination as “government speech,” the Court ruled that the Texas Dept. of Motor Vehicles could refuse to issue specialty license plate designs featuring a Confederate battle flag. Why? Because it was deemed offensive.

The Court’s ruling came on the heels of a shooting in which a 21-year-old white gunman killed nine African-Americans during a Wednesday night Bible study at a church in Charleston, N.C. The two events, coupled with the fact that gunman Dylann Roof was reportedly pictured on several social media sites with a Confederate flag, have resulted in an emotionally charged stampede to sanitize the nation’s public places of anything that smacks of racism, starting with the Confederate flag and ballooning into a list that includes the removal of various Civil War monuments.

These tactics are nothing new. This nation, birthed from puritanical roots, has always struggled to balance its love of liberty with its moralistic need to censor books, music, art, language, symbols etc. As author Ray Bradbury notes, “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”

Indeed, thanks to the rise of political correctness, the population of book burners, censors, and judges has greatly expanded over the years so that they run the gamut from left-leaning to right-leaning and everything in between. By eliminating words, phrases and symbols from public discourse, the powers-that-be are sowing hate, distrust and paranoia. In this way, by bottling up dissent, they are creating a pressure cooker of stifled misery that will eventually blow.

For instance, the word “Christmas” is now taboo in the public schools, as is the word “gun.” Even childish drawings of soldiers result in detention or suspension under rigid zero tolerance policies. On college campuses, trigger warnings are being used to alert students to any material they might read, see or hear that might upset them, while free speech zones restrict anyone wishing to communicate a particular viewpoint to a specially designated area on campus. Things have gotten so bad that comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform stand-up routines to college crowds anymore.

Clearly, the country is undergoing a nervous breakdown, and the news media is helping to push us to the brink of insanity by bombarding us with wall-to-wall news coverage and news cycles that change every few days.

In this way, it’s difficult to think or debate, let alone stay focused on one thing—namely, holding the government accountable to abiding by the rule of law—and the powers-that-be understand this.

As I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, regularly scheduled trivia and/or distractions keep the citizenry tuned into the various breaking news headlines and entertainment spectacles and tuned out to the government’s steady encroachments on our freedoms. These sleight-of-hand distractions and diversions are how you control a population, either inadvertently or intentionally, advancing a political agenda agenda without much opposition from the citizenry.

Professor Jacques Ellul studied this phenomenon of overwhelming news, short memories and the use of propaganda to advance hidden agendas. “One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones,” wrote Ellul.

Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but he does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man’s capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandists, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks.

Already, the outrage over the Charleston shooting and racism are fading from the news headlines, yet the determination to censor the Confederate symbol remains. Before long, we will censor it from our thoughts, sanitize it from our history books, and eradicate it from our monuments without even recalling why. The question, of course, is what’s next on the list to be banned?

It was for the sake of preserving individuality and independence that James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely.

This freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society. Conversely, when we fail to abide by Madison’s dictates about greater tolerance for all viewpoints, no matter how distasteful, the end result is always the same: an indoctrinated, infantilized citizenry that marches in lockstep with the governmental regime.

Some of this past century’s greatest dystopian literature shows what happens when the populace is transformed into mindless automatons. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, reading is banned and books are burned in order to suppress dissenting ideas, while televised entertainment is used to anesthetize the populace and render them easily pacified, distracted and controlled.

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, serious literature, scientific thinking and experimentation are banned as subversive, while critical thinking is discouraged through the use of conditioning, social taboos and inferior education. Likewise, expressions of individuality, independence and morality are viewed as vulgar and abnormal.

And in George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.” In this dystopian vision of the future, the Thought Police serve as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, while the Ministry of Peace deals with war and defense, the Ministry of Plenty deals with economic affairs (rationing and starvation), the Ministry of Love deals with law and order (torture and brainwashing), and the Ministry of Truth deals with news, entertainment, education and art (propaganda). The mottos of Oceania: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

All three—Bradbury, Huxley and Orwell—had an uncanny knack for realizing the future, yet it is Orwell who best understood the power of language to manipulate the masses. Orwell’s Big Brother relied on Newspeak to eliminate undesirable words, strip such words as remained of unorthodox meanings and make independent, non-government-approved thought altogether unnecessary. To give a single example, as psychologist Erich Fromm illustrates in his afterword to 1984:

The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as “This dog is free from lice” or “This field is free from weeds.” It could not be used in its old sense of “politically free” or “intellectually free,” since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed as concepts….

Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority.

This is the final link in the police state chain.

Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry—mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all—we have nowhere left to go. Our backs are to the walls. From this point on, we have only two options: go down fighting, or capitulate and betray our loved ones, our friends and our selves by insisting that, as a brainwashed Winston Smith does at the end of Orwell’s 1984, yes, 2+2 does equal 5.

Recent Updated: 1 year ago - Created by Richard R. Thompson - View

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Flickr Image from Dylann Roof's Manifesto

A website, lastrhodesian.com, registered and owned by Dylann Roof, featured a racist manifesto and mentioned Charleston, South Carolina, being chosen as the target of an attack. The website also displayed several images that appear to be Roof, the 21-year-old who shot and killed nine people during a bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.
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Flickr The steeple of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC
Tags: broach   emanuel   africanmethodistepiscopal   ame   motheremanuel   charleston   sc   southcarolina   shooting   mass   june   17   2015   spencermeans   hunkypunk   dylannroof   murder   killing   hate   racism   racist   steeple   spire   church   black   africanamerican   afroamericans   federal   hatecrime   sentence   death   
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is the oldest AME church in the south. It is referred to as "Mother Emanuel". Emanuel has one of the largest and oldest black congregations south of Baltimore, Maryland. The congregation dates back to the early 19th C. The present building was completed in 1891. --http://www.emanuelamechurch.org/
The church was the site of a mass shooting on the evening of June 17, 2015, in which nine people were killed. White supremacist Dylann Roof was found guilty and sentenced to death, the first such sentence for a federal hate crime. More information on this event can be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston_church_shooting

Recent Updated: 3 years ago - Created by Hunky Punk - View

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