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A Pandemic of Prejudice Confounds White Privilege

by Charlie Barber | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Last Word | June 9th, 2020

#13 of On Tyranny: Practice Corporeal Politics“Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.” - Timothy Snyder

“By embracing the politics of inevitability, we raised a generation without history...One thing is certain: If young people do not begin to make history, politicians of eternity (self-absorbed...longing for past moments that never really happened during epochs that were, in fact, disastrous) and inevitability will destroy it. And to make history, young Americans will have to know some. This is not the end, but a beginning.” - Timothy Snyder

“Truth is a power. But one can see that only in rare instances, because it is suffering and must be defeated as long as it is truth. When it has become victorious others will join it. Why? Because it is truth? No, if it had been for that reason they would have joined it also when it was suffering. Therefore they do not join it because it has power. They join it after it has become a power because others had joined it.” - Søren Kierkegaard

“...the fact remains that most people in the world today are afflicted with a distorted consciousness that is the product of capitalist ideology, and they seem unable at this time to take up a position outside that ideology in order to move beyond it and concretely revolutionize existing societies. This inability or disability persists despite the current manifestations of capitalism’s drive to destroy freedom movements everywhere; indeed, to destroy the very idea of freedom.” - Marilyn Nissim-Sabat, Neither Victim Nor Survivor: Thinking Toward a New Humanity, 2009

“It’s only the rich who can’t afford to be smart. They’re compromised. They got locked years ago into privilege. They have to protect their belongings. No one is meaner than the rich. Trust me. But they have to follow the rules of their shitty civilized world. They declare war, they have honor, and they can’t leave.” – Michael Ondaatje

“agent provocateur – one employed to associate himself with members of a group, such as a trade-union or a political party, and by pretended sympathy with their aims, to lead them to commit overt illegal or harmful acts, especially so that they may be apprehended and punished.” - Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd Ed., 1934

“Those who practice and organize violence must love violence, must want it, must yearn for it. The seal of ecstasy in every movement of slashing, hurting, destroying.” - Agatha Christie

A critical mass of white people in America of all ages, now demonstrating against all restraints of government authorities, have acknowledged the foremost sins of their forebears: racism and slavery, and that they no longer wish to aid, abet, ignore, or tolerate them. White cops are kneeling and marching with African American “Black Lives Matter” protestors. If Majority Leader “Rich” Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thinks he can put the lid back on this social and political volcano with bogus investigations of the Obama administration, and a few more right wing judges rammed through the Senate with the aid of his cowardly Republican cohorts, he is sadly mistaken. But he will likely try anyway. He can no more change his character as a racist oligarch than his coward-in-chief, Donald Trump, can change his presidential Reality TV role as “An Emperor for All Losers;” reviled in all 50 States and 650 cities around the world.

When George Orwell wrote his famous line: “when the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys,” in 1935, he was reflecting on his service as a policeman for the British Empire in Burma from 1922-1927, serving the cause of white men ruling over people of color unjustly, for the sake of an English aristocracy of birth and wealth; not really his kind of people. When a line of white women stood between Louisville police and black protesters in May, 2020, enraged at the indiscriminate killing of Breonna Taylor, asleep in her own bed, in their own home town, the choke hold lynching of George Floyd at the hands of white police in Minneapolis and similar, numerous evils throughout American history, for the sake of an American aristocracy of wealth and power, they were heeding the wisdom of Orwell’s insight. White acquiescence in injustice towards people of color as the price of their own freedom and dignity is no longer tolerable. I sought the wisdom of my KGB animal friends in understanding this massive, game changing abandonment of aristocracy-of-the-skin by white folks.

High Plains Reader: Dear friends, why do black lives actually matter to white people this time, so much so that they risk their health in the Covid-19 pandemic rather than pull back as before? Selective police brutality towards people of color, especially African Americans, is not new.

Putin: Quality of evidence, plus quantity of white people treated as if they were black by President Trump, Attorney General William Barr, Mitch McConnell, and renegade cops.

Rasputin: The brave young woman who shared her video of the summary execution of a helpless black U.S. citizen in Minneapolis, MN by 4 paramilitary public guardians of your safety, with the tacit approval of your Racist-in-Chief, has shown Americans too much, even for 80+ year old white ladies in places like Minot, North Dakota. They know murder when they see it like that.

Chicago Dog: More white people than ever before know much, much more about how little Trump cares about 99% of them. His botched response to supplies for a pandemic is epic. His catering to Wall Street instead of Main Street in the resultant economic depression has left folks with plenty of time to peacefully protest Trump’s violent contempt for their welfare. Looting by “young and dumb,” arson by mayhem professionals or other “Jokers,” will not distract from scrutiny this time, of systemic police brutality on documented videos from all over the country.

Mr. Swamp Fox: Toxic waste created by Trump’s West Wing enablers and cabinet swamp creatures, like Steven Mnuchin and Betsy Devos, has flooded Lafayette Park with more than illegally operating federal troops. It has reached such depths that I was able to listen in (from a safe distance) on “Benito” Bill Barr, Trump’s Badass Barracuda Barrister (B-6th power), conversing with amoral, anarchistic alligators; “eaters of men.” It went something like this:

Alligator #1: I thought Trump wanted to act like a messianic, American “hero,” brandishing a Bible in front of that Church. What went wrong?

B-6th power: Stephen Miller thought Trump said “Nero,” a conquering Roman Emperor, burning down the Constitution, so I brought along the Defense Secretary and the General.

Alligator #2: Telegraphing your punches. That’s not like you Badass Bill. How’d it work out?

B-6th power: Not so well, as you saw. I never thought both Generals Mattis and Honoré would open up on us on the same day. I mean, Mayor Daley’s police in Chicago took their badges off in 1968, why couldn’t we get away with the same stunt? I wouldn’t mind being a political Commissar under Vladimir Putin, and God knows I have more Gestapo than I know what to do with, but doing this sort of Praetorian Guard work for Trump doesn’t seem to have much permanence to it.

Alligator #1: Mayor Daley was a dove on Vietnam (too many body bags coming back to his neighborhood), and his police were local, like the ones that are making New York’s Mayor Bill DiBlasio look bad nowadays. But it’s Defense Secretary Esper in charge, not those retired guys.

B-6th power: Power is not simply a title; a solid object. Neither is courage, nor resilience, nor earned prestige. Power is based on one’s performance, the character of the office holder, rather than the office itself. It’s really something more fluid, ethereal in its usage. Trump has lost the public trust beyond repair. Fraud will only get what you want when nobody’s paying attention.

Alligator #2: And the whole world is watching. There are too many demonstrators. We can’t eat them all, “witches brew” or not. I don’t care how many holes you blow in the Constitution.

B-6th power: Exactly. And I don’t know how much longer I can cover for Trump’s cowardice and idiocies. It is entirely possible that he will give an order that the military simply won’t carry out, if it means as much carnage as it could. These soldiers are trained to kill, after all.

Alligator #1: You know as well as I do that the military has been holding back on all kinds of stupid Trump tricks, but I don’t think they will put up for very long with brutalizing Americans on U.S. soil, just so he can look “presidential.” Mark Esper is increasingly defiant.

B-6th power: Not in plain sight, with all those phone cameras. I’ve got to save my own ass. You guys can have whatever dead meat is left over from the Trump disaster. I’ll spend more time trashing the Mueller Report, and pushing bogus “antifa” conspiracies until November.

Alligator #2: Did you know that the Center for Disease Control has used scientific data about sewage for tracing Covid-19 in communities around the country. It’s in folks’ feces. Any doctor can tell you how important certain kinds of shit are.

Alligator #1: Jonathan Swift used to write about King’s Ministers in the 18th century who traced subversives by analyzing their stool after they had relieved themselves to see if a certain color indicated violent thoughts, or just normal heresies.

B-6th power: Are you suggesting we send lab technicians to sift through the remains of every porta-potty in the nation? No way! And don’t tell Trump! He might “order” it.

HPR: Oh my. Do they mean America will be discussing what ails us in those sort of terms for the next five months before the November election? On top of MAGA ads and Russian bots?

Putin: No, but you do have Primary elections. A misogynist Democrat from Chicago, has already been defeated in the Illinois Primary of March 17 by a genuinely progressive woman.

Rasputin: In the Iowa Republican Primary of June 2nd, the renowned racist Steve King was replaced by another Right winger, who has yet to sink to the depths of his predecessor, but who, like most Republican candidates, is declaring his undying devotion to Donald Trump. The larger evils of racism and economic inequality, of course, are really only being discussed by Democrats amongst each other in their primaries, and against Republicans in November.

Señor Perro: The dark side of capitalism, what North Dakota’s late Dr. Herb Wilson (USAF- WWII) described as “affluenza,” has always been visible in the institutions of the chattel slavery of yesterday and wage slavery of today. The key to letting in the sunshine of Jeremy Bentham’s “greatest good for the greatest number,” is to get rid of all forms of aristocracy based on skin color and moneybags. Aristocracies of talent in the arts and sciences can seek their own level, of course, as long as they are not circumscribed by mental midgets and moral morons; such as those now inhabiting Trump’s swamp.

HPR: I just heard former Republican operative Steve Schmidt complain about “illiberal” tendencies in Trump’s orders to U.S. military to abuse American citizens. My ears are ringing.

Putin: Not as much as Trump’s ears are ringing with defiance from Pentagon Generals and Admirals, active as well as retired, reminding troops that their oath is to the Constitution, not to the President. Retired General Colin Powell endorses Joe Biden for President in defiance of his Republican past, and a sentient Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) marches with Black Lives Matter for the sake of any sort of Republican Party future.

Rasputin: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), along with State and local officials in varying degrees, has legislation to change current militarized policing of too many “Officers Fascist” into more community conscious “Officers Friendly.” Trump Republicans, with no sense of shame, or even irony, use the word “insanity” to hide their fears of the other “R” word -- “reallocation.”

Mr. Swamp Fox: Reallocation of funds within jurisdictions to encourage healing of Americans rather than killing them does not mean the disappearance of funds from Public Safety, but that is not what the FOX hounds and Trumpty Dumpsters are screaming. “Defunding” is the new Republican Party scare word to replace “Communist Menace,” “Chinese Virus,” “Benghazi,” and other hysterical terms that are designed to divert voters who are not as fanatic as Trump’s dwindling base.

Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Steve Mnuchin and his Wall Street 1%ers are terrified that Democrats, Independents, and Recovering Republicans, if not right away, then certainly next year, are going to re-reallocate monies reallocated (stolen) from the middle class and incomes below that over the past 40 years and restore taxes that Eisenhower Republicans can live with.

Lena: Polling, which shows that a majority of Americans are more afraid of Trump than systemic change, may explain the poem we “ferreted out” from the bottom of the Covid-19 testing kit used on Trump’s personal valet. Somebody is tampering with The Donald’s secrets:

“I can’t believe I’m not a King by now;
And that my base is slipping fast
away. I owned the libs, the mob, just
yesterday. I need Bill Barr to pull it
out somehow.

If only I had balls like Adam Schiff;
Then I could sell my snake oil as of
old. But if I can’t keep Texas in the
fold; The game is up and I’m a
losing stiff.

No self-respecting leader builds a wall; Like I just did to shield the White House lawn From peaceful protest.
Waves and rolls Of laughter spur my bitter, killer’s gall. But I am so afraid to greet the dawn Of my
demise by voters at the polls.” - Torquemada, Donnie’s Wet Dream Nightmare

Coda: “my whole life, every white man’s life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at.” - George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant, 1935

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