One Week, Two Massacres: America’s New Wave of Home-Grown Right-Wing Terror
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The Jihadis and Kristallnachts of American Collapse
Over the last week, there have been three mass shootings in America. That would be bad enough. But two of these massacres — at least, and my guess is the third, too — aren’t just any kind of everyday mass shooting (what a sentence to have to write.) They are carried out by young men, for political aims — to terrorize. The bizarre picture above is from the El Paso shooter’s social media. Hence, Americans, bewildered, have begun to describe all this as “white supremacist violence.”
That is an understatement, my friends (is there such a thing as “nonviolent white supremacy”? If there is, would you live next door to it?) What this new wave of mass shootings are is textbook fascist terrorism — in eerily the same way that jihadis shooting up schools and hospitals in the Islamic world marked the rise of Islamic fascism. They are the further growth of militant right wing extremism in an American already being consumed by neo fascism. (Now, I’m sure that if you’re American, we’ll do the same old dance. I say this is fascism, and you minimize and deny it. It can’t happen here! How’s that approach working out for you?)
Let me give you two lenses through which to view this.
The first is Kristallnacht — the Night of Broken Glass. That’s the night when Nazis throughout Germany — this was in 1938, before German fascism had reached its horrific culmination — took to the streets, and ransacked, destroyed, and looted Jewish homes, businesses, and places of worship. But Kristallnacht wasn’t just about the Nazis. It was also about the silent majority. The majority of people, it was reported, stood by, looked on, and did nothing. The authorities simply looked the other way.
What does that have to do with America’s new wave of right-wing terror? Everything. The point of Kristallnacht was to terrorize. It was the formative incident of Nazi terrorism. It was meant to terrify the Jews — to send them a warning. Not just “you don’t belong here” — but “we have the power of life and death over you, and we consider you vermin, subhumans, an infestation.”
But Kristallnacht wasn’t just meant to terrify the Jews, either. It was also meant to frighten the good German. To tell him not to mess with the Nazis. That they weren’t afraid to do very real violence. Today, we’d call all that, in our anodyne parlance, “a chilling effect.”
Kristallnacht was a terrorist event. One of history’s most dark, violent, and grim terrorist events. The right wing extremists of a whole country doing violence against a hated minority — to frighten and scare everyone into submission.
Are the parallels becoming clearer?
Here is how the world sees America. An organized political bloc with explicitly supremacist goals has taken over the machinery of government. It has built concentration camps. It has conducted genocide in them (“family separation”). It is building Gestapos to run them. The leaders of the organized political bloc regularly dehumanize and demonize — their explicit goal is to create a society of the true and pure. And now the Kristallnachts are beginning. Now the jihadis are attacking the institutions of civil society. Just places where people congregate and gather freely, happily, as equals. There’s nothing they hate more.
And yet there is the silent majority — unable to say the word, use the concept, “fascism.” Unable to comprehend any of this in the urgent and simple terms it needs to be understood. Because you cannot fight an enemy that you cannot see, recognize, identify, my friends. The Germans made that mistake. The Muslims made that mistake. The Nazis and Islamic fascists rose as a result.
Americans are making exactly that mistake, right now. The mistake of silence and denial, which, in the end, history understands as forms of complicity. When jihadis are shooting up your malls and festivals, my friends — while organized political blocs of racial supremacists occupy high office: you are having a fascist collapse.
The day Americans can understand it — and say it — is the precise, exact day the tide will begin to finally turn. But not until that day.