Monday, June 9, 2014

The Las Vegas White Supremacist Mass Shooters Are Really Liberals! How Many Ways Will the Right-Wing Media Spin This Tragedy?

Once more, I would like to thank the folks who have donated to WARN's fundraising drive. As is my habit, and as most recently seen here, and below, I strive to tell the truth about the color line, race, political ideology, guns, culture, and the mess we have found ourselves in as a country.

I want to acknowledge the kind donations that have been offered up so far. I appreciate them very much. We are about 60% of where I would like us to be for the fundraiser. If you can and are able, please do throw some pennies into the donation pile if you like and support my work here on WARN and elsewhere. The sooner we can close that gap, the faster I can pull the begging bowl back in. 
What shall we do with the white people...again?

I ask that question when white men commit mass shootings. I ask that question when Right-wing domestic terrorists kill innocent people. It is unfortunate, that in the aftermath of Sunday morning's murder spree by two white supremacists in Las Vegas, I am forced, once more, to ask said question.

Specific instances of mass shootings by white men, as well as Right-wing domestic terrorism, more generally, are now events akin to those depicted in the classic comedy Groundhog Day.

Unfortunately, there is nothing humorous or funny about how white Right-wing domestic terrorists have shot up Jewish community centers, planted bombs, seen a spike in their numbers since the election of Barack Obama, are coddled and encouraged by the Fox News echo chamber and the Republican Party, and now--with Tea Party regalia, Nazi bonafides, yelling "this is a revolution!"--they kill three people during a brazen daylight attack on Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Las Vegas shooters were so contemptible that even the racist welfare king Cliven Bundy, and his band of anti-Obama brigands, apparently felt that they were too "radical" for their low tastes.

The Right-wing echo chamber helped to spawn the mass shooters named "Jared" and "Amanda".

Birtherism, an embrace of the neo-confederacy, a worshipful attitude towards the Confederate flag (i.e. "the American Swastika") and the CSA, along with an open embrace of anti-black affect and white racial resentment in a concerted effort to delegitimate the United States' first black president, are the "polite" face of American white supremacy in the first decades of the 21st century.

The Republican Party is a white identity organization.

Complementing this claim, social scientists have highlighted how the Tea Party, a herrenvolk organization motivated by white racism under the guise of "taking our country back"--which begs the question "from who?"--creates a sense of white racialized self-interest among its members. Moreover, Tea Party organizations are a way for "old school" white supremacists to recruit new members from the angry white men (and women) who constitute the more extreme elements in the Republican Party.

The Las Vegas murder spree is a clear act of domestic terrorism by members of the White Right.

Of course, the Right-wing media and its acolytes will find a way to spin and distort the facts.

"Jared" and "Amanda" placed the Gadsden flag, what is now a Tea Party icon, on the body of one of their victims; the shooters yelled "this is a revolution!" while committing murder, a seditious slogan that echoes within the Right-wing echo chamber; Nazi paraphernalia was found in their home; and the Las Vegas shooters sought out a natural alliance with Cliven Bundy and his thugs.

The Right-wing media machine will re-frame the Las Vegas shooting spree in keeping with the principles outlined by Joseph Goebbels and his genius insights about how to manipulate the mass public.

The Fox News echo chamber will choose to either:

1) ignore the events in Las Vegas; 
2) highlight those tragic events as an example for why concealed carry gun laws should be the rule of the land; 
3) offer the default answer: this is all somehow Barack Obama's fault; 
4) advance a lazy, intellectually bankrupt, and morally empty deflection: black people in Chicago shoot each other all the time!; 
5) argue that these people are "sick" and "crazy", so why are we even talking about their politics?; 
6) lie and commit an intellectually rapacious and craven assault on the historical record by suggesting that white supremacist Nazis are in fact really "liberals". 

The most fringe elements of the Right-wing media machine and its base will default to a standard script wherein the white supremacist Las Vegas murder spree is presented as a "false flag operation", one conducted by "liberals" to discredit conservatives with the goal of undermining "gun rights".

When Richard Hofstadter's timeless and brilliant work on "the paranoid style" in American politics is mated with Right-wing bigotry and "conspiranoid" delusions, no ready antidote is available.

Racism and conservatism are the same thing in the post civil rights era. They are the beast with two backs: the American people will need more than a garden hose to stop their deranged coupling.

Alas, all that reasonable folks who care about the Common Good can ask is, once more, what shall we do with the white people? And when will there be a "national conversation" about white people, guns, mass violence, and Right-wing domestic terrorism.

I know that the answer is "never". The humanistic and patriotic concerns driving the question remain nonetheless.


Myshkin the Idiot said...

They don't mind the overt white supremacists. Fox reports "possible" white supremacists. Their story is mostly about the officer's shot, gotta show their loyalty.

joe manning said...

With every mass shooting it becomes more obvious that conservatism shades off into nazism. Media righties are busy deflecting attention from conservatism's Faustian bargain with the radical right; attempting to hide the fact that the Angry White Male Syndrome is a pathology infecting conservatism.

James Estrada-Scaminaci III said...

I would offer the following observation: if you look at the themes of right-wing propaganda, from Fox News to conservative talk radio to Christian radio and television, to the news web hubs to blogs--one theme stands out: persecution and fear of extinction. The broad right-wing asserts that the federal government, whether in its liberal secular guise or as an agent of satan, is determined to persecute and eventually exterminate white conservative Christian males because they are under attack from uppity women, uppity homosexuals, and uppity non-whites. These groups are aided by a federal government that criminalizes their speech (e.g. hate crimes laws), criminalizes their behavior (bringing god into the court system and public schools, etc etc. If you are told day-in and day-out that you are being persecuted and slated for extermination (gun control, gun seizures, FEMA prison camps, etc), you will get a reaction from those who are most invested in that ideological message and those who are least tethered or grounded in reality (e.g. the mentally ill). These messages are broadcast every single day from a variety of platforms. The monotony can be seen on Right Wing Watch (one of my favorites sites for keeping up with stuff). This propaganda theme has several varieties--secular, religious, white supremacist, banal white nationalism, anti-semitic, pro-semitic--but it has a common core of meanings for the broad right-wing audiences. Eventually, someone cuts loose--it is unpredictable as to who and when, but not the underlying theme.

joe manning said...

These weekly mass shootings show that the Angry White Male Syndrome is a pathology of epidemic proportions surpassing PTSD in frequency. The Las Vegas shootings are a double caveat because behind every AWM there may be an AWWoman. Like her AWM counterpart the AWW feels aggrieved in her mistaken perception that her "entitlement" is threatened by "designated" media scapegoats: blacks, gays, Muslims, undocumenteds. Its pretty obvious that we're getting played. Mass insecurity interferes with humanity's capacity to develop a more exalted mindset than "I, me, mine."

Goebbels himself couldn't have come up with a more catchy lie for heavy rotation than "Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun."

joe manning said...

Yes, liberalism is despised by both the rich and getting poorer whites. The middle class was declassed by the downturn and quickly jettisoned liberal fairness doctrines, then became reactionary out of desperation, convenience, or cynical practicality. High profile liberal initiatives like gun control, reproductive rights, affirmative action, and church and state separation seem to have been deliberately designed to alienate and mobilized the radical right. Moreover, such liberal reforms are straw men set up to veil elite power concentration.

chauncey devega said...

Connecting the dots brilliantly there!

Given that you are researching this. Are these dynamics old and long-standing in American culture, one could argue back to the Founding or even before, or are they something ginned up during the 1960s? Later?

chauncey devega said...

There you go. Don't talk about the politics. Play up the authoritarian bonafides about "first responders" and people with uniforms and guns who make us "safe".

chauncey devega said...

That slogan was work-shopped and focus grouped to death...literally. Bernays and Goebbels are both smiling. Angry white male syndrome is lethal. A black man is president and the White Body Politic is in lethal overdrive to protect itself. But like most autoimmune sicknesses the body will hurt itself.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

the "battle field" of their revolution is interesting. An all you can eat pizza buffet, a Wal Mart.

What's with laying the flag over the officer's? That seems a bit reverential.

Mustang6 said...

Black people need to form our own country. That is the only way to stop the oppression. It worked for the Jews. They were in our position for centuries but now they have one of the most secure countries in the world.

chauncey devega said...

I appreciate and respect Garvey and others who saw that as a goal. I am of the mind that the United States was quite literally built with the blood, sweat, tears, gold, and labor of black people. This is my country. Now how do we make her--if ever--deliver on her broken promises and stolen labor and land?

James Estrada-Scaminaci III said...

There are scholars who argue that "producerism" the idea that the elites exploit the middle class on behalf of the lower classes has existed for centuries. I tend to concentrate on the era from the 1920s forward, when what would become the Christian Right along with the KKK became aligned with Big Business. The Scopes trial was, in part, about Christian persecution and an existential assault on the fundamentalist way of life.

Mustang6 said...

I applaud your efforts, but I just don't see it happening. The harder we push the harder the opposing reaction will be. Our only way out is to retire to a place of refuge. Again, I cite the Jews as an example of this working.

Courtney H. said...

Excellent essay -- again! You broke it down beautifully, as usual.

Lkeke said...

Yes, I was wondering about that. As this state of affairs continues within the media and cultural demographics change, just how extreme a reaction will there be?

I'm very frightened about the future of this country and it's not liberalism that's scaring me.

Lkeke said...

My prediction is that this sort of thing will continue. Right now it seems we're getting these at about once a week. I don't think any number of times will be enough to move this country to examine itself, let alone change.

Craig said...

This is scary how they used typical terrorist tactics of targeting a psychological landmark (the police) and claiming political responsibility (planting a flag) - if it is typical then they are trying to get the government to overreact, with even greater brutality, thereby gaining more followers to their cause. In the article you linked, this caught my eye: "Jared claimed to have been booted from Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's property at the end of the standoff there earlier this year " If this is true then imagine what would have happened if Jared (or some other mentaly unstable member) had taken it upon himself to fire at the officers. The entire militia would have been caught in a firefight with the police. There were over 300 armed men in that militia. The police would have had to call in overwhelming force. There would have been a massacre. What would the massacre of hundreds of white men do to political movements in the rest of the country?

Wavenstein said...

Whiteness, maleness, and dare I say it Christianity all need to be examined and deconstructed in mass media on a pathological level the way black people are constantly discussed as an entire entity. Who out there has that platform and is willing to go where no other mass media journalist has gone before? Melissa Harris Perry? Roland Martin? Are we waiting on someone white (this is most likely) to say it for us?

rikyrah said...

What shall we do with the white people...again?

You kill me with this line.

I LMAO everytime I read it.

Courtney H. said...

Good question!

Courtney H. said...

I posted this video a few months back. It is about a possible race war in this country.

Courtney H. said...

Tim Wise?

D. Wright said...

I don't think it's possible. There's no reason to believe that White People can transcend their greed, pride, and fear of the Other any more than anyone else before them. Even without White Supremacy there's an In Group-Out Group dynamic that plagues every society. They're only human. We have to deal with America as she is, not how we wish she can be.

D. Wright said...

A country secured by a massive police state that would make apartheid SA and Andrew Jackson proud. Let's not take notes from Israel, or Amero-Liberia for that matter.

Gable1111 said...

The person they shot and killed at Wal-Mart (oh, the irony!) was a "good guy with a gun." Little good that gun did him, and in fact, they may have targeted him, of all the people they could have shot, because he had that gun. Not realizing they may have unwittingly shot a sympathizing fellow traveler.

Gable1111 said...

Its just amazing not only how these people are being coddled, but are openly incited and even encouraged in their violence by elements in the media and right wing political leaders who revere "second amendment solutions," treat as "patriots" cowards hiding behind phones and computers issuing death threats to people they are told to hate, normalizing violence as "American."

They tell us we should be very afraid of “terrorists,” which has become a coded label for blacks, minorities, “liberals,” women, gays, Muslims, atheists, feminists, and damn near anyone who is for common sense on threats such as climate change, gun violence.

Yet its white, right wing terrorists who erupt and kill en mass regularly, and even their open threats of violence against the government or anyone else are minimized as we are told they should never be seen as any more than, isolated actions of “crazy people.”

Are they crazy? I can imagine some of them may be, relatively speaking. But the frequency and commonalities of the actors and their actions say that these are more than just random eruptions of the mentally insane. Deluded, maybe; but that’s different.

Shady Grady said...

Actually I think Israel is one of the least secure countries. I don't see it surviving in its present form longer than 30-40 years. The contradictions are too great.

Basically every land on the planet already belongs to one nation state or the other. Black Americans or other Black identified people in the diaspora would have to be prepared to *take* someone else's land.

KissedByTheSun said...

These real life cop killers will generate far less anger and hatred than Ice-T's song cop killer.

Courtney H. said...

Ha! :)

Courtney H. said...

And we all know why ...