Sunday, June 12, 2016

Two comments on the Orlando Massacre

Our friend Kai has written the following:

Hatred takes many forms. It can be expressed through religion, through "science," through the so-called neutrality of the law, through the state (prisons, police, military, etc.), and through various sets of norms in our society. The ‪#‎PulseShooting‬ was the result of a man expressing his hatred, NOT THE RESULT OF RELIGION.

While he stated that his justification was Islam, the real culprits were AMERICAN CULTURAL VALUES, found right here in the U.S. He was violent because America teaches violence, fosters its growth, and encourages its ends.

He was inspired by America's rugged individualism (a value rooted in hypermasculinity and misogyny), fueled by homophobia (the root, again, being misogyny), encouraged by a hypermasculine discourse (recently being championed by our *misogynistic* elected officials), and enabled by the state's pro-gun policies.

Arguments that place religion at the center of the problem, and not American values, are direct results of the very *American* values that resulted in that tragedy.

FUCK the people saying this was Islam's fault. THIS WAS AMERICA'S FAULT. It's about time we look at what values we live by, how we teach them, and how they affect those who have the least power in our society. Because there is no scapegoat in this shooting. There is only the realization that OUR SOCIETY created it.

Our friend Ahjamu has written the following as well:

So we woke up today to the sad news of another mass shooting. This one in Orlando, Florida. Fifty people reported killed. This is of course a tragedy to see more pointless loss of life. The families and communities will be filled with grief for a lifetime and this is truly unfortunate. Equally if not more unfortunate is our continued inability to move beyond just reacting emotionally in order to place these events into any type of logical perspective. I don't make this statement lightly and I'm not at all insensitive to the suffering the people who have lost loved ones are feeling today. In fact, I come from the type of community where people get shot all the time. Shot by police. Shot by each other, dead as a result of the oppression of the capitalist system. I've had loved ones shot and killed from senseless violence so I certainly understand the trauma associated with that, actually much better than most who are doing the talking about it. This is really the point of what will be communicated here. As I'm writing this, the capitalist media machine is in overdrive using the massacre to paint the picture of Islam as the culprit. They are continuing their propaganda effort to convince you that you are not safe as long as "these Muslim people" are able to decide they can kill you in the name of "Allah." That's what they have been messaging all day and they will continue to message the massacre this way in spite of the very real circumstances that demonstrate to us that much more is really happening here than what they are claiming.

I guess when these tragedies occur, we are all supposed to become so wrapped up in our emotional trauma that we are incapable of connecting history to what is happening today. What I mean is since the days of the so-called colonies, this country has promoted, preached, and demonstrated that violence is an acceptable and preferred method of addressing any contradiction. Examples? The violent theft of Indigenous land, and the resulting and continued violent subjugation of the Native peoples. The forced servitude of Europeans escaping violent religious persecution in Europe, and the continued exploitation, manipulation, and pimping of the White working class. The subjugation of Africa, the theft, murder, and exploitation of millions upon millions of Africans and the continued exploitation and repression of Africa and African people. Capitalism was built on violent subjugation and it's maintained on it. The capitalist countries, all of them, are where they are e.g. industrialized, rich, and technologically advanced, because of their violent subjugation of humanity. And this society doesn't even deny this. Instead, they glorify it. The people who perpetuated the violence are held up as heroes. Slave holding George Washington. Indian killing Andrew Jackson. Slave holding Thomas Jefferson. War mongering George Bush (both of them). Prison profiteering and country destroying Bill and Hillary Clinton. And Barack Obama who is without question a war criminal for his sanctions of war crimes against the people of Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Memorial Day glorifies violence. Veterans Day glorifies violence. The Fourth of the Lie glorifies violence. Thanksgiving glories violence. In fact, this country's so-called national anthem speaks of "bombs bursting in air." Nowhere is peaceful resolution of conflict encouraged, taught, and nurtured on a level that can even be confused with being of mass character. So, in spite of whatever theories people have for why these tragedies happen, whatever reasons you come up with, the fact these tragedies keep happening cannot realistically be a surprise to anyone. The largest mass murder in U.S. history? That's a joke right? What about Tulsa in 1921? Hundreds of Africans killed by government bombing! What about Wounded Knee in 1980? Hundreds of Indigenous people killed by the military you want us to honor. What about the hundreds of massacres of Africans and Indigenous people's that have taken place over the last several hundred years, where thousands were killed? There's no question that they are perpetuating pure fantasy that violence is somehow unnatural in this country. As Jamil Abdullah Al Amin (H. Rap Brown) said in 1968, "violence is as American as apple pie!"

Imperialism knows that people utilizing violence isn't a surprise. That's why this system works so hard to propagate to you who's suffering you need to view as worthy and who's suffering you don't even need to acknowledge. Its not that we don't think vigils should be held for victims of senseless killing, we do, but we wonder out loud why whenever a massacre happens to people in the industrialized capitalist countries e.g. the U.S., Belgium, and France, the masses of people mobilize that very same day to pay respects to the dead yet numerically, more people are massacred in Nigeria, Gaza, Syria, and Libya, based on the same pretenses, you say the people in Orlando were killed, yet you don't take the same course of action in those instances? Why? Nigeria is no farther from the U.S. than France. There were over 50 people killed in Chicago over the so-called Memorial Day weekend and Chicago is right here in the U.S. So, before you change your social media picture to identify with the victims in capitalist countries, take a second to think about this contradiction. The reasons these things happen like they do is because imperialism has established a clear hierarchy around who's lives matter and what they want you to see as a threat. This is important because in order to justify their continued subjugation of the masses of people, they have to convince you - subconsciously - that some people's lives matter more than others. And, they have to convince you that you are not safe and the reason you are not safe is because someone, the Muslims, are after you. Take it from someone who has traveled all over the world alone with a U.S. passport. No one is after you. What people are really after is what imperialism has stolen from them, but imperialism has many of you convinced that you are responsible for what imperialism has stolen and benefits from, even if you don't benefit from it. They are forcing you to believe you have to be their shock troops because they have tragically convinced you that their enemies are your enemies.

Whatever the reasons for these shootings, we can easily pinpoint it back to the capitalist system and its institutionalized organization of oppression as the cause. This is true in each case. That's why when the massacres happen, you can count on capitalism/imperialism to capitalize in seconds on the event to reinforce its interests and to redirect away from the true reasons for these violent occurrences. Imperialism's interests are to keep the masses of oppressed people divided so that it can continue to conquer all of us. They focus primarily on working class Whites because you have proven the most easy to manipulate because you want so badly to believe that the lies imperialism has told all of us for centuries are all true. If you just work hard, you will prosper. The truth is imperialism has prospered and you have gotten its crumbs, but now, imperialism and capitalism are in a state of severe decline and are therefore unable to provide even those crumbs to so many White working class people. So they have to create someone to point the finger at for you so you don't recognize that they are the problem. One hundred and fifty years ago, they told White people your problem is the Africans when slavery ended. That worked so well that it remains their go to card even to this day, but they have others. Communism for many years was their culprit. You hate it and you are against it even though it has never happened and even if it had, you know so little about it that you couldn't properly identify it if communism walked up to you and slapped you in the face. Now, they are telling you its immigrants and Islam and the fact they are using many of the same arguments they have used to scare you for the last 150 years (Africans were taking your jobs in the 1870s. Now its immigrants) you are so willing to go along with them that they continue to scare you with the same lies. Its like the no good parent who continues to disappoint you while keeping you strung along with the promise he will come and pick you up and take you to the park, even though he leaves you sitting by the window waiting for him each and every time. So, the latest villain is Islam. They are now the source of your problems. And, you are so programmed to react to this message on an emotional level that you never stop to think how illogical this argument actually is (and always has been). You cannot name one job immigrants are doing that would be suitable to you. If that was so, you would have been doing the job all along. You can't even name two or three rational aspects of Arab life and culture nor for Islam as a religion. You don't know anything about the Arab world to even logically argue what it is you have that they want. Its as if you are so insane that you actually believe people are intent on killing you just because you are wonderful, White, and in this country. And, besides what imperialism has fed you, you cannot argue cohesively that Muslims have anything to do with the violence taking place. From what I read, the shooter today was a G4S employee, the same company that exploits Africa as one of its largest employers. This company produces prisons, while also playing a critical role in maintaining Israeli apartheid against Palestinian people. Who knows what the connections are here, but you won't consider any of that. Imperialism has tricked you by calling mass shootings by European men acts of mental disease, instead of terrorism so you will completely and ignorantly ignore the fact that the overwhelming majority of mass shootings happening are being carried out by European/White people. So, this backward system has set up an informational disconnect where a young white boy can walk in a church and kill nine Africans because he wants to terrorize African people, but you don't see that the way you see today's massacre, but if an Arab man kills people because he wants to terrorize them, its now an international conspiracy to you. You let someone as ignorant and stupid as Donald Trump tell you he will fix all of this and you have absolutely no tangible or logical method to do that other than creating more terror against innocent people. You cannot even explain intelligently what he will do that's any different than any other representative of imperialism. If any of them had the key to your problems you wouldn't be as mad and ill-rational as you are right now, would you? You are being used to divide working people against one another and you are a willing participant in your own oppression. If you are mad at anyone, it shouldn't be the Muslim community, it should be the capitalist classes and yourself for being such a historical fool, over and over again.

So, for all those with good intentions, have your vigils and find your peace. Somewhere along the way, think about why you aren't thinking of a vigil the next time people are massacred in Africa or the Middle East? Ask yourself why white supremacist terrorists who target people of color are given a pass as confused individuals, but people of color are automatically a part of international networks of violence? Ask yourself why it is that you believe a system built and maintained on violence would produce people not inclined to commit planned and random acts of violence? Ask yourself why some people hold less value than others? Ask yourself why so many people, primarily White people, who are oppressed by capitalism as this is being written, are so determined to see themselves and the capitalist system as one and the same? After all those questions are out there and exhausted, than ask yourself who benefits from all of these questions we are raising? Once you do that, then when you attend the next vigil, maybe we will finally start getting the answers we are looking for.

We are of course interested in other interpretations and analysis coming from the left. If you have something that you want to say, please send it our way.

No comments:

Post a Comment