Let’s Cut the Crap about “White Supremacy”

How many times do we need to request a meaningless “denunciation” of white supremacy? We, on what passes for a left, are supposed to be critics of corporate media, so why the dog-like obedience to its idiotic framing on this non-issue? President Trump has issued such pointless denunciations before, and did so again in the first presidential debate with Joe Biden, saying “sure” when asked if he would be willing to denounce white supremacists.

Then he introduced the apparently radical notion that there are two sides to every conflict, and took the side of those “defending property” and upholding the values of our non-existent but somehow sacred democracy. Why should we become unhinged about that?

If you’re presented with images of burning cars and buildings, thuggish types attacking someone, and people screaming obscenities at Trump, cops, America, or whatever stand-in for Satan we care to name, it has the same effect as images of police or other thugs choking, beating on, or shooting someone in the back, and this, in turn, produces self-righteous but entirely unilluminating rhetoric about Nazi scum, fanatic Marxist assassins, KKK skinheads, or Antifa rioters running amok and destroying the greatest civilization ever seen on God’s formerly green earth.

People obviously do believe, based on competing tsunamis of distortion pouring through anti-social media, that right-wing, Nazi white supremacists are attacking the foundations of decency and America while others are equally convinced that left-wing socialist supremacists are converting the U.S. into a Pol Pot style killing field. Both lines of “thought” are equally moronic. The question is, why are we on the left, supposedly making intelligent criticism of a society we hope to transform into something decent, dumb enough to choose between them?

Few have written at greater length (and no one more elegantly) than Jonathan Kozol about the devastating impact of race on our society, going back to the publication of his first book, Death At An Early Age in 1964. For the subsequent fifty-six years, Kozol has been relentless in describing the informal apartheid system that replaced Jim Crow and perpetuated the horrifying legacy of slavery. But nowhere in the thousands of pages of superb text he has produced does one find any mention of “right wing extremists” being the problem.  On the contrary, Kozol continually points out how wealthy liberals have withdrawn into private cocoons of luxury and ease, refusing to allow their children to go to school alongside poor blacks, Puerto Ricans, or other “people of color,” though the more sensitive among them can often be persuaded to write generous checks to charity causes working on the other side of the apartheid wall.

This is the central problem, not racist skinheads.

So please, let us have no more Southern Poverty Law Center-style “studies” of how right-wing fascists are poised to take over the country, which they’ve been robotically repeating since the 1970s. (According to them, statements like “It’s OK to be white” are “hate speech,” and a Trump fart constitutes mass gassing of people of color.) The country is securely in the hands of those who own the private economy and run the national security state, not Antifa, the Proud Boys, or the dreaded “alt-right.”

Let’s concentrate on our real enemies for a change.

Michael K. Smith is the author of The Madness of King George from Common Courage Press. He co-blogs with Frank Scott at www.legalienate.blogspot.com. Read other articles by Michael.