There are a few things to be said about this. We do not know all the details. However, there is a pattern. At this point, it is beyond deniable. We have a problem. Police are doing things in the field that reveal issues with training, but chiefly our dominant culture. It is exacerbated within police ranks because they have us v them mentality, where everybody not inside the police force is perceived as the enemy. If you think this is ok, or all right, you are part of the problem and are justifying abuses that are beyond clear by law enforcement.
First, there were obvious problems with scene safety in that chaotic scene. Second, only one of the officers chose to use lethal force in a situation that seemed to not need it. It looked like a classic case of contempt of cop. We knew what the report says before it was released. “I feared for my life and likely Mr. Blake was reaching for a gun.” How can we know this? It’s the same every time. Whether this is justified or not at this point is immaterial. The reason for this statement is that police are more likely to use deadly force if the person they are contacting is black. A little less if they are brown, and definitely less if they are white.
This is where implicit bias and matters of race come in. As a nation, we have been talking across each other when it comes to this. Racism is a problem in the United States. it is deep, it is structural, and it has very long roots. Activists will gladly tell you what the origin of policing is. These are the slave patrols that kept slaves under control and brought them back to owners when they escaped. This is precisely the origin of modern policing in the South of the country, not everywhere. However, we must ask if this part of police culture has seeped its way everywhere?
However, we have had this conversation for a few years. We know it’s training. We know it’s body cameras! We know. Yet the real cause of this we still dance around. This is about a system of oppression. This is about a nation that has yet to deal with her original sin: Slavery. This is about how we conceive of society, and what we allow officers to do.
It is time that we deal with the sin of 1619. Yes, slavery was common in that era, and chattel slavery was not just an American phenomenon. This is why we had to invent a system to justify it. It is not just the United States. People of African descent face issues with law enforcement all over the Americas. So do the original inhabitants that are treated like trash as well.
Let me be clear. Racism is not just limited to the United States. I say this because we need to recognize this as well. When we speak of slavery and the remains of it, we know that people of color are devalued at a continental level. In the United States, this is a disease that eats at the soul of a society that is not open to discuss this. If you are a descendant of African slaves, or first peoples, or any other group of color, you face a system of oppression. These last four years it’s been more open than in the recent past. We do not live in a post-racial society. The election of Barack Obama led to this reaction, panicked and all, by a white minority that fears a multi-racial future. Perhaps they know that the caste society they have built will be invested with them at the bottom. In certain places on the internet you can see this from time to time.
This is a conversation that matters because people are assumed to be animals because of the color of their skin. This is not just Kenosha, or Los Angeles, or La Mesa. This is national.
Now, the words and racist talk from whites about black Americans are very familiar to me. You may ask, how? You are white? Well, kind of. I am an immigrant, so my accent reveals I was not born here the moment I speak. I am also Jewish. I know a little dirty secret about the United States. Jews were only accepted as white, kind off when White Supremacists needed Jews to increase the number of whites in a nation where their world view is under attack by demographics.
Now, let’s not go crazy here, Jews are still the enemy, the sub-human, that controls the world. We are just as dangerous as blacks. Granted, if I am stopped by a police officer, I will likely get a ticket, not a bullet. However, I know exactly how white supremacists talk about my people and what they want to do to my people as well. So I know precisely how dehumanizing works. The stories my father told me from growing up in Poland are very familiar, and we know how that ended. Genocide is not that far from the lips of people who desire a race war and to cleanse the nation, or at lest their corner, from the other.
For Black youth, this starts early. Yes, we all love hip hop, but whites cross the street when they see a black person or avoid them. Many whites will not ride in an elevator with a black person or Latino for that matter that is of a darker complexion. This is not due to the pandemic, this is well before the pandemic. Whites will tell people of color to go back to their country many times. Hey, I have been told this. It’s hysterical when they tell this to a Black person who is a descendant from staves, or worst a member of a tribe, whose people have been on this land for ten thousand years or more.
Collectively we have been trained to fear all People of Color, but the worst are Blacks. The extremely obvious cartoons of the early part of the last century are gone from your TV, but you can still find them. The cartoons portray a Black person pursuing the white damsel in distress. Incidentally, mixed marriages are the worst in their view, because they dilute the pure blood of a master race. Mixed race couples face more open disdain because of that.
This image persists though, just as the antisemitic cartoons used by the Nazis in Der Stūrmer still circulate. This is why people see a teenager going out for tea and skittles as a dangerous armed adult. That would be Trayvon Martin. It becomes obvious that he was not human enough when a jury let his killer walk free amongst us. This was not standing your ground, which incidentally increased the number of shootings. It was a system where the Black youth is seen as disposable.
Yes, when this latest officer-involved shooting happened, the video showed sloppy police work. He was, as always, accused and held responsible. We expect all kinds of dirt to be dug up, because he, not the officers, needs to be held responsible. Resisting arrest is not deserving of seven bullets in the back, and officers are supposedly trained to use less than lethal devices on their duty belts. They also should know how to deescalate. We saw none of that.
Militias and Patriot Groups
Kenosha had people from outside come to defend property. This is according to many mainstream outlets. They were armed. The state is open carry. They are part of the many patriot militia groups forming across the country. We have them locally as well, and they are very active. They are preparing to fight rioters and left-wing goons. They allegedly are there to defend against ANTIFA. Many are part of QAnon, as we saw in La Mesa, California.
Given what philosophy they have adopted, they are ready for violence, and chiefly to commit violence. The president not denouncing them has encouraged them. As I have written in the past they are seen as a terror threat. One of them opened fire last night.
The person with the long gun, according to a Brendan Gutenschwager on CNN, talked to officers after the event and then melted into the night. He also saw these armed militia style individuals over the course of the night. There is an increasing vibe in different self-styled far-right groups that the civil war is starting. The fact that officers did not arrest this person also gives some credence to rumors that police are cooperating with these self-styled patriot groups.
This young man, a 17-year-old, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He drove from Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha Wisconsin. We could have a few discussions about Stochastic Terrorism, as well as LARPing. He responded to a call to arms, and it’s been received as the beginning of the second civil war.
Since we have learned this young man was obsessed with the blue lives matter movement. He was known by local law enforcement. This raises questions that will have to be answered by investigators. The above photo is of him in uniform. I will not give him the notoriety he wants. Also, he is a minor. According to Buzzfeed:
His connections to law enforcement, however, go beyond his vocal support of police on social media. In a statement to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday, the Grayslake Police Department confirmed that Rittenhouse was a former member of the Lindenhurst, Grayslake, Hainesville Police Department’s Public Safety Cadet Program.
According to a description of the program that has been recently removed from the department’s official website, the program “offers boys and girls the opportunity to explore a career in law enforcement” through “hands-on career activities,” such as riding along with officers on patrol and firearms training.
Now, let me be clear about this. Rumors do not mean confirmation. However, the fact that he was able to leave the scene gives the wrong impression, at the very least. However, we have seen enough of this in different places to raise some concerns. If this young white man was a person of color, I don’t think he would have been able to walk away.
It’s time we examine these trends and face to out general culture. Racism is alive and well. But we also need to understand we are at the intersection of information warfare, propaganda, and conspiracies. There are some people who want an armed conflict. It is also time to use the term movement, and abandon the pretense that these are lone wolves.
This story has been updated as more information becomes available.