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Dylann Root, Charleston, Thoughts

For now, we see through a glass darkly

This post is in parts for reasons that I hope will become clear(er) as I write them:

1.) I was on the elevator at work on Friday. It was just the two of us, an African American guy and me. He sighed heavily and looked down. He looked worn out. “Tired?”, I said. “Depressed”, he said. I asked him why. “It’s Charleston.” He got off at the next floor, turned to me and said something to explain as the doors were closing.

I didn’t catch it. I couldn’t stop the elevator. He was gone before I had a chance to hear him. I felt really bad about that.

2.) Dylann Roof didn’t spontaneously generate. He is a product of his environment. I read the article in the NYTimes about his so-called “manifesto” and how some of it had its genesis in the stories the right wing tells itself about George Zimmerman gunning down Trayvon Martin. Roof came to see that Zimmerman’s actions were completely justified. Just out of curiosity, I googled Rush Limbaugh and George Zimmerman. I took one for the team and read that garbage so you don’t have to, my best beloveds. Here’s what I found:

First, Rush was livid (well, when is he not livid?) that the news media wasn’t covering the Zimmerman trial as obsessively as he and his droogs were. That really ticked him off. The Zimmerman trial explained everything that was wrong with America and not covering just showed how complicit the media was.

Secondly, Trayvon Martin was planning to commit a felony. This was explained by the use of the word “cracka” to his friend who he was talking on the phone with just before Zimmerman shot him. According to Rush, in a matter of seconds, Martin had determined that Zimmerman was a police officer (in plain clothes) or a security guard, weighed the consequences of his actions and had decided to beat the shit out of this “cracka”, which would have been a felony.

So, basically, the argument goes, if you are black and minding your own business talking to someone on the phone and someone is following you in a menacing manner, if you have any intention of defending yourself, that intention will be interpreted as a criminal act of defiance even if the person who is threatening you is not authorized to interfere with you. In other words, if you are African American, treat every person who bothers you or attempts to curb your liberty as an authority figure who has the right to do it or you will get shot. If you try to defend yourself, as most people might do if they are confronted with a gun wielding stranger, and you get shot, you brought it on yourself by refusing to submit and by your felonious actions.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who sees obvious problems with this theory.

3.) Here’s my own thoughts about what’s going on. Referring back to what I have written previously about thought reform, the BITE model and information control, it is my hypothesis that the reason why we can’t have nice things, long term unemployment is not important to anybody, poor people are “parasites”, religious people are really into shaming women and the racism genie is finally all the way out of the bottle, is because there has been an increasing and steady stream of information flooding the cable news channels, radio airwaves, conservative churches, and family picnics. If you have never been to a cookout where one of your sister’s redneck friends indignantly tells you about how all the liberals should be shot with his gun collection as you offer him a grilled sausage stuffed peppadew, you haven’t lived. Yes, that actually happened. I have often wondered how this dude who I had never met before or had exchanged any words with had any idea that I was a liberal. I wasn’t wearing my standard issue liberal garb that day so how did he know…? This is one of the reasons I absolutely refuse to live in central Pennsylvania. They just have radar about these things.

If you ever want to hear something chilling, listen to Steve Hassan, former Moonie and current cult mind control expert, talk about how far he was willing to go to follow Sun Yung Moon even to the point that he would praise Hitler. Hassan comes from a nice Jewish family but his devotion to Moon was so great that he was able to ignore all that he knew about the Holocaust and mindlessly spew anti-Jewish propaganda.

Side note: I was stunned to hear people I cared about tell me back in 2008 that it was ok if you have racist thoughts. It’s not illegal. Oh, sure, THEY didn’t have racist thoughts. THEY weren’t ignorant and bigots. But if a person is ignorant and bigoted and has racist thoughts, what’s that got to do with me? It’s not against the law. We can’t go around policing other people’s thoughts all the time.

That was a bad omen, Oh best beloveds. I heard this said by multiple people who I respected who were essentially giving permission to the ignorant and bigoted. It was about the same time that it became ok to treat women as irrelevant and “bitches” too. So, you know, once you start letting some of the worms hatch out of the mud, they all start to hatch out.

Hassan says that people who are susceptible to undue influence are not necessarily stupid people or poorly educated. The left’s notion that low-information voters are the people most susceptible to voting against their own interests is missing the point. Anyone is vulnerable to undue influence when they are targeted by manipulative actors who are skilled at using the BITE model. Control someone’s thoughts and emotions and you can control their behavior. Control their behavior and emotions and you can control their thoughts. Control the information they get, from whatever sources, and you can control their thoughts and emotions. For Democratic activists, who were the key to the 2008 elections, controlling the information in the left blogosphere was crucial. I’ve gone over how they did it in detail but if anyone wants the Cliff Notes version in BITE format, I’ll be happy to do that to show exactly how they did it.

For Americans in general, controlling the information from cable news channels, talk radio and religious institutions is key. Converting a population takes a lot information until it almost seems normal to believe what all your neighbors believe even if you’ve never believed that crap before. Before you know it, you’re saying stuff you never would have thought thirty years before.

Whole countries have gone stark raving mad when under the influence of the BITE model. Nazi Germany stayed in its grip right up to the very end when Adolf and Eva had to hide in a bunker while Berlin and eastern Europe were bombed back into the stone age. Sometimes, that’s what it takes to snap people out of it, especially when they’re under the influence of very powerful practitioners. In the modern era, we have just seen the UK vote into office some stunningly awful economic conservatives, and while those newly elected leaders slash and burn the social safety net, voters lament all the services they are losing and how harshly it is going to affect the lives of the poor. But they are unable to break free of the BITE model. They can’t snap out of it. It’s interesting to note that the Scottish independence movement almost managed to do it last year but at the very last moment when the complacent saw how the polls were going, newspapers, television and the BBC turned off the spigot to independent voices, turned up the volume on fear, uncertainty and dread, and the vote died. Lots of promises were made, promises that Parliament had no intentions of keeping. Now Scotland is stuck. It’s tax dollars go to support a regime that is completely at odds with its own population north of Hadrian’s wall.

4.) So, now we are starting to recognize acts like those that took place in Charleston this week for what they are: domestic terrorism. Indeed, Roof’s rationalizations remind me of Tim McVeigh’s reasons for blowing up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City. McVeigh was angry about what the FBI did in Waco and Ruby Ridge. Let’s face it, people like Roof and McVeigh, dissatisfied with the way life is going in the US and prodded to become enraged by influencers whose motives they might not be completely aware of, are dangerous people.

The problem is that there are many people out there who feel like the current economic and social model is not meeting the expectations they were raised to expect. They’re not on the top of the pyramid in the way their gender or “race” had promised them. And for some reason, they’re not looking up to see who is choking off them money supply. Even the best politicians we have running for president, save one, are masking who is responsible for what is happening to our economic prospects. Instead, there is a lot of information out there that blames poor people or black people or women or atheists or gay people. And we have seen from Ferguson and McKinney and from Baltimore and Cleveland, that if you go after the people who the influencers with big microphones say are drinking your milkshake, you can get away with murder.

Maybe if you start a race war or a war against the government, you can finally take care of the problem once and for all.

By the way, you will have noticed that up to this point, I haven’t said anything about Obama. That’s for a couple of reasons. First, this problem started before Obama even thought about running for anything. Second, it’s not like Obama has spent his years in office as a champion for African-Americans. He’s a company man who reacts to events that happen to the African American community. I’m hoping that the left is finally seeing the difference. What he is to the right wing is simply a convenient lightening rod to channel their anger and outrage.

I’ve said before on this blog that the Islamic terrorists don’t frighten me nearly as much as the domestic variety. That’s because the number of Muslims in the US is pretty tiny and the ones I know have better things to do with their time than plan terrorist events, Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev notwithstanding. In fact, the Tsarnaevs prove my point. Their actions, as grievous as they were, were self-limiting. There was no network, they were killed or captured quickly and there was nowhere for them to hide, really. An Islamic terrorist in the US has to be very careful.There are a lot more of us than there are of them.

But a domestic terrorist whose motives are that African Americans, women, gay people or liberals are getting in the way of Jesus, baseball and apple pie?

They are EVERYWHERE. They can blow up abortion clinics and hide in the mountains for years and people will cover for them.I was surprised by the reaction of some of Roof’s neighbors to hearing about what he did. It wasn’t horror and condemnation. It was more like, why did he have to go all the way to Charleston? Why indeed.

It’s a lot harder to racially profile a domestic terrorist. They look like your neighbors or conservative brother in law and who is going to think they’re going to do something crazy? Dylann Roof’s roommates didn’t take him seriously. So what if he was into confederate flags?

5.) And they have guns. There are a lot of angry people that have guns.

This is the summary of my hypothesis. There is a flood of information from people who wish to unduly influence a population. The purpose of this influence appears to be to use the election cycle to impose a plutocracy. The flood of information that money can buy is being used to enrage ordinary people against people who may use the safety net. The unduly influenced vote for candidates who undermine the safety net. The people who have the money to buy the information empire do not possess the capacity for empathy. They appear to be malignant narcissists. That there may be collateral damage from pushing emotional outrage and thought control techniques on an unsuspecting public does not seem to bother these malignant narcissists a whit. In fact, it works in their favor that there is an anachronistic, ill-defined second amendment ensuring that the people they are angering have almost unlimited access to guns.

That makes the outrage self-reinforcing. If I’m outraged and I have a gun, I don’t have to put up with any government pushing crap on me. I am defiant. I can fly the confederate flag above my statehouse. What are you going to do about it?

If I didn’t know better, I would say that the plutocratic malignant narcissists who are funding the flood of enraging information are actively encouraging a sort of domestic terrorism. Because the other half of the American public is starting to come to the realization that there are a lot of irrationally angry people out there with guns and they are now starting to turn on the people who are getting in their way.

It is getting to be very dangerous to be an American who is African American, gay, female or poor.

6.) It’s now clear that the combination of inflammatory rhetoric with access to guns is a dangerous combination to the rest of us. There are a couple of ways to address this problem. One is gun control. But as many people have pointed out, in the current political environment, that’s going nowhere.

The other thing that can be done is to stop with the inflammatory rhetoric. That doesn’t mean censorship. It’s just that the Rush’s and Glenns and Fox News’s could voluntarily choose to broadcast in a way that is less unethical and uses fewer BITE model techniques.

The fact that neither option is under consideration by the predominately Republican legislatures around the country and that the media has not offered to stop with the rhetoric demonstrates that the plutocrats and the mob that are disguising themselves as a party are comfortable with the current state of fear, intimidation and tension. Liberals might just want to think twice about disagreeing with ignorant bigots or bible thumping shamebots or economic hyper-conservatives on their soapboxes at picnics. Too bad for you if you weren’t born into a family with at least one other free thinker where you can eat your potato salad in peace. Shut up or you will pay in ostracism or maybe a target on the back of your head someday.

It is the way it is because the menace of domestic terrorism works for the plutocrats and the party they control. It serves a useful purpose. Undue influence works fantastically well when there aren’t any dissenters speaking up. When it no longer serves a useful purpose, they will stop funding it.

If there is any hope of changing it, presidential candidates and other people with temporary access to big microphones will need to learn how to reveal what is going on to their audiences in a step by step fashion through a series of “A-Ha!” moments. This is the task that is appointed to them and if they do not find a way, no one will.

If they can’t do it, they will go the way of the other feckless politicians with presumably good intentions who lost elections in other countries to be replaced with the red meat, heartless, useful lackeys to the fabulously rich and soulless. Say hello to President Scott Walker.

Ok, I’m done now.

17 Responses

  1. I had to explain to a white male friend a couple of years ago, that if I, a white grandma, were being followed down the street, alone, in the rain by a white guy in a car, I would have been hiding in the bushes too. The other choices would have been run or fight. Further, he would have done the same. Blinkers.

    Really, nothing more to be said, RB, except that you are not alone.

  2. Apologies to RD, but we can’t post on the last thread any longer.

    @Sue: Yes, I know Obummer was the choice of a preponderance of Corporate Murka. That’s how I realized Corporate Murka was not the GOP monolith I had thought it was before 2008.

    • True, but the “establishment” really does not want Hillary in the White House.

  3. Last night, my husband said that we might have to go to war with right wingers.
    I reminded him that they have all the guns.

  4. 2015. The year it became more tragic than any of us could have imagined.

  5. After I spent two days crying it seemed to be left up to me to explain how this shooting came about due to the fact that I went to college a few blocks from Mother Emmanuel and the fact that I grew up in SC. Nobody seems to understand why nobody reported Roof. I said are you kidding? What he said is said by people in SC daily. It’s the norm there and the guy was not any more mentally ill than Timothy McVeigh was. Roof was the product of the sick culture of SC and it is a sick culture that has been enabled by the GOP since Nixon. Before civil rights legislation it was enabled by Democrats.

    Another sick thing about the culture of SC is the entire state operates like a plantation. We are now seeing this type of operation on a national scale since Ronald Reagan. How SC operates is they bleed the poor and the middle class for the wealthy. How the wealthy keep power in the state is fomenting racism and telling poor whites hey, look over there! That black person is taking your job! So as long as poor whites are obsessed with black people and racism they won’t actually pay attention to who actually is doing all this. The scariest thing in the world to them is if poor whites and black people actually started working together. Another thing that poor whites don’t realize in SC is that they are treated like crap and just as bad as black people by the elites. But the elites tell them that because they have white skin they are actually better off than black people when economically nothing could be further from the truth.

    • One reason the Northern misruling class cancelled Reconstruction is that they realized the Southern misruling class would make useful allies against those uppity workers of all skin tones.

    • What you just said isn’t true. I lived in Charleston for many years. As a matter of fact I worked for HUD there and most of our clients were minority. Its not any more racist than any town north of the Mason Dixon line. As a matter of fact I think northern cities are worse but just don’t have he past of confederacy hanging around their necks. Charleston maintains historic slave trading sites and similar historical references to teach the past and how far we’ve come. Its out in the open not hiding behind liberal know-betters.

      • Hey, I lived in Charleston when I was a kid. In fact, I’ve lived all over the US because my dad was career navy. So, while I can’t say that Charleston is the most racist city, because I haven’t been to every city or town in the south, it was pretty racist. Yep, no doubt about it. I didn’t know what segregation was until I lived in Charleston and I mean that sincerely.
        There are plenty of people in the north that practice a form of covert racism. Like, they’re all onboard with cutting public transportation routes to the suburbs, even if there are people in the suburbs who would like to take the bus to work provided the buses ran regularly like they used to. These covert bigots don’t understand that they’re being used by the wealthy and connected who want to get rid of any excess taxation or inconvenience to themselves. So they scare these covert suburban bigots into believing that there will be gangs of black youth invading their quiet suburban cup-de-sacs.
        But these covert bigots are not liberals.
        Liberals are flocking back to the urban neighborhoods and close to the city suburbs because we are comfortable with diversity. That’s probably what is happening to Charleston as well, if the maps I’ve seen of population trends is any gauge.
        But that doesn’t mean that Charleston isn’t a racist place and more openly racist and populated by more racist people than a place in the north. Because, you know, I lived there.
        And it is.
        And you know it.

        • If your dad was in the Navy you were probably near the naval base which actually is in North Charleston which is an entirely different city.

          • Well, the base might be in North Charleston but the school where the black kids went was within walking distance of my house. I didn’t even know what the heck segregation was until my dad took me there one day. He was a Civil War amateur expert and took us to the slave market, the plantations and the park across from Fort Sumter where all the cannons are. It’s because of him that I became keenly aware of what the Civil War was all about and just how awful slavery was and how some people were still suffering from it.
            We didn’t live on base. We lived in the civilian population. I saw it up close and personal. I saw that even the poorest white families could still afford a black housekeeper. That right there will tell you quite a bit about Charleston in the late 60s.
            I never lived in another place that was even remotely like it. And I hope I never do again,

      • Charleston is not the problem per se and I did not say it was. I said South Carolina culture is the problem. In the city of Charleston you don’t see a whole lot of racism and when I was there the city was 50 white 50 black but go a few miles outside of the city into North Charleston and it is a whole different story. Or go to somewhere like Gaffney SC or any number of smaller towns and it is a HUGE problem. There is a whole sick culture there that encourages the Dylan Roofs of the world.

  6. Any thoughts about today’s SC ruling?

  7. Great news about same sex marriage.
    It’s about time-no second class citizens!

  8. Bad week to be a bigot I guess.

    If you listen to terrestrial radio you can make a difference check the websites of the FM music stations in your market see if the owners also hold licenses for AM Hate Radio stations. If they do find other stations. Starve the beast.

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