America’s vigilante violence, rather than a protection from tyranny, is an expression of the fear by white people, especially white men, of the black underclass. This underclass has been enslaved, lynched, imprisoned and impoverished for centuries. The white vigilantes do not acknowledge the reality of this oppression, but at the same time they are deeply worried about retribution directed against whites. Guns, for this reason, are easily available to white people while gun ownership is largely criminalized for blacks. The hatred expressed by vigilante groups for people of color, along with Jews and Muslims, is matched by their hatred for the college-educated elite, who did not decry the steady impoverishment of the working class. People of color, along with those who espouse the liberal social values of the college-educated elites, including gun control, are seen by the vigilantes as contaminants to society that must be removed to restore the nation to health.So much of a stretch to associate yet another weekend of gang warfare in Chicago with a sagebrush rebellion in Nevada.
There is a simpler explanation, along the lines of the college-educated elite, who, beginning with the Kerner Commission report, treated the white working-class as collateral damage in the War on Poverty. Yes, I'm simplifying aggressively, there's material here and elsewhere in my project list to elaborate on. That the people of color might be the most tragic casualties of the pretensions of the college-educated elite is also material for another day. It's not enough for Mr Hedges to voice his own hysteria, he has to call on Richard Rorty.
All the sadism which the academic Left tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.Some of the badly educated Americans are themselves college graduates, tired of being harangued by the freakazoids. In normal, every-day life, it is not necessary to apologize for being normal. And yet, the Perpetually Aggrieved may not rest until the concept of normality is a thought-crime.
Muslims, undocumented workers, homosexuals, liberals, feminists, intellectuals and African-Americans will increasingly suffer the wrath of vigilante violence as the nation becomes more restive. Liberal institutions, their credibility shredded because of their myopic support for neoliberalism, will become irrelevant. Chauvinism, violent retribution, a perverted Christianity and the celebration of a mythic Anglo-Saxon history will sever sections of the population from reality, enticing them into an American fascism. This is what is coming. It cannot be fought with counterviolence. It can be fought only with ideas.We have much to look forward to.