The Republican party, led by the Trump administration, is pushing the United States ever closer to something like a civil war. In many ways, the protesters and those supporting them are involved in something very like an insurgency, and our goal should be to avoid that crossing the line into warfare. If riot gear is replaced with bullets, that’s bad news for everybody. As Beau has been saying, there are a few layers of bad. The first is the simple fact that there’s no guarantee of victory for those of us who want justice and equality. The second is that even in the event of victory, political change achieved through force of arms generally doesn’t result in a peaceful, just, equitable society. It’s not a path likely to get the results we want.
The third, and most important, is that this movement has the politics of race at its core. If it comes to bloodshed, the people most vulnerable are those who LOOK like they’re part of the insurgency. Right now, Trump’s “Brute Squad” are targeting people who’re wearing black, or carrying shields, or wearing helmets – protesters who stand out.
If we enter some form of warfare, the rules change. People involved in combat can and will work to not stand out, because going toe-to-toe with the armed forces of a nation – particularly the United States – is a great way to get killed, even without fascist terrorists looking to “help out”.
The difference between dark skin and clothing has always been at the core of this. Black people don’t have the option to blend in. They stand out by default, and that makes them the most obvious targets if things get out of control. They already have targets on them, and further escalation will make those targets glow. The same goes for other groups with darker skin, and for people like Muslims who dress in a particular way.
We want change, but we do not want war. We have little control over what Trump and the Republicans do, while they are in power, which means that, as always, the American people have to show more discipline and self-control than the authorities. We need to win the messaging battle. We need to be sure that at every turn it is as clear as possible that the “authorities” are the aggressors. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t defend themselves. Shields, helmets, gas masks – all are good and appropriate things.
But we do need to be clear about what we do and don’t want. We need to be clear about what war would mean both for the country as a whole, and for the people in whose name this movement began.
As always, Beau of The Fifth Column has made a video that everyone should hear. He talks about the numbers of what war would actually mean for the United States.
Just as importantly, he talks about the steps people can be taking right now, both to avoid war, and to start creating the change we DO want without the need for bloodshed. Please watch the video. If you’re unable to, and the captions provided by Youtube don’t work for you, let me know and I’ll either find or make a transcript.
Obviously I still need financial support, and if you’re able to contribute at patreon.com/oceanoxia. That said, I think the work showcased in this video is more important than what I’m doing. If you can, please consider supporting it at patreon.com/beautfc. And take the advice in this video.