The Tenets Of America
November 20, 2021
The Tenets of America
As we approach this Thanksgiving holiday. I want to make sure that we are aware of an uncomfortable truth.
This country was founded on race, property and violence.
Yes, you may have been told the pilgrims escaped Europe, traversed the ocean, and sought “religious freedom”. But in reality, the religious separatist movement had already long passed by the time these squared hat individuals jumped in their ships to the “new world”. No, what they sought was something much more tangible. Land. Pilgrims weren’t governed by their pious religious nature. They were in every fashion, economic migrants. Seeking to establish the property and title that had so often eluded their small sect in Europe. Of course, they would eventually occupy a territory already in use by the native inhabitants. Leave it to white settlers to march onto an occupied land, claim it for their own and pronounce that the current occupants were savages and none deserving of this property. It was at that moment that the value of race and land began formulate within the American consciousness.
What I found the most fascinating about this story is that even in America’s own myth making legacy. We couldn’t be truthful about our beginnings. It was never about freedom….no that’s a folktale designed to give off the veneer of hopefulness. Property has always been our focus and main motivator.
Our country was so obsessed with the idea of property, that we violently captured, labeled and maintained human beings as property. We have literally fought violent wars over property. We have violently decimated civilizations over property. Again and again, we have shown that our value of property is always greater than people.
So what does this all have to do with the verdict that was rendered in Wisconsin, on November 19th 2021?! Well…I am glad you asked.
I lay this foundation down because I think it’s important to understand the true basis of that Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. Yes, many will argue the poor strategy of the prosecutors, or the obvious juicing of the system by the judge. There will also be many who will focus on self defense as the reason. But I am here to tell you that while all three things played a role. The central tenet to understand what truly unfolded is to see that when it comes down to it. When race, property and violence intersect, America will return to the default mechanism of white supremacy. This is no more notable than when black defendants incorporate the ‘Self Defense’ argument, they are three times (3x) more likely to be found guilty of a crime than their white counterparts. To understand this is to know that the entire social, political & economic system is organized around white supremacist violence. This is reality everyone needs to understand & confront.
A system designed to create an inherent bias will always lean on that bias when challenged. Pure and simple.
In truth and reality, a conviction wouldn’t prove that the system works. In fact, it would actually display an aberration, a flaw in a design placement of actuality. Justice in the face of oppression should’nt be a sign that the system works. Because if the system of justice worked….you wouldn’t need a sign.
Embedded within President Joe Biden’s tone deaf, ridiculous statement. Was actually riddled with unfortunate truth. The system does work. We just have to let go of the naïveté of how and who it works for. If a system of government and hierarchy rest on a three legged stool (the legs being race, property and violence). What do you expect for it to uphold? Certainly not equality. Same if you take away one of those legged tenets…America in its current form, as we come to know it, would cease to exist.
(By the way…read the F#%king room, Joe!!)
The fact of the matter is, Kyle Rittenhouse went to another state, with an illegal weapon. The reason he went to that state with an AR-15, is to be an adversary against the protest for the murdering of black lives. No one shows up with an intent for peace with a dangerous weapon. His intention was to seek opposition with violence means, and thus violence found him. Let’s keep it real. He intended to harm black people at a black protest. But alas, the demographics in that crowd didn’t meet his expectations. He ended up killing white protestors instead.
However, it’s his claim of wanting to protect property-that was not his own- that was particularly interesting to me. Because inherent within that codex of falsity he perpetrated, is the idea that violence to protect property, seems amazingly American. Governor DeSantis is being challenged as we speak for a law he created, where the ambiguous nature allows a person to violently attack someone, in defense of property. The value of property is only measured against the life and cause of a particular sect of people. Of course a jury of white peers would find his innocence. The protection of property interest, by any means necessary, is the American way!!
When white violence is on the menu. The rationalization of that violence always takes hold. The grace given to understand why it happened, and the causations behind it, are inherent in the dissection.
White violence is almost always viewed through the prism of forgive and forget. You see, that is the wickedness of white supremacy. The opportunity of grace is always afforded as a default.
You literally had aggrieved white people violently storm the Capitol – with the help of public figures and elected officials. Yet…there’s a consortium of people and a whole party telling us to “move on and not belabor the violent assault on our democracy”. Violence through the lens of white supremacy will always be stomached and properly digestive. Also, just so we are clear, the progenitors and protectors of white supremacy do not always have to be white. People of color are often used as a shield for the very white supremacy that would turn around and snap on them. Always remember, a guard dog can be any breed if they are vicious enough.
White supremacist violence is the norm—from the earliest days of white settler colonialism to now. This is yet another assault against ongoing demands for justice.
We hide our motivations, behind the fake shield of freedom. To appease our inner need to feel good about our nation. But it is a lie.
So I say all that to say, that no, we (especially black folk) aren’t shocked by the verdict. We aren’t even moved by the injustice. What we are most disappointed with is that we will continue to ignore the truth of our nation. That violence, race and property go hand in hand, like Pillgrims, Thanksgiving and Turkey. In both scenarios, it’s the false ideal of freedom and equality that provides the cover of what is really truthful. White violence and property is the American way.