Malcolm’s Chickens Have Roosted In Shootings Across United States
Above Photo: From blackagendareport.com
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“The U.S. is flooded with anxiety and guns.”
Mass casualty, civilian-led shootings are a uniquely US phenomenon. The most recent headline shooting in Las Vegas took over fifty lives and injured many more. Since the War on Terror was declared in 2001, mass shootings have served as a barometer of the profound confusion and fear that exists in the US. Corporate media outlets and their allies in the US military state have shown little interest in finding actual policy solutions to the problem beyond more state repression. That’s because any real investigation of the causes of these events would expose how Malcolm’s chickens have roosted across the blood-soaked nation.
Mainstream discourse has once again failed to ask the right questions. Sympathetic accounts of white assailants have also served to place attention on individual suspects rather than systemic causes. Sympathetic accounts have been absent for Arab, Muslim, and other oppressed peoples who are instead deemed “terrorists” whenever they commit acts of mass violence on US soil, which isn’t often. Then there is the superficial discussion about mental health and mass shootings, leading to few conclusions other than the stigmatization of the mentally ill. And of course, gun control lobbyists and weapons manufacturers have rehashed their superficial conflict to forward their particular political agendas.
“Pentagon weapons flow to local police departments in the billions to lynch Black Americans at a near daily rate and prepare for counterinsurgency war operations against the entire population.”
The ruling circle has every interest in dampening the ability of the masses to formulate an independent lens to understand “mass shootings.” The shootings reveal the fault lines of a deeply unstable domestic situation in the heartland of empire. They are a modern-day example of Malcolm X’s “chickens coming home to roost.” When Malcolm made the controversial statement after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, he was claiming that the violence white supremacy and empire had imposed on Black America and the people of Vietnam would eventually come back to afflict those in power. From this lens, what does the long list of mass shootings reveal about the United States?
For one, it reveals that the deeply militarized character of US society in 2017 has only intensified the empire’s historic antagonisms. Chinese revolutionary Mao Tse-Tung once said that political power grows from the barrel of a gun. For over two centuries, the US has maintained political power by enforcing racism and capitalism at the barrel of a variety of deadly, mass-murdering guns. Millions of Africans and Natives were killed to make way for the nation’s founding, and millions more have been murdered at home and abroad to ensure that the US maintains its dominant economic and military status. A trillion-dollar military budget, much of which goes to contracts with weapons manufacturers , continues to submit millions in Yemen, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere to violent, pre-mature deaths. Pentagon weapons flow to local police departments in the billions to lynch Black Americans at a near daily rate and prepare for counterinsurgency war operations against the entire population.
“For over two centuries, the US has maintained political power by enforcing racism and capitalism at the barrel of a variety of deadly, mass-murdering guns.”
A nation so steeped in violence cannot help but spread the fervor to the entire population. Popular corporate media celebrates violence, especially when it depicts US warfare. The Pentagon heavily invests in the corporate media to guarantee that its endless war on the world goes unchallenged. The police and military are celebrated at nearly every corporate sports venue and the US has several holidays dedicated to mass murderers and colonialists. Colin Kaepernick has been blacklisted from the NFL for not standing for a US flag that has imposed violence and premature death on the Black community since the nation’s inception.
Couple the US empire’s violent antagonisms with the supreme crisis of the capitalist economic system and the toxicity level of US society only heightens. The US is flooded with anxiety and guns. Mental health has worsened as a result of a general decline in living standards. Depression is highest where poverty is highest and about half of the US population is poor . It makes sense then that half of the US population experiences mental health symptoms at some point in their lives. Mental health symptoms are treated with pharmaceuticals that often carry side effects such as suicidal thoughts, irritability, and the like.
“Swimming in a toxic soup.”
The US, in other words, is a profoundly sick and violent society. To paraphrase Don Debar, the masses living in the belly of US imperialism are swimming in a “toxic soup.” That soup is increasingly going sour for both the rulers and the ruled. An intense level of stress has been foisted upon the laps of poor and working people, especially Black Americans in US imperialism’s race to the bottom. A permanent unemployed class has arisen from the bowels of a stagnant capitalist economy. The rulers themselves are unhappy that US economic and military hegemony is waning in the global sphere and its public relations image has been tainted by the record rates of incarceration and police murder that exist within US borders.
Mass shootings are but another example of how the conditions imposed by imperialism domestically and globally eventually come back to haunt the system. Imperialism is digging its own grave. US covert support for jihadist terrorists abroad has left the US and West vulnerable to attacks on their own shores. US intelligence has also devised “counter terror” operations meant to legitimize the big lie that is the “War on Terror,” literally creating scenarios by which to prove the legitimacy of the policy. State activity and surveillance has only further deepened the alienation present in a population so indoctrinated by the anti-social character of the empire. As Glen Ford stated in BAR , in a society “that has historically denied the humanity of people of color, killing and enslaving them, and which has waged modern wars of annihilation against non-whites around the world, solidarity with other human beings does not come naturally.” This condition is only compounded by the fact that US intelligence services are designed to divide the population and, in collaboration with the corporate media, turn external anxieties inward.
“State repression, once only leveled on rebellious working people and racialized groups, has been extended to the entire population.”
US imperialism is a warfare state. Political chaos, social alienation, and economic misery define the internal life of US imperialism’s declining empire. A trillion dollar military budget, over 800 military bases , and thousands of nuclear weapons cannot protect the system from its own demise. Malcolm’s chickens have come home to roost in a variety of forms. Mass shootings are but one manifestation of their domestic presence.
The oppressor class always makes internal strife a reason to instill fear into the masses. Mass fear is then utilized to further the profit-driven agenda of the imperialist order. State repression, once only leveled on rebellious working people and racialized groups, has been extended to the entire population. Everyone is a potential terrorist that can be bombed or killed out of existence by the state. In the case of many mass shootings, the perpetrators are white and have to be treated humanely so not to reveal that white supremacy is at the root of all violence in the US. These events have only validated the fear that has been wielded by the ruling class to turn the attention of the masses away from changing the deplorable conditions they live in.