Only eight days after a terrorist attack targeting Black people Donald Trump is promoting the idea of civil war. While this is not surprising coming from the former president, trying to forget what happened in Buffalo while “civil war” trends on social media is much more dangerous and problematic than people realize. The current environment in the United States makes it a very dangerous place for non-white people.
Too many people are dismissive of the Buffalo terrorist. Pre-programmed ideas of lone wolves always take over the conversation when terrorists are white. Conversations about gun control, economic anxiety, and even a toothache drown out the conversations that need to be had. Just saying the shooter is a neo-Nazi or racist also dismisses the bigger problem (looking at you Ben Collins).
Lone wolves are a myth. White men are radicalized by the words and deeds of those that came before them. They associate with specific crowds and discuss extremist ideas and express their hate for non-white people. They then spread their fundamentalist ideas to the general public via social media channels that allow them to operate unabated; inciting one another to commit hateful acts against non-white communities – whether verbal, physical or outright murder.
To use language that was used against Muslims: they’re terrorist cells.
Black people and Latinos are bearing the brunt of increased hate crimes. If we were to track every single incident as the AAPI community does, we’d likely double and triple those numbers respectively. Fact is, the only method of tracking hate crimes against non-Asian communities is by using the federal database numbers that not all police departments report to.
We should applaud the efforts the AAPI community is taking and mimic what they’re doing. It’s impactful and can drive awareness. As it stands now, because of how data is collected about hate crimes and how the media and silicon valley is focused solely on the AAPI community, most don’t know of these disparities. The federal database has always been a good marker for what’s happening in regards to hateful attacks on Black people and Latinos.
Why not now all of a sudden?
The answer to that is both simple and complex. A good example lies in the Buffalo terrorist’s manifesto. While he says East Asians “do not belong in white civilization,” he also says they’re “quite admirable” and white people “shall be close friends but never lovers,” with East Asians.
Yes, this is uncomfortable. Yes, it’s problematic. But let’s not pretend it’s not there. White people in the US will go to bat for East Asians before they do anything for Black people, Latinos, or the Indigenous community. No one is dehumanized more in the US than in those three groups. As a child of Caribbean immigrants, I know precisely where white America places us because of the default response and reaction to our communities. This isn’t the AAPI community’s fault.
This is just how the US operates.
A lot of it stems from what your typical white ethnonationalist regards as assimilation, what they see as people who may be or are willing to promote a white ethnostate. While they may look down on some groups, they are also willing to accept them if it suits their need. We see Black people and Latinos associating with hate groups all the time. They’re lured in by ideas centered around “male chauvinism,” as the Proud Boys like to call it.
Many times other groups are duped by xenophobic rhetoric to try and draw anti-Latino attitudes out of people. The dead giveaway, of course, is that they never complain about white “illegals” in this country or the diversity you see at the Southern border. Instead, they use “Mexican” as a catch-all or they solely target Latinos with their rhetoric. Another dead giveaway is the claim that all Latinos are white, completely ignoring the large Black populations in many countries.
White nationalists have infiltrated nearly every movement out there. We’ve seen Boogaloo Bois partner with a Chapter of Black Lives Matter – which can only end in disaster. And we’re seeing more Black people and people of color becoming closely allied with white nationalist politicians, pundits, and leaders. The America First ideology is infectious in many ways.
The movement uses immigration as a tool to convince Black people that “Mexicans” are taking their jobs. The reality is, A good portion of them work the fields or in a trade for next to nothing – jobs no so-called “American” is really willing to do. Especially not for the pay, lack of benefits, and third-world housing. Even a Republican, George W. Bush, made this argument.
But don’t tell a modern conservative that.
Similarly, anti-Blackness is used to lure other groups such as Latinos and Asians to create animus between them. A good example is the use of videos and stories of Black people attacking Asians, but they never mention that 75% of the perpetrators of anti-Asian attacks are white men. Validating the claims people make on the Internet has never been more important.
Too many of our people are being hooked in by seemingly inclusive white nationalism. But as the Buffalo terrorist echoed in his manifesto, those allyships are “for now”. I want you to never forget those two little words. A mere six letters. Because I can assure you, white supremacists are taking those words to heart as they welcome you in with seemingly open arms.
Ask Enrique Tarrio about what they call him among the Proud Boys’ leadership.
If you are Black or Latino and find yourself cozying up to a white nationalist because he’s a misogynistic, xenophobic, transphobe prick like yourself, remember, they’re coming for you next. I’m warning you with the use of their words, not mine. Because “for now” they might be nice to you. But just as you get comfortable, they’re going to turn on you. It’s only a matter of time.
Some things are more obvious than others. And since the extremist movement is evolving, some things aren’t apparent. As I’ve said before, it is incumbent upon us to educate the public about what we learn along this journey. The United States can ill afford to continue ignoring that which will tear this country apart. It’s already coming to pieces and too many are sitting idly by.
White people, you have a lot of work to do too. We’re counting on you.