Beyond Headlines and Hashtags

White supremacy is so imbedded in our culture that police will not confront armed citizens inciting fear and hatred in an already agitated local populace.
(AG 8/11/15)

Someone said she thought my headline on Tuesday, White Supremacy Reigns, may not appeal to Facebook users because it could suggest endorsement rather than my intended condemnation of the Oath Keepers in Ferguson.

I did promise to update that post, though.


Fair Use/Educational

The headline was an obvious declaration of what was transpiring in Ferguson, raising the alarm about the arrival of the mostly-entirely-white Oath Keepers, an armed, anti-government militia, carrying loaded guns and rifles, walking with impunity among the local, most-entirely-not-white protesters. This singular event is a stark example of white supremacy in this country.

The Oath Keepers is the same group that threatened to shoot government agents until they turned tail in retreat in the face of weeks of radical lawlessness on Bundy’s ranch last year.

It’s a puzzle of how the Oath Keepers can arrive armed on the heels of a declared state of emergency, which suspends certain rights and laws, with no other reaction than the police chief understating grossly that they were “unnecessary and inflammatory.”

Long before this week’s arrival of the Oath Keepers, and long before the tragedy of a year ago, when Michael Brown was needlessly gunned down by a police officer, there was an extant context:

  • Any black or brown person in Ferguson (or elsewhere, protestor or observer, open-carry state or not) who was/is open-carrying a gun or just a toy gun would be risking judge-and-jury, on-the-spot execution by police.

This makes the juxtaposition of the presence of the Oath Keepers, especially during this raw year, so much more harmful and so difficult to understand, and an inescapable demonstration of white supremacy in this country.

The fact that nothing is being done to restrain them from terrorizing this community is practically incomprehensible. It’s forcing me to return to the question I posed a couple of weeks ago: Is the End Game for the Religious Right Really a Civil War? (Part 1 and Part 2). I use the term religious right because crocked christianity in government is ideologically foundational to domestic terrorism.

With the permission of the state, militias like the Oath Keepers are unchecked in their shows of force. They are armed, paranoid, deluded, and dangerous, and they are welcomed on Main Street USA.

Their ideology doesn’t make sense but when immature white guys don’t get what they want–when they cannot otherwise hold back progress that enfranchises people they don’t like, and must exercise their need to masquerade as someone who is important to hide their fear, low self-esteem, and hatred of themselves and their fellow man–we are called to get off the couch and do something to make this world a safe and better place for everyone.


Alison Gardner