Horrific shootings in the US last weekend showed where our rulers’ racism can lead.
Some 22 people died after Patrick Crusius opened fire on people at a Walmart shop in El Paso, Texas, last Saturday. He had posted a racist manifesto online hours before the killings.
El Paso lecturer Jonna Perrillo said, “Communities of colour are under attack. And it comes from the top.”
She is right. The shootings follow a series of deeply racist speeches by US president Donald Trump.
His attacks on migrants and Muslims have created a climate where violent racists can flourish.
Trump tried to hide this by putting the blame for the killings elsewhere.
So he called for a clampdown on video games that “celebrate violence”. But the people who really celebrate violence are our rulers.
Trump has denounced Mexican migrants as criminals, drug dealers, gang members and rapists.
He has repeatedly referred to immigration as an “invasion”. Crusius said he wanted to fight a “Hispanic invasion” of Texas. In May, Trump asked a rally in Florida how to “stop these people” from crossing the border into the US. When one person replied, “Shoot them,” Trump laughed.
In November last year ABC News identified at least 17 cases where Trump’s name was invoked in direct connection with violence or threats of violence.
The victims were from “an array of minority groups—African Americans, Latinos, Muslims and gay men”.
It isn’t just Trump either. This week Brazil’s far right president Jair Bolsonaro called for criminals to “die in the streets like cockroaches”. Bolsonaro wants cops and others who kill alleged criminals to be immune from prosecution. It’s a disgraceful call for more violent attacks against poor people.
Rulers preside over a system that is built on violence.
They rely on police, who had shot and killed 519 people in the US by the end of last month, to maintain “order”. If they really feel under threat, they will use troops against ordinary people.
Or they will turn groups of ordinary people against each other and even encourage fascist groups to undermine united resistance.
The response to recent protests in Hong Kong hints at how far our rulers will go to defend their interests.
They regularly send ordinary people to fight and die in wars to further those interests.
And they prop up bloody dictatorships and repressive regimes if it suits them.
It is hypocrisy for the brutal warmongers at the top of society—who unleash the most severe savagery—to whine about violence.
We should take no lectures from them. And we should defend the right of ordinary people to resist their system.