White privilege

Who is Frazier Glenn Miller? A white man with a long history of anti-Semitism and racism, a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, a man who arbitrarily shot and killed three people on Sunday, April 13.

The police said Mr. Miller fired the shotgun outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City around 1 p.m. on Sunday, killing William L. Corporon, 69, a physician, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, who was auditioning that day for a singing competition.

Mr. Miller drove from the community center to a nearby Jewish assisted-living complex, Village Shalom, where he fatally shot Terri LaManno, 53, an occupational therapist who was visiting her mother.

Ironically, none of the victims were Jewish.

Many people who are disgusted with the violent acts that Miller arbitrarily perpetrated on the three victims, will protect his right to publicly air his hatred and racism. After all, he has the right to free speech. However, the right to free speech does not include falsely yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre where people could be injured by the ensuing panic. Miller’s speeches were inflammatory and designed to target specific racial and religious groups, putting them at risk of bodily harm. Is this not similar to yelling fire in a crowded theater?

Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who had converted to Islam and left the U.S., was living in Yemen. He was outspoken in his criticism of U.S. policies, it’s imperialism and militarism. The U.S. found his rhetoric inflammatory and assassinated him. The rationale was that, despite the fact that he did not attempt to arm himself or his followers, he might do so in the future. Therefore, he was seen as an imminent threat to the U.S., not for what he was doing but for what he was saying. His son, Abdulrahman, 16 years of age, was assassinated by the U.S. shortly after his father’s death. Why? Because of his father’s politics, he was also seen as a future threat to the U.S. By the way, Abdulrahman was also an American citizen.

It appears that the U.S. sees danger, not only in armaments and weapons, but in speech. Yet, Miller’s “free speech” aroused little concern and reaction from the federal government. Why wasn’t Awlaki provided with the same rights as Miller? I’m willing to bet that no one in authority ever considered assassinating Miller.

Despite the enormous amount of domestic surveillance, it does not appear that Miller was red-flagged for increased attention by the law enforcers. Yet, when Malcolm X talked about retribution and the black man protecting himself “by any means necessary,” he received lots of attention. People were upset and frightened. Was it because when he spoke, it targeted us white folks?

Last, but not least, when is the last time we heard a terrorist act committed by a white man labeled terrorism? Is this term reserved only for Muslims?

Who is Cliven Bundy? Bundy is a 68 year old cattle rancher from Bunkerville, Nevada, who has refused to recognize federal authority over the land where his cattle graze. He has accumulated more than $1million in fees and fines. Having gotten approval from the courts, the government agents impounded a few hundred of Bundy’s cattle.

However, hundreds of right-wing “patriots” responded in support of Bundy and, with weapons, confronted the government agents. The government backed down in order to avoid bloodshed. As a result, these right-wing, anti-government gun toters have claimed victory and Bundy has become a folk hero. Keep in mind, that this man is a wealthy cattle rancher and not someone who is impoverished and barely scraping by financially.

While bloodshed was avoided, how does one explain the fact that Bundy has not yet paid his fees and fines and he and the people who threatened the federal agents continue to walk free?

Would the government officials have acted in a similar fashion if the people refusing to obey the law were armed and non-white? Think about that and remember our history (example: the assassination of members of the Black Panther Party by our government officials). The Black Panther Party was actively contributing to their community’s welfare but chose to arm themselves in self-defense or what we now call “stand your ground.” Yet, unlike white gun toters, they were demonized and killed.

Or, let us picture a group of progressive demonstrators demanding a change in policy or rallying to push certain legislation. If they were armed, would the feds have backed off? However, this is not a good example because the chances of progressives walking around with weapons is ludicrous. What I do know is, if they were ordered to leave and disperse and they didn’t, there would have been mass arrests and some people beaten.

Who is Alison Michelle Ernst? This is the woman from Phoenix who was able to bypass security and enter an auditorium where Hillary Clinton was giving a convention speech at a Las Vegas Strip resort.

This incident raises some questions. Since attendance at this convention was limited, how did she manage to walk into the auditorium without proper authorization, walk down the aisle to 60 feet from Hillary, reach into her bag, pull out a shoe and throw it at Hillary without intervention by security people. What if it were a gun she had in her bag instead of a shoe? Where was the secret service?

After her arrest, Ernst was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. But surprisingly we have not learned much else. Who is she?, Is she connected with any political organization? Was she working alone? Why was she in Las Vegas? Why did she do this?

This was a serious and potentially fatal breach of security. Yet, the media is quiet except for Rush Limbaugh. WHY?

If she were not white, would she have been able to walk past security? Would she have been allowed to leave with a court date set for June 24? Would there have been more media coverage and questions about her made available to the public?

Dave Alpert has masters degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology. He spent his career working with troubled inner city adolescents.

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